[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Joker_series_3796.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:250:"The Joker has been released from Arkham Asylum."]]

''Joker'' is a 2008 one-shot graphic novel written by Brian Azzarello and illustrated by Lee Bermejo, focusing - [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin just like it says on the tin]] - on SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker, everyone's favourite MonsterClown. The story is done in a DarkerAndEdgier, FilmNoir style and is told by a naive young criminal named Jonny Frost who yearns to be a big man in Gotham. So when (for reasons nobody seems to know) SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker is released from Arkham Asylum and sets out to reclaim the city for himself, [[ViolationOfCommonSense Frost decides he wants in.]] [[HilarityEnsues Carnage Ensues]]! Along the way, they bump into the Riddler, Two-Face, the Penguin, Killer Croc, Comicbook/HarleyQuinn and [[Franchise/{{Batman}} the B-man himself]].

There's a lot of visual similarities between this version of the Joker and the one presented in ''Film/TheDarkKnight''; WordOfGod chalks this down to coincidence. The original title of the comic was even ''Joker: The Dark Knight'' (in the same vein as the partnership's previous graphic novel ''LexLuthorManOfSteel'', which is a fun companion to this work) but that had to be scrapped for obvious reasons.

If you wanted the page for the character, [[SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker that's here]].

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!!This graphic novel provides examples of:

* ActuallyPrettyFunny: Joker suggesting that Killer Croc [[{{Squick}} give him a blowjob]] makes Croc and the other gangsters laugh.
* AxCrazy: Imagine all the murderous insanity that powered the incarnations of The Joker that JackNicholson, HeathLedger and MarkHamill played. Now cram it all into one guy. He's that crazy.
* BatmanGambit: The premise is that Joker, somehow, gets out of Arkham through the front gate, it's suggested but never said whether in fact he was legally released. Later, he intimates to the Riddler that this was a sham.
--> "The best place to hide, Edward, is ''in'' sanity!"
* BodyguardBabes: In this story, Harley Quinn serves this role to the Joker. She's never seen speaking on panel, though presumably she can, Johnny just doesn't notice it.
* BreakingSpeech: Joker tries to deliver one to [[spoiler:Batman, calling him out on trying to look like a monster but leaving his chiselled, heroic jaw bare for all to see. Batman turns it on its head and sends Joker into an UnstoppableRage]]. He did it [[spoiler: with just ''three'' words; [[ShutUpHannibal "To mock you"]].]]
* CardboardPrison: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]], since no-one understands why the Joker is being released.
* CassandraTruth: Harvey Dent sics one of his crooked cops on Johnny to warn him about the Joker, and then calls Johnny to his office to warn him some more: "you are involved with a sick man who will see you die... because for him, death is the punchline." Granted, the Joker's far from laughing by the time [[spoiler:he shoots Johnny in the face at point-ouch range]] but Dent was close enough about the [[DownerEnding death part]].
* CurseCutShort: A minor example
-->'''Joker:''' "I'd like your crew to run it for me still. They can be trusted, right? 'Cuz I get a whiff of skimmin', it's like my boogers are turned into sh--"
-->'''Johnny Bang Bang:''' "--You ain't gonna smell boo from us."
* DarkerAndEdgier: Oh yes.
* {{Deconstruction}}: WordOfGod states that the series was meant to make the Joker scary again, after all the anti-heroic and idealized traits he'd acquired by fans.
** Specifically, the book came out soon after ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' had come out. For everyone who treated Ledger's Joker as a DracoInLeatherPants, this book stands as a harsh rebuke, reminding everyone that despite how "fun" or "cool" the Joker's chaos is, he's still evil and you absolutely should not idolize him.
* DirtyCop: Two-Face has several in his pocket.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Jonny, dying of a bullet to the face, concludes that the Joker represents a disease older than civilization with no cure and jumps off a bridge while Batman and the Joker have a punch-up in the background, neither of them even notice.]]
* EvenEvilHasStandards: As usual the supervillains, mob bosses, and {{Jerkass}} criminals are just as horrified by the Joker as the good guys are. Two-Face in particular is freaked out by the Joker and [[spoiler: convinces Batman to intervene on the GangWar when the Joker claims that he'll "kill" one of his personalities.]]
* EvilVersusEvil: Most of the book is Joker vs. Two Face's criminal empire. Batman doesn't even step in [[spoiler:until Harvey Dent, terrified by Joker's threat to "kill" one of his personalities, makes his own Bat-Signal and pleads with Batman to intervene.]]
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: When the Joker goes to meet with a bar owner who formerly worked for him, they disappear for a few minutes... before the barman returns, ''stripped of all of his skin from the neck down''.
** [[CrossesTheLineTwice He then slaps a dollar bill onto the man's blood-slicked ass.]] (It's a strip club!)
* FlayingAlive: Joker pulls this.
* FlippingTheBird: First thing Joker does in the comicbook. To Gotham City.
* FirstPersonPeripheralNarrator: Johnny Frost, or "Johnny Johnny" to Joker.
* FiveBadBand: The main people in the Joker's gang:
** TheBigBad: Joker
** TheDragon: Harley Quinn
** TheBrute: Killer Croc
** TheEvilGenius: Riddler, Penguin (in a business sense)
** TheDarkChick: Jonny Frost
* GlasgowGrin: Joker has a particularly nasty-looking one, [[spoiler:and Jonny seems to get one when the Joker shoots him in the face]].
* GroinAttack: Joker to Jonny.
* HairTriggerTemper: Anything might make the Joker laugh, anything might make him [[GroinAttack kick you in the bollocks]] or knife you Or grind the broken end of a glass bottle into your face.
* ImAHumanitarian: Killer Croc's job includes "disposing of bodies". ''Om nom om''.
** This is driven home when you see Croc eating what looks like just fried meat, but from Jonny's above view, you see what's on the plate is [[{{Squick}} a human heart]]. And floating in a nearby boiling pot... a skull.
* IncrediblyLamePun: The Joker owns a strip club called the "Grin and Bare It".
* JusticeByOtherLegalMeans: Not used, but mentioned gleefully when [[spoiler:the Joker discovers that ''both'' of Harvey Dent's personalities are married, since, much like AlCapone with tax evasion, Dent could be put away for bigamy]].
* KickTheDog: For Joker, it's [[spoiler:raping Shelly and murdering a completely random couple in their home]].
* LaughingMad: Jonny ends up laughing deliriously at one point.
* MeaningfulName: Possibly just a coincidence, but the name Jonny Frost is sort of similar to Joe Chill, the man who gunned down Batman's parents.
* [[ComicBookMoviesDontUseCodenames ''Noir'' Graphic Novels Don't Use Codenames]]: Oswald Cobblepot is never addressed by his real name or his criminal identity, The Penguin. Joker only ever refers to him as "Abner" as a sign of disrespect.
** GeniusBonus[=/=]MythologyGag: The Joker's fat henchman from ''ComicBook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'' was named Abner as well. Maybe Joker just really likes the name "Abner."
** Another possible interpretation; in this more 'realistic' take on the Batman mythos, the Penguin is basically a very short man. He's little, in other words. Or, to put it another way, [[ShoutOut he's]] [[ComicStrip/LilAbner Li'l [Little] Abner]].
* OhCrap: The look on Joker's face when he finds Croc and his men hogtied, indicating that Batman has finally found him, speaks volumes.
** The entire city of Gotham gets a collective one when the news spreads that Joker is being released from Arkham.
* OnlySaneMan: Deconstructed with Jonny. Joker admitted he keeps him around because he more down to earth than he is, but the book goes out of its way to just how absurd it is for a sane man to be around these people.
* PaintingTheMedium: Two-Face's SpeechBubble goes wavey to indicate which part of Harvey is talking.
* ProperlyParanoid: Joker always thinks ''someone'' is watching him.
--> '''Joker:''' "Look out the window, Jonny Jonny... tell me what you see"
--> '''Jonny:''' "I see lights"
--> '''Joker:''' "Lights? Heh heh heh HA HA HA HA! Those lights? They're pin pricks... in the dark. ''He's'' out there. You know that Jonny? Right on the other side of this window... watching me."
** See ViewersAreGeniuses below. He has good reason.
* RapeAsDrama: [[spoiler:The Joker rapes Shelly, Jonny's ex-wife.]]
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Basically the plot of the story is that the Joker is out to get back his criminal empire and get revenge on those who screwed him out of said empire while he was in Arkham.
* ScaryBlackMan: Killer Croc is reimagined as a scary black man with sharpened, shark-like teeth and a scaly skin condition. Basically what he's always been, in fact. It's just that in classic comics, his skin has become worse over the years.
* ShoutOut: The unexplained briefcase Joker gets from the Riddler is a shout-out to ''Film/PulpFiction''.
** Also featuring a "The End is Nigh" poster on page 30, which is something of a shout-out to former ''Batman'' writer Creator/AlanMoore and the Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}.
* SlasherSmile: The Joker, of course.
* {{Stripperific}}: Harley Quinn, who briefly acts as an actual stripper.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Jonny starts to show signs of this, but gets [[HumblePie knocked back down]] swiftly and painfully both times.
** First, he tries to [[BullyingADragon muscle Killer Croc]] into leaving while Croc is eating. He gets [[NeckLift choked and hung from a hook]] until Croc is ready.
** Later, he's late to a meeting with Joker. When he repeats a nonchalant answer that Croc gave to the same issue earlier, Joker [[GroinAttack splits]] [[UnusualEuphemism his uprights]].
* TheNameIsBondJamesBond: Jonny introduces himself as "Jonny. Jonny Frost." when he firsts meets Joker. This backfires because it causes Joker to refer to him as "Jonny Jonny" for the entire story.
* TheUnreveal: It's never revealed how Joker got out of Arkham via legal means.
* TheVoiceless: Harley Quinn doesn't get a single line despite doing some thoroughly awesome stuff.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: About five pages in, right when the Joker is strolling out of Arkham and looking back at its battlements. Take a look at the gargoyle in panel two. Then again in panel four. Miss something? [[spoiler:"[[ShoutOut Now]] ''there's'' a [[Film/TheDarkKnight Batman]]!"]]
* WrongGenreSavvy:
** Harvey Dent seems to think he's living in ''{{Casino}}'' or ''GoodFellas'' or some other crime-[[FilmNoir Noir]] drama, with himself, naturally, at its head. The Joker cuts his arm open for it.
** Jonny has similar delusions. He believes he's the Henry Hill to Joker's Jimmy Conway and realizes too late that he's living with a psychopath that will destroy him the second he feels like it.

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