Warning: SPOILERS for Justice League #13
The Joker turns against Lex Luthor's Legion of Doom in this week's Justice League #13. James Tynion IV's Justice League run has seen Luthor step up his game, aiming for a greater prize than ever before, and assembling a crack team of supervillains with the hope of unlocking the greatest secrets of the universe. But unfortunately for Lex, his Legion of Doom is beginning to fall apart.
They already lost Black Manta in the "Drowned Earth" event - and things are about to get a whole lot worse. When the Joker signed up with the Legion of Doom, he had a single condition; he insisted that Luthor wouldn't strike a deal with the Batman Who Laughs, the sinister alternative-universe Batman who the Joker hates with a passion. Luthor has reneged on that promise, the Joker knows it, and now all bets are off.
Justice League #13 is the story of what happens when two of DC's greatest villains go head-to-head. The Joker waits for the best moment to spring a trap, and sets the Legion of Doom - and a number of additional would-be recruits - against one another using Joker gas. Luthor thought he'd prepared for everything, but he hadn't prepared for the Joker's wrath; the Clown Prince of Crime has sabotaged Luthor's defenses, and turned his entire base against him. He'd given the Joker the tools to create his own torture chamber - but the Joker decided to turn the entire base into a torture chamber.
In Dungeons & Dragons terms, this is what happens when a Lawful Evil clashes with a Chaotic Evil. Luthor believes in order and structure - an order he seeks to create and command by sheer force of will. In contrast, the Joker is the personification of chaos; he has no other motive than to indulge his own insane desires. As the issue makes clear, the Joker never cared about the Legion of Doom; frankly, he joined up for no other reason than he liked the idea of disrupting Luthor's plans at the right moment. When Luthor decided to strike a deal with the Batman Who Laughs, though, he changed the game - and forced the Joker to act now.
Fans have always wondered who would win if these two super-villains ever clashed. Justice League #13 finally gives the answer - and reveals just which one of the two is truly the most dangerous threat in the entire DC Comics universe. Luthor has scale and ambition; the Joker has selfishness and a love of sheer chaos. We'll avoid spoiling you as to just who triumphs in this battle of the ages, but it's certainly not one to miss.
Justice League #13 is on sale now from DC Comics.