Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Electricity And You - Detective #833


(***spoiler stars***)

The big twist at the end of Paul Dini's latest issue of Detective Comics features two very welcome returns; one by that master of disguise (?), The Joker, who was last seen mowing down pedestrians in the tons 'o fun Christmas issue. Only slightly less exciting is the reappearance of Joker's custom-made ELECTRIC CHAIR:

This little gem was last seen way back in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series! And not just any old episode, the BEST EPISODE EVER; "Almost Got 'Im"! In this episode, the electric chair was hooked up to a laugh-o-meter before a live studio audience...throw some Joker Gas in there and you're good to go!

As with many of the finest B:TAS eps, "Almost Got 'Im" was written by Paul Dini, and features some of the finest writing for the Joker you'll ever see. Dini has always been able to nail the coveted funny-scary-crazy trifecta, and while he can really cut loose with Detective Comics, you never felt like he was holding back on the animated series. In the DVD commentary track for this episode, Dini observes, "Boy, the Joker really likes electrocution." Well, Paul, he does when you write him!

Dini was also referring to his screenplay for Batman Beyond:Return of the Joker, which features a flashback in which Tim Drake gets the Energizer treatment courtesy of the J-Man, as seen below:

This scene was considered so (ahem) "shocking" (thank you) that it was removed from the original video release. I guess my point is, Paul Dini likes writing stories where Joker electrocutes the Bat-Fam, and that's fine with me.

During the big rip-off-the-mask reveal, Joker is wearing a smiley face shirt with a bullet hole in the forehead, and refers to his "accident". Is this a reference to his being shot in the face over in Grant Morrison's Batman run?? I thought Detective Comics and Batman weren't sharing the same continuity...who can keep this shit straight?!

1 comment:

Albo said...

Hey, whatever voodoo you just pulled to retcon this article into chronology PRIOR to my Spirit review just so it would look like you used the ole' *ahem* joke before I did was low. Real low. I'm ashamed of you.