Batman: Three Jokers has come to the end of its strange macabre story with issue #3, and in that final chapter writer Geoff Johns manages to (sort of) stick the landing, by reducing the playing field to one clear-cut choice for The Joker in the DC Universe. However, Johns doesn't just bring the story of Three Jokers to a definitive close; the ending of the story also opens the door to a new era of Batman/Joker drama, by revealing a major twist on the Joker's origin story, which will have potentially major ramifications for future DC Comics storylines!
Obviously... Batman: Three Jokers Ending SPOILERS Follow!
The premise of Batman: Three Jokers was that there were three different versions of Joker running around the DC Universe: The Criminal, The Clown, and The Comedian. In issue #1, Jason Todd/Red Hood executed The Clown (The Joker that tortured and killed him as Robin II), leaving just The Criminal and The Comedian. By the end of The Two Jokers' showdown with Batman, Batgirl, and Red Hood, The Comedian executes The Criminal as well, leaving himself as the only Joker.
Batman and The Comedian ride together in the police van, where The Comedian reveals that he was indeed the original Joker - the force of chaos and nihilism who has no true origin at all. The Comedian also reveals another big secret: he's known that Batman is Bruce Wayne all along, but will never reveal the truth to anyone else because their twisted game would be forced to finally end. The entire point of Three Jokers was getting Batman to confront and make peace with the tragic death of his parents - which in a weird way, is exactly what Joker does, by having Batman (and Bruce Wayne) reconcile with Joe Chill. As Joker, The Comedian, sees it, he is now the only true trauma in Bruce's life, and that's all the victory he needs.
However, it's revealed in an epilogue that Batman, as usual, has the upper-hand on his insane nemesis. While Joker knows who Batman really is, Batman reveals to Alfred that he always knew The Comedian was the real Joker, because he's always known who The Joker really is.
So why has Batman never uttered the Joker's real name? Because he has an even deeper, more important, secret to protect.
In the final scene of Batman: Three Jokers, Bruce Wayne travels to Alaska to check in on the secret he's protecting: Joker's wife and son, whose location Bruce has known for all these years while checking in and keeping them safe from both The Joker and the dark stain of his legacy.
In this ending of Batman: Three Jokers Geoff Johns basically taps Alan Moore's origin for The Joker from The Killing Joke as the official Joker origin - and then twists it. Instead of The Comedian's pregnant wife dying in that electrical fire (as Moore told it), she was helped by the police to escape from her increasingly insane and criminal husband. This drastically changes the dynamic between Joker and Batman - and the potential danger the villain poses, if he ever finds out the truth.3comments
If the purpose of Batman: Three Jokers was to create some renewed intrigue in this hero/villain rivalry, Geoff Johns may have accomplished (at least) that.