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February 21, 2007



Is the Joker still the Iranian ambassador to the UN? This may be stepping into Frank Miller territory, but that angle's got potential.


I suppose it's a matter of taste, but I don't think that angle ever had potential; it was already dated when Starlin(?) did it back in 1988. Forcing the characters into current events just produces instantly dated comics. A good update would find a way to tease out our anxieties without confining the character to them (sort of like the way Morrison recast the League of Assassins as al Qaeda with one simple line about living in a cave), or would produce something nightmarish that isn't limited to a single moment.

I would sooner see Joker go back to the Dick Sprang gimmick crook than the Starlin Eighties Islamophobia model. That grinning motherfucker had style.

Matt Rossi

Honestly, the Joker's visual style hasn't really changed in a very long time. And I don't see much call to change that aspect of him.

If anything, he should be less of a lunatic killer and more a literal wild card. In an age of flashing lights and video poker he should be the kind of guy who engineers ten casinos going bust at once just to collapse the entire city. Financial manipulations on a vast scale, messing around with complex systems like subways, water distribution... less about killing people and more about increasing the turbulance.


No, the day-glo Conrad Veidt visual still works.

I like your chaos theory/cosmic trickster Joker idea a lot (but then you know I'd happily line up to buy any comic you wrote). Whatever DC does next with him, they need to move him away from the pointless mass murder that makes his continued existence both implausible and increasingly unpleasant to read. The new Joker should use murder as a tool, not as an end. Unless someone of Morrison's stature produces a strong, clearly focused revision of the character, a revision on par with "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge," that's not likely to happen any time soon.

Ken Lowery

Just out of curiosity, what did you (Marc or Matt) think of Sam Kieth's spin on the Joker in Batman: Secrets? The media commentary was, shall we say, a bit obvious, but I was rather fond of that interpretation of the character nonetheless.


Can't say I've read it. What was Kieth's take?

Ken Lowery

The Joker planned to manipulate the media into believing Batman was a crazy, violent psychopath bullying a man (himself) who desperately wanted to reform. Wanton murder wasn't really his aim (I don't recall anyone dying) so much as making a spectacle of himself by leading scandal-rags around by the nose. It's an imperfect mini, but (sans Year 100) the best Batman story I've read in a long while. I don't think I'm doing it justice... I recommend a glance-through, for Kieth's gorgeous art if nothing else.

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