Writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino are reuniting for Joker: Killer Smile, the newest addition to DC Black Label's roster of mature comics.
According to io9, "Joker: Killer Smile follows the Clown Prince of Crime as he has a fateful encounter with a mental health professional that radically alters the course of a number of lives, and while that premise sounds familiar, the story isn’t about Harley Quinn."
"Over the course of working together on things like Green Arrow and Old Man Logan over at Marvel, Andrea [Sorrentino] really developed a great chemistry and shared visual language. We’re always looking for new challenges, and Andrea was the one who suggested that we do a Joker project," Lemire said. "I think he really tends to gravitate towards darker stories with a lot of psychological and dramatic underpinnings, so the Joker’s right up his alley."
"I wanted to tell an intimate story about how the Joker’s evil is something that can devastate a normal family or a relationship as much as it devastates society as a whole. That the idea that really grabbed me, that sense of terror that would come from letting something like the Joker into your family," he added. "As someone who has a family myself, that kind of chaos and darkness infecting my personal space is the scariest thing I can think of, and so I started there."
And instead of bringing back Harley Quinn, Killer Smile will introduce a new mental health professional into Joker's life.
"Yeah, he’s a new character called Dr. Ben Arnell that Andrea and I created for the series, and he’s this bright, brilliant, young mental health professional who’s been tasked with trying to make some sense of the Joker," he said. "This is a trope we’ve seen in other Joker stories, with Harley being the most obvious example, but we wanted to take this trope and do something completely unexpected with it. Ben’s the reader’s gateway back into Arkham and to Gotham City and how we get to explore these new depths of the Joker’s mind."
Finally, for those fans who may want to romanticize the Joker, Lemire reveals this won't be that type of story.
"The Joker isn’t inherently a hero or an antihero at all. He’s the incarnation of evil, and I’ve always had a bit of an issue with people who romanticize him even though that’s obviously the case," he said. "Killer Smile’s a story about just how dark the Joker really is and how inviting him into your life is dangerous and yeah, we want people to feel like none of their ideas about who he is really capture the full gravity of what he is."
Joker: Killer Smile, by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino, goes on sale Oct. 30.