Many of comics’ most popular characters have been around for decades, and in the case of the big names from the publisher now known as DC Comics, some have been around for a sizable chunk of a century. As these characters passed through the different historical eras known in comics as the Golden Age (the late 1930s through the early 1950s), the Silver Age (the mid 1950s through the late 1960s), the Bronze Age (the early 1970s through the mid 1980s) and on into modern times, they have experienced considerable changes in tone and portrayal that reflect the zeitgeist of the time.
With this feature we’ll help you navigate the very best stories of DC Comics’ most significant characters decade by decade. This week, we’re taking a look at the best Joker comics.
If you’re not particularly a fan of Jared Leto’s Joker aesthetic in Suicide Squad, then the latest Joker-centric news may put a smile on that face (sorry): Zach Galifianakis is in talks to join Will Arnett’s Batman and Michael Cera’s Robin in the LEGO Batman movie as the voice of the iconic clown prince. Cue laughter.
Batman’s iconic animated series has influenced The Dark Knight’s legacy and vocal talent for decades, but did you know that Tim Curry almost voiced The Joker before Mark Hamill? Or that the animated adaptation created Harley Quinn altogether? You are vengeance, and you are the night, you will enjoy our 18th episode of ‘You Think You Know TV?,’ which flies through Gotham City on leather wings for Batman: The Animated Series!
Although cosplay has been present for decades within the comics, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, social media has played an integral role in the thriving communities of costuming that exist, such as Cosplay.com and the Superhero Costuming Forum. Over the years, the cosplay community has evolved into a creative outlet for many fans to establish and showcase some impressive feats of homemade disguise, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics at conventions. In honor of the caped crusaders of the convention scene, ComicsAlliance has created Best Cosplay Ever (This Week), an ongoing collection of some of the most impeccable, creative, and clever costumes that we’ve discovered and assembled into a super-showcase of pure fan-devoted talent.
The comics, sci-fi, gaming and fantasy communities’ talents for homemade disguises, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics are definitely on display this weekend at Boston Comic Con, and we were there to check out the show as well as capture some of the stellar cosplay on display.
Q: As a Batmanologist, what misinformation about Batman do you wish you could set everyone straight on? -- @daveexmachina
A: There's one misconception about Batman that bugs me the most, because it's simultaneously the most persistent, the most ridiculous from a storytelling standpoint, and the easiest to disprove: The idea that Bruce Wayne doesn't actually do anything to help Gotham City, and that Batman is just a rich man selfishly and violently lashing out at the lower class.
Joe Phillips' table in Artists' Alley is always an essential stop for me at San Diego Comic Con. The former Heretic and Superboy artist is one of the only guys at any comics show who can always be counted on for a great selection of quality beefcake pin-ups that rival the cheesecake that's so prevalent on other artists' tables. If you're in the market for a coquettish Angel, or a stripping Steve Rogers, Joe Phillips is your man.
But this year Phillips had something new on his table --- and so incredibly camp that it may appeal to much of the same audience that loves the hero beefcake. Phillips has taken some of the biggest stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood and cast them as some of the biggest names in superhero comics, to give fans a vision of what these movies might have looked like in another era.
This past weekend at Comic-Con, fans attending the Batman vs. Superman panel were treated to an additional surprise: the entire cast of Suicide Squad appeared on stage (minus Jared Leto) and introduced our first ever look at footage from the upcoming supervillain film. Despite their pleas to not record any of the footage, someone of course did, and it leaked online shortly thereafter in a really crappy quality. Well, director David Ayer and Warner Bros. feel your pain and have decided to do the right thing and just release the whole trailer online.
The Killing Joke is one of the more notable entries in Batman comic book history, offering one of the most sadistic versions of the Joker to date. Alan Moore’s book is one of the more divisive among fans, who either love it or despise it, and in further proving their commitment to the darker side of superhero stories, DC is taking The Killing Joke and adapting it…into an animated feature, of all things.
There was a whole lot of wishy-washy nonsense surrounding Cameron Monaghan’s role as Jerome in Gotham Season 1. Was he FOX’s Bat-prequel version of the Joker or wasn’t he? Executive producer Bruno Heller teased the arrival of Batman’s most famous villain in Season 1, but backtracked later to say we would see a “pre-embryonic” origin story of the character in Season 2. But according to a photo posted by Monaghan, we may have been misled — or not. I don’t know. This is getting out of hand.
We've all seen Batman fight the Joker endless times throughout the history of their relationship. From the original comics to the animated series, and from the movies to video games, there's no shortage of interpretations of the ultimate fight between good and evil that is Batman vs. the Joker. Whatever your opinion of those various encounters in the past, all of those fights are hot garbage compared to the latest video from YouTube stop motion animator, Counter656.
Counter656's most recent video pits the SH Figuarts Injustice: Gods Among Us Joker and Batman against one another in a stop motion throwdown for the ages. Taking nearly three weeks and 3500 different pictures, the five minute video incorporates every accessory the figures come with, as well as putting the articulation of each to great use in some excellently choreographed fight sequences. But Counter656 knows that we've all seen Batman vs. the Joker before, too, and isn't content to just let this brawl be another simple one-on-one encounter.
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