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The Official "Dark Knight" Discussion -- SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT!

Peter Marlowe
07-20-2008, 08:13 PM
Okay. Saw this in theaters last night...mixed feelings about it. First -- and this is very trivial -- I liked the opening sequence of the bats filling the screen better in Batman Begins than how Nolan opened this one. There could have been a bit more "punch" in the opening theme/sequence as there was in the last film when the DC/Warner/Legendary Pictures logos first come onscreen; as I said, all trivial...

Now, let me get to what I didn't like: Katie Holmes not returning was a mistake; just took me out of the story. I didn't like the choice for Dent, either -- Tommy Lee Jones blew Eckhardt's performance out of the water I thought. And what was the deal with Dent's "Two Face" villian character not even being explored? He shoots a couple of people at the end and waves a gun around and the "Two Face" character we loved in Batman Forever only gets that amount of screen time? What about his long run in the comics? The character didn't even seem that frightening or authentic to me; the role was miscast in my opinion. After coming off of No Reservations, Aaron didn't seem like he was the right choice for Harvey Dent.

Another thing that bothered me through the run of the picture was my constant questioning of Chris Nolan's inconsistency of following the comic blueprint: and perhaps diehard Batman fans can clear this up for me; it just seemed like many of the origins weren't explored correctly or even thoroughly -- did Nolan take his own angle for this? Was Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher's visions more accurate? Let's get to the whole Joker thing -- according to Burton's Joker (played by Jack Nicholson), the criminal known as "Jack Napier" working for Carl Grissom eventually gets thrown in acid by Batman himself and becomes the Joker...is THIS the way the story really went? Did Napier really kill Bruce's parents or was it Joe Chill as Nolan suggested in Batman Begins?

What I liked about it? The stronger suit Bale wears in this one looks fantastic, and the stunt work and fight sequences with the Jokers men were outstanding -- I never thought the late Heath Ledger would have been right for this role; after all, whoever played the Joker had big shoes to fill after Nicholson's off the wall performance. But Mr. Ledger pulled it off -- a darker, more sinister Joker is what's explored here. But it also brings up questions and more issues with authenticity: Why wasn't the Joker's origins explored or explained in this? We just know him as a bank robber that puts makeup on to hide some scars on his face -- but what about Tim Burton's angle of the Joker, once again...wasn't the Joker supposed to be dropped in a vat of acid so he "gets" those disfigurations and covers them up with white face makeup? According to Nolan's take of this character, the Joker has no ID, no fingerprints, no record...in Burton's 1989 Batman, it was known that he was definitely Jack Napier. I also didn't like the whole scene at the end where the Joker set up the two ferries leaving Gotham to explode based on whether or not the other boat was going to press the detonator; it just seemed like unnecessary fluff for Nolan to fill up two and a half hours.

Some other things were unnecessary, too: the whole connection with the Japanese business mogul laundering the money somehow to what was going on in Gotham; way too complicated. And I think that's where Nolan went wrong with this in general: the whole screenplay (of course, this isn't the director's fault) just seemed way too confused and tried to do what Spider Man 3 did -- cram way too much into one film; at some points I couldn't really follow what was going on and after a certain amount of time, I didn't really care anymore...I wanted to see what the essence of this film was actually about, and that was Batman chasing down the Joker, and inbetween there was just too much going on. The introduction of Harvey Dent becoming Two Face seemed unnecessary in this sequel and rushed to the point that his long comic run gets shortened to a half hour or so of screen time where some bad acting and horrible dialogue writing and delivery don't really expose Two Face for the psycho he was; like I said, I think Tommy Lee Jones nailed the performance in Batman Forever...

But overall, this was a real fun ride -- definitely going to pick this up when it arrives on Blu ray. There were just so many things that had holes through them and other things like Wayne Manor not being reconstructed yet, the untied "catching" of the Joker which is never explored after that, the loss of the Tumbler in exchange for the bat cycle, the whole Scarecrow thing (was he in the film? Was he not? The credits said it was Cillian Murphy playing him once again, but where -- that scene early on where Batman rounds up those thugs dressed up like Batman and Scarecrow in that van?) that it makes me question whether or not this one was better than Batman Begins. The biggest issue here though is which version is going according to the "Batman mystique"...was Joker an unidentfied madman with natural scars on his face or was he Jack Napier, dropped into a vat of chemicals by Batman?

That brings up yet another question, too: What about the Two Face character? According to Schumacher's Batman Forever, Dent was the Gotham D.A. who had acid thrown at him from Boss Moroni in a courtroom and as Batman tried to save him, he was hit with the stuff hence disfiguring his face and making him turn against Batman and the police...according to Nolan's take on it, Dent was tied up in an empty factory warehouse where chemicals were tied to a bomb set to go off, as was Rachel, and as Batman dragged him out, fire caught onto the chemicals on Dent's face and burned him -- the Joker then visits Dent's hospital room and thus Dent begins going after people but for no real reason that's made clear...so, which version is "correct"? Are they just two separate visions?

I also have a problem with the Gordon character, as now he becomes the famous Commissioner Gordon in The Dark Knight; isn't Oldman's portrayal of this legendary character too young? Unless Nolan is telling a real "beginnings" story with both these films, as Alfred and Gordon are both much younger than what traditional Batman films and shows have portrayed...

In general, though, this was a cool summer flick and a definite satisfying long awaited sequel to Batman Begins...aside from authenticity and remaining true to the source material issues and a bit long in the tooth with regards to length, this is probably the must-see event for Summer 2008.

Discuss away!

Loves2Watch
07-20-2008, 11:16 PM
I was OK but I too had many of the same issues you did and I also felt it lacked continuity.

Peter Marlowe
07-20-2008, 11:34 PM
Agreed, Doc. Thanks for joining the discussion and giving your thoughts!

jbadamantium
07-21-2008, 03:35 AM
As far as Joker's back story goes, The Dark Knight pretty much nailed it. There has never been a back story for Joker and probably never will be, but he likes to tell many different tales about it. The closest anyone has come to writing an actual back story was in Moore's "The Killing Joke," but even that isn't accurate as the Joker himself says in the book.

Mase
07-21-2008, 09:02 AM
So basically what you are trying to say(to the OP) is you wanted this movie to be exactly what has already been told and seen before. You want soemthing that stays close to home, you want some recycled garbage. Is that right?

If thats the case then this movie is not for you at all, go watch all the old shows and movies you seem to like so much. This movie and Batman Begins is a different take on the Batman as a whole. Why beat a dead horse and retell the same stories over and over again but with different actors, that would be lame, this is new and fresh..

This movie is not perfect, but no movie is. This movie however is brilliant in soo many ways and manages to pull you in even if you are not a comic book enthusiast, same as Iron Man did. Its worth a watch in the theater to anyone who enjots good cinema. This movie should be seen for the acting, for the story, for the visuals and for the audio. This movie sets the bar high in a lot of different aspects and I would not be surprised to see this win plenty of awards in all categories..

My take on it is go watch it and enjoy, its not often we get an action movie with this much meat in it. This will truly be a demo disc and a day and date buy on Blu-Ray for me..

Peter Marlowe
07-21-2008, 10:58 AM
So basically what you are trying to say(to the OP) is you wanted this movie to be exactly what has already been told and seen before. You want soemthing that stays close to home, you want some recycled garbage. Is that right?

If thats the case then this movie is not for you at all, go watch all the old shows and movies you seem to like so much. This movie and Batman Begins is a different take on the Batman as a whole. Why beat a dead horse and retell the same stories over and over again but with different actors, that would be lame, this is new and fresh..

This movie is not perfect, but no movie is. This movie however is brilliant in soo many ways and manages to pull you in even if you are not a comic book enthusiast, same as Iron Man did. Its worth a watch in the theater to anyone who enjots good cinema. This movie should be seen for the acting, for the story, for the visuals and for the audio. This movie sets the bar high in a lot of different aspects and I would not be surprised to see this win plenty of awards in all categories..

My take on it is go watch it and enjoy, its not often we get an action movie with this much meat in it. This will truly be a demo disc and a day and date buy on Blu-Ray for me..

What are you talking about? I never said I wanted this to be a rehash of the Burton story...I was asking which version was "true" according to the comics, etc.

Peter Marlowe
07-21-2008, 10:59 AM
As far as Joker's back story goes, The Dark Knight pretty much nailed it. There has never been a back story for Joker and probably never will be, but he likes to tell many different tales about it. The closest anyone has come to writing an actual back story was in Moore's "The Killing Joke," but even that isn't accurate as the Joker himself says in the book.

What book? Who likes to tell different tales about it?

Mase
07-21-2008, 12:03 PM
What are you talking about? I never said I wanted this to be a rehash of the Burton story...I was asking which version was "true" according to the comics, etc.

Everything you stated wrong with this movie is because it strayed from what you already knew from the previous movies..

Also Harvey Dent did not just go randomly killing people after his accident, he went for the people whom were involved in the death of his loved one.. The cops who betrayed her, Maroni for having the cops do what the did and knowing which cops were crooked and than Gordon because he should have saved her and for the fact he had those crooked cops on his team. It was not Random what so ever, it made sense so long as you followed the movie..

Peter Marlowe
07-21-2008, 12:19 PM
Look, let's calm down a little here and take a deep breath because there's no need to be hostile for this discussion thread; that's why I started the thread in the first place -- so we can all discuss this film in a civil manner with civil tongues (even though we're not really "speaking" but "typing"...). This is a place to explain to folks who may not have gotten some of the film exactly what was going on -- which you did about Harvey Dent below, and which I'll get to.

Everything you stated wrong with this movie is because it strayed from what you already knew from the previous movies..

I never said any of this was "wrong"; I simply compared Burton's original film and some of Schumacher's Batman Forever with this new take on Joker and Two Face -- you're confusing what I said I "didn't like" about some elements of Nolan's Dark Knight with "thinking it was wrong based on the 1989 film"...and that's not what I meant. I am trying to ascertain which of the visions were closer to "source" materials such as the comics, etc.; has there ever been a back story to the Joker? Did he have an identity? Why did Burton tell the story as if his name was "Jack Napier" and he actually killed Bruce's parents? Did this actually happen in comic scripts and plots? Did Batman turn him into the Joker by dropping him into the vat of chemicals, as Burton portrays?

Also Harvey Dent did not just go randomly killing people after his accident, he went for the people whom were involved in the death of his loved one.. The cops who betrayed her, Maroni for having the cops do what the did and knowing which cops were crooked and than Gordon because he should have saved her and for the fact he had those crooked cops on his team. It was not Random what so ever, it made sense so long as you followed the movie..

Like I said in my original post, Nolan made the mistake that Sam Raimi did in Spider-Man 3 -- he went off in a million different directions and began to lose a great deal of the audience (at least in the theater I saw it in) with splintering subplots and the like; again -- there's a difference here in direction in that Schumacher's Dent (Lee Jones) was portrayed as an off the wall psycho killing and robbing for fun since Batman couldn't save him from the acid that was thrown at his face...that's NOT how Nolan portrayed him, and, once again, I'm trying to get at which version is closer to accurately portraying the source materials. It was also dissapointing that this "villian" in Nolan's version was only given a half hour or so of screen time before being killed...the Two Face character had a long run in the comics, so I didn't get this; wasn't Two Face a lethal villian for Batman? If so, why did Nolan kill him off without even one confrontation sequence with Bale in the Dark Knight?

Mase
07-21-2008, 12:39 PM
As you said in text it is hard to obtain a persons intent, my reply is not meant to be hostile or up in arms although I can see how ones perception may see it as so.

You keep saying you dont like what is in this film and Batman Begins because it is not true to the comic books or what has already been seen in previous itterations..

Another thing that bothered me through the run of the picture was my constant questioning of Chris Nolan's inconsistency of following the comic blueprint
You didnt like it because it was not true to the comic book

There could have been a bit more "punch" in the opening theme/sequence as there was in the last film
You didnt like it because it was not like the first film

The introduction of Harvey Dent becoming Two Face seemed unnecessary in this sequel and rushed to the point that his long comic run gets shortened to a half hour or so of screen time where some bad acting and horrible dialogue writing and delivery don't really expose Two Face for the psycho he was; like I said, I think Tommy Lee Jones nailed the performance in Batman Forever...

You didnt like this version of two face because it was different and shorter than the TLJ's version and different from Batman Forever.

Thats only a few but there are more comparisons you give for things that this film has done wrong because it strays from the norm..

This movie is for someone who wants a fresh new start to the franchise, not for someone who wants more of the same. I mean its why the first film was appropriately called Batman BEGINS, because this is a fresh take on the Batman universe which means we are most likely not going to see the exact same thing we have already seen dozens of times..


I agree on many of your points made but you can not fault a movie for being something different. Yes I wish Dent was in it longer as two face but that was just not the case, it almost seemed as if they wanted to wrap up this movie with no hopes for a third installment and leaving Two Face alive would not allow for such an ending..

IMO no Ledger = no more Batmans and add to that Bale is signed on for a couple Terminator movies and has 3 other movies either in pre production or filming and a 3rd Batman movie would likely be many years from now.. Who knows though, with how much money this movie will make I think the studios will find a way to squeeze out another film but I dont know if it can live up to what The Dark Knight has become.. Which is an instant classic

Peter Marlowe
07-21-2008, 01:13 PM
What did ya do...come into this thread just to jump on someone's opinion about this film? :rolleyes:

As you said in text it is hard to obtain a persons intent, my reply is not meant to be hostile or up in arms although I can see how ones perception may see it as so.

That's all I was asking you to do -- see it from a different perspective and then perhaps in retrospect you would see that it was a rather hostile delivery method. I started the thread to simply discuss these issues and to possibly confirm or disprove certain differences between the two takes on the material.

You keep saying you dont like what is in this film and Batman Begins because it is not true to the comic books or what has already been seen in previous itterations..

You misinterpretted again -- I am trying to ascertain which of the versions remains true to the source materials.


You didnt like it because it was not true to the comic book


You didnt like it because it was not like the first film



You didnt like this version of two face because it was different and shorter than the TLJ's version and different from Batman Forever.

Thats only a few but there are more comparisons you give for things that this film has done wrong because it strays from the norm..

You're taking snippets of what I said and are distorting their meanings -- these things aren't "wrong" for being portrayed in these manners, I just didn't like them because we were already meant to think that the previous renditions of these events were the "correct" versions. When did I ever say The Dark Knight "strayed from the norm?"

This movie is for someone who wants a fresh new start to the franchise, not for someone who wants more of the same. I mean its why the first film was appropriately called Batman BEGINS, because this is a fresh take on the Batman universe which means we are most likely not going to see the exact same thing we have already seen dozens of times..

I understand what you're saying here, and your first statement of this sentence is indeed what we should be discussing in this thread and need more of it -- "this movie is for someone who wants a fresh new start to the franchise"...however, you stray again in saying that it's not for someone who wants more of the same. You seem to be hung up on this whole thing about us wanting "the exact same thing as we've seen" when this isn't true -- we just want an explanation of which of the two versions is more true to the real story, if there IS one. I understand the first film was called BATMAN BEGINS -- and I understand what Nolan was trying to do there -- but that can also be misinterpreted to mean just a "starter story" that explains Batman's roots, can it not? Burton didn't explain any of the characters' origins, except for some moments devoted to the killing of his parents in front of the Monarch theater -- and again, Nolan and Burton have two different takes on THIS as well. According to Nolan's version, the parents and Bruce were seeing an opera at this theater, where the swinging characters remind Bruce of the bats that attacked him -- Burton has this being a movie theater they go to. And so many of us felt Batman BEGINS was going to explore Bruce's training as an ultra Ninja and why he did that -- and Nolan did explain that in the first film. Burton didn't explain Batman's origins.

Isn't it possible we can want an "origin story" for a comic based character? Did you know there's an entire back story that's missing from Daredevil in which he gets trained by "Stick" and other missing elements? Or how about the latest version of The Incredible Hulk in which the whole Banner gamma radiation experiment prestory is forgotten and lost in a title sequence brief mentioning?

I agree on many of your points made but you can not fault a movie for being something different.

I'm not faulting it; as I said, it was an enjoyable ride and I will be picking up the Blu ray...I just wish it had some consistency with prior events, as the other member agreed with me on, as well as some logical links to the real comic story, if there is one.

Yes I wish Dent was in it longer as two face but that was just not the case, it almost seemed as if they wanted to wrap up this movie with no hopes for a third installment and leaving Two Face alive would not allow for such an ending..

Okay...NOW we're getting somewhere in this discussion! Indeed, that's what it seemed like in that Nolan seemed to be rushing in two villians as Raimi did in Spider Man 3...perhaps to close out the franchise? I can't see this happening as there are SO many other Batman villians to reinvent and reintroduce...what about Riddler? Penguin? Catwoman? And what of Robin...will Nolan introduce him? It would be a shame for the rebooted franchise to stop now, especially with the success of The Dark Knight at the box office, and it would be so interesting to see who they would get to replace De Vito, Carrey, Pfeifer for these characters...

But yes, I thought the Two Face thing was too short and not explored or developed enough -- this man was an essential Batman villian in the comic run and he simply gets offed within 30 minutes of this film?

IMO no Ledger = no more Batmans and add to that Bale is signed on for a couple Terminator movies and has 3 other movies either in pre production or filming and a 3rd Batman movie would likely be many years from now.. Who knows though, with how much money this movie will make I think the studios will find a way to squeeze out another film but I dont know if it can live up to what The Dark Knight has become.. Which is an instant classic

Yes, I have to agree -- in many ways and aside from the issues I had with some of it, this was a comic based sequel that measures up to the now legendary Spider Man 2. Your comments about Ledger also bring up interesting points and things to consider: Joker wasn't dead at the end of this one and we never find out what happens to him, as Batman left him hanging out of the building, so will Joker be reintroduced with someone else playing him next time? Burton killed Joker off with Nicholson's rendition of the character, but Nolan didn't -- does this mean he will come back with other villians like perhaps Penguin or Riddler? Batman's enemies often worked together against him, so perhaps this is the direction it will go in...

Do you really think this was the last Batman in the reboot? Seems odd Nolan would only explore two villians, Scarecrow and Joker (well, and Two Face) in the run of two films; there are so many other plot lines to explore -- what about the official batmobile being made? And all his high tech gadgets in the batcave? What about the reconstruction of Wayne Manor?

Oh, and as for the TERMINATOR films -- yes, I saw the teaser for the fourth Terminator where John Connor is now grown up -- I didn't know Bale was signing on for these! These just won't be the same without Arnold, though.

Mase
07-21-2008, 01:26 PM
1.Do you really think this was the last Batman in the reboot? Seems odd Nolan would only explore two villians, Scarecrow and Joker (well, and Two Face) in the run of two films; there are so many other plot lines to explore -- what about the official batmobile being made? And all his high tech gadgets in the batcave? What about the reconstruction of Wayne Manor?

2.Oh, and as for the TERMINATOR films -- yes, I saw the teaser for the fourth Terminator where John Connor is now grown up -- I didn't know Bale was signing on for these! These just won't be the same without Arnold, though.

1. Well I hope they dont make a third if they cant get Bale again and if they try and recast The Joker. I know I am not the only one who feels that way but it would be a poor choice but one I am sure studios would choose if forced to.. Being that this movie is set 6 months after Batman Begins Wayne Manor is still be reconstructed and now that this current Bat mobile got dumped if they did make a 3rd isntallment I am sure they would include the Bat mobile but I thinnk it would take away from what Nolan has done. Which is make this as realistic as a comic book hero movie can be. That is where the difference lies with the different batmans. Nolan made these two films as real as possible where Burton and the others played to the complete opposite.. Oh as for Robin, Bale said he would bail if they tried to introduce Robin into the movie and I agree it would not work for this gritty type of movie.. Holy ______ Batman, is just way too cheezy..

2. The new Terminator is set before the Terminators you and I have seen, it is back in the future before they time traveled. Where the war is still being fought, and they have Roland Kickingger palying the T-800 which is what Arnold was, and Roland is also Austrian and played Arnold in A&Es See arnold Run... So its not Arnie but its close

Peter Marlowe
07-21-2008, 01:36 PM
1. Well I hope they dont make a third if they cant get Bale again and if they try and recast The Joker.

Do you think Bale won't want to do it? Has he said anything about it? I know what you mean about not casting the same people who have already "grown into" the roles -- it would be like Maguire no longer playing Peter Parker...but still, I'd love to see a third one with the exploration of perhaps Penguin or Riddler...who do you think could play these roles as good as or better than De Vito and Carrey?

I know I am not the only one who feels that way but it would be a poor choice but one I am sure studios would choose if forced to.. Being that this movie is set 6 months after Batman Begins Wayne Manor is still be reconstructed and now that this current Bat mobile got dumped if they did make a 3rd isntallment I am sure they would include the Bat mobile but I thinnk it would take away from what Nolan has done.

Understand about the Wayne Manor thing -- but what do you think would be "taking away" from what Nolan has done by reintroducing the batmobile...do you think the Tumbler was more "accurate"? I personally liked Burton's wild and outrageous batmobile concepts better than the Tumbler concept; was this jeep thing what he drove in the comic perspectives?

Which is make this as realistic as a comic book hero movie can be. That is where the difference lies with the different batmans. Nolan made these two films as real as possible where Burton and the others played to the complete opposite..

You mean the "gimmicky cartoonish" look that graces the other films? I know what you mean about that -- but I gotta say, Burton's take on it was a LOT better than Joel Schumacher's neon-lit homosexual aspect of the franchise; Burton, while perhaps not as "real" as Nolan's vision of the characters and Gotham, at least gave the first film a dark feel -- Schumacher came in and splashed everything with neon lights and colors and put nipples on the batsuit -- forget the travesty that was Clooney playing Wayne or even Kilmer; the last two films in that franchise were a joke.

Oh as for Robin, Bale said he would bail if they tried to introduce Robin into the movie and I agree it would not work for this gritty type of movie.. Holy ______ Batman, is just way too cheezy..

LOL...true. I didn't hear that about Bale; interesting.

2. The new Terminator is set before the Terminators you and I have seen, it is back in the future before they time traveled. Where the war is still being fought, and they have Roland Kickingger palying the T-800 which is what Arnold was, and Roland is also Austrian and played Arnold in A&Es See arnold Run... So its not Arnie but its close

Interesting...thanks for the info. And so it's going to be a PREQUEL story, huh? Figures...we're in the age of Exorcist: The Beginning, Star Wars Episodes Blah Blah Blah, you know...

jbadamantium
07-21-2008, 01:47 PM
What book? Who likes to tell different tales about it?

The Killing Joke. Joker.

Peter Marlowe
07-21-2008, 01:50 PM
The Killing Joke. Joker.

Oh, okay -- I didn't even know there was a book about this! So, it's from the Joker's own perspective? Interesting...what about the comics, though...do you know how his back story is explored? Does it go the way Burton portrayed it, with someone named "Jack Napier" killing Bruce's parents and then becoming Joker from Batman dropping him into the acid? Or is he just an unidentified bank robber like Nolan portrays him?

Mase
07-21-2008, 02:00 PM
Do you think Bale won't want to do it? Has he said anything about it? I know what you mean about not casting the same people who have already "grown into" the roles -- it would be like Maguire no longer playing Peter Parker...but still, I'd love to see a third one with the exploration of perhaps Penguin or Riddler...who do you think could play these roles as good as or better than De Vito and Carrey?



Understand about the Wayne Manor thing -- but what do you think would be "taking away" from what Nolan has done by reintroducing the batmobile...do you think the Tumbler was more "accurate"? I personally liked Burton's wild and outrageous batmobile concepts better than the Tumbler concept; was this jeep thing what he drove in the comic perspectives?



You mean the "gimmicky cartoonish" look that graces the other films? I know what you mean about that -- but I gotta say, Burton's take on it was a LOT better than Joel Schumacher's neon-lit homosexual aspect of the franchise; Burton, while perhaps not as "real" as Nolan's vision of the characters and Gotham, at least gave the first film a dark feel -- Schumacher came in and splashed everything with neon lights and colors and put nipples on the batsuit -- forget the travesty that was Clooney playing Wayne or even Kilmer; the last two films in that franchise were a joke.



LOL...true. I didn't hear that about Bale; interesting.



Interesting...thanks for the info. And so it's going to be a PREQUEL story, huh? Figures...we're in the age of Exorcist: The Beginning, Star Wars Episodes Blah Blah Blah, you know...

Its not that Bale wont want to do it but rather he is looking to be busy for the next couple years, and he is very cautious of the roles he chooses. I dont see him signing on for a film that recasts The Joker and takes this series in a completley new direction ie a more cheez-tastic direction with the likes of Robin and Batmobiles..

I think introducing the Batmobile takes away from the realness of what Nolan has created, I believe that is why he took the approach of the R&D division from Wayne enterprises to introduce the gadgets and vehicle. Instead of just a made up wall climbing batmobile we got a real vehicle that was made for the real world. Thats my take on it anyways, and no I dont think this was in a comic I think it was just Nolans way of making this film rooted in the viewers reality..

I will give you that Burtons take on it was classic and although it was darker (which is what Burton does best) it was still rooted in fantasy. Nothing wrong with that at all but it just does not have a real gritty feel like these new version, which is good as I enjoy variations and perspectives..

Yea Bale definintely did not want Robin to be introduced as I dont think there is a way to do so without detracting from what has been brought forth.. Too kiddish, and although it might not be true to the comics it would not be true to Nolans vision either..

Yup a prequel, which is good because it gives more oppertunities for this movie to be good, we literally know very little about the beginning and how it all started just a dew quips here and there in the movies.. And yes Bale has signed onto to two of these films so with this one still filming and then 3 others ready to go with him in it I dont see another Batman for a very long time. That could be a good thing though, this gives them time to come up with a story and villains and gives time for Bale to finish his other projects..

Peter Marlowe
07-21-2008, 02:22 PM
Its not that Bale wont want to do it but rather he is looking to be busy for the next couple years, and he is very cautious of the roles he chooses. I dont see him signing on for a film that recasts The Joker and takes this series in a completley new direction ie a more cheez-tastic direction with the likes of Robin and Batmobiles..

He could probably juggle a few jobs at once, I think; many actors and actresses do this all the time. He's a talented actor, I think, and it would be a shame for him not to return to the franchise and once again don the cape of the Dark Knight -- Bale was great for the Wayne role next to Keaton, who I always thought looked better behind the mask than without it...Keaton got that "Batman sneer" down perfect from behind the mask -- remember when he holds Nicholson up in the Axis Chemicals plant in Burton's film and his sidekick Bobby yells "Let him go or I'll do Gordon!" and then Nicholson says "nice outfit..."? Keaton sneers at him from beneath the mask and it was PERFECT...

But I suppose I agree that the introduction of Robin and the batmobile would be kinda cheesy; was Robin a big character in the comic, as well, or was it mainly Batman going solo?

I think introducing the Batmobile takes away from the realness of what Nolan has created, I believe that is why he took the approach of the R&D division from Wayne enterprises to introduce the gadgets and vehicle. Instead of just a made up wall climbing batmobile we got a real vehicle that was made for the real world. Thats my take on it anyways, and no I dont think this was in a comic I think it was just Nolans way of making this film rooted in the viewers reality..

I see...well, I can understand your opinion of the wall-crawling batmobiles introduced by Burton and Schumacher, it just seemed that batmobile LOOKED right -- as if it were lifted right from the pages of the comic, you know? I'm all about staying true to the roots of the source material -- now, this Tumbler was okay, but it didn't really say "batmobile" like fans would come to expect -- I TOTALLY understand what you're saying with regard to Nolan trying to stay away from the cheesy factor, but perhaps he could come up with something that would be a bit like Burton's batmobile but more classy; almost like what Bale's sophisticated Bruce Wayne would drive...perhaps a modified Lamborghini kind of thing, in all black, you know?

I will give you that Burtons take on it was classic and although it was darker (which is what Burton does best) it was still rooted in fantasy. Nothing wrong with that at all but it just does not have a real gritty feel like these new version, which is good as I enjoy variations and perspectives..

Yes, Burton's film definitely delves into fantasy -- it's like a "dream version" of a Batman concept. But I love Nicholson's Joker and I think Keaton did a great job beneath the mask. I don't like the fact that the film just abruptly started with no back story -- when released in 89, Burton's Batman simply assumed we all knew where he came from and how he trained to be a super Ninja...but we all didn't; it starts out with those two thugs mugging the couple in the alley and then Keaton drops down and beats 'em down -- but we get no back story, and that's where Nolan's effort is applauded.

As for the back story, that opens up a new series of questions for me -- is that the way the story really went, with Bruce going to the hills of the Orient and being trained by Ducard and the Leauge of Shadows to be a Ninja? What was the whole deal about Ducard and Al Ghoul wanting to return to Gotham to destroy it before it destroys itself? I could never understand their motives -- they felt like when a society reached the pinacle of its demise, they needed to step in and destroy it...but why exactly? That was one area I didn't like in Batman Begins...although Liam Neeson's performance in that as Ducard was spectacular -- as was the final fight sequence between him and Batman at the end.

Yea Bale definintely did not want Robin to be introduced as I dont think there is a way to do so without detracting from what has been brought forth.. Too kiddish, and although it might not be true to the comics it would not be true to Nolans vision either..

Interesting; did he say this in an interview or on a commentary track? I always wondered if the Robin character was more true to the comics or to the TV shows...

Yup a prequel, which is good because it gives more oppertunities for this movie to be good, we literally know very little about the beginning and how it all started just a dew quips here and there in the movies.. And yes Bale has signed onto to two of these films so with this one still filming and then 3 others ready to go with him in it I dont see another Batman for a very long time. That could be a good thing though, this gives them time to come up with a story and villains and gives time for Bale to finish his other projects..

True...

jbadamantium
07-21-2008, 03:25 PM
Oh, okay -- I didn't even know there was a book about this! So, it's from the Joker's own perspective? Interesting...what about the comics, though...do you know how his back story is explored? Does it go the way Burton portrayed it, with someone named "Jack Napier" killing Bruce's parents and then becoming Joker from Batman dropping him into the acid? Or is he just an unidentified bank robber like Nolan portrays him?

As I said before, there is no back story for Joker in the comics or graphic novels. The Killing Joke comes closest but it is not even a definite thing. The Killing Joke is not told from Joker's perspective on the whole, but the part dealing with his back story is told from his perspective.

Peter Marlowe
07-21-2008, 03:30 PM
As I said before, there is no back story for Joker in the comics or graphic novels. The Killing Joke comes closest but it is not even a definite thing. The Killing Joke is not told from Joker's perspective on the whole, but the part dealing with his back story is told from his perspective.

Hmmm...interesting...so any idea where Burton got this "concept" of a "Jack Napier" becoming Joker based on Batman throwing him into a vat of chemicals or acid? Was this a screenwriter's idea?

jbadamantium
07-21-2008, 04:46 PM
The Killing Joke and one of the original comics presented the vat of acid as a backstory, so it was not created by Burton.

Peter Marlowe
07-21-2008, 05:17 PM
The Killing Joke and one of the original comics presented the vat of acid as a backstory, so it was not created by Burton.

And so why didn't Nolan go with that angle then if it seemed more "authentic" to backstory histories, etc? Someone does indeed throw Joker in the acid thus becoming Joker -- was it Batman who did it? Was this guy's name "Napier" or did Burton make that up too?

All interesting information...thank you for sharing so far...

jbadamantium
07-22-2008, 08:12 PM
In both the original DC issue and in TKJ, Joker simply falls into the vat, he is not pushed by anyone. The name Jack Napier was made up by Burton. The reason Nolan did not go with this is probably because what he did was perfect. The chemical vat story is not an official story, just a possible one. Joker himself does not even know how he became Joker, so the fact that he tells people different stories in The Dark Knight fits.

Peter Marlowe
07-22-2008, 08:23 PM
In both the original DC issue and in TKJ, Joker simply falls into the vat, he is not pushed by anyone. The name Jack Napier was made up by Burton. The reason Nolan did not go with this is probably because what he did was perfect. The chemical vat story is not an official story, just a possible one. Joker himself does not even know how he became Joker, so the fact that he tells people different stories in The Dark Knight fits.

Interesting...thank you. Didn't, though, most of his fits in Dark Knight reveal that he put the knife inside his own mouth and cut himself after the whole WHY SO SERIOUS comments, etc?

So Napier was made up by Burton...interesting. It's just all so weird that he himself doesn't know how he became Joker even, and that there's no real back story...almost every comic character has a back story!

Mase
07-23-2008, 07:19 AM
Interesting...thank you. Didn't, though, most of his fits in Dark Knight reveal that he put the knife inside his own mouth and cut himself after the whole WHY SO SERIOUS comments, etc?

So Napier was made up by Burton...interesting. It's just all so weird that he himself doesn't know how he became Joker even, and that there's no real back story...almost every comic character has a back story!

But thats what makes the joker soo disturbing, its what makes him, well him...

Nolan nailed it imo..

Peter Marlowe
07-24-2008, 03:27 PM
But thats what makes the joker soo disturbing, its what makes him, well him...

Nolan nailed it imo..

Not that Ledger's rendition of the character wasn't excellent -- he really was a great demented, dark Joker -- I've always been a fan of Nicholson's rendition of the character; man, he just plays that off-the-wall Joker so well...but there were two different takes here: Burton's campy, cartoonish, fantasy kind of Joker and Nolan's dark, more sinister, mysterious Joker. Both worked effectively -- I just wish there had been more of a real backstory to go by because I always "bought" Burton's vision as the "real" deal and being authentic to the source materials; of course, as years pass and we get stuff like "Batman Begins," we are exposed to a possible different take on the events and characters -- I think most of the world took Burton's vision as the "right" one because there were no other elements to compare. Perhaps diehard Batman comic fans knew the difference but then Nolan came along and offered this different perspective and we're never really left knowing what the Joker was really about...

The end of Batman Begins suggests the Joker was already coming into the picture -- he leaves the card that Gordon found. But what of this? I mean, was he already plotting robberies and crime while Bruce was dealing with Scarecrow and Ducard? He was already in Gotham? As I said, Burton takes the perspective and angle that this criminal named "Jack Napier" was working for Carl Grissom and got set up at the Axis Chemicals plant where Batman dropped him into the vat...but in Nolan's vision, was Joker already romping around Gotham, no previous "story" to speak of?

Just some differences I ponder between the two visions...

Lee Stewart
07-24-2008, 03:30 PM
An interesting read . . . The Joker:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joker_(comics)

Peter Marlowe
07-24-2008, 03:33 PM
I got nothing with that link, Lee...

Peter Marlowe
07-24-2008, 03:35 PM
Some digging around got me this, which was interesting:

The Joker is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Batman #1 (Spring 1940), and was created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson. The Joker is a master criminal, whose characterization has varied from a violent sociopath who murders people, causes chaos and commits crimes for his own amusement, to a goofy and virtually harmless trickster-thief. The character is the archenemy of Batman, and has been responsible for numerous tragedies in the Caped Crusader's life, including the paralysis of Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle) and the murder of Jason Todd (the second Robin). Wizard magazine rated Joker as the greatest villain of all time.[2] The Joker's real identity is unknown, and there have been different takes on his origin; the most common variation depicts him as having fallen into a vat of chemicals, which bleached his skin white, dyed his hair green and turned his lips bright red, giving him the appearance of a clown.

The character has appeared in numerous Batman related media; portrayed by Cesar Romero in the 1960s Batman television series; Jack Nicholson in the 1989 film Batman (Nicholson's version of the Joker ranks #45 in the American Film Institute's list of the top 50 film villains); voice actor Mark Hamill in the 1990s Batman: The Animated Series television series; and Heath Ledger in the 2008 Batman Begins sequel, The Dark Knight.

Peter Marlowe
07-24-2008, 03:37 PM
...and:

Origin
Though many have been related, a definitive backstory has never been established for the Joker in the comics, and his real name has never been confirmed. He has been portrayed as lying so often about his former life that he himself is confused as to what actually happened. As he says in The Killing Joke: "Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another... if I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!"[13] In Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth written by Grant Morrison, it is said that the Joker may not be insane, but has some sort of "super-sanity" in which he creates himself each day to cope with the chaotic flow of modern urban life.[16]


The Joker, before the accident, with his pregnant wife. Art by Brian Bolland from The Killing JokeThe first origin account, Detective Comics #168 (February 1951), revealed that the Joker had once been a criminal known as the Red Hood. In the story, he was a scientist looking to steal from the company that employs him and adopts the persona of Red Hood. After committing the theft, which Batman thwarts, Red Hood falls into a vat of chemical waste. He emerges with bleached white skin, red lips, green hair, and a permanent grin.[17][18]

The most widely cited backstory, which the official DC Comics publication, Who's Who in the DC Universe, credits as the most widely believed account, can be seen in The Killing Joke. It depicts him as originally being an engineer at a chemical plant who quits his job to become a stand-up comedian, only to fail miserably. Desperate to support his pregnant wife, Jeannie, the man agrees to help two criminals break into the plant where he was formerly employed. In this version of the story, the Red Hood persona is given to the inside man of every job (thus it is never the same man twice); this makes the man appear to be the ringleader, allowing the two criminals to escape. During the planning, police contact him and inform him that his wife and unborn child have died in a household accident.[13][14]


The Joker emerges from chemical-ridden water and goes insane in The Killing Joke. Art by Brian Bolland.Stricken with grief, he attempts to back out of the plan, but the criminals strong-arm him into keeping his promise. As soon as they enter the plant, however, they are immediately caught by security and a shoot-out ensues, in which the two criminals are killed. As the engineer tries to escape, he is confronted by Batman, who is investigating the disturbance. Terrified, the engineer leaps over a rail and plummets into a vat of chemicals. When he surfaces in the nearby reservoir, he removes the hood and sees his reflection: bleached chalk-white skin, ruby-red lips, and bright green hair. These events, coupled with his other misfortunes that day, drive the engineer completely insane, resulting in the birth of the Joker.[13][14]

The story "Pushback" (Batman: Gotham Knights # 50-55) supports part of this version of the Joker's origin story. In it, a witness (who coincidentally turns out to be Edward Nigma, a.k.a. the Riddler) recounts that the Joker's wife was kidnapped and murdered by the criminals in order to force the engineer into performing the crime. In this version, the pre-accident Joker is called Jack.[19]

The Paul Dini-Alex Ross story "Case Study" proposes a far different theory. This story suggests that the Joker was a sadistic gangster who worked his way up Gotham's criminal food chain until he was the leader of a powerful mob. Still seeking the thrills that dirty work allowed, he created the Red Hood identity for himself so that he could commit small-time crimes. Eventually, he had his fateful first meeting with Batman, resulting in his disfigurement. However, the story suggests that the Joker retained his sanity, and researched his crimes to look like the work of a sick mind in order to pursue his vendetta against Batman.

The latter origin is featured in the second arc of Batman Confidential (#7-12). This origin once more states his name as Jack, and eliminates the Red Hood identity. Bored with his work, Jack becomes obsessed with Batman, and crashes a museum ball to attract his attention. In doing so, he badly injures Lorna Shore (whom Bruce Wayne is dating). An enraged Batman disfigures his face with a batarang as he escapes. In retaliation, a furious Batman sells Jack out to mobsters who he had crossed, who torture Jack in a disused chemical plant. Turning the tables, Jack kills several of his assailants, but falls into an empty vat. Wild gunfire punctures the chemical tanks above him, and the resultant flood of toxins alters his appearance to that of the Joker or a clown.[20]


[edit] Criminal career
From the Joker's first appearance in Batman #1, he has committed crimes both whimsical and inhumanly brutal, all with a logic and reasoning that, in Batman's words, "make sense to him alone."[21]

In Batman: The Killing Joke, the Joker shoots Barbara Gordon (then known as Batgirl and in later comics as Oracle), paralyzing her. He then kidnaps Commissioner Gordon and taunts him with enlarged photographs of his wounded daughter being undressed, in an attempt to prove that any normal man can go insane after having "one really bad day." The Joker ridicules him as an example of "the average man," a na´ve weakling doomed to insanity. The Joker fails in his attempts to drive Gordon insane, because Batman saves the commissioner. Although traumatized, Gordon retains his sanity and moral code, urging Batman to apprehend the Joker "by the book" in order to "show him that our way works." After a brief struggle, Batman tries one final time to reach the Joker, offering to rehabilitate him. The Joker refuses, but shows his appreciation by sharing a joke with Batman and allowing himself to be taken back to Arkham.[22]

The Joker murders Jason Todd, the second Robin, in the story A Death in the Family. Jason discovers that a woman who may be his birth mother is being blackmailed by the Joker. She betrays her son to keep from having her medical supply thefts exposed, leading to Jason's brutal beating by the Joker with a crowbar. The Joker locks Jason and his mother in the warehouse where the assault took place and blows it up just as Batman arrives. Readers could vote on whether they wanted Jason Todd to survive the blast. They voted for him to die, hence Batman finds Jason's lifeless body. Jason's death has haunted Batman ever since and has intensified his obsession with his archenemy.[12]

In the one-shot comic Mad Love, Arkham psychiatrist Harleen Quinzel ponders whether the Joker may in fact be faking insanity so as to avoid the death penalty. As she tries to treat the Joker, he recounts a tale of an abusive father and runaway mother to gain her sympathy. She falls hopelessly in love with him and allows him to escape Arkham several times before she is eventually exposed. Driven over the edge with obsession, she becomes Harley Quinn, Joker's accomplice and on-and-off girlfriend.[23]


The Joker and Harley Quinn.
Art by Alex Ross.During the events of the No Man's Land storyline, the Joker murders Sarah Essen Gordon, Commissioner Gordon's second wife, by shooting her in the head as she tries to protect the infants that he has kidnapped. He surrenders to Batman, but continues to taunt Gordon, provoking the Commissioner to shoot him in the kneecap. The Joker laments that he may never walk again, and then collapses with laughter as he "gets the joke" that Gordon has just avenged his daughter's paralysis.[24] While in transit back to Arkham, however, he takes control of the helicopter transporting him, and flies off to Qurac, where he becomes part of the government and helps to speed the country's decline into war with its neighbours. He is subsequently sent to New York as the country's ambassador, in a position of which he then threathens to use a neutron bomb to kill everyone in Manhattan if the United Nations doesn't withdraw its forces. Power Girl and Huntress of the Birds of Prey capture him, however, and Barbara Gordon tricks him into telling them how to stop the attack, after which the Joker is sent to 'the Slab' "with the rest of the supercreeps." [25]

In a company-wide crossover, Last Laugh, the Joker believes himself to be dying and plans one last historic crime spree, infecting the inmates of The Slab, a prison for super criminals, with Joker venom to escape. With plans to infect the entire world, he sets the super-powered inmates loose to cause mass chaos in their 'jokerized' forms. Meanwhile, he tries to ensure his "legacy" by defacing statues in his image. The entire United States declares war on the Joker under the orders of President Lex Luthor; in response, Joker sends his minions to kill the President. Black Canary discovers that Joker's doctor modified his CAT scan to make it appear that he had a fatal tumor in an attempt to subdue him with the threat of death. Harley Quinn, angry at the Joker's attempt to make her pregnant without marrying her, helps the heroes create an antidote to the Joker poison and return the super villains to their normal state. Believing Robin had been eaten by Killer Croc in the ensuing madness, Nightwing eventually catches up with the Joker and beats him to death. To keep Nightwing from having blood on his hands, Batman resuscitates the Joker.[26]

In Emperor Joker, a multipart story throughout the Superman titles, the Joker steals Mister Mxyzptlk's reality-altering power, remaking the entire world into a twisted caricature, with everyone in it stuck in a loop. The conflict focuses on the fate of Batman in this world, with the Joker torturing and killing his adversary every day, only to bring him back to life and do it over and over again. Superman's powerful will allows him to fight off the Joker's influence enough to make contact with the weakened Mxyzptlk, who along with a less-powerful Spectre, encourages Superman to work out the Joker's weakness before reality is destroyed by the Joker's misuse of Mxyzptlk's power. As time runs out, Superman realizes that the Joker still cannot erase Batman from existence, as the Joker totally defines himself by his opposition to the Dark Knight; if the Joker can't even erase one man, how can he destroy the universe? The Joker's control shattered, Mxyzptlk and the Spectre manage to reconstruct reality from the moment the Joker disrupted everything, but Batman is left broken from experiencing multiple deaths. Superman has to steal Batman's memories so that he can go on, transferring them to the Joker and leaving him catatonic.[27]

In the Under The Hood arc (Batman #635-650), Jason Todd returns to life. Angry at Batman for failing to avenge his death, he takes over his killer's old Red Hood identity, abducts the Joker and attempts to force Batman to shoot him.[28]

At the conclusion of Infinite Crisis, the Joker kills Alexander Luthor, hero of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths and villain of Infinite Crisis for being left out of the Society.[29]

The Joker is a main character in the Salvation Run miniseries, leading one of two factions of supervillains who have been exiled from Earth to a distant prison planet.[30] In issue six of the series, Joker engages Lex Luthor in an all-out brawl. Just as he gains the upper hand, however, the planet is invaded by Parademons, he helps fight off the invasion and later escapes along with the rest of the surviving villains in a teleportation machine.

After returning to Earth, Joker is yet again a patient in Arkham Asylum. Batman visits him to ask him if he knows anything about the Black Glove, but Joker only responds by dealing a Dead man's hand [31]. During routine therapy, Joker is met by a spy for the Club of Villains who offers him a chance to join them in their crusade against Batman.[32]

Joker later appears as a member of Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains.


[edit] Powers and abilities
The Joker commits crimes with countless "comedic" weapons (such as razor-sharp playing cards, acid-spewing flowers, cyanide pies, and lethally electric joy buzzers) and Joker venom, sometimes referred to as "Joker Juice", a deadly poison that infects his victims with a ghoulish rictus grin as they die while laughing uncontrollably.[33] This venom comes in many forms, from gas to darts to liquid poison, and has been his primary calling card from his first appearance. The Joker is immune to his venom, as stated in Batman #663 when Morrison writes that "being an avid consumer of his products, Joker's immunity to poisons has been built up over years of dedicated abuse."[34] He is highly intelligent and very skilled in the fields of chemistry and engineering. In a miniseries featuring Tim Drake, the third Robin, the Joker kidnaps a computer genius, admitting that he doesn't know much about computers, but under later writers, he is shown as very computer literate.

Joker's skills in hand-to-hand combat vary considerably depending on the writer. Some writers have shown Joker to be quite the skilled fighter, capable even of holding his own against Batman in a fight. Other writers prefer portraying Joker as being physically frail to the point that he can be defeated with a single punch. He is, however, consistently described as agile.

The Joker has cheated death numerous times, even in seemingly inescapable and lethal situations. Though he has been seen caught in explosions, been shot repeatedly, dropped from lethal heights, electrocuted, and so on, the Joker always returns to once again wreak havoc.[35][36]

Over several decades there have been a variety of depictions and possibilities regarding the Joker's apparent insanity. Grant Morrison's graphic novel Arkham Asylum suggests that the Joker's mental state is in fact a previously unprecedented form of "super-sanity," a form of ultra-sensory perception. It also suggests that he has no true personality of his own, that on any given day he can be a harmless clown or a vicious killer, depending on which would benefit him the most. Later, during the Knightfall saga, after Scarecrow and the Joker team up and kidnap the mayor of Gotham City, Scarecrow turns on the Joker and uses his fear gas to see what Joker is afraid of. To Scarecrow's surprise, the gas has no effect on Joker, who in turn beats him with a chair. In Morrison's JLA title, the Martian Manhunter, trapped in a surreal maze created by the Joker, used his shape-shifting abilities to reconfigure his own brain to emulate the Joker's chaotic thought patterns. Later in the same storyline, Martian Manhunter uses his telepathic powers to reorganize the Joker's mind and create momentary sanity, though with great effort and only temporarily. In those few moments, the Joker expresses regret for his many crimes and pleads for a chance at redemption.

In an alternate depiction of the Joker called Elseworlds: Distant Fires, the Joker is rendered sane by a nuclear war that deprives all super beings of their powers. In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #145, the Joker became sane when Batman put him in one of Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus Pits after being shot, a reversal of the insanity which may come after experiencing such rejuvenation. However, the sanity, like the more commonplace insanity, was only temporary, and soon the Joker was back to his "normal" self.[37]

The character is sometimes portrayed as having a fourth wall awareness which also seems to carry over to Batman: The Animated Series.[15] The Joker is the only character to talk directly into the "camera",[15] and can be heard whistling his own theme music in the episode adaptation of the comic Mad Love. Also, in the episode "Joker's Wild", he says into the camera,"Don't try this at home kids!"[38] In the Marvel vs DC crossover, he also demonstrates knowledge of the first Batman/Spider-Man crossover even though that story's events did not occur in the canonical history of either the Marvel or DC universe. On page five of "Sign of The Joker", the second half of the "Laughing Fish" storyline, the Joker turns the page for the reader, bowing and tipping his hat to mock politeness.


[edit] Character
The Joker has been referred to as the Clown Prince of Crime, the Harlequin of Hate, and the Ace of Knaves. Throughout the evolution of the DC universe, interpretations and incarnations of the Joker have taken two forms. The original and currently dominant image is of a fiendishly intelligent lunatic with a warped, sadistic sense of humor. The other interpretation of the character, popular in the late 1940s through 1960s comic books as well as the 1960s television series, is that of an eccentric but harmless prankster and thief. The 1990s cartoon Batman: The Animated Series blended these two aspects to great acclaim, although most interpretations tend to embrace one characterization or the other.[15]

The Joker's victims have included men, women, children, and even his own henchmen. A 1996 issue of Hitman stated that the Joker once gassed an entire kindergarten class. In the graphic novel The Joker: Devil's Advocate, the Joker is reported to have killed well over 2,000 people. Despite having murdered enough people to get the death penalty thousands of times over, he is always found not guilty by reason of insanity.[39] In the Batman story line "War Crimes", this continued ruling of insanity is in fact made possible by the Joker's own dream team of lawyers. He is then placed in Arkham Asylum, from which he appears able to escape at will, going so far as to claim that it's just a resting ground in between his "performances". Indeed, during the "Justice" Miniseries by Jim Krueger and Alex Ross, Joker says to The Riddler he can break out at any time, he only stays in Arkham for as long as he thinks it's funny. A couple issues later, he is then seen roaming free. In the last issue, however, he is back in Arkham, apparently of his own free will (having returned, apparently, solely to mock the newly defeated Arkham inmates.)

There have been times when Batman has been tempted to put the Joker down once and for all, but has relented at the last minute. After capturing the Joker in one story, he threatens to kill his old foe, but then says, "But that would give you the final victory, making me into a killer like yourself!" Conversely, the Joker has given up many chances to kill Batman. The Joker's obsession with Batman is unique compared to other villains, showing that he does not hate him, and even considers him a friend, enjoying their battles and constantly mocking him, hinting he may want to make Batman as insane as he is.


The Joker #1 (May 1975). Cover art by Dick Giordano.The Joker is renowned as Batman's greatest enemy.[40] While other villains rely on tried-and-true methods to commit crimes (such as Mr. Freeze's freeze gun or Poison Ivy's toxic plants), Joker has a variety of weapons at his disposal. For example, the flower he wears in his lapel sprays (at any given time) acid, poisonous laughing gas, or nothing at all. In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker and much earlier in "Dreadful Birthday, Dear Joker!" (Batman #321), the Joker has a gun which at first shoots a flag saying "BANG!", but then, with another pull of the trigger, the flag fires and impales its target.[36][41] His most recurring gadget is a high-voltage hand-buzzer, which he uses to electrocute his victims with a handshake. Sometimes he commits crimes just for the fun of it, while on other occasions, it is part of a grand scheme; Batman has been noted to say that the Joker's plans make sense to him alone. His capricious nature, coupled with his violent streak, makes him the one villain that the DC Universe's other super-villains fear; in the Villains United and Infinite Crisis mini-series, the members of the villains' Secret Society refuse to induct the Joker for this reason. In the mini-series Underworld Unleashed, the Trickster remarks, "When super-villains want to scare each other, they tell Joker stories".

Peter Marlowe
07-24-2008, 03:44 PM
Wow; I never knew there was SO much background on this character...it appears there isn't one definitive backstory to go by as everyone has been saying...weird...

With regard to the Riddler: Was HIS origin really the way Schumacher portrayed in Batman Forever...that is, he was really "Edward Nigma" who worked for Wayne Enterprises but simply was interested in "sucking Gotham's brainwaves dry" and thus morphed into the Riddler? What's the story behind HIM?

On paper, you would have thought the choice of Jim Carrey would have been perfect for a character such as Riddler...but the film ended up being a mess because of all the cross-talent that was competing for attention in Batman Forever: Kilmer, Jones, Kidman, Carrey, O'Donnell...it ended up being a tad bit better than Batman and Robin.

Now, if Nolan decides to continue this rebooted franchise, I wonder if he would explore Ridder or Penguin next -- and who he would get to portray them after De Vito and Carrey already did...

jbadamantium
07-27-2008, 01:56 PM
I doubt it will be Penguin or The Riddler. I say this because both are just too campy and goofy for Nolan's crime drama approach. Don't get me wrong, I love both characters, but they wouldn't fit in the vision that Nolan has established. The Riddler is....well, he's The Riddler. Penguin is pretty goofy all around, but let's face it, an army of trained pengiuns? Not going to work in Nolan's "Batman 3." He needs another dark character with no "super powers" to speak of. My money is on Black Mask.

Peter Marlowe
07-27-2008, 02:16 PM
I doubt it will be Penguin or The Riddler. I say this because both are just too campy and goofy for Nolan's crime drama approach. Don't get me wrong, I love both characters, but they wouldn't fit in the vision that Nolan has established. The Riddler is....well, he's The Riddler. Penguin is pretty goofy all around, but let's face it, an army of trained pengiuns? Not going to work in Nolan's "Batman 3." He needs another dark character with no "super powers" to speak of. My money is on Black Mask.

Interesting...I guess I can see your point, but wasn't the Joker just as "goofy" as those other characters/villains? There sure are ways to make Penguin dark and sinister without adding the goofy trained penguins -- just because Burton went with that doesn't mean Nolan has to; there has been plenty of "character bending" and "altering" already, hasn't there? So what's the harm in introducing a character like the Penguin without all that fluff with the penguins carrying rockets, etc? Just my two cents; I think it would be a cool idea -- Penguin could definitely be twisted to a real dark image in the hands of Nolan. But you're right -- perhaps Black Mask or someone more sinister would be more in line of what Nolan wants...as for the Riddler, I think this could also be created into a dark character in Nolan's hands...it's all how it's handled by a director and his team...the issue then becomes...who plays Penguin other than De Vito and who plays Riddler other than Carrey......:eek::eyecrazy