Thursday, May 01, 2008

Clown at Midnight and DC Universe #0

In this week's DC Universe #0, we see, for the first time outside of the Grant Morrison prose issue of Batman (issue #663), the new "Clown at Midnight" version of the Joker. The character looks nothing like the John Van Fleet version, but if you look closely, the art in DC Universe #0 (did Tony Daniel draw that sequence?) shows the Joker's newly menacing grin, and the callback to the red/black pattern establishes that this is the same incarnation as the prose story.

So my thoughts are: isn't it strange that this new version of the Joker appeared only once, over a year ago, in a prose story, hasn't been seen since, and now appears a second time in this book that's basically just an ad for Final Crisis? And what does that mean for the timeline of Morrison's Batman? Does it mean that the rest of the DC Universe has finally caught up with the chronology he's been exploring since he took over Batman? If so, then how does the recent "Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul" crossover fit in? I'm not sure I really care about any of these answers, since I'd rather have Morrison's work off in it's own little corner of the DCU, but with Final Crisis, his stuff is center stage.

By the way, as I already implied in my review for DC Universe #0, Countdown is completely irrelevant to Final Crisis, or so it seems. We all knew this already, based on the fact that they ended Countdown an issue early to make way for this Johns/Morrison issue, but it's nice to see the irrelevance of Countdown so enthusiastically verified by DCU #0. So, I guess my question for those who shelled out the $150 for Countdown is: are you angry that Countdown has been rendered completely irrelevant, or are you unbelievably happy that such an abominable book has been ignored?

4 comments:

Chad Nevett said...

I believe that's Tony Daniel on art. And, to be fair, this comic was an ad for MANY comics, not just Final Crisis. What I wonder is whether or not this sequence will show up in an issue of Batman--probably not, but it would be a shame if it didn't just for those readers who didn't pick up this comic.

Marc Caputo said...

It'll probably be in the tpb - you know, "Batman xxx - yyy with 3 pages from DC Universe 0"

Marc Caputo said...

Now that I've read it I love that Batman sequence, with the symmetry, the numbers (1st has 2 big panels with 4 inset, then 8 on the next and 16 - doubling towards infinity, like this'll go on forever.)

matt st. pierre said...

The Batman pages were fantastic.

Tim, you had the Alfred theory, didn't you? I forget. If it was you, though, these pages might give some credit toward that theory.

It's probably nothing, but early we have the panel of Batman against the white-black checkered flooring, the colors of which would correspond with the two Ace cards (Clubs, Spades) that Joker draws. Despite being Ace cards, though, they of course only feature the A. Furthermore, on the third page, there are three panels where the word bubbles are directed toward the card (while likely meant to be read as going to Joker's mouth, they DO go to the card).

Speaking of which, Joker couldn't talk too well in the prose. Are we to assume that he can talk fine now? He does deliver the "you're dead" bit at the end with movements. Are the words necessarily Joker, or something else?