Monsters they’re things that we would dread with fear but now we have come to realize that they are just misunderstood, but some of the most recognized monsters are still feared because people don’t have enough background on them to make a connection. When people rate monsters they typically place them in two categories either; “they had their reasons” and or “they’re just plain evil”. Many monsters that we deem misunderstood fall into the “they have their reasons” since we have an adequate background on them we can create connections to them and their pasts. One of the most infamous villains we know of even today is The Joker from the movie “The Dark Knight” by Christopher Nolan shows us a Joker that many deem to be the best Joker. The Joker has remained a true monster because people cannot find any reason for him to commit his actions. People fear him since they cannot tell if they too are on the same path he has taken. The Joker’s lack of a proper backstory makes him very difficult to categorized thus making it evident that monster theory number three is easily applicable to him.
The Joker first made his appearance in the year 1940 when American was just about to enter into WW2 themselves. There is no clear connection between his creation and the views of society, but one thing that we can see is that he may commit the exactly opposite actions that the Axis forces had committed. During the beginnings and even before the start of WW2 Hitler and Germany seemed like they were recapturing parts of the old German States making it seem like they were innocent to some extent while Joker on the other hand would boast about his action. The Joker from the film “The Dark Knight” is believed to be the best Joker because he maintained many of his original facial features, his psychotic and “fun” attitude toward things and presented himself/made himself seem powerful even to the batman. The new Joker that was portrayed in the movie “Suicide Squad” played by Jared Leto has been ridiculed and disappointed the many Joker fans and I believe that it was because they decided to change his facial features but that’s just something small. One of the biggest things about the joker is that where ever he is, he always has a threatening presence, especially in the “The Dark Knight”. Whenever he encounters batman he is always a few steps ahead of batman, and I think this is what makes The Joker one of the most frightening characters because of our fear of good not being able to stop/vanquish evil. The Joker in “Suicide Squad” seems to lack that kind of advantage over the good guys, sure he breaks the rules and manages to break Harley Quinn out of the good guy’s custody but shortly after they blow up his helicopter, this resembles the eternal struggle between good and evil but in the movie I feel like the struggle isn’t enough. The Joker from “The Dark Knight” is the most menacing because he provides the most struggle for the hero in which case is batman. He exposes the hero’s vulnerable spots and exploits them to make the hero feel and seem weaker. The Joker seems to be one of the most powerful villains even if he doesn’t have any specific super power. People fear him because he could be hiding in plain sight, he can be anyone of us hiding in the shadows not noticed by society and someday come out of the shadows to torment us and possibly defeat the sources we see as good. That is where his one down fall is, if The Joker were to ever defeat batman he would be missing a part of himself that is key for The Joker to be his maniacal self. People fear the joker because he is a formidable opponent to justice and everything we deem good; we know that joker does truly have the potential to bring chaos into all of our lives if he were real. Maybe he is, maybe he just hasn’t shown himself to the public yet and is waiting for just the right moment to reveal himself to everyone.
The Joker in The Dark Knight movie has evolved from his original self because the original joker from the comic book series was just someone who was focused on committing mass murders and trying to find ways to kill as many people as possible. The Joker in the Dark Knight didn’t focus on killing people but rather on demasking the batman, but also showing that people themselves are weak when they’re rules are challenged and destroyed. The Joker in the Dark Knight would find twisted ways to torture his victims whether it be by telling them “ya wanna know how I got these scars” and running them through one of the different and various stories that may be false followed by him cutting them making them have the same facial scars as he does. In many ways the joker has changed with the original Joker just being a sign of chaos and destruction to the Joker shown in The Dark Knight as powerful, driven, and ruthless. The original Joker never focused on the batman but instead focused on the police force and then the city because as stated before he loved killing innocent people. The Joker staring in The dark Knight would primarily focus on getting the batman’s attention which meant attacking and threatening the police and the very few people close to him.
Although The Joker Played by Heath Ledger may be an older Joker he still is the best joker to be remade and shown to the public. The Joker in Suicide squad although he may be newer doesn’t seem to display many of the great attributes that the Joker in the Dark Knight had such as always having a means of escape, doing/ getting close to accomplishing what may seem impossible like demasking The Batman. Although The joker in Suicide squad may have accomplished his main goal of freeing his lover Harley Quinn, he was not able to escape successfully or have another escape plan/route. The Joker in The dark Knight film would get captured a lot but he would always have an escape plan if he were to ever to get captured. The Joker in the Dark Knight was always 2 or even 3 steps ahead of the police and even the batman, while the Joker in suicide squad only focused on securing a ride and getting Harley Quinn out, he forgot to plan for something unexpected like the batman showing up or the good guys ordering a jet to take down the helicopter that the joker was using to escape. The Joker in the Dark Knight was feared by the population but also hated by the police force because of the numerous police officers he had killed but also the many innocent people he ruthlessly murder, while The Joker in suicide squad had seemed unheard of with people not really fearing him for the villain that he truly was.
With the Joker overall being a character that can blend into the public as seen in the movie The Dark Knight, where the joker disguises himself as a police officer at the funeral of the Commissioner, that can be a clear indicator that someone in society can be on the same path that The Joker was and so he/she is just waiting for the perfect time to arise from the masses and create chaos and possible vanquish the things we deem to be a signal of good such as the police, the government, order, rules etc.. The Joker also challenges us to see and question our beliefs when he is terrorizing a city, he pushes people to not only question the rules but also our beliefs, views of difference, and tolerance to others. Seeing this we can make a connection that one of the seven monster theories that can apply well to The Joker would be monster thesis number seven which states “These monsters ask us how we perceive the world, and how we have misinterpreted what we have attempted to place. They ask us to reevaluate our culture…” (Monster theory # 7), this helps us see that the joker and his actions cause us to question our societal beliefs, fears etc.
There have been many different ways the joker has been portrayed but only one has stood out for me and that was The Joker from the movie The Dark Knight played by Heath ledger. I believe that he should be deemed the superior Joker because he was truly feared by society, was always several steps ahead of the law enforcement… even the batman and he was just a ruthless character who even stole money from a mob to get attention and their support to try and demask the batman. I give The Joker from the movie The Dark Knight a 9.5 out of 10 for his excellent performance and amazing character involvement between him and the “good” guys.
Finger, Bill, et al. “Batman.” DC Comics, 1940. I used this primary source as support for my decidion to choose the Joker from the Dark Knight as the best joker.
Heit, Jamey. Vader, Voldemort and Other Villains: Essays on Evil in Popular Media. Mcfarland & Co Inc, 2011. This book’s information was used as evidence to support the claim that monster theory #3 does apply to the joker because even batman doesnt understand why the joker is comminting acts the way he is.
Mithaiwala, Mansoor. “The Complete History Of The Joker.” Screen Rant, 15 Aug. 2016, screenrant.com/complete-history-of-the-joker/. I used this annotation as background infomation on how the joker has become how he is today. This source is a credible source since it was created by fans of the comic book series.
“Monster Theory [Electronic Resource].” Google Books, books.google.com/books/about/Monster_theory_electronic_resource.html?id=hQWa3r-vMLwC. I used this reading to support and show how the joker fits into being a monster and what theories he fits into to provide evidence for dubbing him the best joker. this source is credible because it was created by an English professor who teaches early modern studies.
Ayer, David, director. Suicide Squad. Mondadori, 2016. I also used this as another primary source to compare too with the Joker I deemed the best.
Nolan, Christopher. The Dark Knight. I used the villain in the film as the main version of the villain i am going to analyze.