Written by: BatKerm
Be sure to check out this article’s companion video where we discuss the live-action movie versions of the Joker!
With the new Joker movie coming out, I can’t help but reread some of my favorite joker stories in comics. The Joker and Batman have been around since 1939. With the passage of time, there has been a monumental amount of source material to go through. Here are some stories that are more recent that you may be able to get your hands on for a reasonable price!
Batman: The Killing Joke
Written by Alan More with artist Brian Bolland, this gave us the first glimpse into the Joker’s origin. This also had major repercussions throughout the Batman series, unlike many other standalone stories. This is a highly recommended comic to read before this new movie. There is also an animated version of this story, but it added in some elements that many fans did not agree with and did not dive into elements that fans have been asking for, for years.
Batman: Death of the Family – Volume 3
From the legendary run of writer Scott Snider and Artist Greg Capullo, the team that first introduced us to the Court of Owls (that may be in future movies??), this story has a different type of Joker. This Joker has cut off the outer layers of his face at the start of the series. The layers looked almost like a mask which was held in the Gotham central police headquarters. To start off the story, the Joker wants his face back and murders countless officers and citizens like only he can. However, the Joker knows something that he may not have before and he wants to show the entire bat family what he knows…with or without Batman’s approval. This rendition of the Joker has him more akin to that of a monster in a horror movie, like Freddy or Jason. There is an element of horror that was not usually seen from the Joker in this story. Definitely highly recommended for an October read.
Also by the team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, this has the same Joker from Death of the Family but he somehow has his face reattached again. The joker has not returned since Death in the Family but makes his return for one last encounter with the Batman. I highly recommend reading this after Death in the Family. I consider this to be the ultimate showdown between Batman and the Joker.
Written by Brian Azzarello with art by Lee Bermejo, this is a unique, beautiful, and horrifying glimpse into the Joker when he is not fighting Batman. The story is told from the perspective of one of the Joker’s Henchmen, not the Joker or Batman, which is unique. The art, as well, is just as unique showing Batman and the Joker in a type of realism and not fantastical version that the classic comics imbued. A good read to get ready for this movie or even after if looking form more stories on the Joker.
Batman: Mad Love, Batman: The Long Halloween, Batman: Death in the Family.
These are just some of the more recent and easier get ahold of to read stories about the Joker. Like I said earlier, there is source material starting from 1939 and I just wanted to give some ideas on recent depictions of the Joker. I hope this helped and let us know how you like the movie!
Special thanks to BatKerm for his Joker expertise both in this article and the YouTube video. Be sure to drop comments with your thoughts!