The latest chapter in the Joker’s nefarious story arc may be the DC Comics arch villain's most unusual yet: He becomes pregnant.
In the latest issue of DC Comics’ series, "The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing," Batman’s nemesis actually carries and gives birth to a child.
If that sounds strange, that’s the way the graphic novel company intended it. On its website, DC Comics advertised the issue as containing Joker’s "most bizarre caper yet."
Readers may be tempted to think this is part of DC’s attempt to do some woke, LGBTQ-inclusive storytelling with The Joker being a transgender man undergoing a typical pregnancy, though it’s not quite that simple.
In this volume, created by Matthew Rosenberg and Carmine Di Giandomenico, the "Clown prince of Crime" becomes pregnant by some unnatural curse and gives birth in a vomit-inducing way, literally.
Backstory on this latest issue detailed how Joker wanted to pursue an heir in a more traditional way, by courting the super-heroine Zatanna into starting a family with him. Though his advances are rebuffed, and the tables are turned on Joker in a surprisingly disturbing manner.
In DC’s universe, Zatanna is a magic user who can bringing can cast spells by speaking in reverse. Disturbed by the Joker’s attempt to court her, she casts a spell on him to ensure that "no one else will ever have [the Joker's] baby," the comic reads.
Though as with many magic spells in fiction, the hex doesn’t work as envisioned. Rather than turning Joker into female-repellant as one would expect, the spell makes it so that the villain himself becomes pregnant and has his own baby.
The manner in which this happens during the issue may be one of the strangest DC Comics moments in recent memory. Joker gives birth by vomiting a sort of brown goo that, upon leaving his body, forms into a young boy that looks just like Joker.
The comic depicts Joker and his progeny staring at each other, enamored. A shared thought-bubble between the Jokers reveals both simultaneously thinking, "He’s so handsome."
Needless to say, not everyone is a fan of this new Batman storyline. Critics have voiced their discomfort on Twitter in recent days, with many hammering what they view as its strange political implications.
Former GOP congressional candidate Robby Starbuck weighed in on the new issue, tweeting, "In the new Joker comic he gets pregnant and gives birth. Yep, the Joker is trans now. At least the character is the joker because a pregnant woman thinking they’re a pregnant man is the definition of a joker. Who else is sick of this lunacy?"
Conservative influencer Nick Adams remarked, "The latest issue of ‘The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing’ comic book features a scene where The Joker—a MAN—becomes pregnant. That’s NOT how it works! I am calling for a Complete & Total BOYCOTT of The Joker until further notice. What’s next, a fully-electric Batmobile?!"
Seemingly exasperated with the ridiculousness, YouTube talk show host Steven Steele tweeted, "JUST IN: DC Comics has made The Joker pregnant in its latest issue, because of course they did."
YouTuber and comic book commentator Ethan Van Sciver annihilated the entry, writing, "DC Comics is getting weirder and weirder, allowing more perverts and fetishists to make grotesque filth out of their classic characters. Fellows, BATMAN is your last sellable comics franchise."
Speaking of one of the more disturbing scenes depicted in the issue, he added, "Normal readers might not enjoy Atomic Skull giving Joker a prenatal pelvic exam."
This outlandish new entry in the Batman/Joker saga is available now at most major comic book stores and at Amazon and Apple.