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On Tuesday, DC Comics released an issue featuring a “pregnant” Joker who “births” a son.
The son, a mud monster who Joker vomits into existence, transforms into a smaller carbon copy of the Joker reminiscent of an Austin Powers-esque Mini-Me trope. The storyline appeared as a backup feature in the fourth book in the series, “The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing.”
Today, DC released a comic in which the Joker becomes pregnant and gives birth to a mud monster who transforms into a child-version of himself who he adopts as his son.
— Jester_Bell 🎥 🍿 🥳 (@TheresaCampagna) January 3, 2023
It appears that the Joker was “impregnated” by a nemesis who he became enamored with: the female magician Zatanna. She curses the Joker, proclaiming that no one else could have his baby as she knocks him into a mud puddle. While Zatanna intended for the spell to ensure he never had children, it inadvertently “impregnated” the Joker.
The comic summary on DC’s website didn’t disclose the backup storyline:
Why did The Joker cross town? To get to the bottom of the mystery that has been haunting him: Who is the man pretending to be The Joker and what does he want? But every lead he follows is a dead end, and every move he makes brings the Red Hood one step closer to him. What happens when the former Clown Prince of Crime comes face-to-face with the current crime boss of Gotham? Everyone is dying to find out.
The comic was written by Matthew Rosenberg, whose bylines with DC Comics span 72 titles.
Comic review site Batman News characterized this latest edition as “probably the worst story” read by them — and not just for the Joker impregnation bit. The critic, Theresa Campagna, noted that the Joker has never been a character obsessed with chasing after women. Campagna surmised that Rosenberg must have been influenced by marijuana.
“This is one of those comics you can’t really review, because there’s no real story or artistic vision to pick apart,” said Campagna. “Writing aside, however, there have been a lot of these little moments or stories at DC lately that make me go, ‘How the heck did DC editorial give that a green light?’”
DC has incorporated a social justice spin on its classic characters over the past few years, progressing these narratives despite a steep, steady decline in sales.
One of the “woke” comics that failed more recently was “Superman: Son of Kal-El,” in which Clark Kent’s son, Jonathan, was revealed to be bisexual. DC Comics then incorporated this new version of Superman into their “DC Pride” anthology, giving him a makeover with a rainbow Pride Flag cape.
— Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) October 11, 2021
After initial interest from fans, the series quickly dropped out of top ratings within a month.
Prior to the LGBTQ+ focus, DC Comics would use its books to respond to other current social justice issues. In 2017, DC released a comic as an apparent rebuke of former President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would shut down former President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. The comic depicted Superman rescuing a group of illegal immigrants from a white man donning an American flag bandana and wielding a machine gun. The assailant was angry that the group had stolen jobs from him.
Action Comics #987 pic.twitter.com/zUwXcEWQNV
— young george costanza (@bigboybouhanna) September 13, 2017