“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We are tonight’s entertainment!” – the Joker (‘The Dark Knight’, 2008)
Not someone you want to meet in a back alley…
What better way to celebrate Halloween than with the creepiest of clowns? I think it goes without saying that The Joker is one of the best and most iconic villains in all of comics.
From his first eerie introduction in Batman #1 to Heath Ledger’s terrifying portrayal in Christopher Nolan’s epic trilogy, this agent of anarchy is the essence of nightmares. Not only that, but as perhaps Batman’s ultimate arch-enemy, you’ve got a perfect foil for one dark and brooding, ever-stoic, crusader of justice, versus: an unstable, unpredictable, laughing terrorist, dressed in a purple suit with makeup and green hair, whose only out to prove that life is meaningless, and doesn’t even care if you get his inside jokes.
Denny O Neal once claimed that the Joker is not only one if the greatest comic book villains, but that he’s right up there with the other great villains in all of literature.
My favorite thing about the character is that almost everything he does has an ulterior motive, or worse: no motive at all. For instance, when the Joker brutally murders your best friend (hypothetically) in a most horrific, albeit humorous, manner there’s a 50/50 chance that it was either a spur of the moment idea that conveniently presented itself, or was simply an elaborate plan to drive you over the edge of sanity itself.
The following list includes some of the most notorious appearances of the Clown Prince of Crime over the past 75 years in all his various incarnations. So here we go!
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