I know that Batman: 80 Page Giant #1 came out before Christmas. But there is a story in there that is worth mentioning and that you may have missed. “Reality Check”, Peter Miriani and Szymon Kudranski, is an excellent first person narrative by the Joker. The most brilliant part of the story is not when Joker smashes a pompous, celebrity-psychiatrist in the head with a brick. It isn’t even the wonderfully gruesome artwork. No, the most rewarding part is when the Joker explains that every psychotic criminal performance is put on to please his imaginary fans. Fans who demand that the Joker do something even more outrageous than his last feat of insanity. The punchline is that the fans are us – the readers! The best part is that when the doctor suggests that these fans are figments of his imagination, the Joker answers, “we’re just figments of theirs.” Only the Joker could be so absurdly self-aware.
The other stories worth reading involve the Scarecrow psychoanalyzing Batman while under his fear toxin and the Joker’s delivery of TwoFace as a present to Humpty Dumpty in order to see if Humpty can put old Harvey back together again. See if this baby is still on the shelves. If not, take a quick trip back to those boxes of back issues and dig it out.