The Joker: One of the most well known, reviled, beloved, and feared miscreants of all time. The host to a seemingly endless number of beloved comics, it may seem an overwhelming task to get started reading comics featuring the Clown Prince of Crime. Well, we’re here to get you started with…
A comiXology Guide to The Joker
The first appearance of the Joker written and drawn by the legendary Bob Kane, Bill Finger, and Jerry Robinson. The Joker was originally meant to be a one-time-use character, but was brought back later by popular demand. This is not the maniacal, theatrical Joker that exists today but grim, noir-ish, figure with a dark sense of humor.
Creators Denny O’Neil and Neil Adams officially crowned The Joker the “Clown Prince of Crime” in his first modern day appearance right here. The perfect antithesis of The Batman – a pale yet colorful madman out to be the last one laughing as the world burns to ash around him – here we meet The Joker the world would come to know and ultimately fear for generations to come. That signature playing card still sends a shiver down the spine.
Arguably the most famous (and controversial) Joker comic ever, the Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland explores the origins of the Joker and unravels a dark and disturbing tale that adds a whole new layer of depth to the relationship between Batman and his greatest foe. While the ending of the comic continues to be a point of contention amongst comic fans, Grant Morrison added some insight into the debate.
The Joker’s twisted campaign of gruesome horror shook the house of Wayne to it’s very foundations in Death of the Family. A literally faceless enemy obsessed with tormenting Batman and those around him no matter the cost. Whose reign of terror was left unfinished rather than played out. As if simply waiting in the shadows to strike at the heart of gotham once more. Here fans got a Joker re-invented for the New 52. Gone is the cheap purple suit and simple sight gags. Replaced with a menacing agent of chaos out for one final face off (see what we did there?) with Batman, where the stakes have never been higher.