|Schedule||Vol. 1: #1–9: Bi-monthly; #10: Monthly|
|Publication date||Vol. 1: May 1975 - October 1976 (unreleased issue in October 2019)|
Vol. 2: March 2021 - July 2022
|No. of issues||Vol. 1: 10 |
Vol. 2: 16 and 1 Annual
|Main character(s)||The Joker|
|Created by||Bob Kane|
|Written by||Vol. 1: Elliot S. Maggin, Dennis O'Neil, Martin Pasko|
Vol. 2: James Tynion IV
|Penciller(s)||Vol. 1: Ernie Chan, José Luis García-López, Irv Novick |
Vol. 2: Guillem March
|Inker(s)||Vol. 1: Tex Blaisdell, Vince Colletta, Dick Giordano, Frank McLaughlin|
|Colorist(s)||Vol. 2: Arif Prianto|
The Joker is a comic book series published by DC Comics starring the supervillain the Joker. It ran for nine issues from May–June 1975 to September–October 1976, with a tenth previously unpublished issue released in October 2019.
In 2021, it was relaunched as part of DC's Infinite Frontier relaunch following Dark Nights: Death Metal's conclusion.
Dennis O'Neil, who wrote the first issue of the series, recounted that "I stopped by Julie [Schwartz, Batman editor]'s office, and he said, 'We're going to do a Joker book'. I know that alarms went off, I could sense the problems that such a thing would entail ...but it was a job". The series was launched in May 1975 by O'Neil and artist Irv Novick. In order to have him work as a protagonist, writers on the series toned down the Joker's insanity and to adhere to the Comics Code Authority, each issue would end with the Joker being apprehended, only to have escaped at the beginning of the next issue (the exceptions were issue #4, where the Joker seemingly falls to his death in a whirlpool in the ocean, only to return in the next issue as if nothing had happened and with no explanation as to how he survived; issue #5, which ends with the Joker being chased by police; issue #8, where the Joker returns to Arkham Asylum voluntarily; and issue #10, which ended on a cliffhanger that was never continued). Batman did not appear in the series.
Following The Joker War and Dark Nights: Death Metal, James Tynion IV teamed up with Gulliem March to produce a new series, also titled The Joker, that debuted on March 2, 2021.
The letters page of The Joker #9 (Sept.–Oct. 1976) mentions that Martin Pasko was writing a Joker vs. the Justice League of America story titled "99 and 99/100% Dead!" to appear in The Joker #10 as the first part of a two- or three-issue story arc, which was never published despite being listed as "on sale right now" on the Daily Planet promotional page for August 16, 1976. In the end notes of The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told (1989), it is noted that The Joker editor Julius Schwartz had no recollection of this story ever being completed; however, Pasko found xeroxed pages of the story which he sold on eBay in 2011. A cover for issue #10 was drawn by Ernie Chan, but was not finished at the time. The Joker #10 was published for the first time on August 14, 2019 in DC's The Joker: The Bronze Age Omnibus (which also contains The Joker #1-9 as well as other DC Comics Joker stories from the 1970s) and as a stand-alone issue on October 3.
It may have been an unusual idea at the time, but writer Denny'Oneil and artist Irv Novick decided to feature a villain in his own comic book. The Joker lasted only nine issues.
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