Ever since he made his debut in 1940's Batman #1, the Joker has been the arch-criminal among arch-criminals, the one villain who can truly lay claim to being Batman's nemesis. As a result, he's made quite a few appearances across other media, serving as the antagonist in movies, television, and even a handful of video games.
Now, with Jared Leto set to take the role with a new interpretation rooted in questionable tattoos and on-set method-acting antics, it's time for us to finally sit down and figure out where we stand. For that, we turn to you, dear reader, as we ask that you cast your vote to tell us which mass media Joker performance is the undisputed best!
One of DC's biggest strengths as a company has always been that it has a ton of alternate versions of its characters that fans have a whole lot of affection for. Whether it's something as specific as being really into a single Elseworlds story, or as broad as preferring, say, the '90s Flash over his Silver and Golden Age counterparts, there's an adaptability to those characters that really comes through once you start looking at all the different ways they've been presented over the years --- and when you add in their appearances in film and television, it only means you have more to work with.
And that, it seems, is the premise behind Batman '89, a 2015 pitch from writer (and occasional ComicsAlliance contributor) Kate Leth and artist Joe Quinones that was designed to revisit the world of Tim Burton's Batman movies. Sadly, the pitch was never picked up, but this week saw Quinones posting his designs at his blog, finally giving us the Billy Dee Williams Two-Face that we have always deserved. Check 'em out below!
Although Chris Sims is without question the World's Foremost Batmanologist, there is one area where he's a little weak: International Batman Studies. Sure, he knows about Jiro Kuwata's manga and The Wild World of Batwoman, but it seems like there are always strange new interpretations of the Caped Crusader from other countries to discover. Like that time in 1989 when a bunch of Australians dressed up like Prince and did some dodgy choreography to "Batdance."
Of all the strange habits that my friends have, combing through back issues of Starlog on the Internet Archive is probably at the top of the list in a walk. Occasionally, though, sifting through promo pieces for V and Alien Nation turns up something gold, which is exactly what happened this week. While reading the November, 1988 issue of Starlog, Andrew Weiss came upon a contest that offered readers a trip to London to visit the set of Tim Burton's Batman '89. All you had to do was write in and explain why you wanted to meet Batman.
If you've been paying attention to our deep and abiding love for both the concept of superhero selfies and the new Batgirl costume from the upcoming team of Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr, then you may have already seen our fully official pitch stupid tweet about Batgirl and Robin engaging in an Interdimensional Selfie War. Inspired by Joe Quinones's amazing cover for an upcoming issue of Batman '66, our own editor Andy Khouri suggested that this could be the start of the 1966 version of Dick Grayson sending pix to 2014's Batgirl, with each trying to one-up the other.
Now, it is happening -- at least in the world of fan art. Today, Quinones posted another great piece, this time of the Batgirl of Burnside receiving the picture from Robin -- which, in case you forgot, he actually took with A ROTARY TELEPHONE -- kicking off the Crisis On Infinite Selfies for real. And not only that, but it seems like the Joker from Batman '89 -- or at least his satin-jacketed henchmen -- are getting involved too.
Considered one of the foremost motion picture and television production facilities in the world, the Warner Bros. Studios lot in Burbank, CA invites visitors to celebrate the 75th anniversary of DC Comics’ Batman with a special exhibit in their VIP Tour. For a limited time, tour-goers are given an opportunity to view dozens of original costumes, props, gadgets and vehicles from all seven live-action Warner Bros. Batman films, and ComicsAlliance checked it out.
ComicsAlliance concludes its celebration of the 25th anniversary of Tim Burton's Batman with a presentation of the 1989 Warner Bros. press release announcing Prince's involvement with the film, discovered after an exhaustive search of vintage movie memorabilia.
There had certainly been plenty of heavily-merchandised blockbusters before, but the Batman '89 phenomenon affected pop culture in so many ways and crept into every dimension of commercial entertainment. Twenty-five years ago, it was just always there; part of the atmosphere of the era, reflected wherever you turned. From candy-filled Keaton heads in supermarket checkout aisles, to endless souvenir magazines on newsstands, to articles in newspapers and magazines, to the packs of trading cards and stickers on countertops, to Batmobile toys in Happy Meals, the entire world had gone Batty.
Twenty-five years later, we've reached out to some of our favorite creators and entertainers to look back on the summer of Batman.
Though it might seem a bit strange from today's perspective, tie-in novels used to be a huge part of genre movie merchandising – they gave fans a way to take home the experience of their favorite films in the days before the home video explosion, and provided studios with an additional method of promoting their projects in bookstores, department stores, and on newsstands.
And like everything associated with Tim Burton's Batman film, Craig Shaw Gardner's novelization was a sales phenomenon, spending much of 1989 near the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Gardner's book expanded on many of the film's plot lines and character arcs, and gave readers some insight into earlier drafts of the film's screenplay with a number of passages based on sequences that had been reworked or cut entirely from the final movie (in fact, it made substantially more sense than the finished film, as Gardner was able to craft his story without being bound by a strict two hours of screen time.)
As part of our 25th anniversary coverage of Batman '89, ComicsAlliance spoke to Gardner about the challenges he faced and the fond memories he has of adapting Tim Burton's blockbuster for prose.
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