The one in the bright colors with the big smile who does magic tricks… that’s the one you need to watch out for. In TDK, we are given plenty of clues as to the motivation of the Joker: revenge against society. And Englehart and Rogers took that foundation and made something magnificent with The Joker Fish. My opinion anyway. The Laughing Fish is probably my fave too. And why its totally sweet and awesome! It’s not that I disagree with it so much that it’s obviously a lie that the Joker tells to Harvey Dent to get him to turn against his former allies. It might not make sense from a realistic perspective, but as a bit of visual shorthand, it's rad as hell. For Bob: There’s no point in referencing a case so contemporary as Heath Ledger’s Joker. Jack Saff. Both are working outside of the law, and both are attempting to, in one way or another, create their own utopia of sorts. The best villains, after all, are the ones that bring out the contrasts within the hero himself, and that’s something Batman has to spare. The question I’ve been mulling over, then, is why it’s the Joker and not someone else. In her first appearance, "Pretty Poison," Ivy seduces and attempts to murder Harvey Dent, and it turns out that he still holds a pretty understandable grudge, even after switching sides and becoming a supervillain. *SIGH* You had to go and make me READ this morning. http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1826024, “It’s not that he can do anything, it’s that he does things unpredictably but realistically and, most importantly, deliberately. It's in the frame story, though, that we see Batman at his best. Gorgeous post, Chris. At the same time, by making the villain of the episode another obsessive fan, it shows the darker side to that fandom, too, the person who likes the stuff but never learned the lessons. That is, if the Joker ever manages to convince Batman that the world is truly insane and the only response is insane laughter, does the Joker win? Oh – my article on analyzing Heath Ledger’s Joker and true identity: http://justicecarmon.blogspot.com/2008/12/in-darkest-night-or-just-hanging-with.html. Actually, while the description of the Joker is seemingly detailed, I found your post lacking in analysis. But we'll get back to that in a second. The thing you need to remember is that the Joker is a clown. His ability to take down a 20-year vet police officer OR a 250 lb mob enforcer with a PENCIL. More importantly, though, this is the story that brings the one great similarity between Batman and the Joker to the forefront: They’re both amazing planners. "Almost Got 'Im. I DEMAND MY MONEY BACK. That's a big piece of the mythos, and don't let anyone tell you it isn't. So lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about this guy: That probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to anybody, given the amount of time I spend thinking about Batman in general, but since seeing The Dark Knight, I’ve been trying to figure out why the Joker has become the kind of character that he is. I’m a dog chasing cars. I wrote an article on the possible ‘true identity’ of Heath Ledger’s TDK Joker. Therefore, he is the tester of Batman. A busy hospital might have enough staff for people not to notice a bunch of new faces briefly passing in the corridor. Sure he comes up with a (completely giant waste of time) plan to get the Chinese moneyman back from Hong Kong and has rigged the whole city to spy on itself with the sonar, but it all seems SO reactive. Great stuff, Chris. The Scarecrow, for instance, does to civilians what Batman does to the superstitious, cowardly lot of criminals. To be honest, this one almost gets a pass solely based on it being one of the most beautiful things Neal Adams ever drew, but at its heart, it’s more of an archetypal story of Batman than the Joker. I think “The Laughing Fish” may have been the first non-Disney comic I ever read. Great post. Well, if the shots are clever and interesting and relatively brief, then yeah, shots of extras hiding things are not necessarily bad. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it!”. That makes narrowing down a single one a pretty daunting task. The people he murders are less than nothing to him; it’s not about them. Your ad here, right now: $0. It’s the first occasion (and perhaps only time) where he meets an intellectual equal of the opposite side. Simply amazing! May 11, 2013; Over the past 70 years, there have been a lot of different sides to Batman's character. I think ultimately what makes The Joker the best villian Batman has is that the character has so few restrictions. . Dec 7, 2013 - In this week's column, Chris Sims discusses Harley Quinn, the Joker's girlfriend one of the most misunderstood and misused characters in all of superhero comics. Meagan Damore May 11, 2016. It’s as close to a turning point for the character as you’re likely to find. I'm honestly tempted to make a case for "Beware the Gray Ghost," too, because it's the story that best encapsulates what the idea of Batman means to his readers. Don’t know if it’s actually true, but it is true many people instinctively fear clowns. Then when he died, I was like hey I seen that movie. Metcalf and Patrick Mahomes-Tyreek Hill. Like Luthor, he’s almost omnipresent, the strength of the earlier stories, the visual contrast and the prominence of his character on the TV show pushing him to the forefront for most of the character’s life. It also establishes a sort of parity between them. I think you’re absolutely right. I think there’s a lot of disparate theories out there about why the Joker is Batman’s opposite number, and you’ve managed to tie all of them together into something coherent. Explosives remaining hidden in a hospital is somehow more plausible? Again, that's a function of having so much going on in a single episode, but you get to see everything Batman can do. Most good villains do change over time, after all–aside from the ones mentioned in the post, the Kingpin springs to mind–and the ones that don’t are usually created out of whole cloth to fit one story, like the Wrath, the proto-Prometheus from Mike W. Barr’s Batman Special #1. It’s not even about himself, it’s just about baiting Batman into another confrontation. Let me show you how.” Pitting only his mind and scientific knowledge against the might of Supes, Luthor tries to shine a light on the ignorant masses. On the rare occasion that people like to buy me stuff, I like to make that happen. Deadpool: Bad Blood - Ebook written by Rob Liefeld, Chris Sims, Chad Bowers. I came out of that movie wanting to follow the Joker because he turned the craziness into some coherant plan… and i’m only mildly nuts. Luthor stands up and says, “No! They let schoolkids do it now. If there was any doubt that Dini and Radomski were hanging a lampshade on it, however, that's eliminated when Harley Quinn offers Batman the equally cliché choice of letting her go or saving Catwoman, not realizing he's within arm's reach of the switch that can shut off the machinery. There were so many issues where Adams only did a great cover…, “It’s also worth noting that Marshall Rogers didn’t just draw the Joker as a man who smiled all the time, but as a man who couldn’t do anything but smile, an influence that he traced back to the 1928 film The Man Who Laughs”. Killing the owners of the gems was for the same reason as announcing his crimes ahead of time–because he could. The mob has plans, the cops have plans, Gordon’s got plans. The comics have generally done a much better job of establishing the detailed plans, as well as the executions, than the movies. Or, to use an example of something that sucks, Hush. Essential reading for the hardcore and casual Batman fan. Looking at the character today, it’s obvious that he’s not only Batman’s arch-nemesis, but that more than any other villain, he’s evolved alongside his opposite number to become something more. Movies are mentioned, mostly with scorn, but the original source material is always the focus. Yeah, I forgot to upload the picture last night. There’s a pyschological theory – best articulated in Earnest Becker’s ‘The Denial of Death’ – that most of society is an attempt to pretend that we’re not going to die.