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Old 09-09-2012, 06:00 PM   #39
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Default Re: The Official Batman (1989) Thread - Part 3

Originally Posted by kewlmatto View Post
Yes. Until the very late 80s (by the time the film was already well into production), Joker was a little less homicidal and deranged. I think Nicholson portrays that Joker well - there isn't the real 'nasty' streak to him that tends to happen when Joker gets angry in modern interpretations.
I don't like most modern portrayals of the Joker. Not going to say they aren't true to the character but... I don't like the Joker gassing kids. I don't like the Joker tied to a chair and slobbering. I don't like the Joker looking almost disfigured (I think the combination of a tall and skinny guy with a long face that is entirely white and the big smile is scary enough).

The Joker was one of my favorite characters when he still played a "battle of the wits" with Batman and he seemed to be well aware how that goes. Remember, that even in "Five Way Revenge" the Joker is just trying to kill the guy who betrayed him and since he doesn't know WHO it was he just kills them all. That's a good Joker story. The Joker committing a crime but making mistakes so Batman doesn't think it wasn't the Joker. That's good stuff here. The last great classic Joker story is still the Doug Moench three-parter "Laugh, Killer, Laugh" / "The Joker is Wild" with the genius Joker quote after one of his goons asks him "What is he doing, boss?" "He's being Batman, you idiot." And of course "The Last Laugh" / "Catch As Catscan" from Mike W. Barr - although there we already have the lame "Joker-is-a-transvestite" thing...

The Joker trying to sell a cruise missile because he is broke and then killing Robin without even thinking about what that means... not so much.

The Joker suddenly trying to justify himself... not so much.

Although those two stories (and TDKR) brought him back to the "arch villain" status he's lost to Ra's al Ghul in the 70s.

Hmmm...while I accept there are similarities, it's more in the way Black Mask is written by individual writers. The character can be spun differently, or just be another Joker clone - much like Riddler really.
I am, of course, talking about the original interpretation, not the cult leader and the crime boss from the 00s. In this time Black Mask was actually scarier than the Joker to me, since Black Mask didn't take it as a game. He was dead serious.

I'm writing a fanscript at the moment for a third Burton Batman movie where Max Shreck becomes Black Mask. While I think yes there are similarities to Joker in the way I've written him, I think there is also enough of a difference to make him his own villain and deserve featuring him. The thing that helps the most was having him know Batman's identity (following from Returns) - it makes the cat-and-mouse between him and Batman a bit different from Joker, who no matter what, never seems to find out and in modern interpretations, never really cares. I'd be interested to know what you think.
Going to read it.

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