Batman >> View Post
Post By
Blue Jay

In Reply To
Omar Karindu

Subj: Re:
Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 08:09:43 pm EST (Viewed 2 times)
Reply Subj: Re: On the contrary, far more than you think.
Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 07:37:59 pm EST (Viewed 3 times)

Previous Post

> > > > In fact, I'll go as far to say that, as much as I have enjoyed the Killing Joke, it is by no means an effective or even necessary origin for a character such as the Joker.
> > > > -BMK!-
> > >
> > > Really? The origin humanizes the Joker and makes it so that the reader realizes that just about anyone, including Bruce under the right circumstances could have become an insane monster.
> >
> > True, which is interesting, but not an aboslute "must have"
>
> That is like saying Batman does not need an origin.

You mean an origin like the one he didn't have in his first five stories, before Bob Kane threw together a two-page introduction for Detective Comics #32 and then no one went back to it again for story purposes until 1948?

> > >Without that where is the connection?
> >
> > There doesn't need to be one.
>
> Then the Joker cannot really be Batman's opposite and equal.

In your opinion; not so much in the opinions of several million readers for the forty-seven years in between 1941 and 1988.

> > >Where is the motivation for Joker's insane actions?
> >
> > You've sort of answered your own question there, he's insane.
>
> Insane people have reasons for being insane, they are not just born insane.

Except for those who are congenitally or hereditarily insane, and sociopaths who have no triggering event, as with Ted Bundy.

> > >Where is the reason for Joker's and Batman's roots being tied together?
> >
> > They weren't. The Joker's origin as the Red Hood only appeared in the 1951, prior to that, for over a decade he'd been just a crook, and insane killer.
>
> True, but Batman originally also was just some vigilante that worked out and killed criminals because his parent died.

And the Killing Joke is just a story about a lunatic reciting a possible fantasy of his own past to justify horrifying crimes while taunting his adversary. Comically reductive formulations sure are fun no matter what side of the debate you're on.

> Batman's origin like the Joker's origin were fleshed out and given depth.

It sure was, but strangely plenty of people enjoyed Batman stories at nearly every point during that fleshing-out process, which likewise spanned decades.

> > > It is more than necessary, it is paramount, the same way Batman: Year One was.
> >
> > Why?
>
> It makes the Joker relatable, it makes him an established opposite of Batman, it shows that the Joker is as much a product of society as the Batman and it concludes the Joke's story.

It does those things for you. There's plenty of evidence that the Joker was considered Batman's opposite number by legions of readers, writers, editors, and others for a very long time before the very, very recent stories (relative to the character's 66-history) you cite.

If you're really claiming that the Joker wasn't a popular, well-written character before 1988, or that 1988 was somehow the year he was done being developed, I'd suggest you're at war with the past and the future.

> You might as well ask why have Batman: Year One, Batman: Blind Justice and Batman: The Man Who Fell?

And indeed, that can be asked. One could just as well ask why we have 1951's "The Man in the Red Hood" or 1948's "The First Batman" or the untitled lead story in Detective Comics #27. Superhero stories are, essentially, gratuitous in their very existence.

If Batman had been cancelled in the 1950s or 1970s -- they were under threat in both eras, saved by continuing strong sales the first time against cultural pressure and saved by pop-cultural inertia and licensing money against weak sales the second time -- we'd be talking about a very different set of "definitive Batman and Joker stories" in a world otherwise no different than our own.

> > > It is more than effective considering it is one of the greatest Batman stories of all time, it was referenced in The Batman animated series,
> >
> > What? When? The BTAS origin of the Joker removes the Red Hood concept completely, and has the Joker's past life being "a nameless gunsel for the Vellestra Mob". He was a sadistic killer BEFORE he was the Joker, as seen in "Mask of the Phantasm". The only thing they have in common is a large vat of acidic chemicals being involved.
>
> I said The Batman animated series (2004), not Batman: The Animated Series (1992).

The 1992 series' official title was "Batman," for the record. And it's the one that's critically acclaimed, not the current series. Oh, had those critics only known it didn't have a throwaway line from an Alan Moore script in it somewhere, they'd reverse their judgement! The mad fools!

> > >Christopher Nolan used it as source material for his new film, it has stood the test of time and it has been one of the big bestsellers of DC.
> >
> > Except he appears to be changing it again
>
> More like making it more realistic. We do not know at all how much of The Killing Joke is in The Dark Knight. We only know at least some of it is in The Dark Knight and that the Joker's origin is an important element of the film according to Nolan.
>
> > > Without Batman: The Killing Joke, we got Tim Burton's cliched ganster by a stereotypical Jack Nicholson performance of a madman and Bruce Timm's crazy mobster assasin that for no reason became a jester.
> >
> > He had as much reason as the original Joker ever had.
>
> Joker's origin in the comics was never explained fully until Alan Moore wrote it. Even before that though his origin was alluded to having something to do with society damming the Joker and the Joker trying to get back at society which makes much more sense than any movie or animated depiction thus far.

That'll come as a surprise to Bill Finger, who wrote that origin in 1951, and to everyone in between Finger and Moore who considered it a perfectly good origin. I guess you and Moore are smarter than 99% of the human race. Luckily the rest of us don't need to agree with you to enjoy our comics.

- Omar Karindu

"A Renoir. I have three, myself. I had four, but ordered one burned...It displeased me." -- Doctor Doom

"It's not, 'Oh, they killed Sue Dibney and I always loved that character,' it's 'Oh, they broke a story engine that could have told a thousand stories in order to publish a single 'important' one.'" -- John Seavey


> In your opinion; not so much in the opinions of several million readers for the forty-seven years in between 1941 and 1988.
>
> > > >Where is the motivation for Joker's insane actions?
> > >
> > > You've sort of answered your own question there, he's insane.
> >
> > Insane people have reasons for being insane, they are not just born insane.
>
> Except for those who are congenitally or hereditarily insane, and sociopaths who have no triggering event, as with Ted Bundy.

Bundy started out messed up, but over time he became worse and worse as you described.

The Joker did not start out as some jester. He started out as a person with reason. This goes all the way back to his original origin were he was the leader of the Red Hood gang.

> It does those things for you. There's plenty of evidence that the Joker was considered Batman's opposite number by legions of readers, writers, editors, and others for a very long time before the very, very recent stories (relative to the character's 66-history) you cite.

He was considered his opposite, but the inner connection of the character to Batman was not established.

> If you're really claiming that the Joker wasn't a popular, well-written character before 1988, or that 1988 was somehow the year he was done being developed, I'd suggest you're at war with the past and the future.

I never claimed that, the original appearance, The Laughing Fish and the Joker's Five Way Revenge all made him popular and were well written. However The Killing Joke forever established a real specific connection between the Joker and Batman that was only alluded to back when Bob Kane wrote the comic and established a definitive account of the Joker's character for all that has remained unsurpassed.

> If Batman had been cancelled in the 1950s or 1970s -- they were under threat in both eras, saved by continuing strong sales the first time against cultural pressure and saved by pop-cultural inertia and licensing money against weak sales the second time -- we'd be talking about a very different set of "definitive Batman and Joker stories" in a world otherwise no different than our own.

> That'll come as a surprise to Bill Finger, who wrote that origin in 1951, and to everyone in between Finger and Moore who considered it a perfectly good origin. I guess you and Moore are smarter than 99% of the human race. Luckily the rest of us don't need to agree with you to enjoy our comics.

Bill Finger's origin was very limited and narrow, Alan Moore fleshed it out and filled it with depth. Everyody who has read Batman: The Killing Joke knows this. I am not claiming to be smarter than anybody.