Can there be such as thing as too much Joker?

I feel like I'm seeing a lot of Batman family vs Joker over the last couple of years. I understand the attraction to using Joker but it seems a bit much to me. With the latest comic covers I just feel its starting to get to the point of saturation. Not everyone will agree. A lot of fans love Joker but I think part of the mythos of a good villain is that the threat of the them is mostly in the background, subtle. So that when they do gain a story focus it adds just that bit more of importance, is more of a shock. Marvel went through a similar thing with Magneto and Apocalyse a few years ago. Too many stories focused on them. I found the impact of their evil diminished. It was like "Them again.. Meh". Lets be honest. There are different classes of villain. Joker is in the major don't-mess-with-this-one-at-anytime category. If you see him messing with everyone on a regular basis I worry that he'll drop down a few levels. Even if he doesn't lose his senior ranking I may ultimately go "Him again?... Meh".

2 Comments
2 Comments
Edited by TheJokerha

As you pointed out, Joker is suppose to be the major class of villain you don't mess with. But I don't think the problem has been over saturation as much as misuse. Keep in mind we haven't seen him in over a year. And as its been pointed out by the creators of "Death of the Family", we HAVEN"T seen Joker vs the Bat family for quiet some time

There has been the occasional one shot or special retelling of his origin. But no great JOKER stories. They actually made the mistake of allowing him to be used as a pawn or bit players in other villains sweeping arches. In the Knightfall, Hush, No Man's Land, Final Crisis, Justice, Infinite Crisis, Long Halloween, Trinity, Dark Victory stories Joker was a bit player. Getting upstaged and even beaten by lesser Mary Sue flavors of the month like Hush, Prof. Pyg, Black Mask, Prometheus, Bane, and Dr. Hurt among others. ( At least he got his revenge on Dr. Hurt ) But either make him the major player or leave him out of it. As he told Dr. Hurt "Don't call ME servant." In The Last Laugh and Emperor Joker they played most of it for silliness, goofiness, and laughs. So much so that the more serious moments had no edge to them. So for people like you it seemed like Joker was every where. But for me it was like he was no where. Because the appearances he did make weren't really worthy of him. It was like some other character in his clothes using his name, pretending to be him. I would have loved to see him get a power ring in Blackest Night, but that should have and would have needed to be a universe altering event if it did happen. It would have stolen the show. so I'm glad he wasn't included. Because he would have gotten the same sorry treatment poor Scarecrow got. Scarecrow is perfect for a yellow fear ring, but he got one, used it for three panels to no effect, and had it stolen by Lex Luthor. Wasted potential, just like they would have done to Joker.

So I feel like I haven't seen The Joker in DECADES. Just this misrepresentation by writers who don't know how to handle him. No, its not to much Joker because the authentic REAL Joker hasn't been seen at all for a very long time.

For example, writers using The Worf Effect on him to give their new character undeserved status. From http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheWorfEffect

This guy must be tough; he's beating up Superman!

"He's the guy who's here to act tough so new characters can wreck him when they're introduced thus proving to the rest of us how amazing they are! Like Wolverine or Worf."Red Mage, 8-Bit Theater

Want a quick way to show how dangerous one of your unknown characters is? Simple, make him do well or win in a fight with a character that the audience already knows is tough. This establishes him as willing to fight and marks him as sufficiently dangerous. For new villains, it's common for them to pick up the toughest character among the heroes and hurl him across the room or otherwise take him out in one blow, thus showing that they are the real deal. "Wow, he just beat up Worf! He must be bad news!" Of course, if the same character is repeatedly used as the target of displays like these, it can result in Badass Decay, and if abused, his toughness could become an Informed Ability

Joker suffered from this a lot in recent years.HUGE mistake. If Joker gives Batman so much trouble but is shown as not as much of a bad ass as these others guys, it decreases Batman's status as well.

Joker is my favorite character of any and all media.To me Batman is Joker's supporting player. And Nightwing and the others are just annoying distractions at worst, extra targets at best.

So it looks like finally they are going to do it right, despite the face being torn off. Make Joker death on two legs. Make him unstoppable. Elevate him to where the only reason Batman lives at all is because Batman amuses Joker. Joker doesn't want to get bored if his favorite victim, Batman, is dead. Joker has to play games and put all these restrictions on himself because he could defeat Batman easily, and the others just aren't worthy opponents.

Make every time he shows up worth it, and he won't suffer villain decay. It won't seem like "to much Joker". Every appearance will count. It will MATTER.

Posted by kimi74

"Misuse" is definitely a better term to apply. And I agree with your comment about making him a major player in stories. The level of influence Joker has should always be mind-numbingly significant. No necessarily frequent but always strong when it does occur.

I suspect that my passion for this character isn't as strong as yours but, in some ways, it makes your perspective even more important. If you, as a fierce fan of the character, identify that Joker has been misused by authors in recent years it does highlight the damage being done to an iconic character.

"Make every time he shows up worth it, and he won't suffer villain decay. It won't seem like "to much Joker". Every appearance will count. It will MATTER." Totally agree. If the authors and editors can do this, saturation of a villain should be a problem. But that is the challenge...