REVIEW – Joker: Killer Smile #1

Joker: Killer Smile #1 - DC's Black Label

Written by Jeff Lemire

Art by Andrea Sorrentino

Colors by Jordie Bellaire

Letters by Steve Wands

You might have heard the old saying, "you shouldn't bring your work home with you."  I always wonder how some people are able to avoid that.  Imagine doing a job where you have to see some difficult, sometimes terrible things.  How do you just leave that at the door?  That's just one of the themes that is explored by Jeff Lemire and company in Joker: Killer Smile #1 from DC's Black Label.

The story does follow the Clown Prince of Crime, but also the man who thinks he can get inside of his head.  We'll call him Dr. Ben, since that's what he's referred to as throughout the book.  Many a mental health professional has tried and failed to rehabilitate the Joker.  Dr. Ben seems like he won't stop until he becomes the first.  Seems like a "swing for the fences" approach with his new therapy techniques, but a risk he is willing to take.  He then gets to find out how complex and dangerous Joker can be in almost any setting.  This is definitely effecting Dr. Ben in some disturbing ways.  We get to see him at home as well, and this is when things feel especially uncomfortable.  The question I had at the end of this first issue was: how long will Dr Ben last?

One thing you get a appreciation for right off the bat is just how complex and evil Joker's mind really is.  How he is toying with this doctor really is both cruel and unusual.  It's interesting how Dr. Ben still insists on continuing even after bad stuff starts happening.  Lemire shows just how much of a master of the mind that Joker really is.  It also shows the denial to seek help, and what happens as a result.  Lemire uncovers layer after disturbing layer, but the effects aren't alwasy obvious.  Sorrentino's art.  I'll definitely be back for more answers, a smiles.