Batman first battled the Joker in 1940′s BATMAN #1 in a story by Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson. The Joker was poisoning wealthy men, leaving their corpses with an eerie rictus grin, and baffling the police in the process. His first fight with Batman ended with the Batman tossed into a river, excited at the prospect of an adversary who could really hit. The rematch ended with the Joker apparently accidentally stabbing himself in the heart, laughing maniacally as he died. A last-minute editorial decision saved his life, as the medics in the ambulance were shocked that the Joker was -somehow- still alive.
Over more than 70 years, the Joker remains an enigma. Different versions hinted at his life before Batman unwittingly dropped him into a vat of bleaching chemicals, but whoever he was before is unimportant. He is the Joker; deadly, anarchic, interested only in what makes him laugh, no matter who’s hurt in the process.
My take on the Joker is fairly traditional (I’ve sculpted him before). I dislike when he’s depicted as a physical monster. He’s hideous because he chose to be, not because he’s disfigured. I gave him a look like he’s just thought of an especially wicked joke.
And so the Joker gets the last laugh. Thanks for looking. This has been 12 Days of the Batman.