All Hail To The New Clown Prince of Crime
While we still have no idea how Warner Bros intend to justify having two Joker films coming out with differing actors in the lead role, we can’t deny that Joaquin Phoenix’s introduction as Batman’s nemesis has us all intrigued. The man is a legendary actor known for tackling roles that challenge our perception of humanity through the prism of deeply flawed yet engaging characters. Whether he ends up following in Jared Leto’s footsteps or not, hopefully the upcoming flick’s narrative will bolster his performance, especially if it borrows from one of these iconic Joker storylines!
#5: Batman: The Man Who Laughs
One of the key comics that cemented what many consider to be the Joker’s official backstory; that of a common criminal going by the name of Red Hood, who just so happened to have a rather unfortunate encounter with Batman. If Phoenix’s film sets to serve as an origin story as well as a grizzly tale of smiles and murder, then this comic would serve as an excellent foundation.
#4: Death of the Family
While Batman isn’t set to make an appearance as far as we know, if the upcoming Joker film seeks to explore the twisted relationship between the two, then they could do a lot worse than by using Scott Snyder’s bleak and haunting tale. After recovering his discarded face, the Clown Prince sets about attacking Batman’s allies as a means to show him the only one he can rely on is his most hated enemy. It’s certainly the Joker at his most psychotic!
#3: Batman: The Killing Joke
Perhaps the most iconic Batman graphic novel to ever grace the page, Alan Moore’s take on the Joker’s philosophy towards madness is utterly enrapturing. No adaptation has managed to capture that sense of darkness, not even in animation. It’s a daunting task that may not be able to be extended to the screen, but we wager that Joaquin Phoenix might be able to pull it off if the dialogue and scenarios are presented in a manner that’s more than just a nod to fans.
#2: Batman: Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on a Serious Earth
Granted, this story is more of an ensemble piece that explores the mentality of Batman and his rogues gallery. That being said, we’re still presented with a Joker that is every bit as terrifying as you could expect, one who presides over the madhouse and tempts the Dark Knight into falling into his own insanity. What better time for Arkham Asylum to make a real on-screen appearance than with the inclusion of Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker?
If you like your Joker with an extra layer of murder and depravity, then it doesn’t get more shocking than this graphic novel. Should Warner Bros opt for a more gruesome take on the Joker, then there’s plenty on offer here, which shows the Joker attempting to take over territory from other criminals while also showing a low-life criminal named Jonny Frost how he operates. These unfortunately include watching him skin 90% of a man’s body…as well as him violating Frost’s girlfriend. It’s unforgiving, brutal and an utterly unromantic look at Gotham’s resident psychopath, one that Joaquin Phoenix might want to take a gander at.
Be sure to check out the video below to see our picks for the Top 10 Worst Things The Joker Has Ever Done.