The Joker #1

There are comics you read because they are game-changers for the medium.  There are comics you read because they’re important to continuity.  There are comics that are brilliant examples of the art form.

Then there’s the 1975-76 Joker series.

This is a riotous, joyful comic about a character who has since become extremely dark and vicious.  Of course, back then Batman was pretty psychedelic, too.

You can buy all 9 issues digitally for a buck a piece, and then for under nine bucks you’ll have a collection of wild and crazy comics.  Wiki credits the comic to Bill Finger and Bob Kane.  Not even close.  Denny O’Neil, the man who wrote some of the only good issues of Green Arrow in history and also who was responsible for some truly great Batman books was responsible for the first issue, with Irv Novick on art, but other people did the other issues.  Each one was a self-contained story.

I’m offering you a panel from each ’cause I love it so.

This first one shows how he escapes from prison at the start of the series.  Joker is trickier than a whole circus.