Over the years we’ve seen a surprising number of Batman story arcs that are drenched in horror. We’re talking books that are flat out gruesome, unforgiving and often frightening. Those books aren’t superhero books. They’re not aimed at young teens. These are brutal works of fiction, designed to appeal the much older crowd, eager to peel the superhero’s layers away to see something much deeper and darker. And that works for guys like myself, deep into my 30s with kids of my own. I know when to appreciate a book for myself and when to recommend a piece to my offspring. Batman: Joker’s Daughter is certainly a book that belongs far from the grasp of the kiddies.
Marguerite Bennett crafts a compelling tale that brings a new villain, with the genetic code of a classic rogue to the masses. The Joker’s Daughter is as schizophrenic as her daddy, and in this book she makes a complete transition from head case wannabe to murdering nemesis of the Bat. She’s morbid. She’s savage. She’s got jokes. She’s everything the Joker is and has been. She’s not watered down, or softened up to appeal to children. No. In this book, this little lady is deeply disconcerting and worthy of Batman’s time and attention. Even if he is a step ahead.
I won’t rush to break the story down. It’s a short book. It introduces one legendary figure to what could one day also be a legendary figure of the comic world. They tangle. Batman does what he does, and this woman does what Joker does, with conviction.
When it comes to DC, Batman has always been a runaway favorite for me. Always. There’s something magnetic about the Dark Knight. The mystery that always surrounds him inspires awe. Even in the somewhat rare, or less popular books, like Batman: Joker’s Daughter, a brilliant piece that has eluded me for some time.
I’m glad I picked this one up. Bennett is an excellent writer. Meghan Hetrick, who illustrates, is also razor sharp. Together they’re a special duo who could do huge things with this character. We’ll see where the future leads us.