How the Joker Became Batman’s Ultimate Villain


"There are well-known examples of such character arcs among the good guys: Martin Nodell invented the Green Lantern in the 1940s, but the only reason you’ve heard his name was due to a complete reimagining of his world in the ’60s by John Broome and Gil Kane. The X-Men originated in a 1963 comic written by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, but it was only with the arrival of writer Chris Claremont more than a decade later that the mutants truly crystallized into the versions that are currently famous. The reason Daredevil has had a movie and a TV show is because Frank Miller reinvented him in the ’80s. And so on. But the same thing can happen with villains: Mister Freeze was a tossed-off gimmick until Batman: The Animated Series made him a tragic figure; Magneto gained a core component of his character when he was retrofitted with a Jewish identity; and, perhaps lesser known than the others, there’s the rebirth of the Joker."