Off My Mind: Why Batman Needs Joker

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#51 Edited by Ozymandi4s (1 posts) - - Show Bio

Hmmm does Batman need the joker?

No, he does not. But he (Joker) clearly is there anyways because when it boils down to it, Joker defines Batman. Many a time it crossed my mind why Bats just doesn't go ahead and kill him? Just be done with it, the guy is insane and very aggressive. Why doesn't he just end him? How many lives will that act truly save? A lot and Bats knows that. Joker is the kind of individual that would not think twice about the darkest thoughts that would cross a man's mind, and act them out. Ending the Joker however would truly be Bats worst nightmare, his very personal nightmare. Bats would eat himself up inside, at first he would fool himself into falsely believing he did humanity a favour and that is what heroes do. Right? But slowly overtime his strong will and logic would begin to crumble because at the end of the day, he did the very thing Joker forceshim to do. And thus he corrupted him.

#52 Posted by Xanni15 (6791 posts) - - Show Bio

@dmkicksballs13 said:

Batman doesn't need Joker, Joker needs Batman.


#53 Posted by DocFishstick (242 posts) - - Show Bio

i think we all need the Joker.

#54 Posted by red_titan (162 posts) - - Show Bio

new red hood vs. old red hood?

#55 Posted by BigPromise (35 posts) - - Show Bio

@Lurkero: He always states killing would be easy and if he kills one what stops him from killing others in a real world yes it makes sense to murder the lunatic. But That would also kill everything that makes batman

#56 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6958 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman and Joker are two sides of the same coin, complimentary to each other and yet are the bane of each other's existence. One simply cannot be without the other, for its almost like they are almost defined by each other in opposition to one another. If ever there was a situation in which symbiosis and parasitism existed side by side, it is the relationship Joker and Batman have to each other.

#57 Posted by Bigwalt (65 posts) - - Show Bio

always thought of Batman and The Joker as two really deranged brothers

#58 Posted by chocobojam (288 posts) - - Show Bio

I think that the best nemesis of batman should be Riddler and not the joker. because even though joker is obviously the most popular among all of gothams criminal but joker is just like any other criminal who kills whenever he feels to and has no real MO. while the riddler on the other hand, loves to give batman a hard time by giving him puzzles and questions to solve which what really test batman detective skill to its fullest.

#59 Posted by GoldenPuma123 (16 posts) - - Show Bio

It is an interesting topic, but the writing was exceptionally poor.

#60 Edited by Botiste (51 posts) - - Show Bio

@Shamelesslysupportinaznballers said:

One would think that with all the resources Batman has at his disposal, he would find a way to eliminate the threat of Joker w/o actually killing him. I love the Joker, I love Batman but it is ridiculous how Batman can seemingly find a way to beat every member of the JL but he can't seem to ever shake off a skinny clown with something from Home Depot at his disposal. It's not like Joker has a Green Lantern ring or something.

You've taken the words right out of my mouth!! The Joker humanizes Batman and makes for great writing. But Tony please stop using the "With the authorities convinced that he is insane, being locked up in an asylum is all they can do." crap. I love the way the Joker is written, but he should never get caught. Being in law enforcement I know for a fact that they would not place him back in Arkham Asylum, in the very city that he has committed all of his crimes. After he has escaped just once, they would've shipped his a$$ to another Super Max Asylum "Yes, they make those". Back in the day with the Joker it was all fun and games. He never really murdered anyone. (Way back in the day) Murder changes the tone of the book, it brings in how dark humanity really can get. when you start murdering hundreds of people, police officers and public officials included the kid gloves are off. When murders like this takes place you can't use the he's insane card. In our society I've seen 17 year olds tried as an adult for committing one murder. and even younger, Google it.

"Having the Joker around keeps Batman on his toes. Without Joker around, Batman could get too confident?" Really Tony?! You don't think the Court of Owls taught Bruce a thing or too about being too confident? Joker will make Batman as paranoid as hell if anything. If the Joker was an Arab man and yelled "God is Great!" before snapping the neck of a dozen officers I guarantee you all of Gotham and half the nation would hunt this man down. It would be the movie A Time to Kill. I love the Joker, and I know that this is a comic but lets be real about this for just one second. Mass murders do not make detectives better. Mass murders are like sick rabid dogs, they need to be put down, but before somebody, like my family or anyone's else gets hurt. Doesn't mean you have to kill them but take him of the grid. Team Red Hood. P.S. Sorry for the tone. No offense Tony, really that's just the police coming out of me, lol. Love the Podcast!!

#61 Posted by HexThis (1119 posts) - - Show Bio

Didn't realize the need for Joker was such a point of contention! Don't take it out on G-Man, folks!

Scott Snyder does make a good point though. I feel like this is always somehow coming up in nearly every post I write but I personally find the Robins to be a major deterrent to Batman as a character. I don't want Joker to kill any per se but maybe rough em up and scare em away?

#62 Posted by anusharma05 (3 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks for sharing

I love bat man & great fan of him.

#63 Posted by OmgOmgWtfWtf (7474 posts) - - Show Bio


I'm pretty sure the reason why the Joker never got out was because Heath Ledger died. I'm pretty sure if he was still alive, Dark Knight Rises would have included him heavily, or at least have him appear. I mean the scarecrow has been seen throughout the trilogy and his significance to the plot is nil. Anyways it would have been such an interesting ending, in my perspective, in the end of The Dark Knight Rises you see the Joker walking out of the ruins of Gotham city, using Bane's plan as a distraction to escape prison. It would have added more value then the Joseph Gordan Levitt becoming Robin, showing that Bruce cannot ever stop being Batman. But that is just my take on things.

#64 Posted by Gokujam (71 posts) - - Show Bio

My god, this was a really bad article. I'm sorry. It sounds like some newbie fan who's only ever read Batman and Wolverine comics wrote it.

#65 Edited by sirihs (2 posts) - - Show Bio


#66 Posted by namtabmi (102 posts) - - Show Bio

@StMichalofWilson: YES! Love this sums it up pretty well imo

#67 Posted by SupBatz (2126 posts) - - Show Bio

The ending of Arkham City really sums up the "killing" aspect of Batman and Joker's relationship.

When Batman tells him that even after everything he has done, he still would've saved the Joker. But it was too late because Joker destroyed the antidote.

It felt like the perfect sort of irony and really epitomized the awesomeness of the fact that Batman will not kill Joker.

People keep pointing out how Batman not killing the Joker is so stupid and that it takes away from both characters but it really feels to me that it is one of the most interesting things about their relationship.

#68 Posted by SlickyMike88 (274 posts) - - Show Bio

Joker needs Batman ,but Batman doesen't need Joker. The Joker kills alott of people and i'm suprised tha no one has taken vengeance upon him:P , like putting a bullet on his head. I think Bruce Wayne is at total idiot when it comes to the Joker , he doesen't want to kill him fine , but protecting the Joker at certain times is STUPID!!!!! Why should he protect a MURDERER ?!! For him to create more chaos and death?!!!. That is the part of Batman I despise :P

#69 Posted by AHrubik (6 posts) - - Show Bio

There is always a Yang to every story. Joker is Batman's light. Without focus who knows what might become of Batman. Would he heal? Would he stray further to the dark side? Joker gives him purpose.

#70 Posted by thedamnedhascome (4 posts) - - Show Bio

DC is just too lazy, batman and joker have just watered down. But dc cares only about the dollar.

#71 Posted by circusrock (30 posts) - - Show Bio

None of the other heroes has a nemesis on the same level as Joker.

Umm, my favorite hero Aquaman has a nemesis on the same level as Joker, if not higher. Black Manta is like the meaning of arch-nemesis. He, like Joker, solely exists to torment the lead hero. And I like Manta's motivation more than Joker(though I love both villains.).

#72 Posted by spiderturtle (71 posts) - - Show Bio

So much hate on a person's opinion and observation. =/

#73 Posted by GeekOfKrypton (50 posts) - - Show Bio

They can't kill off the joker...remember he's the one who's gonna kill Lois Lane someday in the future.

#74 Posted by Stormbox (2053 posts) - - Show Bio

Of course batman needs joker hes his archnemesis, thats like superman without lex luthor or captain america without red skull: you can get rid of them for a while but theyll always come back and stay longer than any other villain of that hero

#75 Posted by sonicnevets (26 posts) - - Show Bio

I am really hoping that many people on this site are teenagers because that is what most of these comments always read like. Really if most of you are grown men please stop acting like this and posting blatantly rude stuff.

#76 Posted by MuyJingo (2792 posts) - - Show Bio

Why was Batman able to be captured and pretty much defeated during the Court of Owls story?

I've said from the start Batman getting captured and held like he was during the owls storyline was bad writing. It served the plot but it never made sense.

#77 Posted by LenSnart (426 posts) - - Show Bio

@theTimeStreamer: You couldn't be more wrong, Joker is one of the most bad ass villains ever

#78 Posted by BlueLantern1995 (3237 posts) - - Show Bio

@SupBatz said:

The ending of Arkham City really sums up the "killing" aspect of Batman and Joker's relationship.

When Batman tells him that even after everything he has done, he still would've saved the Joker. But it was too late because Joker destroyed the antidote.

It felt like the perfect sort of irony and really epitomized the awesomeness of the fact that Batman will not kill Joker.

People keep pointing out how Batman not killing the Joker is so stupid and that it takes away from both characters but it really feels to me that it is one of the most interesting things about their relationship.

#79 Posted by MuyJingo (2792 posts) - - Show Bio

@Lurkero said:

Nobody is advocating that Batman handle all his situations by murdering people. Most people are saying that in the cases of extreme danger, such as those that the Joker usually elicits, it might be okay to kill some people who have no intention of ever NOT killing people.

What you are saying here is that Batman should take the role of executioner, dishing out the death penalty. You're justifying this behavior with the argument that joker is an exception that merits taking a life.

Unfortunately, it's that type of thinking that leads to something closer to anarchy, as everyone will have different ideas about who deserves to die for the greater good.

Most civilized socities (not so much the states with death penalities) understand that no one should be above the rule of law. That it should never be ok to take a life per-meditativley. As Batman (and many comic heroes) are role models, embodying these such ideals, it would be complete screwed up for Batman to kill Joker.

I would however like to see that story in a one shot.

AGREE! The only reason Joker is ever compelling as a villain is because Batman refuses to take him out. That is bad writing if one also refuses to question Batman's sanity (see the end of Batman Arkham City).

Joker is a compelling villain because he screws with your mind. Most villains don't.

Nobody is asking Batman to act as judge, jury, and executioner. If the Joker is about to murder some people, including Batman, then Batman is just a justified to kill Joker as those people and the police who would be there to save them.

If the Joker approached Bruce Wayne on the street and started shooting at him, would Bruce Wayne be wrong to defend himself with lethal force? Your answer should be the same for Batman, Bruce Wayne, and anyone else.

If Lethal force is the only way to save yours or someone else's life, then yes it is justified. When there is a hostage situation and snipers come in and take the shot, it is justified because it is seen as the only possible action to take to save lives. Batman, being Batman, can save those lives without having to use any lethal force. Which is only part of why he is so celebrated.

Yet, you are advocating he use lethal force, when he doesn't have to?

#80 Posted by DancingWithDeadpool (17 posts) - - Show Bio


#81 Posted by spardo89 (17 posts) - - Show Bio

From a writing standpoint, ultimately Batman needs the Joker, because Batman is a poorly evolved character. (Before you get up in arms please read first.) Batman is the epitome of poor writing as he is the ultimate Deus Ex. Whatever the situation, he has a plan. Whatever the need, he has a gadget. Whatever the attack, he's trained especially for that. Etc. So when you have such a character, who has every conceivable angle covered, the only drama comes into play from an opponent who is "completely" unpredictable.

From an in-world standpoint (if Batman and co existed), Batman needs the Joker because Batman has crippling emotional problems and he needs a perpetual playmate; someone who'll forever give him reason to dress up and be "needed" by the city.

#82 Posted by Botiste (51 posts) - - Show Bio

@MuyJingo said:

If Lethal force is the only way to save yours or someone else's life, then yes it is justified. When there is a hostage situation and snipers come in and take the shot, it is justified because it is seen as the only possible action to take to save lives. Batman, being Batman, can save those lives without having to use any lethal force. Which is only part of why he is so celebrated.

Yet, you are advocating he use lethal force, when he doesn't have to?

This is a very well thought out explanation and I believe that you are 100% correct in your statement here. As a vigilante Bat-Man has not been deputized to make such a decision of life and death. Officers have to make this decision every time they draw there weapon. I think sometimes we mix the fantasy of comics too deeply in the realities of life. For some comics this is ok, not so much in this one. No one can save all lives all the time without some application of lethal force. Talk to any officer who's saved a human life. The reason Batman is so celebrated is because he can perform feats no human beings could pull off and do so without lethal force. A well spoken statement, which solidifies him as a comic book hero base deeply in science fiction. This is the same science fiction that declares a 10 year old boy weighing 80 pounds can train for 8 years and become one of the most deadly assassin living. It just can't happen. We do have children soliders in Nigeria raised from birth to kill (with guns), just not one who could execute the front line of the Green bay packers with is bare hands. A 10 year old body is just no that developed in muscle tissue yet. It would even be hard to do so in a movie without special effect. Button line is I'm ok with it because its comics. I'm ok with watching a 10 year old dodge bullets leap 20 feat in the air take out a 300 pound man, because this is comics. And I feel the same way about Batman. I think sometime we (especially me, if you read any of my post, lol) take these statement to literally which kills the joy of comic.

P.S. Personally if faced off against the Joker in my own house, I'd take a NAVY SEAL tactical squad with deadly aim over the Batman everytime, says logic. But comics says they'd all somehow die from the Joker's shadow ninja technique of neck breaking lol.

#83 Posted by SteelingTime (1 posts) - - Show Bio

Beware - this is going to be a long rant. I'm sorry if you hate it, but the ambien isn't working tonight, I just finished reading some of Morrison's Batman RIP and I thought I'd jump in the conversation:

Well, I was interested enough to read the article all the way through, so that says something. I don't like to come on to reddit and "hate" and bash...especially opinion pieces - but I will say this...

This article doesn't really say much of anything. It certainly doesn't say anything new about the Batman/Joker experience or add any major insights. A LOT has been said about the Batman/Joker dynamic and there are countless ways to interpret the latencies of their relationship (which is why their game of cat-and-mouse is so popular). Besides pointing out the obvious (Joker makes Batman better because Joker is the character's top villain/most challenging etc) this article got me to thinking about two points I'd thought I'd mention and see if anyone has any thoughts:

1. Batman is Batman no matter what. (What? I'm getting there.) I've never read anything by "G-man" Guerrero before, but he makes a few comments that make it clear that we both understand the Batman character in very different contexts. (Again, not saying one way is right or better. The reason Batman is so popular is largely due to the breadth of his psychological profile and how each fan experiences the character. Well, that and total bad-ass-ness.) But, when "G-man" suggests that without the Joker Batman would "go soft" I think the comment reads a bit silly. Above most notions, Batman is used to portrayed the peak of human potential (Not just physical, but moral/reasoning and psychological acuteness as well). Certainly, the character would be different if he lacked a foil so powerful, but the whole concept of Batman is flawed if the simple removal of the Joker would lead Bruce Wayne to stop striving for these things. Those characteristics existed before the Joker was a villain and they will continue to do so should he disappear, simply because that is how the character is wired. Does the Joker drive Batman crazy? Yes. Does Batman understand the Joker? Probably not. (Perhaps he either hates the Joker because he will never understand him - or deep down, he completely understands him and that is what truly scares the Batman)...but these are really nice elements that add depth to their relationships as foils - But I firmly believe - in NO WAY that the Joker has made Batman a better hero. (It also is worth mentioning that to the Joker, Batman is everything. But to the Batman, Joker is a hated villain to figure out. Batman has countless other things in his life beyond the Joker. Which makes the relationship a little "one way". Not saying that the Joker isn't important to Batman, because he is. He is an obsession. But, Batman has many obsessions.)

2. Which gets me to my final point. I've always though the Joker exists as a constant reminder to Batman that he will ultimately end in failure. Why? Sure there are lots of reasons, but as of 7:13 am, I think that the two main reasons are 1. Batman isn't willing to do what it takes to finish "the freaks" and 2. Batman can't do a fraction of what Bruce Wayne could do. (The later is especially interesting to me as a reader because, like the Joker - it is proof that Batman needs a similar level of theatrics to effectively exist in the world he has created.)

The Joker doesn't make Batman better. He makes Batman worse. Bruce Wayne is a man with near infinite resources - in an 8 hour work day, he could do more to fight crime, cure poverty and reform mental health systems than Batman could do in months of work. That is why there is the underlying theme/question of narcissism in Batman story lines. Bruce Wayne, through his government connection/contacts and vast bankroll, could easily have the Joker "taken care of" in Arkham Asylum. (That can mean a lot of different things - and I certainly am not referencing a specific notion, but, for a Batman fan it is a thought worth playing around with in your head.)

While Batman cannot kill Joker, the fact that the Joker is alive is blatant proof in Batman's failures. It is criminal. Lets be honest - almost every other story arc (lets say once a year) Joker escapes Arkham or comes out of hiding. There is always a body count. And how high is the Joker's personal body count? Over 1,000? How many of them children and women? How many families has he torn apart. How many countless faces and bodies has he maimed?

This is one of the only elements that truly bothers me about the Batman character/universe. (And consequently a big reason I don't take the Batman/Joker relationship/dynamic as seriously as other fans do). After the first, oh...lets say five, escapes by The Joker we find the death toll/property damage getting to be astronomical.

It is also worth mentioning that Batman builds his ethos around a pretty simple ideal: "taking personal responsibility". By donning the cowl, he is taking personal responsibility to fight crime. Making the world a better place. Cleaning up his city. Protecting himself from feeling weak & helpless and ensuring that no child be made an orphan on his watch.

It should be absolutely inexcusable to the character of Batman that the Joker still exists. Every death, every bomb, every crime that the Joker commits at this point, Batman should be held accountable for. I'm not saying that the writers need to make Batman break his one rule and kill the Joker - but it doesn't mesh and it has always really bothered me.

For the ultimate tactician to not have better contingency plans in place - opens a whole other can of worms with the character. But, as a fan. It is something that I think about and bothers me almost every-time I pick up a comic book. Does any one else feel this way? If you were writing Batman how would you handle this? I've always kind of dreamed that Batman locks the Joker up in the Batcave (and between the writers there would be an unwritten rule that he has to stay in there for a decade) and new unnamed villain (almost Gremlins style) makes about 20 Joker clones and unleashes them on Gotham (each one with slightly different goals/characteristics. Each one a full copy of different stages of the Joker through the years.)

I could go on - but I'll spare you. Batman is a fun character to dissect. I read a great article the other day comparing Frank Miller's Batman to Grant Morrisons that was really worth the read (and touches on some of the Joker *and Robin* dynamic too)

If you are still reading, thanks and I apologize. I hope I didn't come off too much like a D-bag.

#84 Posted by GiveUpNed (82 posts) - - Show Bio

>If the Joker were ever to be removed permanently from Batman's rogues gallery, Batman could simply dial in each threat. And that's why the Joker will never be removed. The stories will become uninteresting and boring.

#85 Posted by kktheman1 (44 posts) - - Show Bio

@theTimeStreamer: Hmm Joker lame? will you care to explain why? So will you call Lex Luthor Lame? Will call the Rogues Lame? Pls next time elaborate on your opinions :O

#86 Posted by knightwing2036 (26 posts) - - Show Bio

Some time down the proverbial track, I wonder what the Joker might have in store for Harper Row? (Fingers crossed she will be the new Robin)

#87 Posted by fragmentmind (92 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with everything that you posted except - if the Batman killed the joker, wouldn't that make him like the punisher? He would then decide for himself that he could easily kill any other villain, making himself into judge, jury and executioner. There IS no excuse why the Joker should even be alive, but for sales purposes and plot he is. Batman is already a crazy schizophrenic individual, he does not NEED to believe he is the absolute authority on his villains and in part it is the justice system's fault while the Joker is alive. He can easily plead insanity and be sent to Arkham, little do they know the Joker is not insane at all. An insane person doesn't realize they're doing something wrong. Joker knows what he's doing, making him super sane. I was disgusted that they turned Joker into Leatherface but whatever, wouldn't let my kid read this book anyway (if i had one). Besides, kids don't read comics anymore, anyway. I just hope Lex Luthor doesn't appear anytime soon.

#88 Posted by molotovzav (41 posts) - - Show Bio

I love the Joker coming back, the thing about it is, Batman is meant to be a psychological journey at some points, ass-kickery at others, we have had a bit of the psychological with the Court of Owls, and a lot of ass-kickery throughout the Bat family in general in the new 52, but I have not sensed a true psychological thriller or a journey, and I was attributing this to the infancy of the new 52 of course, but it's nice to see with the return of the Joker they are probably committed to fleshing out some arcs for the new 52 which will stand the test of time. Joker is not a "big bad ass", he get's under your skin, there is always room for that villian that creeps in over time. Batman deals with people on average who are afraid of something, Mr. Freeze is afraid of losing his dead wife (now ret-conned to not be his dead wife I'm guessing), most of the thugs he fights are afraid of pain. The Joker is afraid of nothing, loves pain, loves terror, and cannot be beaten in the typical Batman fashion, and that's why I love the Joker, can I have a Joker comic in the new 52? Maybe even just a one shot, I mean he did have his own comic pre new 52 at one point.

#89 Posted by Batman_deBoss (1 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman and the Joker in a sense cannot live without each other. Joker is a psycho that tries to kill everyone Batman is almost insane but he tries to save the innocence of Gotham City. Joker lives to be defeated by Batman and to show him that they are the same as show in the Dark Knight. Batman lives to prove the Joker wrong and to defeat him from destroying Gotham

#90 Posted by Mr_Wayne69 (195 posts) - - Show Bio

Writers need Joker.

In the modern age of comics it's difficult to convince long time Batman readers that the Joker's existence isn't a bit warn out. With that being said, I will defend and valid the Jokers existence in the New 52:

  • In Detective Comics #1 it was noted that Batman had never physically caught up with the Joker to apprehend, let alone even attempt to kill him, if Batman chose to break his code (as many fans would argue should be done) up to that point in time.
  • It's also noted that we should assume Joker has not been doing what he does best (or even perhaps been the Joker) for as many years as he did pre-New 52 (because it's a reboot).

So with that being said, do I think Batman needs the Joker? Not necessarily anymore.

If you were to have asked me that same question when I was a kid, I'd have probably said "yes". The problem lies in keeping the Joker fresh and dare I say... keeping his lack of apprehension or death "believable" (yes I know it's comics, but guess what... modern comics needs some form of legitimacy depending on the book or character, and let's face it, Batman is one of them).

Better question: Does Batman need more antagonist that keep him on his toes like Joker? Of course.

Example: Syder's Batman #13 saw Joker walk into a police station. A. Gotham. Police. Station. And slaughter a bunch of police officers and NONE of them opened fire on this guy? They were ALL afraid of him? So cops in Gotham aren't a bit mentally prepared enough for the freaks and wackos of their city, at least enough to DEFEND themselves?

I'm not saying Joker had to/needed to die (at that point in time) but some form of realism would have been nice. I understand that Snyder was trying to invoke a "horror movie" vibe in those scenes, however a gunshot to the arm or shoulder of the Joker wouldn't have hurt. Just sayin'.

Better question 2: Do we need writers to pay attention to details if they're trying to convince us that Joker's "so awesome" and that's why he's not dead..? Duh.

Two things I'd like to see happen with the New 52 Joker:

A trial and an ATTEMPTED death of Joker (even Morrison tried it once with the bullet to the head). Not necessarily in that order.

#91 Posted by Anthonypilone01 (27 posts) - - Show Bio

This is BS. Lot of these comments are such an insult to joker. WTF?!!! You know, it sounds like they are not really much Joker fans, let alone Batman fans, it seem. There is a difference between not being a Joker fan and Understanding the Joker who in my opinion is one of the deadliest dc villains ever these guys don't understand what makes the joker a threat to Batman and because of that reason they are insulting him. Not cool.

#92 Posted by TheRobin (17 posts) - - Show Bio

I Do Not Think That Batman's Partners make him weak. I Believe if anything they keep him stronger. Robin is what keeps Batman humane, when Jason Todd died Batman became much more reckless and put his life on the line. Robin makes Batman stronger in the sense that he reminds Batman what he is fighting for. But I Completely agree with the rest of the article. Except I think Catwoman always keeps Batman up and about. And does Batman have a contengicey plan for Bane or Raa's??

#93 Edited by PurpleCandy (962 posts) - - Show Bio

@Pokeysteve said:

Batman needs Joker like humanity needs AIDS......

if your being serious sorry, if your not then good point, AIDS is a constant reminder of why to be cautious

#94 Edited by Ultimate_Riddler (309 posts) - - Show Bio

Some interesting (and not so interesting) points made in this thread.

Someone earlier said Riddler should be the one to give Batman a bigger challenge and be the true arch-nemesis, and to some degree I could vote for that. I know I may sound biased what with me having Riddler as my avatar and username, but truth be told I'm an even bigger Joker fan (with the old account "Ultimate_Joker" lying around here somewhere) so I think my opinion is as valid as anybody else's. For a time The Riddler was seen as the bigger threat (Adam West TV show I do believe) while Joker was second fiddle. The Joker has for a long time though been considered a big threat, and that's probably due to stories where he managed to kill or cripple certain people close to Batsy.

The fact of the matter is Joker has been flaunted far too much. It doesn't tarnish my opinion of the character, just of the community and writers and what they want/think needs to be done. It's sad that Joker will never be FULLY put down or at least handled in a way that gets around the "why isn't he dead yet?" problem. Have him escape capture or fake his death or something. ANYTHING. Batman choosing not to kill Joker is fine by me, because in my own personal view of Batman he is either just as crazy as the other Arkham inmates, or he is terrified deep down to take ANY life, including Joker's, most likely from the deep seated psychological trauma he suffered as a child. Crane would have a field day picking that apart if he knew who Batman was underneath that cowl.

Someone else said that Joker is not a compelling character, and only is because Batman never kills him. I disagree for two simple reasons; 1: This logic applies to a number of other villains that also have high body counts. Joker might be top (mad) dog, but there are other psychopaths that are just as deserving of a broken neck like Zsasz, Black Mask, etc. 2: I feel that while Joker's mixture of comedy and horror, his "everyone is as mad as me" talk, and even his desire to spread anarchy are interesting aspects to the character, his most fascinating one of all his love for the dark knight.

Regardless of Batman's feelings, Joker is the one Bat-villain that views the caped crusader as a friend rather than just an enemy. While someone like Riddler, Scarecrow or Hugo Strange is obsessed with breaking Batman, and others just view him as a pest that is ruining their fun or business, or interfering with their own efforts for revenge, Joker sees it like two kids playing tag. Nigma sees crime as an art and Batman as his intellectual opponent (like a game of chess), but Joker sees Batsy as the other kid that dresses up in a goofy costume and you play outside with - one the superhero and the other the villain. THIS is the thing about Joker that makes him a compelling villain, at least to me. Batman doesn't need Joker. I think Bruce himself summed it up well in the animated movie, Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker; "It wasn't a contest."

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