ok, so as a teenager, my first jokers were the 1960s live action series, the Killing Joke comic, Arkham Assylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, and The Dark Knight Returns by frank miller.
so my ideal joker has basically ended up an existentialist, Discordian, flamboyant queer disaster who doesn’t really kill people indiscriminately and laugh about it, so much as a trickster/fool archetype who is mostly harmless. (mostly. usually.)
he exists to be batman’s foil and his chthonic guide to gotham’s criminal underworld. he’s a funhouse mirror--enough like batman to be a reflection, but flipped and distorted. they’re both trying to fix things, in their own ways. they both want justice. where batman is order and control and secrecy, joker is chaos and freedom and illumination. batman seeks to treat the symptoms (crime, suffering), joker wants to treat the cause (modern society is warped and cruel and absurd and unsustainable).
his motivation is to reveal flaws and absurdities--in individuals and in society--not to solely cause pain and chaos for the sake of it. that said, he’s not above doing shit just because he thinks its funny, but all jokes need to have a punchline, or they aren’t jokes.
he’s not just going to stab the guy who delivers his pizza and be like, “haha! life is cruel and unpredictable! i’m so funny!” there’s no punchline to causing unnecessary suffering to some random dude just trying to get by. he’s going to make up elaborate schemes dripping in irony to punish people who deserve to be punished, or do harmless shit to get people all riled up, and then make them have to confront the ugly ways they act when threatened.
and, batjokes aside, he would never, ever, ever, EVER want batman dead or incapacitated. their folie à deux/pas de deux is too important to him to EVER risk being without his favorite dance partner.
(sometimes, though, he will absolutely do stupid, impulsive shit for batman’s attention. because lbr, that’s a universal constant at this point.)
anyway, i love the joker and i want to see them do more interesting shit with him beyond kooky scary queer-coded murder clown ✌
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