Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Joker

As evil, sick and twisted as he is, I think there are two things you have to credit him for: his choice of weapons and his ability to make the reader simultaneously hate him, and yet at times somehow like him. I mean, if I were a super villain, I wouldn't be crazy(pun...kinda) about his Joker Gas, but some of his weapons are things that I would actually use. Whatever weapon he's using in the picture at teh bottom? sure. One of those bang flag guns that shoots the flag like a spear? Yes. A flower that squirts acid? Absolutely. The classic giant hammer? You bet. An over sized revolver? Definitely. Regular guns and knives seem a little boring compared to this stuff, but you still can't go wrong with those. And I also like his trademark cards. If you happen to be keeping track of the weapons and weapon sets I've said I want (I have no idea why you would be, but just in case), be sure to add Joker weapons, and they're pretty high on the list. And with that half of my thought completed, it's time for the second half, which is the way that the Joker can be hateable and also likeable. Huh. I'm talking about the Joker, but there are two halves/components to my thought process and one of them involves having two different thoughts about him. And that kinda reminds me of our old friend Two-Face ... So I'm discussing one Batman villain while thinking like another ... Freudian! Well, kinda sorta maybe, but you get my point. So, moving on from that sort of brief diversion, I'll now describe the second part of what I like about he who Harley Quinn calls Mr. J. When he says "Why so serious?", he means it. I don't think he takes anything seriously. In the Knightfall storyline when he teamed up with Scarecrow and they were formulating evil schemes, one of Joker's was to call the airport and ask them to page Seymour Butts! And if you played Arkham City, don't tell me that you didn't kinda like him, or that when he died, you weren't sad for reasons other than the fact that he won't be in the next game if there is one, 'cause I know I'm not the only one that felt a bit of genuine sadness there. Speaking of Arkham City, its source material, the No Man's Land series, is a great illustration of my point. Especially one particular scene in I believe the 5th volume. He was about to cut someone up with a pair of giant scissors, then Bane grabbed him, and when was about to be beaten to a pulp, all Joker said was "Oh this is gonna suck." And even after Bane had put a big hurtin' on him and threw him pretty far, he still made a joke and whimsically pointed out that he could see up one of Lex Luthor's employees' skirt. When I read that, I just thought: Seriously, Joker? You're getting beaten on by the man who broke the bat, and all you're gonna say is "I see Europe I see France"? At moments like that, my fellings about him are about as two sided as Harvey's face - before the Hush, or possibly Dark Knight Returns plotlines, that is. And I just reminded myself by using the words Dark Knight that personally, I understand why that movie didn't really show any of what I'm talking about, I think it would've been nice if they did. I think it adds a bit of extra depth to his character when you think: Wow; this guy really is crazy. One minute he's making jokes and seems funny and almost likeable, and the next he's surrounded by people he just killed. And I can't think of a good closing sentence.


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