[World of Bats] Batman Book Club: The Joker (1975) #1-10

Greetings, Gothamites! Welcome back to the Batman Book Club, and the last week of the “World of Laughs” theme!

So, the past three weeks, we’ve delved into some pretty dark and gritty storylines, so with this last week, I thought, “Why not have some fun? Let’s have a little unicorn chaser.” With that in mind, I present for you this week the 1975 series The Joker, the complete series from issue 1-10! This series had a regular rogues gallery of comic book creators of the era; written by Denny O’Neil, Elliot S! Maggin, & Martin Pasko, and drawn by Irv Novick, Ernie Chan, & Jose Luiz Garcia Lopez.

In this series, The Joker strikes out on his own, taking on everyone from those in the Batman rogues, like Scarecrow and Catwoman, other villains like Lex Luthor, heroes like Green Arrow & Black Canary and even foes like…Sherlock Holmes?!

Now, you might be thinking, “Ten issues?! That’s a lot!” Very true, but all the books are pretty short, about 18 pages and each book is pretty separate from each other, so if you really want, you can pick and choose whichever one interests you.

Here’s how to participate:

Link to the Stories: The Joker (1975) #1-10

When to Read: 2019-10-26T05:00:00Z2019-11-02T05:00:00Z

Discussion Questions:

  1. What was your favorite story out of the series? Did you have a least favorite?

  2. What was the funniest moment?

  3. Do you prefer this more jokey, campier take on The Joker, or do you prefer the more menacing, freaky killer that is typically used in more modern stories?

And any other thoughts you have, please feel free to share!

Remember, all are welcome to discuss, but if you want to join the World of Bats club, just click the link here.


Nice pic! I own issue 4. Joker actually does a really romantic thing with some roses in that issue. I’ve skimmed 10 recently just because of the long lost factor. Looking forward to checking out the rest!

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This should be a fun read. Looking forward to the discussion.

Joker v. Creeper. What more could you want? (Recurring bumbling security guards, of course!)

Otherwise, this series is so odd. They play the Harlequin of Hate completely for laughs even when he’s murdering people, and this comic run postdates “The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge”! Like, what’s the deal, Denny?!

On another note, the 10th issue is really frustrating. We wait decades for the lost issue, and it’s a cliffhanger! Insult, meet injury.

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Odd is a good way to put it! From what I understand, the book had a lot of pushback with the Comics Code Authority, where it enforced certain rules like the Joker had to be incarcerated by the end of each issue.

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I just read this a couple of weeks ago. Neat. It was a bad idea for a series because of era and comic code restrictions, Joker’s more of an annoying pest than criminal mastermind. Stealing decorative stars and such.

If I have to pick a favorite, it’s probably #3, with The Creeper. Not because of the Creeper (the amnesia is weird and doesn’t really make sense) but because of the very strange take on Charles Shultz and Peanuts. Least favorite is the very next one, #4, here Joker kidnaps Black Canary in her civilian gear and somehow she doesn’t beat him half to death but needs Green Arrow to save her. That’s not Dinah. Powered or unpowered Dinah would not put up with any of this tied up on a bridge nonsense.

The funniest thing is the most inexplicable thing. From #10 for some reason the Devil is Elton John. No reasons are given in the first half and if there is one in the second half we’ll never get it.

I’ve got room in my heart for a silly Joker and a mass serial murderer Joker that eats the population of China for a joke. This series just didn’t work because he wasn’t ever allowed to even pretend he was going to do much more than steal stars and such.

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Hope you guys have been enjoying these selections! I’ll answer my questions:

I think my favorite issue of this was probably #2, “The Sad Saga of Willie the Weeper.” the idea of Joker helping a hapless crook who can’t finish a crime because he starts crying was pretty funny, especially the over the top ways that Joker tries to cure Willie of his crying.

As for how Joker is present and which I prefer, if I had to choose, it would probably be the more modern take. But there is something fun about the way that Joker here was almost as inventive and gadget filled as his arch-nemesis, I liked the usage of the Ha-Ha-Hacienda and his little base underneath his cell. While I don’t think this complete take would work in a modern story, I like the energy and creativity that this one has.

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