Joker - The Killing Smile, review: ogentroost

Joker - The Killing Smile, review: ogentroost

Joker - The Killing Smile, review

Panini DC Italia re-proposes in an elegant hardcover volume Joker - The Smile that Kills. This is the excellent three-issue miniseries, to which is added the "conclusive" one-shot Batman: Il Killer che Sorride, originally released under the aegis of the DC Black Label and in paperback books, signed by Andrea Sorrentino and Jeff Lemire. The tried and tested creative team, winner of an Eisner Award, who also created an award-winning run on the Green Arrow for DC, is engaging for the first time with one of the iconic characters of the publishing house as well as one of the most recognizable and influential villains in all of the literature. comics.

Joker - The Smile that Kills

Joker - The Smile that Kills: distorted realities

Over the years Joker has been subjected to countless treatments and therapies, this has neither prevented him from entering and exiting at his leisure from Arkham Asylum nor from negatively influencing some of the people who had tried in vain to help him, the most striking case, in this sense, remains Dr. Harleen Quinzel better known as Harley Quinn . This reputation, and the patient's innate danger, do not seem to discourage Dr. Ben Arnell who, in spite of the warnings, asks for more time to formulate a diagnosis and thus try to cure Joker.

Joker - Il Smile that Kills What is certain is that this is another very elaborate plan of the Clown Prince of Crime to propitiate his escape from the asylum and above all to manipulate another innocent. The tragedy is only touched upon thanks to the providential intervention of Batman. What if the Joker also used the same tactic with the Dark Knight and Bruce Wayne was experiencing a prolonged psychotic state that distorts reality?

Joker - The Smile that Kills: ogentroost

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It is easy to insert Joker - The Killing Smile in the cauldron of the so-called psychological thrillers because the whole story is actually based on the undoing of the very idea of ​​reality, identity and therefore sanity. However, Lemire is too experienced and too capable an author to reduce everything to a war of nerves between the Joker and Doctor Arnell and therefore takes advantage of the idea behind his story to make a not too veiled call to the deconstructionism of superheroes. with an equally clear and precise reference to the Watchmen of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

The Joker therefore ideally mixes with Rorschach, and specifically in that of the central part of the seminal graphic novel, and then rejoins his homologue as sadistically outlined by Moore himself in The Killing Joke and then taken up in a more Machiavellian version by Grant Morrison in Arkham Asylum. The result is a Joker extremely in line with his classic comic interpretations yet extremely modern, less grotesque and more perverse, which also very well reworks the influence of Todd Phillips' cinematic Joker without falling into the trap of genre pastiche. >
There is no doubt that in this sense Lemire's sinister and cutting script finds its fulfillment in an exceptional test by Andrea Sorrentino on pencils, assisted by a precise work by Jordie Bellaire on colors. Sorrentino uses a distinctly chiaroscuro approach in which blacks become material to be modeled for a realism that finds the real strength of the whole work in the heterogeneous construction of the table. Interesting solutions with configurational domination alternate with a more conventional construction, characterized by long and horizontal squares, both in rhetorical and productive terms. We then move on to purely illustrative approaches to others in which, within a decorative layout, unprecedented graphic-narrative parallelisms are carried out.

Ultimately Joker - The Smile that Kills is a reading that, playing between synthesis and modern aesthetics, is configured without a shadow of doubt as one of the best dedicated to the character and is specifically indicated for new readers but for those looking for a story that primarily places the Joker at the center of attention and not just the classic duality between the Clown Prince of Crime and the Dark Knight.

The volume

Panini DC Italia therefore proposes Joker - The Smile that Kills in a hardcover version with dust jacket for an elegant volume with an unusual graphic design whose measures are out of the ordinary. or standard, 21.6 × 27.7 cm, above all enhance the graphic part and the work of the Campania designer and colorist Jordie Bellaire.

Joker - The Smile that Kills As far as carto-technical care is concerned, there is little to complain: the volume is extremely well-finished with a trimming of the pages that allows easy reading and the choice of a not too glossy coated paper that allows an optimal rendering of the boards. Both the adaptation and the translation are good, while from the editorial point of view, a small but accurate contribution from the Italian editor of the volume is worth noting. Finally, there is a small section of extras with variant covers, illustrations and sketches signed by Sorrentino himself and a small work in progress of a table.

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