ComicMix Six: Greatest Joker Victories

Luana Haygen

Luana is an animated movie and superhero enthusiast with an eye for detail. She has been drawing and creating fashions since she was a child. She has been routinely helping here at ComicMix since 2009.

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17 Responses

  1. mike weber says:

    The version of the Harley Quinn origin story you quote may be the one they concocted for the version of Harley in the DC Universe (and i still maintain that putting Harley into the DCU was a major miscalculation), but Harley's true origin is to be found in the "Adventures" story Mad Love My review is at (And, if you want a copy, there are Amazon Associates who will sell you one for $59.99 or so…)

    • Alan Kistler says:

      "They" would be Paul Dini himself, who also created Harley and wrote "Mad Love", so I wouldn't exactly call it a concoction. And yes, as with most of my lists, I focused on stories in continuity.I'd also suggest to anyone to watch the episode "Mad Love", as it's simply delightful.

  2. Russ Rogers says: [The period at the end of your link made it hard for Firefox to parse and follow.]I agree. Harley Quinn is a product of the "Batman Adventures" and Mad Love is THE definitive story. But I don't think Harley in the DCU is a major miscalculation. I think she adds depth and menace to the Joker. There's something even more creepy about a psychotic sociopath when someone can find them lovable. Death in the Family with it's 1-900 poll ("Should we kill Robin?") remains a low point in the history of comics publishing. It was a crass and stupid gimmick, instead of a bold piece of writing. This was Roman Coliseum thumbs up/thumbs down crap. Jason Todd was never as interesting a character as Dick Grayson or Tim Drake, but that doesn't make his death any less cheap and lazy a stunt. And now that DC has brought Jason Todd back to life, they owe a refund with interest to all the people who paid money to see Jason Todd killed.A STUPIDER moment in the DCU history is "The Killing Joke." Barbara Gordon, the daughter of the Commissioner of Police and a semi-retired Superhero, doesn't use a peephole on the door or even have her door chained. She opens the door WIDE and allows herself to get shot. Yes, I said, "ALLOWS," because how many times had we seen Batgirl dodge bullets in the past with acrobatic skill. We had accepted this as one of her "Superhero Powers." Then, after she is paralyzed, the Joker repeatedly brutalizes her. I read this as RAPED her. And she makes NO attempt to effect escape or signal for help. How many times in the past have we seen Batgirl get out of a "death trap" or at least find a clever way to signal for help? What happened to Barbara Gordon was completely out of character with what DC had been writing for the previous twenty years! She was not portrayed as a Superhero, she was made into a prop. She is REDUCED to being a pawn in this MALE dominated story. It's pathetic. The fact that John Ostrander was able to salvage an even more important character (in Oracle) from the ashes of this debacle, doesn't make this story any less insulting to Batgirl or the reader's intelligence.I agree with the reviewer who said that The Killing Joke was "clumsy, misjudged and [devoid of] real human importance." Oh yeah, that was Alan Moore's take on the book!

    • Alan Kistler says:

      Both fair criticisms. If this were a list of "the best written stories involving the Joker", I would've picked different ones. This was a list of shocking impacts and the fact is that even non-comic fans I've met are aware of what happened to Jason and Barbara.It always bothered me that it took over ten years for DC to do a short story showing just how Barbara reacted the next night when Batman came to visit her and she knew that he and the Joker had wound up LAUGHING together at the end of Killing Joke. She even asked him "I heard you two were laughing over some private joke. Was it me?" Fantastic stuff and a completely fair question considering what had happened to her.I thought Jason's method of resurrection was among the better ones in comics, but the fact that they haven't done anything interesting with him since then is disappointing on so many levels.

  3. Lord Snooty says:

    The real upsetting thing for me with "Death in the family" was the person who wrote it was sacked from DC and unable to work there for some time for speaking out about it being a gimmick

    • Russ Rogers says:

      Seriously? Who? Oh, do tell!

      • Lord Snooty says:

        Jim Starlin if I remember rightly commented at the time that the phone vote was a bit of a fix and the fact was that DC wanted to get rid of Jason Todd at the time

        • Alan Kistler says:

          It was indeed Jim Starlin who wrote A Death In The Family.

          • Russ Rogers says:

            OK. Jim Starlin wrote "Death in the Family." But was he sacked by DC for criticizing the Let's Kill Robin Vote?

  4. Matt Lazorwitz says:

    Glad you mentioned Detective #726. It's a great story, one of Chuck Dixon's underappreciated Joker stories. He wrote some excellent ones, especially the Joker: Devil's Advocate graphic novel.

    • Alan Kistler says:

      Yeah, DETECTIVE #726 is one of my all time favorite single-issue stories. A great way to celebrate Batman's anniversary. No foil cover, no double-sized spectacular, just a good story.

  5. Ballew Post says:

    I wrote a psychoanalysis on the character of the Joker in Dark Knight. I think you'll like it: