What’s a hero without a villain?

I’m all for celebrating our beloved Super Heroes. Especially, the week of the Iron Man 3 release. However, how can we in good conscience forget about the villains? No one reads a comic where Spider-Man only fights some muggers. Nobody wants to watch a movie where Superman only fights a bank robber. Sure those skirmishes are fun to a degree and a good show of how little importance these figures have on our heroes. But no one forgets the incredible villains!

Think about it. Can you really think about a super hero and not think about their arch nemesis?

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Superman has Lex Luthor, Iron Man has the Mandarin, The X-Men have Sentinels, and the list goes on and on. The most memorable however is of course The Joker. Batman’s most feared villain is so memorable that he appears in some degree in just about every  genre the Dark Knight shows up in. TV, Movies, Comics, Toys, Statues, Games, etc. He has been around busting Bruce’s chops since the beginning. He is unpredictable and completely ruthless. He will have you laughing for some unknown reason at his lunacy one moment and then completely horrified at his complete disregard for human life the next.

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My favorite part of The Joker is much like my favorite part of Batman. Over the years there have been so many takes on him. From Cesar Romero, to Jack Nicholson, to Heath Ledger, to Bolland’s a Killing Joke, to Bermejo’s graphic novel Joker, to Capullo’s work in Death of the Family. Again, the list goes and goes. Unlike Batman though the Joker is always reinvented. From artistic changes to origins to tactics. He is unpredictable. He could murder your sidekick one day or try to drive all of your friends insane enough to kill each other. He may take on a sidekick himself or decide he wants to murder everyone he has ever seen. You never know what this crazy bastard is going to do.  And that my friends is exactly why he is the most entertaining villain hands down. You all can argue who is the best hero but without the best villain all you are comparing is who has a better figure in spandex!

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Each story with the Joker always seems so different. The only constant you can truly count on is his complete psychopathic murderous craziness and of course a little bit of his patent pending Joker Venom. So celebrate this week of heroes with a nice Joker filled comic, or maybe a sweet Joker statue, maybe a Joker prominent video game is your speed. Whatever you are into for the love of all that is holy please remember our unsung heroes during Super Hero week………THE VILLAINS!

For a nice article about The Joker’s lesser know Super Hero counter part check out Jason Sowells article here.

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Mike Doles

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