Joker (Graphic Novel)
Publication Information
Published October 17, 2008
Executive Editor Dan DiDio
Cover Artist(s) Lee Bermejo
Writer(s) Brian Azzarello
Inker(s) Mick Gray
Letterer(s) Robert Clark
Editor(s) Dan DiDio
Alternate Covers

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Joker is a graphic novel published by DC Comics, written by Brian Azzarello. The story, set in an alternate, "grittier" Gotham City, details the saga of a typical Gotham lowlife, Jonny Frost, and his time as The Joker's right-hand man.


All throughout Gotham's seedy underbelly on one unceremonious morning, the news spreads: The Joker has been released from Arkham Asylum. A young, dime-a-dozen "hired thug" by the name of Jonny Frost goes to Arkham to receive the Harlequin of Hate, who greets him, asks for his gun (as well as a blanket-wrapped shovel in the trunk of his car) and rides back with Jonny into Gotham City, tailed by corrupt policemen all the way. Once inside Gotham, the pair stop at an abandoned meat locker on the outskirts, where Joker hands Jonny back his gun and tells him:

"Don't ever apologize to no one for the way you look."

Joker and Jonny enter the meat locker, a hideout for Joker's fellow mob boss Killer Croc, who informs Joker (after exchanging light conversation) that the various powers of Gotham had shown him "no respect" while he was away. Later on, Joker leads Jonny, Croc, and several of Croc's gang to the "Grin and Bare It" strip club, the place where Jonny had initially volunteered to go pick up Joker. As they go to the club, Jonny muses that he wishes to become the "top man", and escape the obscurity of a common thug - a feat that he undoubtedly hopes to achieve by associating with Joker.

Inside the club, Joker is greeted by Monty, a former henchman who now runs the club, who throws a part in celebration of his release. During the party, as Harley Quinn begins a striptease, Joker converse with Monty about what had happened while he was away.