DC Comics' big "Villain's Month" has finally arrived, with the aftermath of "Trinity War," the Justice League is dead and the villains have taken over the entire DC New 52 Universe. There are 52 one-shot titles that will be released during this month of September, and will feature 3D lenticular covers as well as standard 2D covers. DC Comics stated that there will be a shortage of these new, state-of-the-art lenticular covers, so supplies are limited. For this particular issue, the cover will look similar to this.
On to the story, week one's Batman title is Batman 23.1, also known as The Joker #1. Many readers expected to read a full back story to the infamous villain, but the story doesn't quite do this. The story starts off with a three page back story with The Joker as a child, and the readers see how badly he was treated by his Aunt Eunice. Then the time flashes back to a few years ago, and we see The Joker at the zoo with three of his henchmen. At this moment, a man is being swallowed by a snake, but Joker doesn't really pay attention to this, instead he looks through the glass, and he gazes upon a baby gorilla. This is when he decides that it's time to start his family. He kidnaps the baby gorilla and raises him like he was his own son, he even names him "Jackanapes."
The story shows how The Joker raised Jackanapes and the crime sprees they went through. There are two pages that compare the methods of how The Joker raised Jackanapes, and how his Aunt Eunice raised him, and The Joker was much nicer to his "son." These panels show how important parenting is, and even though people may have rough childhoods, they don't have to "be like their parents to their children," per se. As a parent, this was a defining moment in this story. Sadly, at the end of the story, Jack dies, and The Joker handles it the way he's used to...by laughing it off.
This issue received mixed reviews due to the content. Readers expected a full backstory on the origin of The Joker, but we won't find it here. This story is good, but it's not great. It's worth picking up and reading, and the 3D lenticular cover is amazing. This is a one-shot story of Batman's greatest nemesis, but the material found in this issue may not be what's expected from the readers, but it's not bad. Overall, I give this issue three out of five stars, and that's for the story and artwork themselves, not just for the stunning cover. Batman 23.1 (The Joker #1) is written by Andy Kubert, artwork by Andy Clarke, colored by Blond, and the cover art is by Jason Fabok and Nathan Fairbairn. The standard 2D edition retails for $2.99 and the cover price for the 3D lenticular edition is $3.99, but due to the shortage of these versions, comic retailers and sellers on sites like eBay are up selling them. Check local comic shops and listings for pricing on these lenticular covers. Standard editions are also available on digital formats, on the days these issues are released.