The Three Jokers return in Batman #125

DC has released a trailer for writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Jorge Jiménez’s upcoming Batman run, which kicks off in July 5’s Batman #125. That issue launches ‘Failsafe,’ a story that introduces a villain of the same name previously described by Zdarsky as “Batman’s Doomsday,” But the trailer hints at something unusual on the way for Batman’s most classic nemesis, the Joker.

As brief as the glimpse at this trio of Jokers is, it raises some questions about what’s coming in Zdarsky’s Batman run based on the events of the Three Jokers limited series.

At around the 12-second mark in the trailer below (or in the screenshot above), there’s a short look at a trio of three distinct Jokers seemingly matching the archetypes of the trio shown in Geoff Johns, Jason Fabok, and Brad Anderson’s 2020 limited series Batman: Three Jokers (opens in new tab) – The Comedian, The Clown, and The Criminal.

Here’s the trailer:

As brief as the glimpse at this trio of Jokers is, it raises some questions about what’s coming in Zdarsky’s Batman run based on the events of the Three Jokers limited series.

Right off the bat (pun semi-intended), the first question is whether Batman: Three Jokers was originally intended as canon. That said, whether it was initially meant to be part of mainstream DC continuity or not, DC’s current Omniverse concept means that any story told in a DC comic can be considered canon if and when the current creators wish it to be. 

So the question then becomes, are these the same trio seen in Three Jokers, or a new incarnation of the same concept? If it’s the original Three Jokers characters, there are further questions left to be answered.

(And when it comes to the Joker, aren’t there always?)

Batman: Three Jokers collection cover

(Image credit: DC)

(opens in new tab)

In Batman: Three Jokers, it’s established that the original Joker (the one typified as The Comedian, the most violent and sadistic of the three) was responsible for creating the other two, with the trio conducting a series of experiments to create more Jokers.

However, in the events of Three Jokers, The Comedian kills the other two, leaving just the one original Joker remaining – meaning that if the Jokers seen here are meant to be The Comedian, The Criminal, and The Clown, we’re left to wonder how The Criminal and The Clown have returned.

Three Jokers itself may have provided a backdoor answer to that question in the form of the ‘Jokerizing’ experiments performed by The Comedian, The Clown, and The Criminal, which resulted in numerous seemingly dead or inert copies of the Joker being created. Could two of these three Jokers be newly created incarnations of the two The Comedian killed?

We’ll have to leave the mystery to the World’s Greatest Detective – or at least his title – as the story just seems to be starting with Batman #125.

The Dark Knight Detective and the Clown Prince of Crime have clashed hundreds of times, and these are the best Batman and Joker stories ever.

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