New Joker photo


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.


2 thoughts on “New Joker photo

  1. Ah yes, “The Killing Joke”. I loved the cover on this graphic novel, and you really can’t beat Alan Moore(coming off his Watchmen triumph two years prior) for writing.

    You may have even inspired me to go down to the basement and dig it out of my boxes and boxes of comics for a re-read!

    I too am looking forward to this film installment, being a fan of Christian Bale and Batman in general, and certainly this version of the Joker’s tale. Although I have to say that most of the DC universe movies of the last decade or two have been less satisfying and more “lightweight” than much of the Marvel sourced material. But then again, that can be said of the comics as well at times.

    …..please no DC versus Marvel bashing here though! 😉

    But this graphic novel, and the coming film title bring the following to mind…

    Batman found a resurgence in the mid 1980s, 1986 to be exact, when Frank Miller(of recent 300 fame) published the “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” series, which incidentally also kick-started the “prestige” format of comic books we now consider commonplace.

    This series redefined Batman, and the DC superhero genre from a storytelling and artistic perspective, and still holds up well today…. wow… 20 years later. That’s hard to believe, as I remember buying these new.

    Also about this time, the iconoclastic Watchmen 12 part series by Alan Moore was published which further redefined almost every aspect of western comic book storytelling and style.

    Incidentally…or literally perhaps not incidentally, Watchmen is also finally slated for the movies. This has been a very long time coming, and many have tried to approach the project in the past, without success. I think it is safe to say that everyone in the industry, along with fans, are holding their breath that this classic and groundbreaking comic is well treated in the film version.

    Following The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller then worked on Batman issues 404-407 in 1987 for Batman: Year One with David Mazzucchelli, who was the influential artist for Daredevil in this period. This series of books, Batman 404-407, continued the look, feel, and continuity of the Batman storyline Miller had created for The Dark Knight Returns.

    Specific to the coming film, I can’t help but look at the entire Batman movie franchise and see Frank Miller’s influence, and graphic novels like The Killing Joke likely would never have come to pass, at least in the form they did, without the success of The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen.

    Both TDKR and Watchmen are seminal moments in relatively recent comic book history. And over the last few years I have found it entertaining to watch their influence wend their way into comics, pop culture, and eventually everyday life as their original readers “grow up” 🙂

    I am hoping the latest Batman installment does justice to these artists, and captures the social commentary and dark, brooding, serious nature the Batman we all know and love embraces.

    But for my kids, I’m sure they just hope it is FUN!


  2. The best Joker was Cesar Romero from the original 1960’s TV series! My favorite Batman villain, though, is The Riddler – played perfectly, then, by Frank Gorshen! (Jim Carrey did a nice job on that character, too)……………….”Riddle me this, Batman” ha-ha

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