Jerry Robinson, one of the men responsible for creating one of the most memorable and recognizable characters in all of pop culture, the Joker, died early December 8 in his sleep.
MTV Geek has a look back at the life of Robinson, in addition to a fascinating interview conducted with him at Baltimore Comic-Con in 2010. Be sure to head over to learn more about the artist and his amazing accomplishments.
The character Robinson helped bring to life, along side Batman co-creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger, took on a life of his own and expanded far beyond the limits of his original medium, comic books. So in memory of his creator, we take a look at the five greatest Joker moments outside of print.
The Joker’s Introduction in “The Dark Knight”
In December 2007, director Christopher Nolan offered the first glimpse at what audiences could expect from Heath Ledger’s now iconic performance as the Joker when “The Dark Knight” hit theaters the following summer. The seven minute prologue to the film perfectly encapsulated the latest interpretation of Robinson’s classic villain. Ledger’s Joker managed to be new and exciting while undoubtedly familiar, a sadistically calculated evil genius with a sick sense of humor.
The Joker’s Magic Trick in “The Dark Knight”
If the prologue was a slow-burn introduction to Ledger’s Joker, his magic trick was a crash course. This new Joker used violence as his punchline and never flinched once. He paid the due respect to the Joker of the comics, but explored a darker and grittier world, more suited to Nolan’s take on the universe.
The Joker’s Parade in “Batman”
Arguments of whose Joker was better, Ledger’s or Nicholson’s, may never end and ultimately undermine both performances. In Tim Burton’s original 1989 film, one of our greatest actors put his spin on the character, and the result was equal parts Joker and Nicholson. Both are on proud display as the Joker rides on a float through the streets of Gotham dishing out cash and poisonous gas to the unsuspecting citizens.
Everything Mark Hammill
Without Robinson, there would be no Joker. One could make the argument that the character’s impact wouldn’t be quite as strong without “Star Wars” veteran Mark Hamill’s voice, either. Hamill lent his laughs to the Joker over numerous animated incarnations, most famously “Batman: The Animated Series” and the “Arkham” video games. Ledger, Nicholson, Caesar Romero and more all delivered original takes on Batman’s number one nemesis, but in many fans’ eyes, it’s Hamill’s take on the Clown Prince that remains the definitive one.
What is your favorite Joker moment outside the comics? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!