Joker leaves another crime scene for Harley and the police to ponder over in Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity #2, out this week from DC Black Label.
Kami Garcia writes this beautifully paced and haunting story, and presents it in a way almost opposite of anything similar. Generally when dealing with flashbacks to tell a story, the flashbacks will be done in black and white or a different style. This story uses color for the past and black and white for the present.
Mico Suayan is handling the black and white pages, and Mike Mayhew is drawing the colored flashbacks. Jason Badower is assisting as well, I’m assuming he’s the inker since the book does not specify.
Richard Starkings is the letterer and while there is not much action in this issue, the lettering is easy on the eyes. Any noises are small and slight to show the eerie silence and to highlight those footsteps approaching behind you.
This could very well be my favorite book from the black label so far. Turning the Joker into a more realistic serial killer comparable to shows like Dexter and Hannibal, almost makes the Joker more terrifying. His desire for spectacle and attention usually steers him into the grasp of Batman over and over again, but just imagine if he wasn’t trying to get caught. Just imagine if the Joker was a predator camouflaged into society with everyone else.
With his intelligence and ability to out maneuver the Batman, a sneaky and stalking Joker sounds like someone who could go around killing for years and years without leaving one single shred of evidence that he didn’t want you to find.
I absolutely LOVE this book, and I don’t feel that way about many other books right now. Immortal Hulk, DIE, Saga (whenever it finally comes back), Gideon Falls, and anything Black Hammer are among my favorites, but I can’t get enough of everything in this book.
People have always been fascinated by the minds of serial killers and how they could possibly do the things that they do. I believe the fanaticism increased exponentially when the show Dexter came around. I have a Dexter portrait tattoo on my right rib-cage, just so you know where I’m coming from. Before that I don’t remember any other shows or movies that told the story from the killer’s point of view.
Dexter gave us stories of sociopathic killers playing games with each other and crime scenes that felt more like artwork. Then came Hannibal with some of the best tableau crime scenes I’ve ever seen. Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity taps into that same methodical, artistic type of murderer that loves being admired.
Harley even teaches classes just like Will did in Hannibal. Hannibal was one of my favorite TV shows ever made so every comparison between the two is the highest of praises. I believe Hannibal suffered from being on Fridays at 9 pm when most people are going out and having fun. I still haven’t even watched the 3rd season because I don’t want it to really be over.
Hot for Killers?
If you love watching serial killer documentaries, Dexter, Hannibal, YOU on Netflix, this book is perfection for you. At first I wasn’t thrilled about all these new Joker stories coming out around the movie, but they have all been completely original in their own ways and extremely entertaining. Harleen, Joker: Killer Smile, and now Criminal Sanity are all stand alone stories that don’t feel like a DC money grab at any point, which is what I was afraid of.
These are all great stories with phenomenal artwork in each of them. I will admit I also hated that most of the Black Label books were magazine size. Now I’m thinking about thanking them for giving us larger pages to enjoy such beautiful work.
What did you thin of Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity #2? Do you know of any similar movies or TV shows that may have preceded Dexter? Let us know in the comments below.