The Joker



There will be spoilers in this Blog, just warning you!


The Joker – you might scoff as you see that I have included in him a blog about literary villains. But scoff not. I will explain why The Joker has as much right as Heathcliff or Moriarty to be included in this blog. The Graphic novel or comic is still or should be a part of the literary canon, well not all comics, but Batman especially has some amazing comics/graphic novels. The stories are fantastically diverse and the character development is brilliant, I would even argue better than some of the classics. Because of the length of the books themselves they are very easy to read rather than wading through a so called classic that is like 800 hundred pages whereby 20 of them is just about setting one scene; you get straight into the action. Yes, some implied knowledge of the characters is required, but who does not know who Batman or arguably the most famous villain of all time next to Darth Vader: The Joker.

The Joker is the villain I am going to explore because you can never truly know him or the way his mind works just through reading. Yes, he is mental, but is he really mental or is he a genius? I would argue that as mad as he is, he is also clever. This guy is also seriously twisted, going as far in what is probably Batman’s greatest graphic novel ‘The Killing Joke’. For example, he paralyses Barbara Gordon by shooting her in the base of the spine before stripping her and taking photos of her naked body on a Polaroid camera. The Joker then captures Commissioner Gordon himself and once again strips him and locks him a cage. Before I carry on, I think the stripping is a way of causing humiliation whilst torture additionally takes place. But to add horror to the already disturbing situation, The Joker gives Gordon the photos of his naked daughter – Barbara. This is the true evil and madness of The Joker, he is so very sick but also a genius; it is the perfect way to completely destroy Gordon’s psyche.

Of course, with any superhero-genre literature the hero saves the day. Although Batman knows he should kill The Joker, he cannot bring himself to do it however. Like in the case of Sherlock and Moriarty, they need their rivalry to exist; they are Ying and Yang of each other. This could be said to be demonstrated in the way that Batman wears all Black and The Joker has bleached white skin caused by an accident that caused him to go mad. His motivation seems to imply that, much like his sociopathic / psychopathic brain, he wants the world around him to be in chaos; by causing destruction it must sooth him to see the world and its inhabitants in a similar state to his own being. All of the Batman villains seem to have a mental illness and through some of the villains this is portrayed very well, especially through The Joker, who seems like he might legitimately have ever mental illness.

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