Although it technically reared its head in the twilight of the New 52 within the pages of Justice League #50, the mystery surrounding there being three Jokers has undoubtedly been one of the most confounding situations looming over the Rebirth era. Shockingly, the Clown Prince of Crime has been largely absent in that time span, but it’s come to light that he’s set to play a crucial role in Dark Days.
If you’ve read the first of two one-shots leading into Dark Nights: Metal, The Forge, then you’re well aware of it not only being a masterclass in modern comic book storytelling, but that there’s a clear reason why we haven’t seen the Joker in so long: Batman has been keeping him in a secret cell in the Batcave. Quite surprisingly – or not surprisingly, depending on whom you ask – the Dark Knight’s deadliest foe is privy to some of the DC Universe’s greatest mysteries, something writer Scott Snyder elaborated on in a recent interview with CBR:
“[The Joker] featured in one way or another in every story that I did with Batman. He even made an appearance at the beginning of ‘The Court of Owls,’ and haunts the Court of Owls in different ways. He’s always lurking, in one way or another. In that way, we felt there was nobody better to be the person that has more answers than anybody. Because The Joker has been there through all of it, and because he discovered bits of the mystery along with Batman that has to do with Metal about different sorts of metal across the DCU that radiate energy beyond any analysis, including the dionesium that we’ve used in our run. He would be the one who would sit there and I say, ‘I know what’s coming. I know the answers and you don’t want to go down this road.’ He provides an incredible source of information for Duke and Hal and yet, at the same time, because he’s The Joker, he’s lying!”
Knowing the scope of this unfolding story, I assumed that this would be where we’d get our answers regarding there being three Jokers, but, according to Snyder, that doesn’t factor into his plans:
“Geoff [Johns] was great about walking us through what the plan is for upcoming ‘Three Jokers’ storyline and giving us the breathing room for what we wanted to do. Just to be clear to readers, this is not going to answer the ‘Three Jokers’ question. That’s really for Geoff — he has a big story planned for that — but what it will do is show us the way that The Joker, like he did during my entire time on Batman, is always there as the Greek chorus of the book, saying to Batman, in one way or another, ‘You’re doing it wrong,’ or, ‘You’re doing it right. This is what needs to happen. This is who you are.”
In a way, that’s good news, because it doesn’t put any added pressure on Snyder and allows him to tell the story he wishes, but not knowing when we’re going to get the big reveal makes the wait all the more excruciating. Perhaps Johns will explore that in Doomsday Clock, but if not, we hope he doesn’t sit on the idea for much longer.
Dark Days: The Forge #1 is now available in comic shops. For more, be sure to check out our five-star review.