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The Joker

Ed Brubaker Looks Back On Batman, Part Two: Gotham Central And The Man Who Laughs

Batman: The Man Who Laughs, Ed Brubaker and Doug Mahnke

With long runs on hit titles like Captain America, Daredevil, Sleeper, Fatale, Criminal and more, writer Ed Brubaker has cemented his position as one of the most prominent writers in American comics, and he got his start with superheroes with Batman. After being brought in from the world of crime comics to write the Batman comics in 2000, Brubaker rose to prominence with his work on Gotham City's heroes, including cowriting the seminal Gotham Central, relaunching Catwoman with a critically acclaimed and influential new direction, and retelling the first encounter between Batman and the Joker.

This week, ComicsAlliance is taking a look back at Brubaker's tenure on the Dark Knight with an in-depth interview, and today, we continue our discussion of his work on Detective Comics and focus on two of his most well-known projects: Batman: The Man Who Laughs and Gotham Central.

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The Joker’s Surprise Appearance At The 1989 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Is A True Act Of Supervillainy [Video]

The Joker appears at the 1989 Thanksgiving Day Parade

It's nearly Thanksgiving here in America, which means that the streets of New York City will be overtaken by the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! It's a pretty big deal for those of us who enjoy ushering in the holiday season with Pikachu, Spider-Man and, of course, Santa Claus himself. In 1989, however, there was another guest who appeared to kick off Christmas: Batman's arch-nemesis, The Joker.

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James Franco Recreates Banana Boat Scene From ‘Beetlejuice’ In Batman Costumes For Some Reason

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Look, we all know James Franco is a weird guy. He has practically made a career out of being a weird guy. But it's still sort of astonishingly strange how the actor and director came together with a group of friends (at least, they seem to be friends) to mash up the famous dinner scene from Beetlejuice with Batman.

The video is part of Franco's "Making a Scene" series on Aol Originals, where Franco and pals spin a wheel twice, two movie titles come up, and they have to throw them together. They've all been quirky and funny, but this one is probably the oddest of the bunch.

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Top Five Scariest Villains In Comics

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If there's one thing we've learned from our years on the Internet, it's that there's no aspect of comics that can't be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of ten. And since there's no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we're taking it upon ourselves to compile Top Five lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.

This week, we're kicking off October's spoooooky celebrations with a list of five comic book villains who are actually, genuinely terrifying. Check it out, but beware -- it gets scary!

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Batman Is A Fact Of Life: Greg Rucka Reflects On His Batman Work, Part Three [Interview]

Gotham Central, DC Comics

To say that Greg Rucka had a profound impact on DC Comics in the 21st Century is underselling things quite a bit. After arriving on the scene in the late '90s, he became one of the few writers to have written all three of DC's biggest characters, with critically acclaimed runs on Action Comics and Wonder Woman. It was on Batman, however, where he made his biggest impact, as one of the writers for the year-long No Man's Land crossover, the relaunched "New Gotham" era of Detective Comics, and cowriter of the enduringly influential Gotham Central.

In part one of our in-depth interview, Rucka discussed his arrival in Gotham with the popular "No Man's Land" megaseries. In part two, the writer detailed his involvement in the "New Gotham" revamp of 2000, including the Bruce Wayne: Fugitive saga, the introduction of Sasha Bordeaux, and the difficult transition from longtime Batman group editor Dennis O'Neil to Bob Schreck. Today we finish our three-part interview series with a look at Gotham Central, the book that focused on the non-superhero police detectives of Gotham City. Rucka speaks at length about how looking at Batman from the outside changes how the character works, the nature of collaboration with series co-writer Ed Brubaker and artist Michael Lark, and how the book produced one of the greatest Joker stories of all time.

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Born In A World Of Tragedy: Greg Rucka Reflects On His Batman Work, Part One [Interview]

Batman: No Man's Land novel cover

To say that Greg Rucka had a profound impact on DC Comics in the 21st Century is underselling things quite a bit. After arriving on the scene in the late '90s, he became one of the few writers to have written all three of DC's biggest characters, with critically acclaimed runs on Action Comics and Wonder Woman. It was on Batman, however, where he made his biggest impact, as one of the writers for the year-long No Man's Land crossover, the relaunched "New Gotham" era of Detective Comics, and cowriter of the enduringly influential Gotham Central.

Today, we begin an in-depth look back at Rucka's tenure on the Dark Knight, starting with No Man's Land, both the comic and its surprisingly popular novelization, in which Gotham City becomes a dark dystopia following a cataclysmic earthquake; his feelings about the core idea of Batman; and his frustrations on seeing the Joker show up in the pages of Superman.

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The Arkham Sessions: The Laughing Fish, Harley Quinn, And The Joker’s Diagnosis

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When Gotham Bay is plagued by a mysterious toxin, boatloads of fish are turning up with a grotesque disfigurement: The trademarked Joker perma-smile. Batman -- working alone again -- is energized to be back on the Joker's trail, and soon learns that a binary compound of the toxin can affect humans, too. Written by Paul Dini and based on comic book stories by Dennis O'Neil and Steve Englehart, this episode of Batman: The Animated Series packs the kind of action and adventure the show is known for. How can you not love a shark wrestling scene?

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The Arkham Sessions: The Psychology of The Joker & Harley, Electroshock, And Suicide Squadding

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The Arkham Sessions is dedicated to the psychology of Batman, so it seems almost like an ethical duty to cover a movie about Arkham Asylum, Gotham City's mental health facility for the "criminally insane." In the newly released direct-to-video animated film Batman: Assault on Arkham, a highly-skilled group of assassins and outlaws are called together by Amanda Waller to take part in a risky -- possibly life-threatening -- mission to infiltrate Arkham Asylum.

Does it help or hurt that members have a history of incarceration, criminal activity, and psychiatric treatment related to lack of moral sense? Perhaps Waller is brilliant to devise a plan that can only succeed via the knowledge and insight of persons who have been through the system.

In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we gently put aside the VHS and screen a contemporary work from DC Universe Animated. Use the player above to listen to our spoiler-free analysis of Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, King Shark, Black Spider, Killer Frost, KB Beast, and, of course the Joker.

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Wonderful Toys: A Level-By-Level Journey Into The Amazing Batman ’89 Video Game [Video]

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I was an unabashed fan of the 1989 Batman movie around the time of its release (particularly after it hit VHS), but the years have worn down my appreciation of it, and quite a few aspects of it don't entirely stand up to the scrutiny of a critical lens anymore.

There are a few pieces of media related to the film, however, that I feel just as positively about as I ever have. The Prince soundtrack, for one. And for another, the Sunsoft-developed game for the Nintendo Entertainment System that included a few cutscenes with lines from the movie, and largely ditched its plot otherwise. I took a stroll down memory lane with it, and it still holds up.

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You Made Me First: The Arkham Sessions Analyzes The Psychology Of Batman ’89

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In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Tim Burton's Batman movie, The Arkham Sessions takes a break from analyzing the psychology of Batman: The Animated Series to pay special tribute to the legendary film that influenced the style, music, and dark themes of the animated show. Consistent with her measured, analytical approach to the characters and stories of BTAS, Dr. Andrea Letamendi offers psychological conceptualizations of Burton's Batman and Joker with the help of co-host Brian Ward.

Is the film, as Burton once described, a story about the intertwined paths of Batman and the Joker, culminating in a "fight between two disturbed people?" Furthermore, how does Keaton's Bruce Wayne compare to Kevin Conroy's version when it comes to the maintenance -- or fusion -- of multiple identities? How is Nicholson's Joker more destructive and dangerous than Hamill's? Listen to this special edition of the The Arkham Sessions and reminisce about Batman '89 in a whole new way.

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