Many thanks to xero1186 for the scans! Lieutenant Jim Gordon's trying desperately to catch a glimpse of the Joker. Time and time again, though, the clown-faced mad-man has evaded arrest and the bloody trail of armed robbery and murder in the criminal's wake has the officer restless and exhausted. Now, finally, Gordon's got his perp trapped. When a bank heist falls apart, Gordon and a S.W.A.T. team track the Joker to a vault with no exit. But when Gordon and his men arrive, line against the concrete walls in flanking positions, the dark room stands still and empty. No Joker. No accomplices. Nothing. Just a few small stacks of money discarded like crumbs in the center of the cold, vacant vault a twister little F you to the police. It's empty! screams Gordon, his voice booming off the back wall as he loses his usually cool demeanour. In a final fit of rage Gordon turns and kicks the pile of money into a cloud of flailing dollar bills. For Gordon, the Joker's evasion has been an irritatingly common scenario. No one, not even Batman can manage a handle on the criminal. That elusiveness extends to movie-goers who've been kept in the dark about the Clown Prince of Crime since he was first alluded to in the final minutes of 2005's "Batman Begins." The film, directed by Christopher Nolan, went on to gross over $370 million worldwide and revamped the Bat-franchise. Now Nolan looks to reignite that blockbuster status in summer 2008 - only this time he'll be banking on a man in white make-up with a twisted Kool-Aid smile. Swooping into theaters on July 18, 2008, "The Dark Knight" focuses on the Batman's continued urban war on crime. Rejoining Nolan as millionaire Bruce Wayne (and the titular crime-fighting badass) is actor Christian Bale, who's accompanied by returning all-stars Gary Oldman (Lt. Gordon), Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox) and Michael Caine (Alfred). But it's the Joker, played by Heath Ledger, who fans are wetting themselves to see. And despite the media blackout surrounding the villain, Heath has been able to sneak out a few tidbits about his take on the character. "To play a villain, one must throw it all out the window," revealed Ledger in an online interview. "And I have not yet really explored that kind of dark side, which makes me enthusiastic to play [the Joker]. This role, I am told will be like watching a car wreck that won't stop. And from the script pieces I've been sent on my character's angles, it just gets deeper and deeper. This guy is a shark, a fearless shark, and I know I can bring that alive." A creepy little Joker with an inner monster the size of Jaws isn't the only addition to the franchise. Between new gadgets, a wave of fresh characters and the confirmation of at least one other major villain in the film (Two-Face!), "The Dark Knight" already seems poised to blow away the box office receipts on "Batman Begins" If you've been frustrated with the lack of info on the flick, prepare to come out of the dark. Shuffling The Joker Topping, or even matching Jack Nicholson at anything is no easy task. That's why, when Nolan and the crew began developing Batman's arch nemesis for the big screen, they needed to work a new (albeit terrifying) angle different from Nicholson's take on the character in 1989's "Batman". "What's strong about [the Joker] was this idea of anarchy, this commitment to chaos, " Nolan explains on a warm, sunny afternoon while taking a break from filming "Dark Knight" scenes on set in downtown Chicago. "He's not just a bank robber or an ordinary criminal who's out for any kind of material gain. I talked to Heath a lot about that even as we were finishing the script, and we both agreed that's the most threatening force, in a way, that society faces - that of pure anarchy by someone who really wants to do harm for its sake and for his own entertainment." That idea of anarchy stems from the Joker's first appearance over 60 years ago in Batman #1. Nolan's younger brother and "Dark Knight" screenwriter, Jonah, came up with the idea of tapping that issue's take on the character to build a practical big-screen baddie. Dozens of murders littered the Joker's first few comic appearances and it was his reaction to the crimes that made him scary.