Joker is Batman’s most brutal and evil villain. Joker has affected Batman’s life more than anyone short of the man who killed Bruce’s parents. He reinvents himself nearly every time he faces batman. He could act like a clown, use laughing gas, have henchmen in white face paint and just want to mess with Batman. Or he could have planet bombs around Gotham and go on a murdering rampage. Whatever Joker is going to do in the future, there is no question that what he has done is legendary. In the words of another of Gotham’s many criminals; “When villains want to scare each other, they tell Joker stories.” A quick list of what Joker has done to the Dark Knight and the people of Gotham:
Kidnapped Commissioner Gordon
Took over Arkham Asylum
Tried to sell a nuke to terrorists
Murdered thousands of innocent people
Filled teddy bears with lethal laughing gas
Almost pushed Batman to break his moral code
The thing that makes Joker one of the greatest villains ever is that he did those things for no real reason. Joker doesn’t want to take over the world. He doesn’t care about having any more money than what can get him his weapons. He doesn’t even want to kill Batman. Joker does horrible things because it is fun for him. For Batman, the fight between him and Joker is a battle with the most twisted man in the world. For Joker it is more like a game to be played when he is bored. If there was no Batman there would be no one for Joker to play with, so why would he kill Bruce?
Batman thinks he wins each fight when he puts Joker in Arkham Asylum. The truth is that Batman can never win. Joker doesn’t care about Batman stopping his plans, because he can just start thinking about their next playdate. Joker doesn’t care about Arkham either. He has proven that he can practically escape its walls at will. Joker does not have family, or money, or anything that Batman can threaten him with. Even when Batman is beating Joker’s face in, Joker continues to laugh and make jokes. Even if Batman were to kill Joker, Joker would win because he would have proven that even the incorruptible can be dragged down to his level. Joker takes Batman’s greatest weapon out of the equation; fear. Joker isn’t afraid of the Batman at all. He loves Batman because without Bruce he would get bored.
Now, with a new person taking up the Batman cowl, it will be interesting to see how Joker reacts. Will Joker play with Dick Grayson like he did with Bruce? Will he decide to actually try and kill him because he wants Bruce back? Will he simply disappear because his other half is gone? I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out.
Joker represents the fact that no matter how hard Batman tries to win his war on crime, he can never win. All it takes is a gun, a knife, a bomb, or just an idle pair of hands and a new tragedy can happen in a second.