The announcement that Kevin Smith was returning to DC Comics with a new series caused ripples around the comic community. Many still feel betrayed by Smithâ€™s previous attempts at writing a complete arc that suffered from excessive delays, while others got their geek-gasm on over the return of Onomatopoeia – a character created by Smith during his run on Green Arrow.Â One thing you can be sure of finding in Cacophony #1 is a lot of Kevin Smith.
In a nutshell; Maxie Zeus is distributing a watered down version of Joker Venom in a new street drug called Chuckles, which has caused more than one death.Â A distraught parent has hired Deadshot to kill the Joker, but things donâ€™t go according to plan, leading to the Jokerâ€™s escape and an all out search for the mad man by Batman and Gothamâ€™s finest.
I never read Smithâ€™s run on Green Arrow or Daredevil, so I donâ€™t know if readers had to suffer through the same thing that readers of Batman: Cacophony do.Â Now donâ€™t get me wrong, I have enjoyed every film Smith has put out, and appreciate his warped sense of humor and what he finds interesting.Â However, having these things appear in Batman seems really weird.Â Â Â Homosexual relations for money, bestiality, pedophilia, necrophilia, and child murder are all up for grabs in the first issue. Fortunately Smith is not playing these things up for reader laughs, but rather to show how sick and demented the Jokerâ€™s mind really is.Â This is a really different take on the Joker, and I kind of like it in a disturbing sort of way.Â Weâ€™ve seen the psychopath, the thrill killer, and the sociopath, but I donâ€™t remember seeing anything as sick as what we see in the pages of the first issue.
Itâ€™s not just Smithâ€™s take on the Joker that is a view skewed from what we have grown used to, his take on Victor Zsasz is really creepy, and his dealings with Deadshot is dead on.Â When I saw the preview pages of Onomatopoeia killing Deadshot, I was quite surprised as it seemed that Gail Simone would be screwed in what she is doing in Secret Six.Â However, Batmanâ€™s discovery of how Floyd Lawton escaped a shot to the head is simply brilliant.
But itâ€™s Smithâ€™s interpretation on Batman that has be bothered.Â Under the pen of Smith Batman becomes one wordy guy.Â Never have I seen so many words come out of one characters mouth.Â And it just isnâ€™t Batman, every character carries on like the characters in Smithâ€™s films.Â The wordiness borders on the annoying, but fortunately the issues comes to a close before readers raise up their hands and shout â€œenough already!â€
Overlooking the prolixity and the odd comments diving into the perverse, I like the premise behind the story.Â Weâ€™ve seen how crazy the Joker can be when heâ€™d tried to patent his Joker Fish, so why couldnâ€™t it work over someone stealing his work and making a club drug out of it?Â The set up for a gang war between Maxie Zeus and the Joker is well played, and puts everyone else in the story right in the middle of the action.Â The one question that will linger for the next two issues is the role Onomatopoeia plays in all the chaos.Â Knowing it is a character Smith created, Iâ€™m sure the answer is going to be unexpected.
The art was okay, but I was distracted by the extreme expressions on the character’s faces, as they look like their faces are made of rubber.Â It does lead to some great action packed panels, but at times is distracting.
The good news about the series is it is complete, so we wonâ€™t have to wait three years for the final chapter to arrive. I like the general set up of the issue and look forward to seeing where everything is going.Â Iâ€™m giving Batman: Cacophony #1 3.5 out of 5 Stars.