Theme Times – You’re Jokering, Right?

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Who is the best Joker of Batman fame?

The Joker is a supervillain created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson who first appeared in the debut issue of the comic book Batman (April 25, 1940), published by DC Comics. Credit for the Joker’s creation is disputed; Kane and Robinson claimed responsibility for the Joker’s design while acknowledging Finger’s writing contribution. Although the Joker was planned to be killed off during his initial appearance, he was spared by editorial intervention, allowing the character to endure as the archenemy of the superhero Batman.

In his comic book appearances, the Joker is portrayed as a criminal mastermind. Introduced as a psychopath with a warped, sadistic sense of humor, the character became a goofy prankster in the late 1950s in response to regulation by the Comics Code Authority, before returning to his darker roots during the early 1970s. As Batman’s nemesis, the Joker has been part of the superhero’s defining stories, including the murder of Jason Todd—the second Robin and Batman’s ward—and the paralysis of one of Batman’s allies, Barbara Gordon. The Joker has had various possible origin stories during his decades of appearances. The most common story involves him falling into a tank of chemical waste that bleaches his skin white and turns his hair green and lips bright red; the resulting disfigurement drives him insane. The antithesis of Batman in personality and appearance, the Joker is considered by critics to be his perfect adversary.

The Joker possesses no superhuman abilities, instead using his expertise in chemical engineering to develop poisonous or lethal concoctions and thematic weaponry, including razor-tipped playing cards, deadly joy buzzers, and acid-spraying lapel flowers. The Joker sometimes works with other Gotham City supervillains, such as the Penguin and Two-Face, and groups like the Injustice Gang and Injustice League, but these relationships often collapse due to the Joker’s desire for unbridled chaos. The 1990s introduced a romantic interest for the Joker in his former psychiatrist, Harley Quinn, who becomes his villainous sidekick. Although his primary obsession is Batman, the Joker has also fought other heroes, including Superman and Wonder Woman.

One of the most iconic characters in popular culture, the Joker has been listed among the greatest comic book villains and fictional characters ever created. The character’s popularity has seen him appear on a variety of merchandise, such as clothing and collectible items, inspire real-world structures (such as theme park attractions), and be referenced in a number of media. The Joker has been adapted to serve as Batman’s adversary in live-action, animated, and video game incarnations, including the 1960s Batman television series played by Cesar Romero and in films by Jack Nicholson in Batman (1989) and by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008). The character was adapted into his own standalone film, Joker, in 2019 starring Joaquin Phoenix in the role. Mark Hamill, Troy Baker, and others have provided the character’s voice.

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We couldn’t really have Batman and not The Joker as that just would not have been fair! So of the following who was your best Joker on the big screen? I am not the biggest die hard fan of Batman, but for me mm, l think it is a toss up between the comical Nicholsan and the darksome Ledger, but that is just me…. this list is in no order – purely structured on the characters themselves.

1966 – Batman – The Joker – Cesar Romero

Batman and Robin discover a secret invention that the evil villains plan to use to dehydrate the entire population in exchange for ransom. The duo must find a way to stop them and save the world

1989 – Batman – The Joker – Jack Nicholsan

Batman, a masked vigilante from Gotham City, fights against evil to keep its citizens safe. He must battle Jack Napier, who turns into the Joker and threatens to take over Gotham City.

1992 – 1995 – Batman – The Animated series – Mark Hamil – The Joker’s Voice

This animated series conveys the dark mood of the original “Batman” comic books. Unlike the light action “Batman” show of the 1960s, Gotham City’s Caped Crusader, Bruce Wayne, is sometimes moody. And Robin’s alter ego, Dick Grayson, has a more-mature personality than in the original series.

2008 – The Dark Knight – Heath Ledger – The Joker

After Gordon, Dent and Batman begin an assault on Gotham’s organised crime, the mobs hire the Joker, a psychopathic criminal mastermind, who wants to bring all the heroes down to his level.

25 Disturbing Truths About Heath Ledger’s Joker

2016 – Suicide Squad – Jared Leto – The Joker

An intelligence officer assembles a team of imprisoned super-villains to execute dangerous black ops missions. Meanwhile, the homicidal Joker launches a diabolical agenda of his own.

2019 – Joker – Joaquin Phoenix – The Joker

Forever alone in a crowd, failed comedian Arthur Fleck seeks connection as he walks the streets of Gotham City. Arthur wears two masks — the one he paints for his day job as a clown, and the guise he projects in a futile attempt to feel like he’s part of the world around him. Isolated, bullied and disregarded by society, Fleck begins a slow descent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as the Joker.

So from the selective collective above who warmed your cockles?

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2 thoughts on “Theme Times – You’re Jokering, Right?

  1. I think Heath Ledger nailed it! Nicholson was good, but too campy. I always liked the darkness of the Batman-verse.

    I still miss Heath. I think he was just stretching his acting skills. He would have done so much more. And sad for his family of course.

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