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Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Need Counseling


Musings on Joker

Mar 14, 2018

So...who hasn't heard of the Joker?

***crickets***

Phew! In that case, I'll skip the visual description, the Batman mythos, the comics, the video games, the cartoon, the movies, all of it. You don't need that from me. No, what I need you to do is ignore all of that. Because, in a way, that has nothing to do with what Joker represents. I need you to open your soul a bit. Let's have a bit of an exercise, shall we? 

First, think of something that ticked you off. I don't think that's too hard. Next, think of the circumstances that evoked that emotion. Finally, think of the split second (or longer) you felt about doing something wicked. Stop lying, it was there. You suppressed it, or you laughed at it. Maybe it was just a mental middle finger. Whatever. You wanted catharsis. You wanted to get even, you wanted something or someone to suffer. Chris Rock actually had a great skit in Bigger and Blacker about this; to paraphrase, there are plenty of things you can do to someone, and maybe they deserve it...just don't do it! 

Well, the Joker does it relentlessly, so you don't have to. He also does it when nobody deserves it. He also does too much of whatever it is. He also changes whatever it was he was supposed to be doing in the first place. Plus, no matter what, he'll laugh. That's the greatest insult. When you're at your most vulnerable, he'll laugh. When you're angry, he'll laugh. When your completely despondent, he'll laugh. When you're on death's door and our only chance is an equal-but-opposite obsessed hero to save you, and the Joker is defeated...HE'LL LAUGH. Your mindset is irrelevant. For a creator, the Joker is a blank canvas. But for the Joker, the creator's most depraved fantasies come to life through him. So, I wonder...who really has the control? I'm not so sure. 

Enjoy the psychopath of your dreams, right where he belongs.