I’ve long complained that, as well as female characters, women creators don’t get the chance to strut their stuff in the pages of comics these days as much as they should be able to.

Well, I’m glad to say that not only did a female lead character get to show what she’s made of, but a woman writer and a female artist portrayed that story in this one-shot!


BATMAN: THE JOKER’S DAUGHTER #1
Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Meghan Hetrick-Murante

Cover: Georges Jeanty
Publisher: DC Comics

Cover Price: $4.99

Previously in BATMAN: THE JOKER’S DAUGHTER:  “Who is The Joker’s Daughter? What horrors lurk in the mind of this deranged lunatic, and why is there more to her than meets the eye? More than just a crazy person who stumbled upon The Joker’s face, more than just a woman with a mission, the Joker’s Daughter sees herself as a woman on the path of greed, dominance and lordship over the Gotham Underground. This special issue tells a sordid tale in the life of one of DC’s most popular new villains!”

THE BATMAN UNIVERSE JUST KEEPS EXPANDING

I was saddened by the announcement of Mike Marts’ upcoming departure. He’s really made the Batman family of titles among the very best in comics today, in my opinion. We’ll likely see the ripple effects from his influence for some time to come.

The revealing of the Joker’s Daughter has happened slowly, and I like that. We need to find out more about her in pieces/parts so we can enjoy her mystery. What’s going to make her creepy is that most demented criminals tend to be men, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some nasty women baddies out there.

Actually, women villains often are often extremely underestimated, and I think that’s happening with the Daughter as well. I wouldn’t do that with anyone who admires the Joker. As anyone who has seen Fox’s The Following might know, the female can often be the deadlier of the species.

What worries me is, can this new character catch the magic of the original Joker? That’s going to be a challenge, but she might catch on with younger and female readers.

SO GOOD TO SEE ALL THE LADIES SHOW WHAT THEY CAN DO

The Joker’s Daughter first appeared a few months back in Catwoman, followed by a special of her own during Villains’ Month. We saw some of her origin back then, and we get a short recap in this issue as well.

Of course, she runs into Batman himself this time, and he doesn’t take a liking to her, naturally. As with many new baddies, Joker’s Daughter doesn’t fare well against the Dark Knight as he outmaneuvers her on many levels.

Still, both Bennett and Hetrick-Murante weave an interesting tale of this significant time in the Joker’s Daughter’s experience. Some significant changes take place, and let’s just say that what has been recently referred to as “The Face” is not going anyplace anytime soon. That surprised me!

I also liked that the Daughter went on a quest to find her spiritual father, and we’re left with the possibility that the Joker has been keeping an eye on her for a while. I’m looking forward to when the two meet face to face. Will the Joker really appreciate her? Or will he think she’s stealing his act? We’ll see!

Needless to say, both the script and art are very good, and left me wanting more.

BOTTOM LINE: NOW’S A GOOD TIME TO LEARN ABOUT THE JOKER’S DAUGHTER

This whole storyline just drips with irony. The Joker recently caused the “Death of the Family” for Batman, and now he’s got his own “daughter!” And now that she’s wearing The Face, what’s the Joker going to look like when he returns, as he inevitably must?

My first reaction was to hope that she’d take on Nightwing, formerly Batman’s assistant, but with recent news, I’m not at all certain that will take place.

One difference between her at the Joker is that she seems to prefer the underground while her mentor craves the spotlight, often in front of the public. I’m going to be interested to see if this causes a rift.

Women have been interesting additions to the Joker’s life. Take Harley Quinn, for example. I’ve long been a fan of “new” Batman villains, including Magpie, for instance. Will the Joker’s Daughter catch on? Will she eventually get her own title? I hope so! 

The Author

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. Each episode also includes reviews, news and previews. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.

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3 Comments

  1. February 6, 2014 at 3:47 pm — Reply

    Okay, so I just finished reading this book and do not understand this review at all. This book was a mess, The art was pretty, but the writing was very weak and Bennett relived so heavily on repeat narrative to make Joker’s Daughter seem crazy but to me it just seemed lazy. It’s about as creepy as an episode of supernatural and it tries far to hard shock readers with silly things like eating a rotting face or injecting pints of blood into one’s neck.

    The last three pages of the comic are the only reason to pick up the book and are the best written pages of the title but all and all it was a weak book. Maybe a 2 out of 5 certainly not a 5.

    • February 6, 2014 at 10:18 pm — Reply

      I appreciate that you didn’t care for the book as much as I did, but I didn’t say it was a 5 out of 5. With the new system, I can break things down better, so it averaged out to a 4 out of 5, still much higher than you would have given it, though. BTW, I like Supernatural, but I don’t think either are very scary. But I was surprised about The Face and am interested in the character, who I think is designed to appeal to readers in the late teens to maybe late 20s. Clearly, we disagree on this book, but I don’t expect every individual to agree with my assessment. I have to say that I don’t find eating a rotting face or injecting pints of blood into one’s neck as silly as you do, but that’s how different one reader can be from another. :)

  2. Sydney
    August 25, 2014 at 5:34 pm — Reply

    I am actually glad to find a good review of the comic. Personally I enjoyed the issue and thought it was better than what people are saying (basically the worst comic in known to man.) I feel like if the character is given a chance and more time to explain her history then you could have a cool take on the revamped Duela. Plus the potential of this being the gateway of bringing the Joker back excites me.

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