This week I talk about Batman‘s better half. Batman‘s reason for being whether he chooses to admit to it or not, The Joker.
The Joker first appeared in Batman #1 by Bob Kane and Bill Finger back in Spring of 1940. Joker has been around pretty much as long as Batman. When Joker was first created, they made him out to be a sadistic, cold-hearted, violent sociopath who murdered people left and right for his own amusement. Sounds about right. They then changed him in the late forties to be a light-hearted prankster who was more of nuisance then an actual force to be reckoned with. That lasted until the 1960′s. Since that wasn’t as appealing to the audience, they changed him back to the Joker we all know and love.
In fact, in the early comics Joker killed countless people before they decided to tame him a little so that Batman didn’t look incompetent in his job of subduing criminals. Among some of the victims of the Joker is Jason Todd, the second Robin, and Barbara Gordon a.k.a. Batgirl a.k.a. Oracle, who he paralyzed.
Joker is a GOD amongst villains. He does whatever he wants, whenever he wants and he rarely gets caught. Even when he does it rarely phases him. He’s so awesome, he made Dr. Harley Frances Quinzel fall deeply in love with him to the point where she is willingly his servant. Well, to an extent.
In Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker, Joker was killed by Robin, Tim Drake, after kidnapping him and forcibly brainwashing him through torture to be a junior Joker. However, Joker is such a boss that before he could be killed, he implanted his personality and memories into Tim, therefore never actually dying. He uses Tim‘s body to commit crimes in the Terry McGinnis era of Batman. Crimes and violent acts include going into the Batcave and dosing Bruce Wayne with Joker Venom. That’s not even the kicker, Joker, in transplanting his personality and memories into Tim, can also physically morph Tim into himself. Now how boss is that? SERIOUSLY! Didn’t even know that kind of technology was around in those days.
That little tidbit was only from one movie released in the not too distant past (2000). A movie in which you know they had to cut some stuff out because it was not suitable for the demographic they were targeting, i.e. kids. Now imagine if I told you about some of the stuff he did in the comic books. Not to say that they don’t censor comic books, it’s just that they have more freedom to illustrate crude and lewd acts otherwise unacceptable by the television audience.
If you want to know more, I suggest you go to the nearest comic book store and pick up some issues. This was only to tantalize you into wanting to know more. I recommend trying find a copy of Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore, a one shot comic from 1988 that gives you as good an origin as anything else you will ever read pertaining to the Joker. Tho, there are other origin stories out there to read, none of them ever exactly the same. As the Joker said, “Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another… if I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!”
Also, pick up Joker: Last Laugh Secret Files in which *SPOILER ALERT* Nightwing beats Joker to death.
Aw, don’t look so down Dick, you got mentioned.
Here are this weeks links:
Joker SPOILER in the upcoming “Death of The Family” – http://geek-news.mtv.com/2012/08/14/the-jokers-new-look/
The Joker’s looks- http://stars.ign.com/articles/841/841564p1.html
Clips of the best Joker moments – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C-Qmzuib5g
Joker’s reality TV show – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wyy-_XkvqgQ
And an AWESOME song – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmVusVh4TRQ