This was an odd one. With the Joker missing and presumed dead in the DCU, as well as not having a face, what we get for the most famous villain in all of comics is a strange, disconnected story that’s not much to do with anything and perhaps even breaks one of cardinal rules of Joker stories. You don’t definitively reveal his back-story.
This issue is full of flashbacks to the Joker’s sad childhood, and I just don’t want to see stuff like that, the Joker should be a mysterious force of nature, not some pat abused child psycho. If only Kubert had revealed that those flashbacks may not have been true. It was interesting to read a comic that was written, not drawn by Andy Kubert, and I thought he did a good job to be fair, apart from the mis-step of those flashbacks.
The main story, where the Joker raises a chimpanzee as his son, Jackanapes, was the kind of crazy weirdness I love from that character, and it was a lot of fun to see the Joker running around with a chimp in a clown costume. The artwork from Andy Clarke was also excellent, I love his style. Jackanapes was awfully cute, and the Joker looked like the classic Joker we all know and love. I must say I don’t really like the current faceless incarnation, it’s too much.
So yeah, if you want to read a story about the Joker and his simian son, check this book out. If you’re looking for anything more than that, then sorry. The Joker is a fascinating character, and as I said, he’s probably DC’s most famous villain, this book should be more than just ape-based fun, even if I always enjoy apes in comics. I suppose with Snyder keeping Joker off the board, this is to be expected, but I do feel this is a missed opportunity.