Writer Jeff Lemire will pen two new DC Black Label series this fall - Joker: Killer Smile with artist Andrea Sorrentino and The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage with artists Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz, as announced via i09.
Joker: Killer Smile will focus on Joker upending the life of an Arkham mental health professional - but not Harley Quinn. Instead Joker's target will be a new character, Dr. Ben Arnell, created by Lemire and Sorrentino for the series.
"To be honest, the Joker’s never been a character that I’ve exactly had a deep connection with and a longstanding craving to write a story about, but I love telling stories with Andrea that illustrate the psychological landscape of the character’s we’re focusing on," Lemire told i09 of the series' inception.
"And so, when the Joker came out, the idea of exploring the metaphorical, surreal, and psychological landscape that a Joker story could exist in, that was the starting point that got me excited. I didn’t want to be too heavy-handed or one-to-one with what happens in our story being a reflection of the real world today, but there are elements of chaos and fear in Killer Smile that I think are running rampant right now in our society, politically and socially."
Meanwhile, in The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage, Lemire, Cowan, and Sienkiewicz will explore a version of the titular hero who dies and is reincarnated over and over in his home of Hub City.
"Going all the way back to the Steve Ditko version, you have this man who’s so connected to his society, but at its heart, the stories were always existential and about searching for identity," Lemire explained of his take on the character. "There’s so much angst in society right now that stems from people not being able to see things from one another’s perspectives, and so a character like the Question can almost start off as a cipher who goes on a journey that brings shades of grey into his world as his story unfolds."
Editor Chris Conroy identified the two stories as 'album-format' titles on Twitter, though no series length has been specified.
Joker: Killer Smile #1 is due out October 30 and will run for three issues releasing every other month, followed by The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage #1 on November 20 running for four monthly issues.