Published On: October 6th, 2019Categories: Uncategorized

The Joker has been around since the first Batman comic book in 1940. But you won’t see Batman in the film ‘Joker,’ which stars Joaquin Phoenix and opens this week.

This is the first R-rated film for a DC-created franchise since “Watchmen” in 2009. The Joker of the modern times is a lot darker than that of the 1950s-1980s. Sixty-five years ago, a book titled “Seduction of the Innocent” by psychiatrist Dr. Fredric Wertham created a public frenzy and resulted in Senate hearings on the influence of comics on youth in 1954. The outcry led to the creation of the Comics Code Authority seal of approval. DC Comics was the second-to-last comics publisher to drop the seal when it created its own guidelines in 2011.

In September, Joaquin Phoenix stepped away from an interview about “Joker” after he was asked about the controversial movie potentially inspiring violence.

The director, Todd Phillips has been defensive about the graphic violence in the film. He was quoted in Variety saying, “Isn’t it a good thing to put real-world implications on violence? Isn’t that a good thing to take away the cartoon element of violence that we’ve become so immune to? So I was a little surprised when it turns into that direction, that it seems irresponsible because to me it seems actually very responsible to make it feel real and make it that weight.”

Comic book origin: The Joker has been Batman’s No. 1 nemesis ever since his debut in the first Batman comic book in 1940. He was supposed to be killed in the second book so Batman’s crime-fighting skills would be unquestioned but appeared in nine of the first 12 books.

Batman creators Bill Finger (writer), Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson (artists) are credited with the character. DC No. 168 revealed that, before his transformation, the Joker was the criminal known as the Red Hood, and while trying to avoid being caught he slipped into a vat of chemicals, then came out as the Joker.

The Joker’s backstory has changed many times over the years.

The Joker has many names such as the Clown Prince of Crime, the Harlequin of Hate, the Ace of Knaves and the Jester of Genocide.


There is no clear-cut method to rank the greatness of a comic book character, but that doesn’t stop comic book fans from trying. On the site, the Joker was voted the greatest supervillain by a landslide.’s best supervillains, with number of votes (as of Oct. 1, 2019)

  1. Joker, 6,362
  2. Magneto, 3,691
  3. Doctor Doom, 3,251

Joker quotes:

  • “If the police expect to play against the Joker, they had best be prepared to be dealt from the bottom of the deck!” – Batman No. 1 (1940)
  • “Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?” – “Batman”
  • “I did it! I finally killed Batman! In front of a bunch of vulnerable, disabled kids!!!! Now get me Santa Claus!” – Batman No. 655
  • “Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it. You know, I just … do things.” – “The Dark Knight”

Sources: DC Comics, Box Office Mojo, Comicvine, Internet Movie Database, Comics Code History

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