It was in 2018 that DC first teased a Marc Silvestri Black Label Batman project featuring a team-up with the Clown Prince of Crime. Now, four years later, DC has formally announced Batman/The Joker: The Deadly Duo, a new seven-issue Black Label series written and illustrated by Silvestri. The series will launch in November.
Here’s how DC describes Batman/The Joker: The Deadly Duo:
The Joker will go to any lengths to get Harley Quinn back after a strange and mysterious culprit abducts her. But who would be brazen enough to incur The Joker’s wrath by committing such an unthinkable act?
To compound the terror, mysterious, Joker-like creatures are stalking the streets of Gotham, collecting severed heads, and no one knows why. Furthermore, Jim Gordon is missing, and after receiving a package containing a bloody piece of Gotham’s police commissioner, Batman realizes he must be willing to do anything to save him. But how?
When The Joker proposes an uneasy alliance with Batman, the answers to those questions begin to become clear—and they will shake Gotham City and the Bat-Family to their cores!
In December’s issue #2, Batman and The Joker’s relationship is off to a rocky start, but differences need to be put aside in a hurry, as another piece of Commissioner Gordon is delivered to the Gotham City Police Department. Hopefully, they can work together fast, while there’s something left of Jim Gordon!
Some of Silvestri’s earliest comics work was for DC Comics, in issues of House of Mystery, Weird War Tales, and more in the early ’80s. Since then Silvestri has only provided interiors for a DC title one other time, in a 1996 issue of Batman: Black & White.
In a statement announcing the series, Silvestri clarifies that, in this series, events do indeed occur:
“Batman and The Joker are two of the world’s most iconic characters and have been at each other’s throat’s for more than 80 years,” says Silvestri. “I always thought it would be pretty entertaining to have them on the same side so I wrote a story about it. Needless to say, stuff happens.”
In addition to main covers by Silvestri, Batman/The Joker: The Deadly Duo will feature a slew of variant covers by high-profile artists. Greg Capullo (two open-to-order covers of Batman and The Joker), Kyle Hotz (1:25), and Jorge Fornes (1:100) will provide variants for the first issue along with Silvestri (1:50, plus a signed 1:250 variant), while the second issue will include covers by Kelley Jones (two open-to-order covers of Batman and The Joker), Jim Lee (open-to-order), Yanick Paquette (1:25), Christopher Mitten (1:100), and Silvestri (1:50).
There’s no denying that DC is the business of Batman and The Joker, so putting the two together as co-headliners in an out-of-continuity series by a superstar writer/artist is a no-brainer. Check out all the available covers for the first two issues, plus an unlettered interior preview of the first issue, below. Batman/The Joker: The Deadly Duo #1 (of 7) is due out in stores and digitally on Tuesday, November 1st, with issue 2 to follow on Tuesday, December 6th.