The wait is almost over, Batman Beyond fans: the original Joker is back in DC's future. And thanks to DC's preview of their upcoming comics, calendars can be marked for Batman Beyond #26 where the classic villain's "Final Joke" will be told.
The comic fans who followed the book's relaunch as part of the DC Rebirth know about the shocking moment when Joker returned in Batman Beyond, revealing that he had actually appeared in previous issues (in a minimal disguise). The bombshell was dropped when he finally unmasked himself before the villain Terminal, recreating the murder of Jason Todd with a new victim.
Since then he's been out of the spotlight... until now.
As part of DC's solicitations for their November comics, the first cover art and synopsis for "The Final Joke" has been revealed. No surprise that the Joker is out to best both Bruce Wayne and Terry McGinnis yet again, having already had a few secret laughs at their expense. The most important of which came prior to his reveal, shortly after Bruce Wayne was revealed to have survived in Beyond's future, as well.
To make a long story short, the first twist of the comic's Rebirth run came when it was revealed that the comatose "Joker" was Bruce Wayne in makeup, all part of Terminal's plan. And when Terminal ordered his hooded, hatted henchman to wake up the elderly billionaire, Joker didn't miss the chance to whisper in his old enemy's ear.
A voice Bruce instantly recognized as the original, honest-to-goodness Joker. No trickery or impersonations at work. Judging by Viktor Kalvachev's cover art, the time is fast approaching when Joker moves from teasing and taunting to launching his actual plan.
The real question that fans will hope to see answered is exactly how Joker is still alive after all these years. Not only is he north of eighty years old by this point, but the Rebirth run of the comic showed his death in a flashback sequence. A death that Batman actually allowed to happen... which we're sure Joker is going to be bringing up when he gets his hands on Bruce or Terry.
One thing is for sure: we wouldn't want to be Terry's little brother, the new Robin right about now.
- BATMAN BEYOND #26
- Written by DAN JURGENS
- Art by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND
- Cover by VIKTOR KALVACHEV
- Variant cover by DAVE JOHNSON
- The Joker’s back—and he wants to turn Batman and Robin into a punchline once and for all! The original Clown Prince of Crime returns to stalk Neo-Gotham in part two of “The Final Joke”! Can you guess what happens when he encounters Barbara Gordon for the first time in decades? And when Robin gets caught on a video feed for the first time, no one’s more delighted than The Joker.
Batman Beyond #26 will be available from DC Comics on November 28th, 2018.