When I was four years old, I was given a Superman comic, and Ol’ Supe and I never really got along. Invincibility is great, but it is hard to relate to a guy who doesn’t really have to work all that hard.
I found The Batman to be much more relatable because he is just a regular guy who has to work at it.
Sure he’s rich, but wealth only takes you so far unless you want to hire some mercenary types to handle your problems, and The Batman has morals that prevent him from using hired hands to do his dirty work. He uses his mind as much as his hands to solve problems, and that makes him the everyman that ordinary people can relate to.
Then DC sent in the clown.
The Joker first appeared in Batman #1 back in 1940, and is still probably one of the top five most recognized comic book villains of all time. Suave, debonair, and totally out of his tree, The Joker is the perfect antithesis of The Batman. He too, was just a regular guy. No special powers. No wonder weapons. A walking, talking, Rube Goldberg machine of a man who was utterly unpredictable, and unrestrained by any meaningful form of impulse control. That total freedom from restraint is what made The Joker powerful, and extremely dangerous.
It also makes him my favorite bad guy.
“A clown is funny in the circus ring, but what would be the normal reaction to opening a door at midnight and finding the same clown standing there in the moonlight?” – Lon Chaney Sr.
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