A crime has been committed in Gotham City, and the Joker has been caught. There's a problem though; he's not the perpetrator… he's a witness. But can you trust what he has to say? That's the story of the upcoming DC limited series The Joker Presents: A Puzzlebox.
"The simplest way to describe it is that it's the Joker telling stories about Gotham's most dangerous villains," writer Matthew Rosenberg told DC recently. "But it's much stranger and more complicated than that."
Here's a preview of The Joker Presents: A Puzzlebox #1 by Rosenberg and artists Jesús Merino and Joshua Hixson:
"It's story time! The GCPD discovers a mysterious corpse, a magical box, and a murderer's row of the city's most dangerous villains sitting in a jail cell. Now all they need to figure out is what exactly happened," reads DC's description of The Joker Presents: A Puzzlebox #1. " Fortunately, one suspect is willing to talk. Unfortunately, it's the Joker. And he's holding all the cards."
Told over the course of one night in a Gotham Central interrogation room, each issue of The Joker Presents: The Puzzlebox will be a story within a story, with the Joker narrating seven "seemingly unconnected stories of his fellow inmates." As you can suspect if you've made it this far, the seven stories end up all connected and part of a larger plan for the Joker.
"The thing that gets me most excited about this book is that it is really hard to explain," said Rosenberg. "It's equal parts an episode of The Twilight Zone, a book of riddles, an Agatha Christie mystery, a police procedural, and some other weird stuff all thrown together with callous disregard for comic book norms. I always like stories that keep people guessing and that's what this is until the very last page."
Rosenberg is writing all seven issues, with different artists illustrating each issue. After Merino and Hixon in #1, future issues will be drawn by the likes of Keron Grant, Dani, Domo Stanton, Juni Ba, Vanesa Del Rey, Ricardo Ortiz, Christopher Mooneyham, and more.
The Joker Presents: A Puzzlebox #1 comes with a gripping cover by Chip Zdarsky, along with variants by Riccardo Federici, Christopher Mooneyham, Ryan Brown (two versions), Jesús Merino, David Choe, and Megan Hutchison-Cates (two versions). Check them out here:
The Joker Presents: A Puzzlebox #1 (of 7) goes on sale on August 3, with each issue being serialized digitally first.
Make sure you've read all the best Joker stories in comics.