For a villain larger than life, the Joker has been strangely absent in comics lately. Sure, he popped up in the recent Death Of The Family arc and a few other appearances here and there in which he made life hell for not only Batman but his entire extended family. But at the same time, there was something off about this Joker. Something missing. And in his next big act of terror, you can expect to see an even more unhinged clown prince of crime watching Gotham burn.
For starters, this Joker has regained his sense of haute couture. Having spent the majority of the recent New 52 reboot without an actual face, the Joker has had some extensive surgery done, as Batman artist Greg Capullo’s cover to Batman #37 revealed:
“Yeah! He has his face back!”, Batman writer Scott Snyder said to Comic Book Resources, describing how their version of the Joker was meant to sow terror with nothing more than a grim smile. “The most important thing is that he looks scary, you know? The other most important thing, when we were talking about him, was that he looks reborn in some way,” Snyder explained.
Classic, but a little bit darker. We talked about different possibilities. We talked about the purple suit, and then we realized, no matter how you cut it and what the suit is, it just makes him not scary in a lot of senses. So for us it became about giving him the black suit with the purple handkerchief, give him a more funeral look.
Make the hair shorter on the sides, make sure his eyes are very wide, very bloodshot, the wider grin with the clownish chin and nose. Make him a little less witchy and a little more scary, someone who is in the shadows, looking at you, who is clearly a Joker, young and restarted. He’s come back saying, “This is it. If I’m moving on, I’m starting over without you.”
This time, it’s all business as the Joker prepares to move on from his cat and mouse game with the Batman. Sick of being a misunderstood punching bag and bored with the constant battles, the Joker is ready to seek a new foe who will really get his twisted vision. The first part of his plan has been to unleash a new Joker venom on the Justice League, and set them loose on the Batman. No longer content to be the Dark Knight’s Jester, this time the Joker is playing for keeps as Snyder explained:
Right, basically you’re hitting on something the Joker is saying. “You used to know me, or at least I let you think you know me, and we played a game together where we sort of understood each other. But who I really am and what I would really do to you, you have no idea. I’m just a stranger to you, and welcome to that status of things.” That’s what he’s saying. He’s saying, “You don’t know anything about me anymore. But I know everything about you.”
This is Joker saying, “There is no more relationship! There is no more game between us, it’s all done, and I’m going to show you how small you are and how you never understood anything about me, I just let you pretend or think you did just to let you play along. But I’m bored of you, and that’s it.” To me, that’s burning everything I can with it to build something else with Batman and Gotham. It really is the last time I intend to write Joker; for me this really is everything I have to give to the character!
The endgame has already begun in Batman, with part 2 on sale this week.
Last Updated: November 13, 2014