The thing to remember about Scott Snyder is that he …
In the pantheon of Batman stories there’s a handful that come up every time someone ranks the best. The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Year One, and The Long Halloween usually all make the list. And then there’s the Killing Joke. The Killing Joke stands out from the crowd for a couple of reasons. For one thing, unlike the above mentioned stories, The Killing Joke is a graphic novel and not a collection of previously individual issues. For another, The Killing Joke isn’t really a Batman story. Sure Batman is in it, he even plays an important part;but The Killing Joke is above all else, a Joker story.
Is there a Joker curse? Beyond The Joker:The Man Who Laughs attempts to answer this question by examining the clown as an archetype throughout history. The story starts out by detailing Heath Ledger’s experience during the shooting of The Dark Knight up to his tragic death after the film wrapped. The book then jumps to 1802 the year that Joseph Grimaldi created the familiar white-face look that we still associate with clowns today.
Here the focus will be on the Joker and the argument will be we have yet to see a proper rendition on the big screen (I’m not counting certain interesting videogame versions). Before beginning, one has to concede the Cesar Romero interpretation, whatever its genuine brilliance, was too tame by half to truly merit the top spot yet an argument can be made this is the closest to seeing the Joker in the flesh.