“Introduce a little anarchy, upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos.” – The Joker, The Dark Knight.
Few supervillains are quite as recognizable as the Joker from Batman. The character debuted in 1940 in Batman #1, as the first villain of the Batman series. Originally, he was meant to die after being stabbed to death, but the comic’s creators liked the villain so much that they kept finding ways to bring him back. He was dubbed Batman’s archenemy, and went on to kill thousands of peoples in the comics and even derail a train.
Every other villain has a motive: something that makes them tick, something that makes them do what they do. Magneto was inspired by his painful childhood in a Nazi deathcamp. Loki just wanted to make his dad proud of him, but took it too far. Darth Vader was afraid of losing everyone close to him, and that fear turned into anger, and the anger into hate…and hate…well, you know the line.
The Joker is a great villain because he doesn’t have a motive. He’s just batshit insane. He does what he does because it’s fun. He’s an “agent of chaos”, turning life into one big game for his own amusement. There is no rhyme. There is no reason. There is no why.
There’s just him and Batman and the world.
Love the Joker? Here’s some cool facts you might not have known:
- Batman and the Joker actually need each other to go on living.
- The Joker’s scars only appear in the Batman films, and weren’t there in the original comics.
- Nobody knows the Joker’s true origin story. Heath Ledger’s told three different tales, and that’s just getting started.
- The Joker knows Bruce Wayne is Batman. He doesn’t care.
- DC tried making a solo “Joker” series. It completely crashed.
- Heath Ledger designed the Joker’s makeup for The Dark Knight himself.
- Mark Hamill (AKA Luke Skywalker!) voiced the Joker in the animated Batman series for over 20 years.
The Joker really is one of the best supervillains ever created. It’d be a shame if we didn’t pay him some sort of homage. For all you fans of chaos out there, these are the Joker t-shirts that’ll make your skin crawl. The sort that once you put them on, you’ll hear the whisper by your ear: “Why so serious?”
They’re pretty awesome.