Sunday, December 09, 2007
The hysterical Joker: Batman is a hobo?
Wow. I shouldn't be surprised any more, but it seems that every Joker picture for this new movie is worse than the pictures that preceded it. The same complaints apply, so I won't aim to repeat myself: if you want to read my old objections, you can find them here.
What's funny, though, is that I was only just complaining about where they've gone wrong with this interpretation of the Joker to someone last night. I noted that one of my favorite interpretations of the Joker is as a sort of hyper-hysteric - sort of what Morrison attempted in Arkham Asylum, though perhaps not so literally. Think of it this way: The Joker's personality is less a declaration - "I'm really crazy!" - and more a question in the form of a demand - "I'm really crazy: tell me who I am!" That he's presented in the comics as a flamboyant, arbitrarily homicidal, and fantastically neurotic crime boss is meant to say more about Batman than the Joker, as such - that hysterical demand is made of Batman, in particular, and so the Joker reflects (and inverts) the crime-fighting Batman's own neuroses, disciplined violence, and repression.
Given that Heath Ledger's Joker looks like something of a tramp or an out-of-work clown, I can only guess that Christian Bale's Batman will be a hobo-detective. Maybe he'll trade in his utility belt for a bindle?