Jarvis Poker, the British Joker, is dying. Realising that he’s more of a joke than a Joker, Poker embarks on one last spectacular crime spree. One last spectacularly inept crime spree, that makes him a bigger joke than ever. Deducing that the Rose & Crown Prince of Crime’s jig is nearly up, Knight and Squire gift him one final fling, a chance to make his mark without harming anyone. Then the wildest of wild cards shows up …
The theme this issue is kindness, as writer Paul Cornell nears the final innings of For Six. Britain’s own dynamic duo are happy to look like fools in order to make a dying man’s final days just that bit happier. And Jarvis Poker knows his friendly foes are indulging him, but he loves them for it. The cockles of my heart were thoroughly warmed by this gentle tale that suddenly bites the reader, like a wicket through the foot. There are jokes on almost every page, along with splendid character moments, clever bits of satire, commentary on comics and other aspects of culture, even a note-perfect cameo by telly fella and funnies fan Jonathan Ross.
It’s all brought to wonderful life by penciller Jimmy Broxton, who captures the poignancy of Poker with sensitivity, and the nuttiness of his schemes with a wink. He shows his versatility with a two-page homage to UK weekly strips of years past that fits perfectly into the main story. And Guy Major’s colours are a treat, especially in the Britovision Song Contest scene.
Proceedings are heralded by another top cover courtesy of Yanick Paquette, Michel Lacomb and Nathan Fairbairn. Plus, there’s a text page explaining who all the new characters were in #1 and including a hoot of a homage to UK adventure character the Steel Claw.
Knight and Squire’s tale wraps up next issue. If you’ve not been following it, order the trade paperback now. It’s what Jarvis Poker would want.