Posts Tagged ‘The Joker’

Here is the 1928 movie that inspired the creation of the Joker from Batman. This is also the first film in which Jack Pierce does the make up, including that for Conrad Veidt’s character.

To be honest I always thought that the Lon Chaney film Laugh Clown Laugh served as the inspiration for the Joker, until I saw this. Perhaps it was because Chaney was slated for the role that eventually went to Veidt. Chaney had signed a contract with MGM which meant that he could not work on this Universal film. Chaney also appeared as a clown in the earlier movie He Who Gets Slapped.


I haven’t posted many comic book stories for a few months and with good reason. Both DC and Marvel have cracked down on these sorts of posts in recent months and lots of stuff that has been online for years has disappeared.

This story does feature some quite ugly art work, especially one of the drawings of the Joker on the last couple of pages. Some of the work evokes Dick Sprang but if I hazard a guess I would say Jerry Robinson was the main artist for this story.













The Joker

Posted: March 11, 2009 in Batman, The Joker
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Here is the Joker’s entry from Who’s Who In The DCU from around 1986.

Here’s a post from my old blog that I have decided to finally bring over here. I first posted this on March 3, 2008, so it may be a little out of date.


As I have already said in an earlier post, Batman is my favourite superhero. I thought it would be good to chronicle all of Batman’s arch enemies, as he seems to have so many of them. What better way to start this project than to look at the most well known Batman villain, The Joker.

The Joker

Created by – Bob Kane, Bill Finger & Jerry Robinson
1st Appearance – Batman #1 – 1940
Real Name – Unknown
Nicknames – The Clown Prince of Crime, The Harlequin of Hate

Hideouts – The Ha Hacienda
Significant Others – Harley Quinn

The Joker is one of Batman’s oldest rogues having debuted in Batman #1 in the spring of 1940. In that intial story The Joker dies, yet he also returned in another story later in the same book. This is something that happened many times over the years. One thing that you could guarantee is that if The Joker had died, he would sooner or later turn up again alive and as deadly as ever. (He even survived the electric chair!)

The Joker has gone through many transformations over the years. In the 1940s he was a murderer and criminal who just happened to look like a clown. He was perhaps Batman’s most cold blooded foe and had no hint of being insane.
By the 1950s he had changed into a prankster who would commit crimes using some gimmick or giant prop. This lasted up until 1965 and beyond, and is the way that the character was portrayed in the 1960s TV show featuring Cesar Romero.
By the 1970s The Joker returned to being a cold blooded, calculating murderer. This is perhaps best seen in 1973s The Joker’s Five Way Revenge story in which the Joker eliminates possible stool pigeons, who caused him to be jailed. During this portrayal The Joker was seen as being slightly insane, yet over the next 33 years his insanity has continued to grow. The Joker now is seen as a completely insane and unpredictable foe rather than a cold blooded killer. This is best shown in 1977s The Laughing Fish, where The Clown Prince of Crime tries to copyright fish that have been poisoned by his Joker Venom, only to be thwarted because fish are a natural resource that can’t be copyrighted.
By the 1980s Joker became stark raving bonkers, but it was also during this decade that he struck his two greatest blows against the Batman. Firstly he crippled Barbara Gordon, the first Batgirl, by shooting her in the spine in Alan Moore’s The Killing Joker. A year of so later came The Joker’s greatest achievement when he killed Robin (Jason Todd) in the A Death In The Family storyline. (Of course the Brainiacs at DC have decided to bring Jason Todd back!!!) There was also The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller’s very over-rated tale. (Year 1 is so much better!!!) Nowdays Joker is portrayed in a variety of ways. Until late last year it had been a long time since anyone had written his character properly, with the worst portrayal in the 2005 War Crimes story. (Bill Willingham should never again be allowed to write a Batman related story) In this story the Joker seemed to be gay for Batman, trying to pick up the caped crusader everytime he opened his mouth. (The Joker should not be calling Batman “Sweetie”!) He has also acquired a ‘girlfriend’ in Harley Quinn, who he seems to spend most of his time trying to kill!!!

Joker Websites
The Joker’s Wikipedia entry
The Joker’s Circus
The Joker @ Comics 101
The Joker’s Realm
My Favourite Joker stories
The Killing Joke – By Alan Moore & Brian Bolland
The Man Who Laughed – By Ed Brubaker & Doug Mahnke (Graphic Novel now out of print. May be found on Ebay!)
A Death In The Family – By Jim Starlin & Jim Aparo
The Joker’s Five Way Revenge – By Denny O’Neil & Neal Adams (Reprinted in
Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told, Batman: Illustrated By Neal Adams Volume 3 & Batman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told)
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – By Frank Miller
The Laughing Fish – By Steve Englehart & Marshall Rogers (Reprinted in
Batman: Strange Apparitions)
Batman: Dark Detective – By Steve Englehart & Marshall Rogers
The Man Behind The Red Hood – By ? & Sheldon Moldoff (Reprinted in
Batman in the Fifties)
Mad Love – By Paul Dini & Bruce Timm (Reprinted in
Dangerous Dames & Demons)
Laughter After Midnight – By Paul Dini & John Byrne (Reprinted in
Dangerous Dames & Demons)
This One’ll Kill You Batman – By Denny O’Neil & Dick Giordano (Reprinted in
Batman in the Seventies)
Legends Of The Dark Knight #50 – By Denny O’Neill & Bret Blevins (September 1993)

Two recent Paul Dini written stories have again made The Joker an interesting villain and foe to Batman. In Detective Comics #826, The Joker is really scary as he takes Robin on a murderous car trip. Also, in the two part story The Siege, that featured in Detective Comics #833 and #834 Joker terrorises both Batman and Zatanna. One recent story that I personally didn’t like but has many fans is Grant Morrison’s prose Joker story in Batman #663.

Joker Update

Posted: February 6, 2009 in Batman, DC Comics, The Joker
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I am half way through Joker week and already I want to extend it even more. Maybe I can make it a Joker month. I have alot more Golden Age Joker stories that I want to post, as well as a very lengthy story from the 1980s written by Doug Moench and a three parter written by David V. Reed. There are a couple of Golden Age stories I would like to include but cannot find copies or scans of. One of these stories, The Joker’s Millions from Detective Comics 180 February 1952 is a favourite of mine and I endeavour to eventually post it on this blog.

Stories already on this blog are:

The Joker Reforms
The Sound Effects Crimes
The Joker Batman
This One’ll Kill You Batman!
The Joker’s Rumpus Room Revenge
The Joker’s Five Way Revenge
The Happy Victims
The Joker’s Movie Crimes
The Joker Walks The Last Mile

Coming up hopefully will be The Joker’s Advertising Campaign, The Man Who Wrote The Joker’s Jokes, The Joker’s Comedy Of Errors and (I think) Slay ‘Em With Flowers.

The Joker Reforms

Posted: February 5, 2009 in Batman, DC Comics, The Joker
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Here’s a story about the reformation of the Clown Prince of Crime, however he does not consciously decide to go straight. Unfortunately an amnesia angle is used, which as Mick Foley says, never works out very well.

This was the second Joker story after the end of the Grim Jester’s five year hiatus. It was written by Denny O’Neil and served as a precursor to the Clown Prince of Crimes’ own short lived series.

Surprisingly there were a few DC readers who did not like this story at the time it was printed, which could be why it has since only been reprinted once in Batman In The Seventies. Many people did not like seeing Batman looking like a bufoon laughing all the time, which in my mind just made him a little bit vulnerable and the Joker a little bit more threatening.