When you think of DC comics, you probably imagine the Flash, Justice League, the Big Trinity (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman) and their biggest foes. Supervillains like Lex Luthor, Ares, and, of course, the Joker. That last one has been one of the greatest villains in the history of comic books for decades. He’s been cracking killing jokes in Gotham City since 1940! He’s robbed banks, killed a ton of people, and was even the first ever man to commit murder on the Moon. He’s a totally insane badass!
But, as uncle Ben used to say before he caught that bullet: “with great power comes great responsibility”. And it so happens that there’s nothing more powerful than a popular comic book character. I mean Joker, the Clown Prince of crime, of course. Needless to say, such a prominent character appeared on the screen in multiple incarnations. To be precise, he’s been portrayed at least 24 times in movies, TV shows, animated series, and even games. I’m only going to pick a few of my favorite Jokers, though, so get ready to meet top 5 most insane Jokers of all time!
1. Jack Nicholson’s Joker (Batman, 1989)
Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman” movie is one of the first serious superhero movies ever made, and Jack Nicholson’s performance as the Joker was insanely good. There will be a lot of crazy synonyms here, by the way. Anyway, Jack’s Joker was arguably the best part of the movie. Remember that creepy grin? Still gives me nightmares sometimes.
2. Mark Hamill’s Joker (Arkham Series)
You may not be familiar the Arkham franchise, but trust me, buy all those games. Hey, the Steam Summer Sale is probably still going when post goes up, so go buy it now!
Anyway, yeah, it’s the classic Mark Hamill Joker in a video game. The best of both worlds, if you ask me! Sure, the plots of these games aren’t mind-blowing, but the gameplay makes it all worth it. Not to mention Hamill’s Joker, of course.
3. Cameron Monaghan’s Joker (Gotham’s Jerome)
Cameron’s yet to be officially called the Joker of “Gotham”, but in my heart, he’s been “Mistah Jay” since the day he came on the show. In fact the show is full of amazing Batman villains and the third season was incredible. But enough about that, Jerome is clearly the star of the show! I kid, I kid, Alfred is the star, and there’s nothing you can do about it, but Jerome is a close second. Just look at that acting chops… Completely bonkers!
4. Heath Ledger’s Joker (The Dark Knight)
Don’t feel like I need to comment on this one, but here goes: Heath was, and will forever remain the best incarnation of the Joker. It’s been years since The Dark Knight came out, and we all got a glimpse of the acting genius that was Heath Ledger. Whenever you visit a comic book convention, you’re guaranteed to see someone cosplaying Ledger’s Joker hissing out a “why so serious”. His version of the Joker has already become one of the most influential movie villains in comic book history, and that’s all you need to know.
5. Mark Hamill’s Joker (Batman: The Animated Series/DC Animated Universe)
And rounding up my top 5, we have none other than … Mark Hamill AGAIN? That’s right, people, Mark is so cool, he’s earned 2 spots on the list! As a double whammy “Batman: The Animated Series” is one of the best cartoons ever created. The Caped Crusader has never looked so… Batman-y, and the Joker’s never sounded more wicked and out of his mind. Not to mention, this show gave us Harley Quinn! I’m just gonna go rewatch it all again for the N-th time.
Meanwhile, feel free to leave a comment on who’s your favorite Joker of them all!