Joker (character)

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This article is about the Joker, a fictional supervillain that originated in comic books. For other people and characters named Joker, see Joker (disambiguation).
The Joker
Publication information
First appearance Batman #1 (April 25, 1940)[1]
Created by

The Joker is a fictional character that was created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson that first appeared in the debut issue of the American comic book Batman (April 25, 1940) published by DC Comics. Although the Joker was planned to be killed off during this initial appearance, he was spared by editorial intervention, allowing the character to endure as the supervillain archenemy of the vigilante Batman.

In the decades since his creation, the character has been adapted into a variety of media alongside Batman, including television shows, films, animation, and video games. His appearances have helped make the Joker one of the most iconic characters in popular culture.[2][3] The character has been listed among the greatest comic book villains and fictional characters ever created.[4][5] The Joker has served as Batman's adversary in live-action, animated and video game incarnations, including the 1960s Batman television series (played by Cesar Romero) and in film by Jack Nicholson in 1989's Batman, Heath Ledger in 2008's The Dark Knight, and Jared Leto in 2016's Suicide Squad. Mark Hamill, Troy Baker, and others have provided the character's voice.

Comics[edit]

Main article: Joker (comics)

The Joker character first appeared in the American comic book Batman publisher on April 25, 1940 by DC Comics.

Live action[edit]

The Batman cinematic franchise has been reworked by the directors helming the series, first Tim Burton and then Christopher Nolan, and the Joker has been an important character in both their visions of the fictional universe. Later Warner Brothers started their own unified universe with the DC Extended Universe, under the initial leadership of Zack Snyder. This began with Man of Steel (2013) and that was followed by the introduction of Batman, not in his own solo film but in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). The Joker's first appearance in this shared universe is not in a Batman film, but in the 2016 movie Suicide Squad (although Batman is also in the movie).

Tim Burton[edit]

Main article: Batman (1989 film)

Jack Nicholson played the Joker in Batman by Tim Burton.

Christopher Nolan[edit]

In the film The Dark Knight, the character is played by Heath Ledger.

DC Extended Universe[edit]

Main article: Suicide Squad (film)

Jared Leto appears as the Joker in the 2016 movie Suicide Squad, the third film in the DC Extended Universe.

Television[edit]

The Joker in both the 1966 television series and the spin-off film is played by Cesar Romero.

The Joker appears the Birds of Prey television series pilot, played by stuntman Roger Stoneburner but voiced by Mark Hamill, reprising his vocal work on Batman: The Animated Series.

Theatre[edit]

Animation[edit]

Film[edit]

Television[edit]

Video games[edit]

Main article: Joker in video games

Cultural impact[edit]

Three smiling live-action villains next to electronic equipment
Cesar Romero as the Joker in the 1960s Batman TV series with Burgess Meredith (left) as the Penguin and Frank Gorshin as the Riddler

The Joker is considered one of, if not, the most-recognizable and iconic fictional characters in popular culture (Batman's arguable equal),[2][3][6] one of the best comic villains, and one of the greatest villains of all-time.[4][5]

In 2006, the Joker was number one on Wizard magazine's "100 Greatest Villains of All Time".[7] In 2008 Wizard's list of "200 Greatest Comic Book Characters of All Time" placed the Joker fifth,[8] and the character was eighth on Empire's list of "50 Greatest Comic Book Characters" (the highest-ranked villain on both lists).[9] In 2009 the Joker was second on IGN's list of "Top 100 Comic Book Villains",[10] and in 2011 Wired named him "Comics' Greatest Supervillain".[11] Complex, CollegeHumor and WhatCulture named the Joker the greatest comic book villain of all time[3][12][13] and IGN listed him the top DC Comics villain in 2013.[14] Other publications called him the decade's top villain[15] and the greatest Batman villain.[16]

TV Guide included Cesar Romero's Joker on its 2013 list of "60 Nastiest Villains of All Time",[17] and Jack Nicholson's version was the 45th villain on the American Film Institute's 100 Heroes and Villains list.[18] Also that year, Digital Spy ranked the Joker first on its list of "25 Greatest Movie Villains" and Complex placed him second on its list of "50 Best Villains in Movie History".[19][20] In 2014 the character topped Total Film's "100 Greatest Movie Villains" list, outranking Darth Vader and Hannibal Lecter.[21] His portrayal in The Dark Knight ranked him third on Empire magazine's list of "100 Greatest Movie Characters" in 2009, and sixth on the lists 2015 edition, behind Batman in fourth.[22][23] Entertainment Weekly rated the Joker the fifth-greatest character of the past 20 years, Time named him among its "10 Best Movie Supervillains" and Xfinity rated the character its all-time greatest movie villain.[24][25][26] The Joker's Batman: Arkham video-game series' version was named the 22nd-best video game villain by GamesRadar in 2014.[27]

The character inspired theme-park roller coasters (The Joker's Jinx,[28][29] The Joker in Mexico and California,[30][31] and The Joker Chaos Coaster),[32] and featured in story-based rides such as Batman Adventure – The Ride,[33] The Dark Knight Coaster,[34] and Justice League: Battle for Metropolis.[32] The Joker is one of the few comic book supervillains to be represented on children's merchandise and toys, appearing on items including action figures, trading cards, board games, money boxes, pajamas, socks, and shoes.[35][6] The Jokermobile was a popular toy; a Corgi die-cast metal replica was successful during the 1950s, and in the 1970s a Joker-styled, Flower power-era Volkswagen microbus was manufactured by Mego.[36] In 2015, "The Joker: A Serious Study of the Clown Prince of Crime" became the first academic book to be published about a supervillain.[6]

The character has also been influential in politics.[37] In 2009, posters appeared in Los Angeles, and other parts of the United States, of President Barack Obama modified to resemble Ledger's Joker, accompanied by the word "Socialism". The poster gained notoriety and widespread media coverage, becoming an anti-Obama icon,[38][39][40] and became a rallying icon for the Tea Party movement, with analysts suggesting that the Joker's contemporary status as a figure of terror whose acts, in part, destroy elements of capitalism, economic infrastructure, and the established order, intersects with the party's far-right political ideology.[41] Similarly, a 2009 issue of New York magazine featured a front-cover image of convicted fraudster Bernard Madoff which had been modified to resemble the Joker.[42]

The Joker has also been cited as an inspiration in various crimes such as acts of violence,[43][44] arson,[45] and murder.[46][47] In 2012, James Eagan Holmes committed a mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises. When apprehended, Holmes, with bright-orange dyed hair, was alleged to have referred to himself as the Joker.[48][49][50] Jerad Miller, one of the perpetrators of a shooting spree in Las Vegas, Nevada, recorded videos of himself dressed as the Joker while reciting his hatred for law enforcement.[46]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zalben, Alex (March 28, 2014). "When Is Batman's Birthday, Actually?". MTV News. Archived from the original on August 9, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Phillips, Daniel (December 8, 2008). "Why So Serious?: The Many Looks of Joker". IGN. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Serafino, Jason (September 8, 2013). "The 25 Greatest Comic Book Villains of All Time". Complex. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved October 11, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Boucher, Geoff (May 6, 2009). "'Joker' creator Jerry Robinson reflects on Gotham and the golden age". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on January 19, 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Esposito, Joey (December 9, 2011). "Hero Worship: The Appeal of the Joker". IGN. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Michael, Karen (April 17, 2015). "Texas Tech librarian and professor publish book on Joker". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Archived from the original on April 21, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Top 100 Greatest Villains". Wizard. 1 (177). July 2006. 
  8. ^ "The 200 Greatest Comic Book Characters of All Time". Wizard. May 23, 2008. Archived from the original on October 3, 2009. Retrieved April 19, 2014. 
  9. ^ "The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters". Empire. 2008. Archived from the original on May 15, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  10. ^ Phillips, Daniel (2009). "Top 100 Comic Book Villains - Number 2: The Joker". IGN. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  11. ^ Hill, Scott (October 27, 2011). "Comics' Greatest Supervillain? No Joke, It's the Joker". Wired. Archived from the original on September 15, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  12. ^ "100 Greatest Comic Book Villains of All Time". What Culture. October 6, 2013. Archived from the original on March 7, 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2013. 
  13. ^ "The 25 Greatest Comic Book Villains of All-Time". CollegeHumor. February 20, 2013. Archived from the original on February 16, 2014. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  14. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (November 22, 2013). "The Top 25 Villains of DC Comics". IGN. Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  15. ^ Earnshaw, Helen (November 4, 2013). "Top Villains of the Decade: The Joker". Female First. Archived from the original on March 3, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  16. ^ Ching, Albert; Siegel, Lucas (October 10, 2013). "The 10 Greatest Batman Villains of All Time!". Newsarama. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  17. ^ Bretts, Bruce; Roush, Matt; (March 25, 2013). "Baddies to the Bone: The 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time". TV Guide. pp. 14–15.
  18. ^ "AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Heroes & Villains". American Film Institute. June 2003. Archived from the original on February 21, 2012. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  19. ^ Reynolds, Simon (May 12, 2013). "25 greatest movie villains: The Joker, Darth Vader, Lex Luthor, more". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on October 25, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  20. ^ Barone, Matt; Monroe, Justin; Scarano, Ross; Aquino, Tara (February 12, 2013). "The 50 Best Villains in Movie History - 2. The Joker". Complex. Archived from the original on February 15, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  21. ^ Wales, George (January 30, 2014). "100 Greatest Movie Villains - 1: The Joker". Total Film. Archived from the original on February 16, 2014. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  22. ^ "The 100 Greatest Movie Characters - The Joker". Empire. 2009. Archived from the original on October 3, 2013. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  23. ^ Lloyd, Albertina (June 23, 2015). "Indiana Jones beats James Bond to top list of greatest movie characters of all time". Empire. Archived from the original on June 23, 2015. Retrieved June 23, 2015. 
  24. ^ Vary, Adam B. (June 1, 2010). "The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years: Here's our full list!". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  25. ^ Susman, Gary (May 6, 2013). "Super Bad: 10 Best Movie Supervillains". Time. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  26. ^ "25 Greatest Movie Villains of All Time - 1. The Joker, 'The Dark Knight'". Xfinity. Archived from the original on July 24, 2013. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  27. ^ "100 best villains in video games". GamesRadar. January 27, 2014. Archived from the original on October 24, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Joker's Jinx - Six Flags America (Upper Marlboro, Maryland, USA)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Archived from the original on October 23, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  29. ^ Dance, Scott; Hay Brown, Matthew (August 10, 2014). "Riders rescued from Six Flags roller coaster". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on September 1, 2014. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 
  30. ^ Grout, Pam (July 6, 2013). "Newest, biggest, baddest roller coasters for summer". CNN. Archived from the original on December 23, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  31. ^ "'The Joker' Roller Coaster Coming to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo". KNTV. September 3, 2015. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved September 5, 2015. 
  32. ^ a b "The Joker And Harley Quinn Bring Havoc, Chaos, Twists And Spins As Two New Rides Open For The 2015 Season". Business Wire. May 22, 2015. Archived from the original on May 22, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2015. 
  33. ^ Beiting, Adrian (December 8, 2009). "The 10 Greatest Theme Park Rides Based on Nerdy Properties". Topless Robot. Village Voice Media. Archived from the original on October 23, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Dark Knight - Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson, New Jersey, USA)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Archived from the original on October 23, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  35. ^ Weiner & Peaslee 2015, p. 19.
  36. ^ Manning 2011, p. 75.
  37. ^ Weiner & Peaslee 2015, p. 20.
  38. ^ Walters, Ben (August 5, 2009). "Why the Obama as Joker poster leaves a bad taste in the mouth". The Guardian. Archived from the original on September 7, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  39. ^ Milian, Mark (August 10, 2009). "Shepard Fairey has 'doubts' about intelligence of Obama Joker artist". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 10, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  40. ^ Harnden, Toby (August 4, 2009). "Barack Obama Joker socialism poster denounced as racist". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on September 17, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  41. ^ Weiner & Peaslee 2015, p. 20-21, 75.
  42. ^ Constantine, Tim (June 30, 2015). "Hillary Clinton and Bernie Madoff". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on July 19, 2015. Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  43. ^ "NEW INFO: Man Accused of Dressing as "The Joker" During Crime Pleads Not Guilty". WSAW-TV. April 20, 2009. Archived from the original on July 19, 2015. Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  44. ^ Ng, Christina; Date, Jack (July 27, 2012). "New 'Joker' Massacre Thwarted By Maryland Cops". ABC News. Archived from the original on July 19, 2015. Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  45. ^ Newitz, Annalee (July 27, 2010). "Teen dressed as the Joker burns down his high school in Ireland for "hypocrisy"". io9. Archived from the original on July 19, 2015. Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  46. ^ a b Swan, Noelle (June 10, 2014). "Las Vegas shooter Jerad Miller: petty criminal, 'Joker,' aspiring terrorist". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on July 19, 2015. Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  47. ^ Walker, Peter (March 13, 2009). "Man dressed as Batman character the Joker shot dead by police". The Guardian. Archived from the original on July 19, 2015. Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  48. ^ La Ganga, Maria L. (April 26, 2015). "Trial of Colorado theater gunman James Holmes: Opening statements Monday". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 19, 2015. Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  49. ^ Martinez, Michael (May 27, 2015). "Movie massacre trial of James Holmes begins with 9,000 potential jurors". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 19, 2015. Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  50. ^ McKinley, Carol (June 5, 2015). "Aurora Shooting Trial: 10 New Things From 22 Hours of James Holmes Psychiatric Evaluation Interviews". ABC News. Archived from the original on July 19, 2015. Retrieved July 19, 2015. 

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]