Joker: Year One is not an origin story, swears Chip Zdarsky. Katie Kubert taking over editing on Batman, but only temporarily. DC is releasing a box set of Year One series. All on Comic Book Club News for February 1, 2024.
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Joker: Year One not an origin story.
Batman gets a new editor.
DC releasing Year One box set.
This is Comic Book Club News for February 1, 2024.
Joker: Year One Not An Origin Story, Says Chip Zdarsky:
When DC Comics first announced that Joker: Year One would be running in the next three issues of Batman, fans immediately worried that we would be getting a definitive origin for the Clown Prince of Crime.
Not so, says writer Chip Zdarsky in his most recent newsletter. “I should restate that this is NOT an ‘origin story’ for The Joker. Like, you’re not going to find out his name is Joe Kerr and that his dad was a mime hooked on the sauce. This is just a (hopefully) cool story about the moments after he fell into that vat of fun chemicals, and how that time affects Batman’s future. It’s fun! I swear!”
However, it should be noted that DC never said the story was an origin, they just strongly implied it. Here’s how they described the first part of the story back in a press release sent in November 2023: “In part one, the tragic ‘death’ of the leader of the Red Hood Gang in a vat of chemicals has become the subject of myth…but what is the heartbreaking and gruesome tale of the monster who walked away from that violent birth? From the first pages of ‘The Joker Year One’ onward, eager readers will be questioning everything they know about The Joker!”
To be fair, the “Year One” moniker certainly seems to evoke an origin story. But nobody at any point said that’s what it was. So there you go, and that’s no joke. Er.
Katie Kubert Temporarily Takes Over Editing On Batman:
Update: This is not on the audio podcast but Katie Kubert is not permanently taking over editing in Batman, she’s just filling in while DC looks for a replacement for Ben Abernathy. You can check out more at The Beat‘s report, and the original story follows:
While we’re pulling news from Chip Zdarsky’s newsletter, here’s another item: it seems that Katie Kubert has taken over editing duties on Batman. He let the news slip right at the top of the newsletter, noting, “This week I’m putting the finishing touches on the script to BATMAN #148 and I think I’m just going to leave this typo as is for my new glorious editor, Katie Kubert.”
The typo, by the way, was “twenderly” instead of “tenderly.”
Regardless, this seems to confirm a rumor posted a ways back by Bleeding Cool about long-time editor Ben Abernathy leaving DC Comics, potentially to go join Skybound. While we don’t have any official confirmation of the Abernathy news, he is listed as Editor at least through the end of the Joker: Year One arc. Presumably some point after that, Kubert will take over the title — and possibly the entire Batman line, as well.
Kubert, as you might be able to figure out from her last name, is the granddaughter of Joe Kubert, and niece of both Andy and Adam Kubert. She’s built up a big career on all sides of the comic book industry, most notably relaunching Harley Quinn, working on Batgirl, a long stint over at Marvel, and now editing Batman.
Please, Katie: be twender with him.
DC Releasing Year One Box Set:
And to round out today’s podcast with a story not pulled from Chip Zdarsky’s newsletter, but still sort of tying everything together: DC is planning on releasing a box set collection of three Year One stories.
However, the set will contain neither Joker: Year One, nor Batman: Year One, aka the year one of all these Year One stories. Instead, as reported by ICv2, the set will include Nightwing: Year One, which has previously been out of print, as well as Batgirl: Year One, and Robin: Year One.
The stories are all written by Scott Beatty and Chuck Dixon, with art by Marcos Martin, Javier Pulido and Scott McDaniel. Along with a new slipcase cover, the set will sell for $59.99 and hit stores on September 3, 2024.
For Comic Book Club News, I’m Alex Zalben. And more like Chip Zdarsky’s Newsletter News, am I right?
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Note: as noted above, an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Katie Kubert is taking over Batman. She is only doing so temporarily.