The Joker/ Daffy Duck Special #1

“Why Tho Theriouth?”

Writers: Scott Lobdell
Pencils: Brett Booth
Inks: Norm Rapmund
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Wes Abbott

“Silence of the Lame”

Writer: Joey Cavalieri
Art and Colors: Luciano Vecchio
Letterer: Saida Temofonte

Publisher: DC Comics 

Review by Michael Farris, Jr.

The Joker/ Daffy Duck Special continues the DC Comics and Looney Tunes mashups we’ve come to know and love, matching up the two universes’ (universii? universan?) most dastardly antagonists in two stories entitled “Why Tho Theriouth?” and “Silence of the Lame.”

“Why Tho Theriouth?” starts out as a typical Batman story: Joker is causing mayhem in Gotham City, and Batman is cleaning up the mess. Meanwhile, Daffy Duck is in automated phone service hell while wanting to discuss his lifetime warranty on an ACME product. After getting nowhere on his call, Daffy decides to make a personal visit to the ACME headquarters, which is—naturally—in Gotham City. He arrives at an abandoned warehouse and witnesses the Joker dolling out punishment on his henchmen for their latest screw up. After getting caught, Daffy manages to convince the Joker that he is the chief henchman and takes part in making sure Joker’s plots succeed. However, Joker’s latest plan is a little too “wascally,” even for Daffy.

“Silence of the Lame” is a shorter story, where Daffy is effectively standing in for Hugo Strange as the chief psychologist for Arkham Asylum. The Joker is causing all of the doctors who try to psychoanalyze him to go insane, but instead of calling Batman, Harvey Bullock and Commissioner Gordon have Daffy take a crack at solving the Joker, only to find out not everything in Arkham is as it seems.

The first story is much more along the lines of a DC Batman comic. Honestly, the art is what steals the show. The overall feel is dark and gritty—even Daffy is drawn realistically. The detailed linework and backgrounds invite you to stay a while and look for all the hidden gems and Easter eggs throughout Gotham City (Wile E. Coyote doesn’t have nice things to say about ACME products.) There is also a hilarious page that shows the Joker’s master plan to make the rich pay (“drawing is hard”). And the Joker gave me impressions of Peter Seller’s Dr. Strangelove character.

The story itself is an entertaining fable of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The montage of Daffy whipping the Joker’s henchmen into shape is worthy of its own 80s synthesizer-driven pump-up track. All of this from getting the runaround from an automated phone system. Pretty soon customer service from big corporations will have us all headed to an insane asylum.

“Silence of the Lame” is a quick story reminiscent of the classic Looney Tunes episodes where Daffy becomes Duck Tracy. The antics Daffy employs to analyze the Joker felt like watching one of the old cartoons. I could almost hear Mel Blanc voicing the characters. One of my favorite Easter eggs in this one was when Daffy is being chased by classic Batman villains like Mr. Freeze, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Neon Noodle (Neon Noodle?!?). And the ending is hilarious if yet abruptly unsatisfying. The artwork in this one feels a lot more like you are watching your Saturday morning cartoons with Daffy’s classic look and all of the DC characters appearing like they came straight from Batman: The Animated Series.

Verdict: Buy it.

The Joker/ Daffy Duck Special is a fun mashup of the worst of the DC and Warner Bros. ne’er-do-wellers. It’s chalk-full of great art, Easter eggs, and raspberried lisps that will scratch your nostalgia itch.

Michael Farris Jr.
Michael is a Virginia-born Idaho convert and a huge fan of sci-fi. He took time off from comics and sci-fi during the dark years of being a teenager and trying to impress girls, but has since married an amazing woman with whom he regularly can geek out and be himself. He's also a drummer, loves metal music, and can always be found in a melancholy state while watching all things DC sports.

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