He does, however, have a big green laser that he blasts Batman with so that he can turn him into a 4-year-old. That's a big piece of the mythos, and don't let anyone tell you it isn't. There's a theatricality to Batman, a piece of his character that only really works if you accept that he's a guy who, for all his brooding, truly loves what he does. Precisely! And even though he’s playing one of the most ridiculous characters, he’s the only one who could slot right into Nolan’s Bat-verse and work his magic. Satan is the adversary – he tests men before God to show they are weak and evil. Out of all the villains in that show, Gorshin’s performance has the most in common with Ledger’s. ... Joker's Best Partner Isn't Harley Quinn or Punchline - It's [SPOILER] The Fast and The Furious Draws Its Name From a 1954 Film. 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. Wow, great post Chris. There is, however, a lot that we’d recognize as today’s Joker on the show itself, it just doesn’t come from the Joker; it comes from the Riddler. Admittedly, the Joker was a pretty big deal — he killed almost as many people in that movie as … You know what’s one thing I never got about the Joker? So he could not copyright the fish as genetically modified, they’re just dead with a very specific muscle contraction. 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. The Joker cheats, of course, but he literally has an ace up his sleeve. Strange, crazy goals, that they create plans to reach. But even those characters fall short of the gold standard: Scarecrow’s archenemy may be Batman, but Batman’s archenemy is the Joker. Explosives remaining hidden in a hospital is somehow more plausible? It is too bad Heath Ledger died. That Batman isn't just sitting quietly at a nearby table disguised as Matches Malone, and that he's instead running a con on his own arch-enemies that involves portraying one of them as a rock-stupid idiot? Therefore, he is the tester of Batman. Chris Sims. I’ll be amazed if they don’t go with a darker version of the Riddler in the next Dark Knight film. 2) He gets sent to Arkham, which means “insane,” not “criminal.” Most places do not execute the insane. It's worth noting that there's another episode that aired only a few months after this one that pulled a similar trick. Glad you brought up the Joker as a great planner, because it was one of the the things that really frustrated me about the Dark Knight: the Joker could just do too much. 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”. For Rick: The Joker’s Toxin did not genetically mutate the fish. I don’t think the Joker in Dark Knight is necessarily a “force of nature,” especially in the same respect as Superman. Yeah, he has the costume and the basic element of characterization, but he isn’t bogged down with thematic crimes or a master plan to kill humanity. Really, he’s just as much of a guy with an agenda as batman or dent or the mobsters are, he’s just a hypocrite. Should i still buy the color ones? 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. Does he figure out his goal, or does attempt to stop the Joker in one of the key points? Then something went wrong, and he was ‘cut loose’ – his face is a disfigurement form a particular form of torture – sometimes used by the IRA. Your observations are excellent, but I disagree with your assessment of DOOM. Even Lex Luthor, who was an ever-present arch-nemesis for Superman, didn’t really reach his full potential until we saw how far he was willing to damn himself for revenge in–of all things–an imaginary story. I think you’re absolutely right. ALL OF MANKIND SHALL PAY FOR THIS!” That’s thinking big. For my money, though, it all comes down to the Laughing Fish. His lack of identity, with no record on any database anywhere. Chris Simms joined Bleacher Report in February 2014 as an NFL Analyst, a high-profile hire for Time-Warner and Turner Sports's rapidly growing mobile product, Team Stream. That kind of begrudging camaraderie is a really interesting aspect of what makes those villains work: they all hate Batman, but they hate him in different ways, and they have histories with each other in addition to having histories with him. It's like bar work: You have to have a big pile of rules. Who knows HOW far in advance they stuffed it with explosives? In fact, in several cases it involved seriously going out of his way. Wonderful analysis of the Joke and why he works. When the bank robbers escape the police, they do it by going up, climbing to the roof of the building where they'll eventually face Batman—they're literally above the law, beyond the capabilities of the police. Your ad here, right now: $0. I’ll fix it when I get home. By the mid-80s, though, everything had changed again. Rather than focusing on a single villain, or even a team-up, it's a story in which four of them cycle through a series of vignettes, cutting straight to the set pieces without sacrificing that moodiness. He’d want to know how long it takes to grow back. Thanks for the great post, Chris. His understanding of military and police procedure. Curious what your opinion is of the commentary there. Unfortunately, they’ve swapped out the original Kyle Baker cover for an Alex Ross one, but c’est la vie. I’d like to buy that a drink. And why its totally sweet and awesome! After all, most of the great villains of comics have the moment where you know that Everything Changes. So you disagree with the Joker’s characterization of himself in TDK as “Do I really look like a guy with a plan? It made me think of the Batman Beyond movie “Return of the Joker,” which has some amazing stuff in it. The thing about TDK Joker is that he lies constantly. Batman, for instance, only speaks a few lines in each of the flashbacks, instead working as this silent, omnipresent force that's hanging over the entire proceedings, and helping to underline the big twist in the third act where you find out that he's actually been talking quite a bit. He only wants him to go on so that he can continue to play. At least they show Batman constructing his sonar cell phone web thing earlier in the movie. It would be like the Scarecrow copyrighting Fear Toxin. But we'll get back to that in a second. It's in the frame story, though, that we see Batman at his best. The people turn to the godlike figure in times of crisis, trusting their lives to his strength and guidance. Whoa – is that, gasp, actual analysis on the ISB? Great analysis. I picked up some black & white Adams/O’Neil Batman trades last week. . Poison Ivy and Two-Face, for instance, are tied together in a way that rarely comes up. As someone reading Batman when the issues you mention came out: spot on analysis, Chris. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read Deadpool: Bad Blood. Meagan Damore May 11, 2016. He escapes from Poison Ivy's trap with physicality and gadgetry, throwing punches and ramming the Batmobile into a telephone pole. The Train!" Had you continued your schooling rather than choose to school us all, this could easily have become your senior thesis or even dissertation. I suppose he could copyright the poison, but he would never want or allow anyone to use the Toxin but himself, so I don’t see any profit in it for him. Schemers trying to control their worlds. However, they have a lot of useful mods, especially ones created by Chris Hatch.) The two have one thing in common which is to challenge Batman. The comics have generally done a much better job of establishing the detailed plans, as well as the executions, than the movies. Even his disdain for money. *I’ve always maintained that the Joker’s problem in that story is that he doesn’t understand the difference between copyright and trademark. Great post. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: the Joker. (Why so) seriously excellent post, Chris. By Chris Sims / March 28, 2019 1:26 pm EST. He must give one hell of a benefits package. So, if the plan is perfect, it stands to reason the hospital was wired in advance. You mean the gang that was present during the robbery and completely absent when Joker somehow managed to stuff a major metropolitan hospital full of explosives without any of the thousands of employees or patients noticing anything, or indeed without any establishing shots at all? David Vern Reed (born David Levine; 13 December 1914 – 11 August 1994), was an American writer, best known for his work on the Batman comic book during the 1950s in a run that included a revamp of the Batplane in Batman #61 and the introduction of Deadshot in Batman #59 (July 1950). Metcalf and Patrick Mahomes-Tyreek Hill. 1. Then when he died, I was like hey I seen that movie. I’ve passed this along to a number of people; a really enjoyable and illuminating read. I will refrain from making the requisite jokes because, well, I’m a history major with a minor in religious studies and a graduate degree in educational psychology, which is why I’m now working in hospital administration supporting surgery and dental departments. May 11, 2013; Over the past 70 years, there have been a lot of different sides to Batman's character. Oh hell yeah. What is not necessarily the best episode, but the one that is a Perfect Unit of Batman? For example, Joker finds Dent at the hospital and apparently all on his own had filled the place with explosives? Matt: Not even so much out of malice as much as just curiosity. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it!”. They may be utterly ridiculous (it’s from an insane man), but in regards to a goal, they make sense. Holy crap, Chris! *SIGH* You had to go and make me READ this morning. A busy hospital might have enough staff for people not to notice a bunch of new faces briefly passing in the corridor. In "Almost Got 'Im," he's all over the place, in one deathtrap after another. Poisons people by giving them “a ghastly grin?” Crazy enough to copyright fish? I think “The Laughing Fish” may have been the first non-Disney comic I ever read. The story is so good and the art, the art just blows my mind every time I read it. But when we looked it up, we found out that not only is it a game that already has a connection to comics, but it has that fascinating real-world story behind it, too. Actually, while the description of the Joker is seemingly detailed, I found your post lacking in analysis. For now, all you need to know is that it’s Batman hitting someone with a chair while asking them to take a seat. Scratch that: For anyone who’s a fan of comics. And Doom is nothing if not a megalomaniac. Gorgeous post, Chris. And, in the end, you realize that all of that unpredictability, that chaos, had an actual goal.”. ... Comics essayist and Batman historian Chris Sims offers a theory. And that plays into the themes of the episode perfectly. It’s also important to note that the Joker’s goals, in the end, make sense. You should take more vacations if this is the kind of stuff your brain gets up to when not at work! ", Again, this is one that's included at the top of almost every list of the show's best episodes, so in that respect, it actually fulfills both of your questions. “They’re both amazing planners. ATTENTION HOLLYWOOD DIRECTORS: What we want more of is shots of extras hiding things. Yeah, I forgot to upload the picture last night. They just start from strange premises…. Write more like this. I think you can look at it that way, but it may be a stronger correlation that both work outside of society’s boundaries in order to accomplish their goals. All of Joker’s plans had this deus ex machina feel to them. 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. In any case, as entertaining as Cesar Romero’s Joker is–and brother, he is entertaining–he’s just another thematic villain for Batman to deal with that week. The best appearances of the Joker fit into that archetype. I never really heard of him until the batman movie. For the Joker, though–the story that finished out his run on the title–Englehart went back to the character’s origin story and retold it with the addition of the “Jokerized” fish–infected with the “Joker Venom” that had been his weapon of choice in 1940 and returned in “Five Way Revenge,” brought directly into focus by Rogers: It’s a strange addition, but it’s one that changes the tone of the story completely. @Phineas: I can really only recall four things about the Batman TV show: Bat Bullet Proof Shoe Soles, plotting crime scenes on a map to reveal the shape of a top hat, Bruce Wayne falling out the back of a moving ambulance and Batman giving a lecture on how many different ways the Joker could kill you on sight, culminating in the Joker showing up and killing everyone on sight. This is one of the best things you’ve written. There are 4 company that have an address matching 41075 Hwy 195 Haleyville, AL 35565. He’s less a criminal and more a force of nature. Those two stories did show you just HOW mad and scary the Joker was – and why Batman probably sweats when he faces him. I found myself wanting to pick your brain on several point and this will provide incredible banter material in the future. Nice to see someone else has thought about what makes this character so great. Have you read Superman: Secret Identity? 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. He treats them as he WAS treated – as disposable assets. On a purely functional level, there's just more in this episode than almost any other. What’s underneath all of that? Gabriel: The sad reality of any society is that you make rules for the idiots, and they'll always hinder the normal people. 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. Great article, especially with pinpointing where the Joker became the villain that he is instead of just doing the fanboy thing and going, “The Joker is fucking awesome!!!”. — @charlotteofoz. Why doesn’t the Joker get the death penalty? Superman, for instance, isn’t just a good man with super-powers, he’s a symbol of everything that’s good and selfless with a face and a logo on his chest, and as much as Batman’s come to symbolize the relentless, single-minded pursuit of justice, the Joker’s done the same, becoming chaos itself. Chris: I will say, the part where Deadpool uses Cyclops powers, and inexplicably starts blasting directly at Wolverine’s penis?That’s definitely something Deadpool would do. His piece provided a helpful baseline for me to work from, and for that I give him kudos and praise.) Its talked about in the movie – he attracts the mentally unstable. But if you’ve ever worked in a hospital, you know that there are quite a few non-public storage and equipment rooms in hospitals where even the most suspicious of packages could go unnoticed for days. It sounds like he should be hiding under a bridge like a troll…. With the Joker, it’s a little harder to pin down. Luthor stands up and says, “No! Yes and no but yes but no , but kind of but not really but then again yes .but actually no . Pay attention to his face-to-face comments in the Interrogation scene in TDK to Batman. At its heart, you can trace it to the fact that the Joker takes what is literally the opposite route: From his first appearance in 1940, he’s everything Batman’s not in every way but one. Dr. Doom, for instance, starts out as a visually interesting character with an awesome name, but until he steals the Power Cosmic and becomes DOCTOR DOOM, he’s just a cool-looking guy that once sent the Fantastic Four back in time to look for pirate treasure. "Joker's Favor" is certainly a favorite, as it nails the terrifying menace of the Joker and how he affects the normal citizens of Gotham City, who are often overlooked as the people truly in danger. The Joker has a goal (in one form or another, chaos), is biased (towards his own satisfaction), and is extremely well planned. Also, O’Neil brings in one of the most important and lasting aspects of the character–His “game” against Batman: There are a few more villains who’d rather beat Batman than kill him–the Riddler springs to mind–but by refusing to kill him when the opportunity presents itself, as it does more than a couple of times, the Joker sets himself up as Batman’s equal and adds an even more sinister aspect to his crimes.
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