The first Joker I ever knew was, of course, Caesar Romero on the 1960s TV series Batman. More “Clown” than “Prince of Crime,” the villain still did some astonishing stuff with a wry smile and great laugh.
In short, this interpretation was cool, and when a rogue’s gallery of villains (Joker, Penquin, Riddler, Catwoman) came together for the film based on TV’s campy Batman, it was very plain that the Joker was in charge.
Then Batman left my life for awhile until I became a comic book reader and collector and I saw – gasp! – Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams take on this crazed crook and all I ever thought or conceived about the Joker was changed -- forever.
He was no joke, no buffoon, but a bloody psychopathic murderer!
And now, courtesy of DC’s The Source, we have learned that everyone’s favorite madman will return to the New 52 in Batman #13, “Death of the Family,” by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.
And having recently become a reader again of the Cowled Crusader’s adventures, nothing can please me more.
Snyder, a scribe I admire very highly – for his dedication to the character, the scene and continuity as well as his writing chops – told The Source, “Point blank: This is Joker like you've never seen him before. He has a mission. He has a secret. And he has a serious axe to grind with Batman. It isn't going to be pretty, but it's going to be a wild ride. Thanks for taking it with us.”
What does artist Capullo think of drawing this most striking killer?
“Talk about a dream come true!” he said. “For me, the Joker is the ultimate rogue and the villain I most wanted to draw. I gotta tell you, after hearing what the story is about, this isn't a dream come true. It's a nightmare! A macabre and bloody, flesh crawling nightmare. We hope you'll have the nerve to face what's coming. Warning: It ain't for the faint of heart!”
I cannot wait to see what this Joker has in mind for the Dark Knight. And I believe Greg when he says it isn’t for the faint of heart.