Today is, of course, April Fool's Day, which means that there's a pretty good chance that you're going to be spending a good amount of time dodging "pranks" that are really just lies masquerading as good-natured shenanigans. If that's the case, and you're looking for something to read while you try to dodge all the mischief in the air, then I have some good news. Comixology is celebrating the day with a big sale featuring that most Aprilest of Fools, the Joker.

The sale features big turning point stories about Batman's arch-nemesis, like Death in the Family and Endgame, but mixed in there is one of the most often-overlooked and completely bonkers chapters of the Clown Prince of Crime's very strange history: The short-lived Joker solo series from 1975 --- and you can grab the whole thing for under nine bucks.


Joker, DC Comics


Maybe the weirdest thing about this series is that it actually happened. I mean, the Joker is certainly one of DC's most popular (and marketable) characters, but switching him over from antagonist to protagonist makes for a pretty rocky transition --- especially considering that this book came out at a time where he was starting to become a whole lot more murderous as creators started to swing the pendulum back from the pop-art campiness of the '66 TV show. The second weirdest thing, though --- and folks, it is a close race --- is that Batman never shows up.

Instead, it's a series that's mostly built around the Joker battling against other villains, planning elaborate heists, and occasionally getting into scraps with minor characters who have no problem taking the loss. In the first issue, he takes on Two-Face --- something that really should've happened in #2 --- but as the series continues, his exploits get more and more bizarre, including a fight with an actor who gets bonked on the head and thinks he's Sherlock Holmes.

It's one of the weirder DC series of the Bronze Age, but it's absolutely worth reading if you're the kind of person who digs the excesses of that era --- and getting it for under ten bucks is, no foolin' (HA HA!), a pretty great deal.

The April Fool's Day sale runs all weekend.



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