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tumblr_inline_o54vrc1zae1s0l5ze_540“Ladies and Gentlemen, Hobos and Tramps, Cross-eyed Mosquitoes and Bowlegged Ants…” Loving That Joker… But Which One?

I love The Joker. However I’m not oblivious to how problematic that kind of admiration can be. Recently I have had cause to reflect on this even more. Particularly in light of two things. The… [more]

Joker Clown PrinceRobert Moses Peaslee and Robert Weiner on The Joker: A Serious Study of the Clown Prince of Crime

Robert Weiner has either authored or co-edited close to a dozen academic text examining comic books and popular culture.  He is also the Popular Culture and Performing Arts Librarian for Texas Tech University Libraries.  With… [more]

jared_leto_joker_2016_killing_jokeDon’t Send in the Clowns: Jared Leto Isn’t Cool Enough to Be Joker

Remember when The Joker was cool? Do you remember how gratifying it would always be to see him reimagined for a new video game or cartoon? Or better yet, to see him re-adapted for another… [more]

batgirlvariantFrom Batgirl to Comicgate?: The Variant Cover Controversy

The Joker would be proud. On 13 March, DC Comics unveiled a set of variant covers for title due to be published in June. To mark the 75th anniversary of Batman’s archenemy, each of the… [more]

Batman v SupermanWe Don’t Want What We Want: Thoughts on Superman and Movie Trailers

When I sit down to read a comic or watch a movie, I don’t know specifically what I want. And I think that’s a good thing. [more]

Death of the JokerBatman #1—The Ultimate Batman Comic

Batman’s co-creator Bill Finger crafted in 32 pages every single tone and approach to his character that would follow in 75 years. Batman #1 is the single greatest Batman comic ever produced. [more]

articlethumbAbout Face: Character and Portrayal in Snyder’s Batman

DC’s decision to essentially relaunch and, therefore, reboot its output three years ago met with as much praise as it did criticism. Despite proceeding in the wake of Grant Morrison’s seven year labyrinthine run, one… [more]

Barmejo's clown, a major infuence for Ledger's look 1Theorizing about the Joker in All Seriousness

And it’s not that easy. One thing becomes clear as I go about snooping on the Man Who Laughs – you cannot quite ‘come to know’ the Joker. You can read about him, theorise all… [more]

Timm2FaceThe Politics of Batman, Part 3: Understanding Batman’s Enemies

[Note: The following is reprinted from the book War, Politics and Superheroes] Aside from the fact that they are all, effectively, his “subjects,” Batman’s villains are connected to him in an even more visceral, symbolic way.… [more]

Wonder Woman_1Overcoming the Status Quo: Wonder Woman, Superheroes, and the American Criminal Justice System

In this three-part series, I explore where superheroes fit into popular conceptions of criminal justice in the United States, and the potential for Wonder Woman to help improve those conceptions. This week, I look at… [more]

bb-houseThe Politics of Batman, Part 2: Batman Begins, Feudalism, and Neoconservatism

[Note: The following is reprinted from the book War, Politics and Superheroes] Batman Begins won the support of comic book aficionados across cyberspace as a “traditional” and pitch-perfect portrayal of Batman, while simultaneously providing a… [more]

jfhkd-625x937Perfect Chaos: Why the Joker is the Greatest Comic-Book Villain

Simply put: the Joker is the greatest comic book villain of all time. But before I get into the whys, let’s define “great”. The greatest villain doesn’t need to defeat all other villains in a… [more]

batman joker silhouettes 08Right, Wrong, and In Between: The Killing Joke

I don’t believe in right and wrong. That may sound strange, from a Batman fan; especially strange in the context of The Killing Joke, Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s prestige-format, psychological and physical showdown between… [more]

killing joke -- hand pageOn Interpreting The Killing Joke’s Ending (and Authorial Intent)

For his podcast Fatman on Batman, Kevin Smith interviewed Grant Morrison, and Grant talked about how Batman kills the Joker at the end of Batman: The Killing Joke. Grant makes a good argument, citing textual… [more]

the final page of Batman: The Killing JokeJulian Darius on The Killing Joke

In this video, Julian Darius discusses his theory about what happens at the end of Batman: The Killing Joke. For more on Julian’s theory, check out the Bleeding Cool story on it. And of course, you… [more]

joke1That’s Not Funny: Alan Moore’s Tragic Joker

The ’80s for comics is something akin to the British Invasion. American Rock-and-Roll saw a exponential boost in popularity when British acts invaded the already well-established scene, bringing with them unique stylistic influences that would… [more]

joker[1]Foil Hats and Skin Suits: Examining the Content Concerns of Mental Illness in Villainy

In the last few years, there have been many concerns over the content of comic books. In fact, the concerns are over a wide range of topics from Catwoman being too provocative to that of… [more]

the Joker from "Mad Love"What Makes for a Great Joker Story: In Defense of Batman #17

Recently, I wrote a review on Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman #17—the much-anticipated finale for the “Death of the Family” story arc, and I gave it a solid “10.” (I’ll spare the details as… [more]

Batman 17That Cowardly and Superstitious Batman, That Heartlessly Persecuted Joker: On Batman #17

Well, why doesn’t the Batman simply kill the Joker? You’d think the answer would be obvious. Yet fans the blogosphere over appear quite flummoxed, if not dangerously apoplectic, about the matter. The Joker can’t be… [more]

batman_13_jokerThe Trouble With a Mask

“The trouble with a mask is it never changes.” – Charles Bukowski

Irving JokerDeconstructing Batman & Robin: A Game of Villainy, Part 7

I’m sitting at a little coffee shop in Springfield, Missouri, called the Brown Egg with my comics spread out on the table. As the waitress delivers my pancakes, she remarks, “That looks really cool,” as… [more]

Joker_Oberon_SextonDeconstructing Batman & Robin: A Game of Villainy, Part 6

While R.I.P. could be argued to be a game of chess between Batman and Dr. Hurt, the game of dominoes is at the forefront of Batman & Robin.

Batman and Robin 3Deconstructing Batman & Robin: A Game of Villainy, Part 5

In the footnotes for the first volume of Batman & Robin, Grant Morrison discusses the strange coincidence of the third issue’s cover resembling an image of the Joker that Brian Bolland had done years previous.

Joker and HurtDeconstructing Batman & Robin: A Game of Villainy, Part 4

Once the transformation into the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh is complete, the comparisons to the Joker are apparent and numerous.

Joker Black and WhiteDeconstructing Batman & Robin: A Game of Villainy, Part 3

The most controversial storyline in Morrison’s Batman run, R.I.P. is the psychological destruction of the Dark Knight.