Batman's archenemy. The Joker is one of the most influential villains in the history of comics, and one of the best recognized on a massive scale. He is a threat to both heroes and villains, and is one of the most sinister and dangerous antagonists of ALL the DC Universe.
His first appearance was in the comic book Batman # 1 in early 1940. His conceptual creation was conceived by art assistant Jerry Robinson and then redesigned by writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane, who based the character's final drawing (from pictures handed by Finger) of the actor Conrad Veidt in the film adaptation "The man Who Laughs" (1928).
He is responsible for many terrible happenings in Batman's life, like the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin, Barbara Gordon's (Batgirl) paralysis, the murder of Carl Beaumont and the death of Sarah Essen-Gordon.
The Joker was named the eighth best comic book character by Magazine Empire and the fifth best in the Wizard Magazine. And in 2008, reached number one on the list of the top 100 villains also Wizard (pretty good, no?).
In his first story (Batman # 1, 1940), the Joker was described by Bill Finger as a diabolical criminal mastermind with the facial appearance of a clown that liked to leave their victims with a grotesque smile. This and the joker cards that he used to leave at the crime scene, were considered his signature. The character does not hesitate to murder those who stand in his way and was able to fool even the authorities, masquerading as police (what a great police force there was in the 40's). In that first story, the Joker was about to fall off a building, but Batman saved him and sent him to jail (a HUGE mistake). It is presumed that prior to any criminal act of The Joker, he and Batman maintained a close friendship, but their friendship was affected by the presence of Catwoman who was the apple of discord between them because both showed a visible attraction to her (meoww!!!), in the end she decided to stay with Batman and help him in their mission to hunt criminals and especially the Joker (thats great, first Im going to break your heart and then Im going to chase you).
Here is a photo of a page of Batman #1:
There is no clue about the origins of the Joker, but depending of the author of the reboot or movie they sometimes decide to invent him a past. In The Dark Knight (by Christopher Nolan), the Joker is a psychopath with an unknown past and name, his face is painted in white and has scars on his mouth emulating a freaky smile. In the film, the Joker (brilliantly performed by Heath Ledger) told two different stories about the cause of those marks, in one he attributed them to his mother after killing his alcoholic father before him, he slit his face to see him not so serious. In the other one, his wife, who owed money to gamblers, had been marred by a grunt, so she falls into depression. The Joker then performed in himself the same cuts to support her, but she ends up leaving him (what a great and grateful wife). Both stories, given the nature of the character, are interpreted as hoaxes or jokes.
The original image was of a brilliant psychopath with criminal tendencies to sadism and a weird sense of humor, harassing innocent people and committing curious crimes and brutally inhumane. It represents illustrious chaos and crime as opposed to order and justice embodied in Batman (If Batman is the Dark Knight, then the Joker is the Light Knight?).
Another representation of the Joker (heavily influenced by the Comics Code), was popularized in the 1950 and 1960, which characterized him as an eccentric petty thief, lacking in care and a special appreciation for slapstick gags and paraphernalia. A character style which had its climax in the Batman TV series of the mid-1960.
This was the version of the character which became popular worldwide. For example, in Latin America this funny and bizarre villain won the sympathy of readers and was translated into Spanish as "Comodín" by the Mexican publishing house Editorial Novaro, the largest exporter in the world of Batman comics in Spanish from 1952 to early the 80s, and the name "Guasón" in the translation (also performed in Mexico by the American Film Company SA) from the famous sitcom from 1966 for the interpretation of the character by César Romero. Other popular names in those years were "El Bromista" for the cartoons of Hanna-Barbera: The Super Friends, "Arlequín" (I”ve never heard that name before :P) also in Novaro, and so on. It was until the mid-80's that the Joker's original name was used in Spanish comics (for some reason I know him more as El Guasón than El Joker, and I my birthday was in 1994).
In The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan shows a third film version of the character, this time looking to recreate a more faithful, but in realistic tone, the character of comics from the 40s. He is depicted as a petty criminal with a taste for theatricality and sadomasochistic tendencies that always leaves its mark on the scene (the joker card and the smile on their victims, this time made with a knife). Also, he does not hesitate to kill whoever stands in his way, likes to make death threats to launch in mass media and enforce them. This Joker is able to deceive the authorities to carry out his plans, outwit the mafia, his own followers, to instill terror into the city and cause Batman to lose control.
Meanwhile, in the comics and then the disappearance (presumed death) of Batman in the series Final Crisis (2008), the Joker laments the disappearance of "his Batman" and takes two characters simultaneously: the Domino Killer, murderer of criminals of Dr. Hurts bands, and Oberon Sexton, an English writer and amateur detective, looking for both to murder and thwart the new great enemy of Batman, Dr. Hurt. This happens in the series Batman and Robin (2009 to 2010).
Here he is as Oberon Sexton:
DUDES WHO HAVE INTERPRETED THE JOKER
César Romero, Batman, the 1966-1969 sitcom.
César Romero, Batman, 1966.
Jack Nicholson, Batman, 1989.
Hugo E. Blick and David U. Hodges as young Jack Napier in Batman and Batman Forever respectively.
Mark Hamill, Batman: The Animated Series Paul Dini series,1992-1997.
René Requiestas, Alyas Batman Robin, Filipino film of 1993.
Fradegradi Mauro, L'Ultima Possibility, theatrical 1998.
Mark Hamill, Birds of Prey, 2002.
Bud Watson, Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt, 2003.
Andrew Koenig, Batman: Dead End, a short film of 2003.
Brian C. Bethel, Grayson, 2004.
Kevin Michael Richardson, The Batman, 2004
Michael Simon, Catwoman: Nine Lives, 2005.
Paul Molnar, Patient J, Short Film, 2005.
Paul Molnar, Batman Legends, Short Film, 2006.
Gavin Rulon, Star Trek Versus Batman, 2006.
Bryan Bockbrader, Joker, short horror films of 2006.
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan, 2008 (Oscar for Best Actor).Here we have the two greatest Jokers of all time, Jack and Heath:
Well, this is it. I hope you've liked this post as much as I liked it had when I wrote it. Remember to vote in Danny's poll, as well as in mine!!!