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Shawn Kane
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Posted: 07 October 2019 at 4:42am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Scott Snyder's "Death of the Family" finally burned me out on Joker. Due to the crossover with other titles, the body count between citizens and Gotham City police had to be in the hundreds (at least). That's just for that story, never mind the multiple murders that modern writers have had him commit.

 


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John Byrne
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Posted: 07 October 2019 at 6:38am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

The Joker started out as a murderer, but by the time I "met" him in the mid-Fifties, that had been toned down to nothing. There were even "imaginary stories" (written by Alfred) that showed him living in peaceful retirement in a little cottage on the outskirts of Gotham.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 07 October 2019 at 7:40am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

One problem with modern-day Joker is that writers felt that they had to keep upping the ante with his sadism, starting with THE KILLING JOKE. On its own, I would scoff when fans question "Why doesn't Batman just kill the Joker already?". Yes, that question should never be asked, but I feel as though the writers have been painting Batman into a corner, with the Joker increasingly making the situation personal with Batman - starting with paralyzing Barbara Gordon, and then of course killing Jason Todd. (I believe there are other instances, but they elude me now).

Given current state of the Joker, I can understand the question being asked. But, I feel that the solution would have been to have never told the above stories in the first place. Keep him at the level of THE JOKER'S FIVE-WAY REVENGE, and everything's fine.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 07 October 2019 at 7:46am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Unfortunately, the Joker--having become so goofy, via the TV show, that Denny and Neal actually had to fight editorial to do FIVE WAY REVENGE--was rehabilitated to the point that he became "cool". A bad guy fans really wanted to be. Hey! No rules!

And, of course, no rules means NO RULES. And pretty quickly the Joker became "insane" and the whole Arkham mess was shoveled into the mix. Then writers and fans had to start justifying how the Joker could give Batman even five minutes trouble. "Oh, he's so crazy, Batman doesn't know what he's going to do next!" Batman? Seriously?

And then they all saw SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. . . . . . .

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 07 October 2019 at 8:27am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

ITEM: If anyone thought about it a little bit, there's a perfect reason that the Joker had a mustache - the chemicals affected his hair, turning it green... so why not the possibility that he had a mustache before he fell in the chemicals, and it turned white as well? After all, there was never an origin for the Joker... which means some people find it amazing that he had a mustache! (Which, frankly, I can grow in five days with no effort...)

ITEM: It seemed that in the 40s and 50s, a lot of villains wanted Batman dead - but so many more just wanted to get away with their crimes and never ever even see Batman again. I cannot think of any villains from that era whose main purpose was killing Batman. Even the Joker and Penguin and Two-Face just wanted to rob and get away with it. Maybe Two-Face was the deadliest foe Batman and Robin had - he was 50% intent on killing them, which seems the most anyone wanted them dead.

ITEM: "The Joker's Five Way Revenge" was probably the deadliest anyone had ever seen the Joker. He was trying to kill six people... five gang members who turned on him, and Batman (of course.) But he went from wacky criminal to murderous lunatic. Had it been just one time, one overreaction, that might have been fine. But suddenly, it seemed that he became the Clown Prince of Murder. At which point, it was time for editorial to say, "These are comics for a younger audience. If you like it this way, do your own fan fiction. We're selling comics here at DC. We don't have villains who are killers, except for their arch-foes." It was a turn that should have been REturned, IMO.

ITEM: Then came the exacerbation of killers. New writer: "I've got Superman in a trap where he can't escape without killing someone." The answer is that it's just BAD WRITING. Yes, you could certainly have Superman or Batman kill... which loses the whole point of the idea of super heroes. Wonder Woman came from a combative civilization; Green Lantern was an interstellar policeman; Aquaman was a king. Each would have rationale (reasonable) to kill - but it's COMICS. They just didn't do that.

Once killing came into the picture - let alone HEROES killing - the way was lost and the battle over.


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Michael Penn
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Posted: 07 October 2019 at 8:53am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

As a kid, I never noticed Cesar Romero's mustache. Decades later I was genuinely surprised to read about it.
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 07 October 2019 at 10:21am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

If anyone thought about it a little bit, there's a perfect reason that the Joker had a mustache - the chemicals affected his hair, turning it green... so why not the possibility that he had a mustache before he fell in the chemicals, and it turned white as well?

I had considered that, but both his hair and eyebrows were green, so it seems his mustache would be, too, if caused by chemicals. 

I am truly surprised to hear that so many hadn't noticed. Before now, it seemed anyone else I'd ever discussed the show with knew about it (if it came up). Weird. Maybe it's some skewed variation on the Mandela Effect.

Again, not a real detriment. Romero's Joker was awesome.  


Edited by Brian Rhodes on 07 October 2019 at 10:22am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 07 October 2019 at 11:49am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Once it became “cool” to have spotted Romero’s ‘stache, of course EVERYBODY had spotted it.

feh

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 07 October 2019 at 12:36pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Brian R. - well, I can tell you pretty certainly that my beard, hair, and mustache are all of varying colors! :D
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 07 October 2019 at 12:56pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

As are mine, Eric, as are mine. 

And, unfortunately, white is one of them. 


Edited by Brian Rhodes on 07 October 2019 at 12:57pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 07 October 2019 at 1:03pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I’ve had black and GREEN!
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 08 October 2019 at 12:43am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

 Brian Rhodes wrote:
...I assumed most viewers were aware of it, then and now. That was not a safe assumption, clearly...

Add me to those who never noticed it until I was told as an adult, and then went back and could see it. But, as JB pointed out, on smaller, older TV sets with lower resolution, it didn't stick out like people today think it would have. I am not old enough to have seen the "Batman" TV show first run, but I originally watched it regularly in syndicated reruns back in the mid-1970s. The resolution of TV sets didn't really get much better from 1966, to then. Heck, I think the average TV resolution remained about the same until the 1990s, when large screen TVs were still a luxury item.
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