Written by Chuck Dixon and drawn by Graham Nolan, The Joker: Devil’s Advocate was published in 1996, and it’s easily one of the most interesting comics ever written: The Joker is falsely accused of committing a crime, and is sentenced to death despite his innocence.
After getting to know that a set of commemorative stamps of comedians has been made and that he is not included, the Joker vandalizes the post office’s vault, but is shortly captured by Batman and Robin after being accused of a series of murders connected to the stamps.
However, the Joker has no clue whatsoever about the crimes, and he is even offended by the fact that people could even think about him as the architect of such a boring, ridiculous crime. Once in court, in fact, he doesn’t hesitate to remind the presents that a criminal master mind like himself would never come up with such a nonsensical crime. Although Joker tried to get away with an insanity plea, the Court decided to sentence him to death. Batman, however, is convinced that the Joker did not commit those crimes, and because of this, he will try his best to save the Clown Prince of Crime.
The Joker: Devil’s advocate, thanks to Dixon’s mastery in writing the Joker perfectly, is simply one of the best comics featuring the Clown Prince of Crime.
Fearless, morbidly funny and scary, Dixon’s characterization of the Joker is simply perfect, and it is obvious that he understands the dynamic of the character deeply.
Even Batman’s characterization shouldn’t pass unnoticed: his moral code does not allow any flexibility, and even though the Joker commited atrocious crimes, he shouldn’t be punished for something he didn’t do.
Even though it is fairly old, I still find Devil’s Advocate an outstandingly beautiful story, and Nolan’s art is mesmerizing. This comic book, even though it became pretty difficult to find, is worth reading, and shouldn’t be forgotten.