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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Marian Drews, the "New 52" Harley Quinn. Is she a tragic Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds whose life was altered and ruined by The Joker, and was she Driven to Villainy and Driven to Madness for him? Or is she only using this as an excuse to justify her own psychopathy? It's clear that she was a very unstable person even before she met Joker.
  • Awesome Art: Many people can agree that Sean Murphy brings his artistic A-game to the table with this book. The scenes with the frozen Nora Fries are especially praised.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
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    • Neo Joker is either a fresh take on the Harley Quinn mythos and an original villain with a Joker-induced tragic backstory, or a Creator's Pet that derailed a more interesting conflict between Batman and Joker to force a predictable Enemy Mine situation.
    • Jason Todd. Some find his inclusion to add a much-needed tragedy to make Batman a Knight In Sour Armor, with his story being even more tragic than in canon. Others, however, see it as a rehash of a tired story, and with ambiguous state of his death, a precursor to another rehash of another overdone story.
  • Broken Base:
    • Readers are mixed on whether or not the attempts at deconstruction are effective or not. Some like the inversion of good and bad, while others find that the characters bear such little resemblance to the comic counterparts that any attempts to deconstruct them fall short and wind up shallow.
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    • Jason Todd being the first Robin and Dick Grayson being the second. Some fans objected to such a change to the continuity, while others find it a refreshing change up from rehashing the same continuity, pointing out it's an Elseworlds story anyway. There are also those who were disappointed that the change wasn't intentional, but rather just a continuity mishap.
  • Foe Yay: As per the norm, Joker and Batman have this dynamic going on strong, even more so when we see that Joker not only has a shrine to Batman, but ran off from Harley during sex to seek comfort in it. When he reverts back to Jack Napier, their relationship comes across as an abuse victim finally standing up to his ex-partner and working to bring him down a peg.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Marian Drews. Even after becoming the Neo Joker and committing unscrupulous acts, you've still got to pity the poor girl for having her Living Emotional Crutch torn out from underneath her.
    • And then it's revealed in the last issue that Harley engineered everything from the first issue.
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  • Narm: Many of Murphy's attempts to insert modern-day talking points come off this way, including the use of a talking head using "SJW" as a pejorative.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Coming off the heels of Injustice 2, you had a group of disgruntled fans finding joy in this book finally "taking Batman down a peg" even though this story was more of a Decon-Recon Switch of Batman and Joker's relationship.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Batman goes over it with his brakes cut when his actions result in a tanker crashing into a bridge, sending it to the bottom of the harbor and allowing Neo Joker to get away. This is what makes Gordon finally put his foot down and issue an arrest warrant for Batman, saying he should have arrested the Dark Knight years ago.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Some people have used this story as "proof" that Batman is a bloodthirsty nutcase who abuses his Rogues Gallery for sick kicks, ignoring that it's meant to be an Elseworlds story and a dark Deconstruction rather than an outright condemnation of Batman's deeds.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Interestingly played straight and inverted at the same time. As the audience can see that Jack is trying hard to reform and really does seem to genuinely want to make Gotham better, it makes the GCPD and Batman come off as jerkasses for treating him like garbage and Jack's constant one-upping of the establishment seem like sweet retribution. Many readers are enjoying how Jack is making the mayor, GCPD, and even Batman look like witless stooges that he constantly stays one step ahead of. On the other hand, he was still the Joker and caused a lot of chaos before he reformed so everyone else's reaction to him is justified if you take his past into account.
    • That said, this Joker seems like he was never the Clown Prince of Crime, given that Harley left him when she thought he was going to kill someone.
  • So Average, It's Okay: While the artwork is universally praised, the writing is seen as something of a mixed bag, with many readers finding the premise to be shaky, the political commentary to be unsubtle and hamfisted, and the attempts at metacommentary to fall flat.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Joker actually, genuinely wanting redemption and trying to become a better person is a fascinating idea. Both in terms of examining the nature of redemption, and just how far a person can go and still be capable of even trying to become a better person and make amends for the past, and in terms of the Joker's character. However, Joker's past misdeeds are so heavily downplayed that this... doesn't really come up, nor does Batman's oft-stated desire to see his villains rehabilitated rather than dead or imprisoned, largely because this would interfere with the comic's inversion of the hero-villain dynamic between Batman and Joker.
  • What an Idiot!: Barbara gives her identity away when talking to Dr. Fries while forgetting that she's dressed as Batgirl. Luckily for her, Fries already knew that Bruce was Batman.


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