I haven’t been very into comics although I kinda like them, but always loved Batman and Spiderman, and of course, their enemies.
Same as many kids, I got bewitched by Batman thanks to Tim Burton’s film portrait back in 1989, and later I started to investigate.
One of the coolest books ever read, was one named Batman, visto por un psiquiatra (Batman through the eyes of a shrink, could be the translation), in which a real shrink super fan of the hero, analyses his personality and behavior , and the concept of the hero as the consequence of a post-traumatic shock stress, the violent death of Wayne’s parents. Very interesting, I’ll tell you about it in the future, right now I prefer talking about The Joker.
The evil side of the coin is always more attractive. Probably in an attempt to get closer to the heroes, we receive too much information on their troubles, personal drama and weakness, they’re humanized and sensitive in front of our eyes.
The lack of personal information we received on the villains makes them stronger, mysterious and more attractive.
Ok, ok, we actually receive some feedback, but taking The Green Goblin and The Joker as examples, we know about their former lives and how they turned into psycho villains, their genuine roots, beside that, they seem kind of unbeatable. No apparent weak points are shown, no personal attachments towards anyone…nothing.
No more justifying and explaining, at the end of the day, I’m in love with villains. Period!
The Joker is, in my opinion, one of the most iconic figures of villains in fiction. Everyone knows who he is, no matter you’re not into comics, same as with Darth Vader.
His features are grotesque. That eternal smile, wide open, remarked by the intense red of his lips, and the yellow of his teeth, and the pale white face, is disturbing, to say the least.
What about his wardrobe? Purple is a risky color, you can be taken as a clown easily, yet he achieves to look elegant in his suits, combined with his deadly accessories.
Yes, he’s no doubt an excessive character, up to the extreme.
Turned into The Joker by his accidental fall into an acid tank, the villain’s aim is to submit Gotham city under his fun reign. He’s able to get rid of any human being against his purposes, but Batman, therefore, in order to achieve his goal, finishing Batman first is compulsory, because there’s no way they can coexist at all.
And there’s another point Joker’s annoyed by the presence of the hero in black: attention. Citizens and media are too interested in Batman, and that’s something Joker can’t stand. He needs to recall as much interest as possible.
Joker’s character has been evolving throughout the years, from that comical attitude towards a more twisted psycho state of mind, and together his appearance, becoming a less bearable figure, more frightening and disgusting, with make-up letting you figure out his damaged and terrible features, more a zombie like perhaps, and positive more aggressive and extreme in reactions, attacks and mood swings.
Same happens with Joker in films. From the innocence of Cesar Romero’s performance to the insanity of Heath Ledger, there’s a huge difference.
I’d stand by Jack Nicholson, able to combine both views, contributing with his personal exaggerated manners. I really think he’s is the perfect Joker, and would bet the actor enjoyed hell of a lot while filming this version. The Joker drinking Martini, with his Barbie like, Jerry Hall, by his side, creating an atmosphere comparable to Montana’s, is simply great.
For all these reasons, The Joker deserves a special place in the podium of villains, don’t you think?