Much like with the Harley Quinn picture I made about... Three years ago? Holy crap. Any, the fanart I made with Harley Quinn here http://viktormatiesen.deviantart.com/art/Harley-Quinns... , has made quite the reaction with faves, comments arguing or agreeing with my statements about how I feel about the poor girl's status in her comics these days but this one will create a huge flame war with arguments and such that it will be a controversial picture. But this is something I need to say, and if this will make me a new Tom Preston then so be it.
Allow me to share a revelation I've recently had. For all the praises and admiration for being the best supervillain in DC Comic's history, The Joker has become the lamest and dullest villain in Batman's entire rogue gallery.
I'm sure that you already are writing down comments arguing about what I just said and ignore what I am about to explain the reason WHY I feel like this villain whom I used to like, is nothing special or unique anymore and is compared to other lame psychotic super villains like Victor Zsasz or Professor Pyg who are just there to provoke readers. But first a little history...
Now ignoring the fact that it now has been proven that Bob Kane had almost NOTHING to do with creating the supervillain that would become one of the most iconic super villains despite the fact that he was inspired/ripped off from other heroes like Zorro, The Shadow, Dick Tracy and some other pulp fiction heroes from novels and comics that were before hand. Hell, it has been proven that one of the first comics featuring Batman was a traced copy of a Dick Tracy comic but thats beside the point. My point being was that while Batman was a superhero in all definition but in reality it was more like if Dick Tracy decided to become a masked vigilante and fight mobsters and gangsters.
And looking back at it, it all makes sense. Like Dick Tracy, Batman had a cast of colorful villains and gangsters with unique looks at gimmicks. Hell, Two-Face was a direct ripoff of a Dick Tracy gangster called Haf-and-Haf whose half of his body was burnt and melted in a pool of acid and chemicals, making his wear a costume that had different looks and color on each side. While the whole ripoff thing was pretty standard in those days, its more amazing that how people forget these sort of stunts they pulled.
Which brings me to the Joker, while his design and character was more unique that he was inspired by the joker playing card and the 1928 horror drama silent movie "The Man Who Laughed", The Joker during the Golden Age of superhero comics was a serial killer using Joker Venom to make die with laughter. Sounds just like what he is these days, but during the Silver Age of comics when gore and violence depicted in comics were banned, comics writers and artists decided to make him more of a gangster or a mobster whose gimmick were creating elaborate and goofy but mostly comical methods to commit robbery and such. That in many ways, became the inspirational source for the goofy 1960s TV show "Batman".
Ceasar Romero's comical depiction of the super villain was the first version of the Joker I encountered as a kid and while he was a dangerous criminal, he was just a clown who had a lot of fun doing what he did. Always giddy and laughing excitedly as he committed robbery in elaborate and goofy ways using laughing gas to knock out guards and civilians because as a comedian and a clown, The Joker wanted to perform and make people laugh. Whenever I saw this joker, I always smiled because he was so much fun to watch at the time.
While I did read some Batman comics and saw the Scooby Doo crossover episodes with Batman where The Joker would have a lot of fun just scaring the pants of Shaggy and Scooby, it wasn't until the 90s where I would become exposed to the one animated show that pretty much changed Saturday morning cartoons forever for better or worse: Batman The Animated Series.
It would take a much longer time to find a person who didn't like this marvelously and awesomely made animated show, combing the dark and gothic looks and feels of the batman comics and the goofy and campy attitude of the silver age comics and the 1960s live action show. It was also the show that pretty much changed the origins for most members of Batman's rogue gallery, like how Mr Freeze became a Shakespearian tragic character who longed to be warm and able to feel again but only coldly sought for revenge (pun intented) or Two Face who is actually Bruce Wayne's best friend but loathes Batman. That was what made the animated show so unique, they made the villains more human than monsters and villains. One of my all time favorite episode involves The Joker, Penguin, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc and Two Face just hanging around like friends, bickering and bantering and just had a good time while playing poker and discusses their own stories of how they almost killed Batman and had the most funniest moment involving Killer Croc and a big rock.
And Joker himself, while he was a lethal criminal who left devastation and destruction behind and quite possibly several wounded or dead, he was never into genocide. Yeah, I KNOW that he killed a guy in "The Mask of The Phantasm" but the dude was old and was annoying The Joker and he just wanted a bait and decided to get rid of him. He was a clown, and a comedian and what better way for a comedian to have a crowd and attention. That is why he created elaborate and creative ways to commit crimes, robberies and ways to defeat Batman. In a Christmas episode, The Joker was thrilled as he would hold a TV studio hostage and just had lot of fun hosting his own TV show while trolling on Batman and Robin.
But sadly, this may have been the downfall for the Joker as well.
Maybe it was because of the comics, but the Joker started to develop into his Golden Age version, a psychotic villain who wanted to destroy and kill, abused Harley Quinn more and more, and needless to say good times became dark times all around. Watch the movie "The Return of the Joker" and you see what I mean by that.
And it pretty went down hill from there, the movies, the comics, the games and especially The New 52 reboot made The Joker into a... well basically a Slasher Movie killer. While that may be approved to most fans, I am not no longer a fan of this. What is the point, really? The Joker was fun and chaotic but he was never into genocide and such. He just wanted to pull dangerously pranks on people and laugh at them. But instead, he became more and more lame and dull just as all other members in Batman's rogue gallery, a gang of serial killers and psychos instead of being criminal gangsters and actually HUMAN villains.
In fact and I am putting SPOILER ALERT here, at the end of Batman Arkham City when The Joker dies to the Venom toxin he overdosed of in Batman Arkham Asylum, I was happy. Yeah, I was happy that he finally was dead. I didn't care what people said, I was thrilled and happy that the most insane psycho finally kicked the bucket and passed on. Hell, I was even happy to see The Joker die in The Return of the Joker... TWICE in fact. And while I haven't played Batman Arkham Knight, I am excited to see to see a Gotham free from The Joker and deal with... the other insane genocidal maniacs that roams free in the city... cripes...
And that is what they should have done a LONG time ago, kill of the Joker. Yeah, I went there, kill The Joker so that we can be free from his clutches. But no, everytime someone plans for it there is ALWAYS gonna be cries from fans that the Joker should be around and kept because he is the demigod of chaos and evil, a perfect balance against Batman who quite frankly is pulling of that one himself considering how paranoid and anti social he has become in later years in comics and TV shows. Seriously, Batman The Brave and The Bold brought back a lot of his humanity, I don't care how many people hated it, I fucking loved that show because I was HAPPY to see Batman being badass and not just gloomy and emo and what now.
Which brings me to another revelation that pretty much made me loose faith in humanity greatly: Fans don't want to kill the Joker... because we secretly love evil people. We as humans keep claiming how much we hate Hitler, Stalin, Hussein, bin Ladin, al-Zawahiri, Putin and other dictators through history, or serial killers like Jack the Ripper, The Zodiac Killer, Charlie Mansion and so on, but in reality we can't help to be pulled in and fascinated by their evil personalities. Hell, we all remember and know Lee Harvey Oswald but we don't know the ones who actually find him and caught him. We have forgotten the good guys who have fought these tyrants and avatars of evil, because we simply don't care. We only care of the evil capabilities of these people. We thrive in them, addicted like a drug. Evil makes money, we keep making several versions of movies depicting Ted Bundy or Ed Gein, creating popular horror movie franchise because lord knows that good guys can never make much money.
Or maybe the comic writers are just lazy and doesn't want to kill Joker because the character has a history and who has the strength to come up with a new and quite possibly BETTER villain, I dunno... Either way, this is why I have stopped reading DC comics these days.