I devoured it immediately.
First, the artwork by Bermajo is just some of the best work I have ever seen.
I could put the story aside entirely and spend hours going through the book, just staring at the pictures. Look at the Joker's mouth on the cover art. It's scary as hell.
I had never read anything of Azzarello's before, but I had heard good things about 100 Bullets.
I don't think I had gotten more than four or five pages into Joker before I decided that I was going to buy every issue or graphic novel of 100 Bullets I could get my hands on.
Azzarello has that fundamental skill that so many writers are lacking. He knows how to tell a story and even better than that, he can give us characters that are rich and surprising.
And offering the reader any kind of a surprise when you're working with characters that we've all known for decades from other comics, graphic novels, TV shows, movies and even music is especially challenging.
When Joker opens up, our favorite comic book sociopath has just been inexplicably released from Arkham Asylum.
The book never explains why he was let out and, for what the focus of the story is, it doesn't matter.
Azzarello seems to understand that here, it would be unnecessary exposition.
What follows is just an insane ride seen through the eyes of one of the Joker's wannabe goons. Our bumbling protagonist, like us, doesn't know where he's going.
We're all of us just following the Joker out of loyalty, thrill-seeking or just curiosity to see what the crazy bastard is going to do next, who knows?