Thursday, February 28, 2013

Death and Murder in Comics: Joker Kills

Death and Murder in Comics: Joker Kills



Tonight in Death and Murder in Comics I will talk about one of the most dangerous villains in all of comicdom: the Joker. He is, hands down, the worst of them all. The Joker will do whatever it takes to get a laugh. He has killed so many.

Let’s start with the fact that he has tortured Commissioner Gordon. In the graphic novel The Killing Joke, the Joker shoots and paralyzes Barbara Gordon in front of the Commissioner. For those of you who don’t know, Barbara Gordon is the Commissioner’s daughter and is also Batgirl. 






The Joker then kidnaps Commissioner Gordon and imprisons him in a rundown amusement park. Gordon is then stripped down naked and caged. The Joker chains Gordon to one of the park's rides and forces him to view giant pictures of his wounded daughter in various states of undress, hoping to drive Gordon insane in order to prove that even the most upstanding citizen can go mad after having one bad day. Once Gordon has run the horrifying gauntlet, the Joker puts him on display in the freak show.








The next thing the Joker did to torture the Commissioner was to kill the Commissioner’s wife Sarah Essen Gordon.  In the story line No Man’s Land, the Joker kidnaps dozens of infants and holds them hostage in the basement of the police station. Sarah is the first to reach the Joker's position. Although she has him at gunpoint, the Joker tosses an infant at her, and Sarah instinctively drops her weapon to catch the child, saving it from injury. The Joker then shoots Sarah in the head. The Joker seems to find no humor in this, as he is shown frowning as he walks away. 





He promptly surrenders to the police that arrive immediately afterward. Batman and Gordon catch up with the Joker soon after discovering Sarah's body. Enraged Gordon shoots the Joker in the kneecaps.










But Gordon isn’t the only one to find himself in pain because of the Joker. Arkham Asylum guard Aaron Cash lost his newborn baby to the Joker’s twisted sense of humor.
Picture this: Aaron Cash takes his wife and newborn to an amusement park for a day of fun. The Joker, who had just broken out of Arkham, dresses up like a clown and scratches baby Cash with a rusty nail, which cause the baby to die of tetanus.


The joker also killed Robin in the story line A Death in the Family. Robin (aka Jason Todd - the second Robin) traveled to Ethiopia to find his biological mother who had been working with the Joker. Jason’s mother handed him over to the Joker who brutally beat him with a crowbar. Robin is soon lying unconscious in a puddle of blood. He then leaves him and his mother in the warehouse with a time bomb.  Robin and his mother try desperately to get out of the warehouse but are still inside as the bomb goes off. Robin’s last act as a hero is to cover his mother, trying to shield her from the blast.




Batman arrived too late to save them, so they die from their injuries.
 

But wait - the Joker has just added another victim to his long list. In the Injustice: Gods Among Us story line, a prequel to the video game with the same name, the Joker breaks in to Star Labs and steals kryptonite. He uses Joker gas on the Scarecrow and takes his fear gas. He then shoots and kills Jimmy Olsen and kidnaps Lois Lane.






On a stolen submarine, he implants a heart monitor in Lois that is connected to a nuclear bomb, set to go off if her heart stops. Superman rushes in to find Lois, but quickly passes out. When he comes to, he sees Doomsday standing over him. Scared for Lois’ life, Superman grabs Doomsday and flies straight into space.










Batman figures out that the Joker added the kryptonite to the Scarecrow’s fear toxin so it could enter Superman’s bloodstream through his lungs. Quickly, Batman calls Superman to tell him whatever he is seeing is not real. But it’s too late - the Doomsday that he was seeing was really Lois Lane. Lois is now dead, killed by Superman’s hand. (Oh, and did I mention that Lois was pregnant?)





Now with Lois dead, the nuclear bomb goes off in Metropolis and kills a whole lot of people.









That is just a sample of some of the many murders the Joker has committed. You cannot read this and tell me that he is not the best villain! He is truly the embodiment of evil. He takes it to a whole other level. Lex Luther, Doctor Doom, and Doc Ock would never do what he does. But hey, those are just my thoughts.
 

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