What makes the Joker such an exciting villain isn’t just his diabolical deeds, but the way he acts as the perfect foil to Batman. The Caped Crusader is a dark and brooding shadow, bound by morals, rules, and logic. The Clown Prince of Crime is a manic, posturing madman, ruled by chaos, entropy, and a disregard for anything…including himself. Everything the Joker does is to make a point, or deliver a punchline even if it comes at his own expense. He knows no limits and pushes Batman to his own limitations like no our villain. The Joker is to Batman as Kurt Cobain was to Axl Rose, or as Aaron Burr was to Alexander Hamilton, a perfect antithesis in every imaginable way. Here’s a look back at 13 of the most iconic Joker moments. These are the moments that made the Joker the one of the most memorable and recognizable villains in all of fiction, across any medium.
Batman #40 features the battle to end all battles between Batman and the Joker drawn in gory detail by Greg Capullo and Danny Miki, but the scraps of dialogue between the blows and explosion are occasionally weighed down by exposition. Snyder does punch things up in the third act and leave Gotham and the Batman title as wide open as it’s been since the dawn of the New 52. He and Capullo make “Endgame” the dark mirror of Batman Eternal, and it’s interesting to see this storyline fit in the larger context of their run on Batman and the weekly series, which preceded it. Questionable plot devices aside, Batman #40 concludes the “Endgame” in a brutal, personal manner that really shakes up the status quo on this book.
After spending a year developing the origin and mythos of Batman, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo turn him loose in Batman #35 and show him at his prime fighting some of Earth’s mightiest heroes. The scale of the comic is huge as Batman battles the various Justice League members, and Capullo’s art shows their might in comparison to Batman’s mortality. The comic opens at the Royal Theatre in Gotham, which has spent lots of money on a special crane so there can be a literal “deus ex machina” in a staging of the Oresteia. Snyder and Capullo stage their narrative like a Greek tragedy giving Batman his own fatal flaw in the story. From Batman #35, it seems that the “Endgame” will be looking at Batman as legend while having many twists and turns along the way. Snyder does a good job showing Batman’s unique contingency plans for stopping the Justice League while Capullo shows them in action from Wonder Woman’s window breaking power to Flash’s crackling super speed. If anything, Batman #35 is an argument for why Greg Capullo should draw Justice League. FCO Plascencia continues to set the mood with his colors from the mix of somber and bright coloring in the theatre to Batman’s shadowy greys and blacks and the various color schemes for the Justice League members.