Mar 102017
 

Well, well…that was a total surprise at the end of Batman Beyond #5.  The story started with a big teaser that the Jokerz, a band of loyal followers of the  original Joker, might have gotten hold of the Clown Prince of Crimes’ body and were trying to resurrect him, but were they really?  Well, without giving more away, the plot had a nice twist (though slightly disappointing for some at the beginning) that kept the story somewhat interesting, at least for me.  Then at the end…well…POW!  and I now are a believer that DC’s REBIRTH might not be a total loss if its capable of bringing back some of the best Batman villains around even after their demise.  Here is an excerpt of an interview with Dan Jurgens on the subject.

SPOILERS ALERT!   SPOILERS ALERT!

Original Article by: Vaneta Rogers for Newsarama

For the full interview please visit HERE

In the last few issues of Batman Beyond, readers have gotten a slew of surprises – the disappearance of Tim Drake, the return of both Terry McGinnis and Bruce Wayne, and Dana discovering Terry’s secret identity.

But at the end of Batman Beyond #5, readers found out that one of the small, side characters in the storyline was actually the Joker.

And according to Batman Beyond writer Dan Jurgens, there are plenty more surprises coming, as the book begins a new storyline in March 22’s Batman Beyond #6 that features the villain Ra’s Al Ghul. Newsarama talked to Jurgens to find out more about his plans for the Joker in the future, how recent developments will change the book, and how else “Rebirth” might tie into Batman Beyond.

Newsarama: Wow, Dan, you certainly sprung a surprise on readers at the end of last week’s issue. Was the return of Joker a “resurrection” you’ve been planning for awhile?

Dan Jurgens: Bringing the Joker back was definitely one of the things I had in mind for a while.

One of the things that made Rebirth work for Batman Beyond was the idea of returning Terry McGinnis and Bruce Wayne to their proper places. However, I wanted to build another surprise into the Bruce Wayne story and that was bringing back the Joker as well.

Given the characters, it seems fitting. Especially since the Jokerz, a group of Jokeresque acolytes, have always been a part of the story. What better way to give them importance than by giving them their idol back?

Nrama: Will we find out where the Joker has been all this time?

Jurgens: Eventually, perhaps. I think the Joker is a somewhat better character when he’s shrouded in mystery and we don’t know every aspect of his life.

Nrama: The end of the issue said “The beginning…”; is the next “chapter” of Joker’s story in the future already planned by you?

Jurgens: There are a couple of things I have in mind, but our next story takes us in a different direction. There are many facets of Terry, Bruce, and their future world that I want to explore.

Nrama: Now that Bruce is back, how does that change the dynamic of the book?

Jurgens: Terry was very isolated when he came back to put on the Batman suit. Bringing Bruce back allows us to not only continue to concentrate on Terry, but to explore a different aspect of his personality through his relationship with Bruce.

Terry McGinnis is most certainly not Bruce Wayne, yet both have been identified as Batman. So the question becomes, how well can Terry do the job when he’s not as driven as Bruce?

And as part of that, how does Bruce treat him?

Nrama: Will Max and Matt even be part of Terry’s team anymore?

Jurgens: Max and Matt will absolutely be part of the team going forward. That’s actually one of the things that Bruce has to adjust to, and it isn’t necessarily easy for him.

Nrama: Those aren’t the only big changes in the book -Dana is aware of his life as Batman. How does that affect the story that’s coming up?

Jurgens: Terry’s relationship with Dana touches on one of the things I talked about earlier, which is the way that his life is different than Bruce Wayne’s. I don’t see Terry being as driven as Bruce, and that makes him a substantially different Batman.

Again – the whole idea is to explore these characters through the ways they interact with each other.

Nrama: What can you tell us about the next big story, that teases Ra’s Al Ghul?

Jurgens: The world 40-some years from now is a very different kind of place – one that offers tremendous opportunity for Ra’s.

And I think we all know that when Ra’s has an opening, he’s the kind of guy who seizes on it.

(…)

Sep 072016
 

MonaghangothamlargerThe INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES recently reported that thou the Joker’s laugh at the end of season 2 was indeed a proof that the “Joker idea” is not forgotten and that Cameron will be back it seems that the fans will not have a Joker until the mid-to-late part of season 3.  Well, hoping that they keep the high standards that the series has had in the writing, maybe it is going to be worth the wait.

Here is a copy of the original report by  CZARINA NICOLE ONG:

“Gotham” fans were confused when Cameron Monaghan’s Joker bit the dust sometime during Season 2, but they got their hopes up that the villain will make his way back to the show when they heard his laugh in the finale.

Executive producer Ken Woodruff told TV Guide that fans were right that they heard the Joker’s trademark laugh. However, Jerome Valeska (alter ego of the Joker) won’t be returning just yet.

“[The laugh] was really to keep [the Joker] alive, to keep Jerome and that threat of the Joker alive. We wanted to make sure fans don’t feel that we’re completely done with [the mythology of the Joker] because we are 100 percent, absolutely not,” he explained.

Woodruff added that it’s not something they’re going to explore right away when Season 3 starts, and they will only start to unravel the mystery of the Joker sometime in the middle of the season.

“We are absolutely planning in Season 3 – but primarily in the mid to second half of Season 3 – to delve back into the mythology of the Joker, and characters that may or may not be the Joker – but more likely characters that are an amalgamation of what we’ll come to know as the Joker,” Woodruff teased.

He said there will be an “underground” movement trying to fulfill the Joker’s legacy, and they hope to expand it should the show bag a fourth season.

Meanwhile, Woodruff told IGN that they have already introduced Harley Quinn in the past two seasons, and fans might have just missed her. “You may have already seen Harley as a person that you thought you had met and known for a long time. So we always reserve the right to sort of do that as well,” he said.

As for Ed Nygma (Cory Michael Smith), he will go “full-on Riddler” in Season 3. “I’m out of Arkham as a free man, not a fugitive, so I have this amazing opportunity for rebirth,” Smith told Briotainment.

And Harley already introduced but missed in the past two seasons?  Hmmm, what could that mean? Hopefully not that they want to make either Barbara Kean  (much talked about) or Leslie Thompkins as possible candidates.  Innovative as the idea might sound, I don’t think that it will go too well with the fans. We’ll see…only a few days left until the new season starts.

(Watch GOTHAM again this fall starting on September 19, at 8:00pm in FOX)

May 302016
 

..and we fans love him for that.

And that is because Mark Hamill, is the best known voice of the Joker in animation and video games.

He started voicing the Clown Prince of Crime in BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES (BTAS) in 1992 after the original voice actor for the role, Tim Curry, was deemed too scary for the role.  Once Hamill took the helm of the role he made him his and came to be portrayed on subsequent animated series like SUPERMAN ADVENTURES, STATIC SHOCK, and the JUSTICE LEAGUE. His haunting, maniacal, and crazed laugh is likely forever stuck in the heads and became the trademark of the character.

He even voiced the Joker in several animated movies like BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM, BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER  and the BATMAN SUPERMAN MOVIE.

Not satisfied with the animated media, Hamill made the jump to the video game industry when he was cast as the voice of the Joker first for the game BATMAN: VENGEANCE based on his BTAS character and lately for the ARKHAM ASYLUM/ ARKHAM CITY/ARKHAM KNIGHT video games series.  He also went on to voice the Clown for other animated games like DC Universe Online.

Hamill then retired but was open to return for voicing Joker in an animated adaptation of THE KILLING JOKE

getthelastlaughwithMarkHamill

…that has finally been completed and ready to hit the stores in August 2, 2016.  But that has not stopped Hamill who is supposed to return to his character once more for the Cartoon Network TV show, JUSTICE LEAGUE ACTION, which will likely premiere sometime in the next year.

As Hamill has played the Joker longer than any other actor, it’s no surprise that he’s spent more than a bit of time trying to get inside the Clown Prince of Crime’s warped head. In the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly, he had this to offer about arguably the most intriguing super villain of all time:

Opening quote

Joker is always frustrated because he doesn’t think of himself as a villain…He thinks of himself as an under-appreciated genius. The citizens of Gotham City don’t accord him the reverence and the acclaim he feels he deserves. I give him that theatrical impresario voice, like the Jose Ferrer character in Enter Laughing. The Joker has a flamboyance that appeals to me. He enjoys what he does so much. I just can’t quit him.

Closing quote

Of course, the most exciting bit out of this is that it would seem Hamill has no intentions of giving up the role anytime soon, which will no doubt make a lot of fans very, very happy. However, the glimpse into the Joker’s mind that he also offered fans with this quote is also quite intriguing as well.

Anyone who’s watched Hamill’s version of the Joker knows that this description fits him perfectly. He does have more of a classic criminal attitude about him than some other iterations (such as Ledger’s anarchist), but the reason he ultimately does all of the crazy things that he does is to show off his comedic, criminal genius.

(Based on original article by Zain Charkawi for OUTER PLACES which you can read HERE)
May 192016
 

DC’s Rebirth is on the way, and it’s not just the logo that’s getting a makeover. Plenty of characters will be getting a costume refresh in DC’s roster shake-up as well. It seems like the clown prince of crime might be one of them, judging by this gorgeous variant cover by Rafael Albuquerque.

Albuquerque posted the Fried Pie Comics variant cover for Batman #1, due out July 15th to Instagram today—and while he doesn’t explicitly confirm that this is the Rebirth Joker, a presumption can be made, considering it’s gracing the cover of one of the event’s biggest new series.

RebirthJKRpic

While it might not be the Joker’s new design, it would not be surprising if it was, when you consider the more-than-passing resemblance to Jared Leto’s Joker (just, you know, minus the crazy tattoos).

The suit is obviously a callback to the Joker’s threads in The Dark Knight Returns—although we have seen set pictures revealing that Leto’s Joker wears a similar getup at some point in Suicide Squad—but the haircut and general frame of this Joker definitely seem to be evoking the new cinematic take. It wouldn’t be the first time DC’s done this either, with Harley Quinn getting a Suicide Squad makeover in the comics recently [that definitely resembled her Suicide Squad movie counterpart].

(Original article by James Whitbrook at GIZMODO.COM HERE)

Apr 242016
 

Robin:  “HOLY PASTRY CHEF, BATMAN…. is that–”

Joker: Yes, Boy Blunder…. be amazed by this delicious pastry masterpiece created by the geniuses at Laura Miller’s SWEET AS SUGAR.  The artists took my handsome portrait, inspired by the SIDESHOW 1:1 SCALE BUST and gave it a sweet twist.  The cake won a GOLD AWARD at the Birmingham Cake International exhibition in November 2014 ( and well deserved it was).

Batman:  “This cannot be true…”

Joker:  “Oh BAT-DODO…DON’T HATE!  The masses love me…what can I say. I can’t stop admiring myself in that cake..”

JokerCakeSweetasSugar

Apr 232016
 

SixFlagsTHEJOKER4DcoasterVALLEJO (KCBS) – The biggest roller coaster to open in Northern California in more than a decade is getting ready to open at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo.

Roller coaster enthusiasts gathered Friday for a hard hat tour of “The Joker,” named after the villain in Batman.

Amusement park blogger Kris Rowberry told KCBS he’s ridden on 250 roller coasters around the world. He was in awe of the latest creation at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.

“This ride is just about as insane as its namesake, the Joker. This is probably the most anticipated ride in 20 years in Northern California, and with good reason,” Rowberry said.

Six Flags spokesperson Nancy Chan said there’s 3,200 feet of twisting and turning track that is supposed to contain 15 extreme airtime moments. Perhaps the biggest attraction?

 “Goes right into a couple of elements, one of which is a brand new element called a step-up under slip, which is an inverted roll. It literally takes people horizontally, and then upside down. So there are three inversions on this coaster, so this is crazy,” Chan said.

Chan expects the ride to open to the public later this spring.

NBC reported:

The biggest question is when the ride will open. Six Flags is staying mum on an exact date, but estimates that fans will finally get a taste of “The Joker” by the end of May.

Here is a sneak Peak:

(Original article at CBS SF Bay Area HERE)

Apr 232016
 

SuicideSquadJKRandHQfeaturepic2COMINGSOON.COM, Silas Lesnick released an interested bit of an interview with Jared Leto and Margot Robbie talking about what it was playing the Joker and Harley Quinn.  Here is an excerpt of that article:

“I don’t think I’m allowed to talk about that so much,” Leto smiles, “But we walked in a completely new direction. I think we knew that we had to do that. It was important to do that. When the Joker has been done and done so well, it gives you a bit of an indication of where you shouldn’t go. There’s a bit of a map there. That’s the good part about it.”

As a fan of the character himself, Leto is thrilled at the chance to offer a brand-new take on a role that has become something much bigger than the sum of its parts. 

“It’s quite an honor,” Leto continues. “Joker has been written about in pop culture for 75 years. I’m just the latest in the long list of people who have redefined and reinvented this character. The actors, the voice actors, the television series, the writers, the artists and the fans. People have taken the Joker and reinvented and redefined for 75 years. It is really special to be asked to do that.”

Starring opposite Leto is Margot Robbie in the first ever big-screen depiction of psychiatrist turned psychopath, Harley Quinn. While the Suicide Squad Joker may be aiming for a brand-new take, Robbie suggests that what we’ll be seeing from her character is classic Harley.

“I did a lot of research on mental illness and codependency,” she says. “I was trying to access a way in to understanding why she’s so in love with the Joker. I kind of decided that she’s codependent on him. Now that I’ve done the research, I realize that that’s more of an addiction than an illness… You see many sides of her. Sometimes she’s really funny. Sometimes she’s really mean. She just enjoys everything she does. Whether she’s doing something good or bad, she’ll have an equal amount of enjoyment out of it. She’s not always the most likable character.”

(For complete article, please visit COMINGSOON.COM HERE)

Apr 162016
 

joker-is-front-center-in-new-suicide-squad-trailer-820751B. Alan Orange met with actor Jared Leto go get an interesting interview about the research he underwent when developing the personality of the Joker for the upcoming film SUICIDE SQUAD.  The article was published in the MOVIEWEB site and you can read it HERE.

Let me bring up some interesting excerpts:

Jared Leto’s acting methods on the set of Suicide Squad have become legend. We know that he stayed in character for most of the shoot. And that he sent his cast mates some very disgusting gifts, which included used condoms, dead animals, and sticky porno magazines. What we haven’t heard about yet is the extensive research he did before climbing into the pale white skin of this madman. And this consisted of meeting with real-life murderers, psychos and psychotherapists.

About crafting a new Joker, director David Ayer had this to say.

“The Joker has a lot of different looks, sort of built from the looks throughout the history of DC Comics but with a new sort of flair and flavor on him so he does feel like a modern-day gangster, because… he’s always been a gangster.”

 …

Until now, Jared Leto hasn’t publicly spoken out too much on his role. He wants to leave an air of mystery lingering around the performance. About making the character new for audiences again, he says this.

“We knew we had to strike new ground. There had been such great work that we knew we had to go in a different direction. So you had a kind of direction from the very beginning, knowing that you can’t go that way, so you have to head this way. That was really helpful. But the Joker is fantastic because there are no rules. The Joker operates from instinct. David and I had conversations and I think he trusted that I was going to go out and experiment and explore and come back with something for him to continue the collaboration with. And it was nice to have that trust from him. He really let me lose and encouraged me. That was a priceless thing when you’re working with a director to have that faith and trust.”

Jared Leto goes onto describe the kinds of research that went into finding who this version of the Joker is. This is no longer a comic book character in the hands of this Oscar winning actor. No, he insists that this is one of the most realistic versions of the villain ever seen in any medium.

“He became a real person. I don’t know if person is the right word. I think the Joker lives in between reality and another plane. Kind of a shaman in a way. It’s a very intoxicating role to take on. You have permission to break rules and to challenge yourself and anyone around you in a really unique way. I first started at the beginning, educating myself, researching, reading as much as I could, going back to the source material. And then at a certain point, I knew I had to stop doing that. Because the Joker has been redefined, reinvented many times before. I think the fun thing about it is when people have done it in the past, there is some spirit of the Joker essence that they keep, but they either build upon something or tear something down and start again at the beginning.

For me, I knew once I had gone through the process of educating myself, I had to throw everything away and start from the beginning and really build this from the ground up. It was a transformative process. There was a physical transformation. There was a physical conditioning. There are a lot of things [I did].

It’s probably better to not get into it but to the Joker, violence is a symphony. This is someone who gets an extreme reward from the act of violence and manipulation. Those are the songs he sings and he is very in tune with what makes people tick (love this quote). I did meet with people that were experts, doctors, psychiatrists that dealt with psychopaths and people who had committed horrendous crimes, and then I spent some time with those people themselves, people who have been institutionalized for great periods of time. I guess when you take on a role, any role, you become part detective, part writer, and for me that’s my favorite time of the entire process, the discovering, the uncovering, and the building of a character. Yeah, it’s really fun.”

Jared Leto goes onto talk about the character as though he is a person removed from the actor himself. He insists that he wasn’t present for the shoot. But that, depending on who you ask, The Joker did have a great sense of humor. The actor then went onto talk about the video he made, which was shown to the rest of the cast right before a big dead hog was dropped in the middle of the table at the script reading.

“I think in the beginning it was important to set up and define our relationship, so to speak. [laughs] There were a lot of things. It was fun. You’ve got to remember doing these things isn’t just about the result, it’s the process. It’s working with Mr. Frost, who is the Joker’s henchman. It’s making the choice and the decision of how am I going to introduce the Joker to the very first people who will meet him. So it becomes an exercise as much for me as it is for anyone else. And it’s as much about the process as it is about the results. How do you go about these sorts of things? How do you work with the people around you? It was a lot of fun. The attention to detail and the process that we went through helped to bring a life to the character for me. Those actions and those gestures-the joker loves a grand gesture. Those were really important. And they were fun. The Joker is someone who doesn’t take things too seriously.”

and from the site COSMIC BOOKNEWS (please read more HERE)…

…  As far as the look of the Joker, it was a collaborative process. There were things I brought to the table and things David brought to the table and it was a mashup of both of our sick and twisted minds. There were specific things that he liked and wanted and I was there to help bring them to life in the best way I could.

I think the most important thing I brought was probably not to do with the outside but with the internal. But you know David was specific with tattoos. They were his idea but there was a lot to play with. Who knows what will end up in the final film?