January was Flash-month at DC Comics. And like all good flashers, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have come to the decision to do nothing. Absolutely nothing. They don't want to do anything. They never wanted to do anything. And they never will. So get out of my facebook you twitter fiend.

To QUOTE some crazy c*nt with a gun seen in this issue: 'Do you like my Jellyfish, Batman?'.

Despite all of his best efforts, Batman still finds himself in some really deep shit. And I do mean really-really deep shit.

I mean, can you imagine what it must feel like to discover that your old enemy has figured out who you really are, whilst contaminating most of your city with his pesky virus, notably your brother in arms, James what's-his-face? Worst still, for you to then be able to get your hands on your old foe, you've now got to persuade another crazy bugger to formulate a plan of attack, blah-blah-blah?

It sounds bloody crazy, doesn't it? But then again, what else would you expect from the Joker? A new origin, perhaps? Ha!

Now I could start off my review by telling you how much I loved Greg Capullo's noir-ish artwork, or Scott Snyder's detailed yet engrossing dialogue. And then, once I've done that, I could continue the motion by explaining how much I loved those scenes where Jim Gordon went nuts, plus how Dick helped Bruce out with his investigations.

But no. I don't want to do that, do I? That would be far too pedestrian for a silly reviewer like myself! I'd rather say to you that there is only one thing in this issue that really needs addressing. And that one thing is, of course, the Jokers new origins.

Well, as much as I wasn't too sure about them to begin with, there was a part of me that liked the idea of how they fed off what came before it. Like their Year Zero connection for instance, plus how it connects him to Vandal, Ra's, and Doctor Death.

What's more, I did like how most of the issue evolved around how Batman tried talking Crazy Quilt around to his way of thinking. Even though some of this talking did involve a bit of mindless violence, complemented with character's with some real character, and a plot with some real plot.

Wait a minute. I best stop myself there. As I can now feel myself giving too much away about this amazing must buy book.

OK. I know this might sound somewhat strange. But in all honesty the only thing about this adventure I wasn't too keen on stemmed from my own perceptions. Firstly, I almost kicked myself for not figuring out that Doctor Paul Dekker was none other than the colour themed villain, Crazy Quilt. And secondly, well, this whole new take on the Jokers origins has gotten me a bit confused.

You see, as I said previously, on the one hand I do find it fairly intriguing to read that his 'core being' derives from historic sources related to Gotham City. Where as on the other hand I hate the fact that he may know of Batman's real identity, plus, there's that other question relating to if it's real or not? Narratively speaking of course. Recounting to this new take actually being a real new take, rather than a story that leads back to what once came before it.

Know what I mean?  

For fairly obvious reasons I'd say the Queen song, 'Who Wants To Live Forever', could sum up this comic both on a thematic and tonal level.

Now after reading this issue I was divided if I should compare it to a Jelly fish or the Greek God, Dionysus. But then, when I thought about it for a moment or two, I decided to choose Dionysus because in many ways he seems to represent the central theme running throughout its telling: Mad schemes and immortal beginnings.  

At the very end of this issue Batman asks someone to help him thwart the Jokers nefarious schemes. So just for fun -- maybe / hypothetically / fingers crossed / delete as applicable -- who do you think he asks out of the following eight suspects?

  1. Superman -- What? Too obvious?
  2. Oprah Winfrey -- Well, she does have a lot of influence, doesn't she?
  3. Dick Grayson -- One minute! He's done that in this issue already!
  4. Kim Kardashian -- Because she is very good at giving hand... errr... next!
  5. Wolverine -- No. He's not dead. He's very much alive and well, and waiting for the right time Marvel can pay him the big bucks again.
  6. My Mother -- What? Is that too obvious too?
  7. Barry Manilow -- Yes!
  8. The Court Of Owls -- No!
Nuff said.