THE JOKER #1-9 (1975-1976)

In honor of April Fools Day, today I’m posting on the classic DC series, The Joker, from 1975.

There are comics you read because they are game-changers for the medium.  There are comics you read because they’re important to continuity.  There are comics that are brilliant examples of the art form.

Then there’s the 1975-76 Joker series.

This is a riotous, joyful comic about a character who has since become extremely dark and vicious.  Of course, back then Batman was pretty psychedelic, too.

You can buy all 9 issues digitally for a buck a piece, and then for under nine bucks you’ll have a collection of wild and crazy comics. 

Denny O’Neil, the man who wrote some of the only good issues of Green Arrow in history and also who was responsible for some truly great Batman books was responsible for the most of the issues, with Irv Novick on art for most of them, but other people did some stories as well.  Each one was self-contained.

I’m offering you a panel from each ’cause I love it so.

The Joker #1

This first one shows how he escapes from prison at the start of the series.  Joker is trickier than a whole circus.

joker mobile

In this issue, “The Sad Story of Willie The Weeper” (a henchman who can’t stop sobbing–it’s unexplained and bizarre), we get to see Joker’s ride.  I’m fairly certain that Denny O’Neil and Irv Novick didn’t invent the Joker Mobile in this issue, but I love the look.


Later, in #6, after his Jokermobile is destroyed, he gets an RV called the Mobile Ho-Home.

These vehicles inspired me to make a top 10 vehicles post, which you can find here.

Issue #3 offered Creeper and…


…lead coat tails! Ironically, Denny O’Neil didn’t write #4, in which Joker fought Green Arrow.  Elliot S! Maggin did.


Then in #5…


…he’s got three henchmen.  Naturally, they’re called the three stooges. 

God this is great comics.

Issue #7 offered a super-villain team up.  I love that when Joker meets up with bald Lex Luthor, Joker wears and afro wig.


He also wears a trenchcoat disguise. By contrast, in the next issue Joker and Scarecrow don’t get along.

And finally, issue #9 is a sendup of Jerry Springer, almost 20 years before the Springer show ever even aired.  That’s how genius this book was.


And that’s it.  Just 9 issues of fantastic comics.

2 thoughts on “THE JOKER #1-9 (1975-1976)”

  1. uh……….”…….nine issues of fantastic comics…..”-?? Okay- I’ll take your word for it. My only question is, since the Joker is such a big media-star these days, with his own solo movies and everything, then howcum he doesn’t have another solo series these days-?? Maybe it’s because DC Comics still remembers how well these “nine issues of fantastic comics” sold!


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