10 Terrible Mistakes That Nearly Ruined The Joker For Everyone

Those Jared Leto pics didn't even make the top 5.

The Joker is a source of endless fascination, one of the most eerie and magnetic supervillains of all time, inspired by nothing more profound than a playing card Jerry Robinson owned when he was working for Bob Kane. He is so popular that, at times, his place in popular culture seems inevitable - like a law of nature. But the truth is anything but. The Joker has had a lot of material created about him over the years. Some has been great, some middling, and some terrible, but there have been a number of devastating blunders (some of them in bad stories, and some in surprisingly good ones) that threatened to harm the character beyond all repair. This isn't just a list of worst-ever Joker ideas, because some bad ones were pretty easy to forget. Merging him with other villains like Lex Luthor in Speeding Bullets (1988) or Sinestro in Batman: In Darkest Night (1994) was weird, but easy to forget. His bad portrayal in All-Star Batman and Robin (2005-?) barely even stood out against that series' whole melange of tastelessness. Even the eyeball-assaulting Joker of The Batman (2004-2008) didn't harm him too much: there have always been a few cases where DC's characters have been badly drawn. Doing permanent damage to the Joker is a little more difficult. But these instances almost managed it.
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T Campbell has written quite a few online comics series and selected work for Marvel, Archie and Tokyopop. His longest-running works are Fans, Penny and Aggie-- and his current project with co-writer Phil Kahn, Guilded Age.