There’s one more DC movie release scheduled this year – October 4’s Joker, written and directed by Todd Phillips, starring Joaquin Phoenix, and produced by none other than Martin Scorcese.
Though Phillips says this darkly woven tale of a man who turns to crime after feeling cast out by society won’t draw directly on Joker’s comic book roots, DC still seems to be capitalizing on Joker’s cinematic starring role in print, with no less than seven Joker-centric titles and stories scheduled for release between now and the end of October (or at least known to be in the works).
And of course, that’s saying nothing of what may be announced between now and the release of February 7, 2020’s Birds of Prey (Or the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) movie, with Harley sharing or even leading at least half of those aforementioned seven titles.
So what’s coming down the pike for Joker? Here’s how it shakes out:
Detective Comics #1008
The mainstream DC Universe's Joker is currently on his way back to the spotlight as we speak, with an appearance in Gotham City slated for July 24’s Detective Comics #1008. That's the next time any Joker's gonna appear in comic books - alongside his appearance in DC Black Label's Batman: Curse of the White Knight, out the same day.
After a term with Lex Luthor’s super-villainous Legion of Doom, it seems he’s back on his own to menace his arch-enemy.
In this sequel, Joker enlists Azrael, who, in the core DC Universe, once replaced Bruce Wayne as Batman. Curse of the White Knight #1 is due out July 24 (the same day as Detective Comics #1008), and is scheduled to run eight issues.
Another DC Black Label series focused on the Joker and Harley Quinn, Stjepan Seijic’s Harleen will retell Harley Quinn’s origin as a psychologist treating Joker in Arkham Asylum.
In this case, the tale is told with a focus directly on Harleen Quinzel – and her schism from Joker. Harleen #1 is due out September 25, just ahead of Joker’s October 4 theatrical release and will run for three issues – partially concurrent with the nine-issue Joker/Harley Quinn: Criminal Insanity.
Joker/Harley Quinn: Criminal Insanity
Joker/Harley Quinn: Criminal Insanity is a new look not at the Joker’s origin, but another look at the tale of Harley Quinn. Written by Kami Garcia with art from Mike Mayhew and Mico Suayan, Criminal Insanity recasts Harley as a profiler working on a more grounded version of the Joker.
This DC Black Label limited series runs a nine issues kicking off October 2 – right before Joker hits theaters on October 4.
Joker: Killer Smile
The latest-announced Joker project, the three-issue ‘album format’ Killer Smile also explores Joker’s relationship with a mental health professional – but in this case, it’s not Harley Quinn. It’s a new character created by series writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino.
This is another tale that’ll be on shelves starting around the time of Joker’s October 4 release. Also released through DC Black Label, Joker: Killer Smile is scheduled to debut October 30.
Three Jokers is the perpetually awaited “ultimate Batman and Joker story” from writer Geoff Johns and artist Jason Fabok promises to tell the ‘true story’ of Joker’s identity as three different people – a secret Batman uncovered way back in 2016’s "Darkseid War" using the power of the New God Metron.
Three Jokers still hasn’t been solicited for release, though it’s still expected at some point.
There's three months until Warner Bros.'s The Joker hits theaters - and still time for DC to perhaps announce another Joker title or two to be on shelves when he's on the big screen.
The Joker: Year of the Villain
And just announced, a 40-page mainstream DC Universe one-shot titled Joker: Year of the Villain #1, written by John Carpenter and Anthony Burch with art from Philip Tan and Marc Deering.
Yep, you read that right - John Carpenter. As in director of Halloween, The Thing, They Live!, and more.
The one-shot ties into DC's 'Year of the Villain' storyline. All the details can be found right here.
[Editor's Note: This story was updated following the July 12 announcement of Joker: Year of the Villian #1.]