‘The Couch Critic’ – Is it time for the Joker character to end!?

Calm down! Calm down! I can already feel the internet rage just from the title of this article! Also before you all point out The Joker has died on screen, I’m well aware of that! I know The Joker has died in one of the movies, in the comics and in the Arkham game series so nice try! Now look I love The Joker! Not only do I think he’s the greatest Batman and DC villian, I think he is the greatest villian of all time! No other nemesis of Batman has pushed the Dark Knight so close to the breaking point and he’s done that in some twisted ways and with a disturbing grin on his face! So it’s clear I’m not a Joker hater, I just think the character has run its course for now…

Bare with me as I explain why!

Now with another solo Batman film written and starring Ben Affleck slated for release in 2018, the first question on everyones lips was “Who will be the villian?” Now when you think of Batman you automatically think of The Joker and vice versa. These foes are so iconic, they are bound together and with Jared Leto’s ‘Suicide Squad’ Joker set to be a reaccuring character throughout the upcoming DC movies, people did assume he would be the villian for Batman’s solo movie. That is not the case with DC not going in this obvious direction and instead opting to have Deathstroke as the films antagonist. I think this is a great and unexpected choice with a lot of potential. Deathstroke would be an awesome new adversary for the caped crusader and a new and exciting prospect for the fans.

Joe Manganiello will take up the role of 'Deathstroke' in Ben Affleck's new Batman movie.
Joe Manganiello will take up the role of ‘Deathstroke’ in Ben Affleck’s new Batman movie.

For me The Joker would of been a far to obvious choice and at the minute the character is dangerously close to becoming stagnant. The Suicide Squad was a let down as a film and The Joker (after been advertised so much!) barely appeared in the movie! When he did it was abit of an anti climax. Now I’m not blaming Leto for this, I thought his portrayal of the character was good, bringing some great tones from the comics, and as we’ve found out alot of Leto’s better scenes were cut from the final edit. Now the trouble with The Joker is there have been some sensational portrayals of the character from Jack Nicholson in Tim Burtons 1989 classic Batman, to Mark Hamill’s excellent voice over in The Arkham game series to the pinicle of perfomaces from the late Heath Ledger in Christopher Nolan’s – The Dark Knight. Here in lies the problem.

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Heath Ledger gave the greatest performance of The Joker ever! Dark, disturbing, twisted, scary with a hint of melicious humour, Ledger nailed it all in his performance. It goes without saying that if Ledger was still with us he could have played The Joker in as many films as he’d liked and we’d have all been spell bound. Anyone who reprises the role now will automatically be compared to Heaths performance. You can tell that Leto borrowed some of Heath’s characteristics for his own portrayal of Gothams maniac clown, and it didn’t live up to Ledgers performance.

This is the problem! I don’t think anyone at the minute can play this part any better than Heath Ledger did. Heath was just to damn good! This is why I think The Joker needs to go away for a while as we’re almost at the point where this fantastic character could become stale. I think Gotham’s clown and ‘Prince of Darkness’ needs to go back into hiding ready to shock and scare a new set of fans a few years down the line!

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