OK, so I’m very much looking forward to Batman: The Dark Knight, the sequel to Batman Begins, even though the movie doesn’t come out for another 9 months. A few photos of the Joker, played by Heath Ledger, have been revealed, but this is the best one so far.
The Joker has always been one of my favorite villains, even though Jack Nicholson’s version has lost its luster with me over the years (I was a huge fan back when I was 13, but it just gets campier and campier each time I see it now).
If Ledger’s version is the homicidal clown from the comics, I’ll be thrilled (says something about me, doesn’t it?) My favorite Joker story comes from the graphic novel, “The Killing Joke,” which my friend Jacob showed me back in high school. In it, we learn the Joker’s past, and we see the Joker kidnap the police commissioner’s daughter, shoot and paralyze her, then strap the commissioner naked and cage him in a freakshow. Batman arrives and catches the Joker again, and in the final scene, he pleads to the Joker to give up his killing ways.
The Joker admits it’s far too late for that, then tells Batman the following joke:
See, there were these two guys in a lunatic asylum…and one night…one night they decide they don’t like living in an asylum any more. They decide they’re going to escape! So like they get up on to the roof, and there, just across the narrow gap, they see the rooftops of the town, stretching away in moon light…stretching away to freedom.
Now the first guy he jumps right across with no problem. But his friend, his friend daren’t make the leap. Y’see he’s afraid of falling… So then the first guy has an idea. He says “Hey! I have my flash light with me. I will shine it across the gap between the buildings. You can walk across the beam and join me.” B-But the second guy just shakes his head. He says …he says “What do you think I am, crazy? You would turn it off when I was half way across.”
Read a lot more about The Killing Joke here.