Genre film legend John Carpenter is famous for his biting cynicism and bleak sense of humor—perfect for a character like DC Comics’ Joker. The Clown Prince of Crime‘s murderous jokes don’t feel all that far removed from what you’d find in Escape from New York or Assault on Precinct 13. Blend those things together now, folks; DC has announced Carpenter will co-write a 40-page one-shot comic called The Joker: Year of the Villain. Think of all the trouble the Joker can get up to in a year.
Carpenter will team up on the book with Anthony Burch, the writer of Borderlands 2 and co-writer of Tales from the Borderlands. The pair also co-wrote BOOM! Studios’ Big Trouble in Little China: Old Man Jack miniseries. The Halloween director is a particular fan of video games, so surely he knows Borderlands pretty well, too. Philip Tan and Marc Deering will handle art on the Year of the Villain book. Check out Tan’s cover art below:
According to the press release, the one-shot will take place in the current continuity; Lex Luthor is now an alien hybrid who has made an appeal to humanity: embrace doom and give in to evil. He’s willing to give various DC villains (and heroes) the tools to do their worst. However, Joker isn’t gonna sit idly by and wait for Lex. That means he’s gonna try to raise even more hell, outdoing the efforts of alien-enhanced baddies the world over. He is on a mission to “get his swagger back…proving that the greatest evil is always the one that leaves them laughing.” Oh good.
DC’s overarching ethos these past few years has been a bit baffling. Following the much-lauded and largely positive “Rebirth” event in 2016, the publisher has increasingly embraced dark-and-gritty books like Dark Nights: Metal, eschewing the brighter tone of the earlier reboot. This current continuity is definitely not lightening up the mood any time soon. But, any excuse to read John Carpenter’s take on the most famous comic book villain of all time is okay by me.
The Joker: Year of the Villain will hit stores on October 9.