The Joker, yes Batman’s greatest foe, is taking England, and the British Joker, by storm. Knight and Squire have their hands full now, can they handle a real sociopath or are the British in some serious trouble?
KNIGHT AND SQUIRE #6
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Jimmy Broxton
Colorist: Guy Major
Cover Artist: Yanick Paquett & Michel Lacombe with Nathan Fairbairn
Editor: Janelle Siegel
Publisher: DC Comics
Previously in Knight and Squire: Jarvis Poker, the British Joker, found out he had cancer and wasn’t long for this world. His answer, a crazy British crime spree putting riddles on bridges and taking over TV shows, much like his American analogue without the mass murders, or any murders for that matter, when The Joker himself arrives to show Jarvis how it’s done starting with the young hero Shrike.
HOW IT’S DONE
We open with a classic Joker killing spree. He’s targeting all the British heroes and easily taking them out. In the meantime he has mind-controlling Joker masks that he’s putting on anyone he can easily get to. The heroes, mostly Squire, concoct a plan feeding information through the masks to Jarvis and Joker, first by letting him know that they were getting overwhelmed and the villains are now joining the cause as according to Death Dinosaur “Some of us ‘Villains’ don’t like some blasted yank doing our job for us, don’tcha know?” Then when the Joker’s minions attack a gathering Knight mentions how important Jarvis is to their plans. Of course this is just to get under the Joker’s skin and convince him that Jarvis is worth keeping alive.
Joker takes the bait but is unable to torture Jarvis as his state of health is poor enough that the torture is likely to kill him. The next trick, send Faceoff and convince Joker they believe he’s after the magic. Joker, apparently, hates magic because it ruins the joke. Jarvis understands the trick and takes him to the hero/villain bar from the first issue, the one where you cannot attack anyone else because of the true magic, and sacrifices himself running up and telling everyone the Joker’s here, just to keep the Joker focused.
LONDON BRIDGE AND BIG BEN
I like what’s going on here. We get a dark, muted style that plays up the tone of the story very well. Characters start to become recognizable without the costume traits, so while I can’t name all of them (the team introduced 130 new characters in the series) I can at least tell the differences between most. London also gets its own feel, being very different from anywhere else in the DCU and being easily recognizable as London without specifically hitting up the landmarks everywhere.
BOTTOM LINE: GET THE TRADE
Cornell really has the voice of England’s heroes down. Everyone feels unique while still fitting into the greater patchwork of the community and we get to play with the differences and similarities between UK and the States with all of Joker’s complaining. Also, Squire as the brains behind everything is fun. Knight’s not played as dumb, but it is obvious that Squire is almost always the one with the plan. The only reason I wouldn’t straight out recommend this issue is if you don’t have access to the rest of the series you’ll be missing out on much of what’s going on, for that and that alone it drops to a 4.5 out of 5 stars. If you can’t find the back issues, get the trade when it comes out as the miniseries as a whole was definitely 5 of 5.