The Joker is one of the most recognizable characters in all of comics, introduced from the beginning till this day as the biggest threat to, antihero, Batman. The Joker is known as a monster by all people because of the unspeakable acts he has done in all his adaptations. Weather you’re talking about Comics, Movies, or TV Shows the Joker has always been portrayed as a monster among men. The reason for this is because of his actions against the good and against the helpless. He has created many monsters in the real world that have idolized the joker and tried to recreate his heinous crimes. The joker has become a symbol for evil in many people’s eyes and it shows because we have real life criminals that say they were inspired by the Joker. One of these people shot up a movie theatre while innocent people were getting ready to watch the Batman Movie the Dark Knight Rises. There was also a criminal who killed people and skinned their faces and hung them up in his house, something that he pulled from the comics of Batman. The Joker did this to Robin and that’s what made Batman go crazy. The Joker was not the first to do this though, the writers of batman got the idea from Ed Gein. Ed Gein was Americas first nationally known killer because of what he did to the bodies of his victims. He took the dead victims and took their skin and made certain house hold items out of them. He also went on to make a full body suit out of the women’s skin, something he would wear around his house. The Joker took some points from Ed and that’s what made him a monster, the joker could be a person we all live and interact with, just like Ed Gien was. The Joker was adapted to the big screen in 2008 by Heath Ledger who made Joker even more realistic and scary. The Joker was such a monster that even the man that portrayed him on screen ended up dying because of how serious he took the role.


After researching about the Joker by reading comics and watching many movies and TV shows I have come to a crossroad. On one side, I see the monster the Joker is portrayed to be in these adaptations and I hate him and want Batman to get him every time. On the other hand, though I see the logic behind some of his madness, this is especially true in Heath Ledgers portrayal as the Joker. They did a perfect job in his movie on showing how dark humanity can be towards each other with just one little push. His very first scene shows how he turned his fellow criminals against each other. So, I see the beauty behind the Jokers madness I don’t support it though, because if we all thought of humanity in the cynical way the Joker does we would have all killed each other by now. If you compare the movie Jokers to the comic book counterpart you see the parallels that exist between the two versions. You can see each of the Jokers get represented in the movies by a different actor. To me this shows how much we admire our version of a monster, and how we need that escapism from reality. The Joker can be a realistic character from a universe of flying men and web slingers. That is why people can relate to the Joker and Batman, they are both just humans no special powers or abilities. These two are the embodiment of the struggle with humans, the struggle of good and evil that exits between all of us. The yin yang affect. So, monsters have their place in society to remind us what humanity could be and how we should do everything to prevent it from getting there. But we can’t be enamored by these monsters we created or else we can slip between the lines of reality and fiction and that’s where you get a real-life monster. When those lines get blurred to an individual we can lose sight of what is right and what is wrong. Thus, creating a monster.

Scholarly Sources


Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. “Monster Culture (Seven Theses).” Monster Theory: Reading Culture, University of Minnesota Press, 1997.

This is the article we talked about in class and explained to each other. These 7 theses were used to show how minsters exist in our society, and it was used in my essay to describe the type of monster the Joker is.


Dreyer, Randolph. “Clap If You Believe in Batman the Dark Knight Christopher Nolan (Director).” Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, vol. 45, no. 1, Jan. 2009, pp. 80-81. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/j.1744-6163.2009.00206.x.

This article was a scholarly source and was written by Randolph Dreyer. It explored the madness the Joker had in the movie The Dark Knight. Heath Ledger, who played the Joker, did an amazing job at showing the mental inconsistency’s the Joker has and how far away he is from being human.


Primary Sources


The Dark Knight (2008) movie

In this movie Joker was played by Heath Ledger and showed how psychotic the Joker can be while still being something that can exist in this world. This movie helped me realize how much the Joker relied on the back and forth him and Batman have, and how without Batman he didn’t want to play anymore. This showed how for Joker it wasn’t a crime it was fun and a game.

Batman: The Animated Series (1992) TV show

This joker was voiced by Mark Hamill whose voice has become synonymous with the animated joker. His portrayal in the show was how the Joker was methodical and killed with no conscious, but unlike Heath Ledgers Joker, Hamills Joker had all his marbles he just wanted to control Gotham and kill whoever gets in his way.

Public Luna-Tic Number One! (1960) Comic

This Joker was the silver age Joker who wasn’t a sadistic criminal or psychopathic killer he was just a wacky prankster. This showed me how with the times the Joker changed and how he was written into stories was changed. This change came because the old Joker showed to much violence to the young audience these comics were usually read by.