“The portal to hell is fun and all, but I’d just rather have a background.”

The Joker’s Wild

Tangent Comics (September, 1998)


WRITERS: Karl Kesel & Tom Simmons

PENCILER: Joe Phillips

INKER: Jaben Rodriguez

COLORIST: Moose Baumann

SEPARATIONS: Digital Chameleon

LETTERING: Comicraft

EDITOR: Eddie Berganza


Since we saw the clown crusader her association with Jon is getting noticed, at least by Mark. Both Jon and the Atom, who stops by to help Joker and the officers deal with a rogue Omegatech Mechanoid Armored Cop, are unaware the other sees Joker as a hero, Jon with encounters since the first comic and Atom as part of the Secret Six. Then a power blackout in the city somehow affects Atom’s powers, as the Justice League (not sure what the “A” in JLA is supposed to mean but Hunter, Chemo, and Teen Titan refer to their anti-superhuman group under that name…despite the three also appearing to be superhumans) attempt to take him into custody. With the Joker outmatched without her more high-tech gadgets her assistant, Jordan (the damaged machine stocker from the first comic) calls on two more Jokers to help chase them off and rescue the Atom. As it turns out the three girls from before–college student Mary Marvel, VR arcade owner Madame Xanadu, and reporter Lori Lemaris–are the Joker(s).

What they got right: It’s fun seeing the Joker in action again, as there are too few clown crimefighters versus clown villains in fiction. They continue to build out the world of the Tangent universe and New Atlantis. We learn, or at least confirm, Mary Marvel created all the Joker gadgets. We also see the fallout (no pun intended) of Atom’s revelation, which seeing as he didn’t get his own in this run, though would show up in future Tangent universe stories, including the DC universe crossovers.

What they got wrong: I think they’re leaning too much on the “tangent namesake” gimmick in this one, looking for any excuse to use a certain name in a new way. I’m not a fan of the “three Jokers theory” in the main universe (see today’s Daily Video for more on that) and they basically ruin her mystique by showing us all three are separate girls, apparently all with masks according to the previous issue. But if they were going to go that route, steal an old ninja trick and put them all in the same costume rather than three different ones.

What I think overall: A little weaker than the first Joker comic but still enjoyable. We’ve just started the second run of Tangent comics, and I didn’t get the whole run of those either.


About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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