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Monster Clown / Comic Books

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  • Subverted by a short-lived superhero called Funnyman whose schtick was... you guessed it...
  • While the weird-but-superheroic Jack-In-The-Box from Astro City is a Non-Ironic Clown, Jack's two Bad Future Knight Templar descendants definitely fit this trope.
  • The Joker from Batman. The Trope Codifier.
    • The Joker, incidentally, was originally based on Conrad Veidt's role in The Man Who Laughs. While the titular clown of this picture wasn't evil, he certainly was unbelievably disturbing-looking.
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    • Tim Burton's Batman Returns gives the Penguin a bunch of clowns as henchmen, despite the fact that clowns are more the territory of the Joker. According to the production notes, Burton's vision of the Penguin was inspired by The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, so a Circus of Fear is a necessity. And in the briefly-mentioned backstory, the Penguin in that version also was a sideshow freak in his childhood, implying that's where his gang comes from.
    • Death of the Family: The Joker once again acts as this trope. But he seems to be emphasizing the "Monster" part of the trope this time around. Although he denies it, saying he's not really a clown; despite his appearance and gag-themed weapons, he's not able to make someone laugh without his signature chemicals.
    • Batman: Endgame looks to be taking the Joker's escalating bloodlust and refusal to die to their logical conclusion by depicting the Joker as an Ambiguously Human scourge who has seemingly been menacing Gotham since it was founded. On top of that, the backup stories for the arc contribute several more options to the Joker's Multiple-Choice Past. It's telling that the most "normal" of them is that the Joker has a Healing Factor.
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  • DC also has the Ragdoll dynasty. The father was a Golden Age villain with contortionist abilities, who would eventually become a Mansonesque cult leader and eventually regained his youth via a Deal with the Devil. The son lacked his father's natural flexibility, so he remedied it with a series of operations that's left him severely deformed, but with greater flexibility than even his father. And don't ask about the sister.
  • Violator from Spawn. At first, he's just a Fat Bastard Depraved Dwarf clown who delights in murder and mayhem. Then it turns out that the grotesque human is just a skin-suit over a Lean and Mean demon from hell.
  • The Comedian from Watchmen arguably qualifies. In his original costume as one of the Minutemen anyway. When he gets his second costume and becomes one of the Crimebusters, not so much.
    • Like the Joker's Glasgow smile in The Dark Knight, the scar the Comedian gets in Vietnam is eerily reminiscent of a clown's painted smile.
  • Protoclown from The Tick. And then the subversion: Protoclown was genetically engineered to be the perfect Non-Ironic Clown, and deep down he's not such a bad guy. He just really hates being laughed at.
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  • Deadpool sees all clowns as Monster Clowns. He's never actually encountered a real Monster Clown in the comics, but his solo mission in Marvel Ultimate Alliance has him fighting an army of clowns in a circus.
  • Blade once fought vampire clowns. Really.
  • Even The Creeper has shown dislike of clowns.
  • Bali Lali from Bizenghast is a Giant Spider woman in a jester outfit. She is closer to Good, being a hero but she certainly is creepy.
  • Clown, who was featured in Super Mystery Comics and Four Favorites, was so evil he worked for Adolf Hitler.
  • Eliot Franklin, from the Marvel Universe, worked as a clown and wore his clown costume to commit crimes. He eventually became a professional hitman.
  • The Clown Cenobite (a.k.a. "Winky Dink") from the Hellraiser comic story "Dead Things Rot".
  • A recent issue of the revamped CREEPY comic featured a murderous clown who killed "demons" wherever he saw them. He saw them everywhere.
  • The Painted Doll, a mass-murdering Joker-Expy supervillain from Promethea. It's eventually revealed that his Joker Immunity is because he's actually a succession of identical robots created by an evil engineering genius, with a new one being activated automatically whenever the previous one is damaged beyond repair.
  • Frenchy from the National Lampoon's Evil Clown Comics feature which ran intermittently in the magazine in the late 80's and early 90's. He was the brainchild of Nick Bakay and Alan Kupperberg, and was not only bitter and diabolical but had... ahem, a way with the ladies as well. Sometimes he was too much even for the proudly non-PC Lampoon, which refused to publish one panel of a particular story.
  • R. Crumb wrote a comic showing the marvels of the City of the Future. He depicted a squad of clowns who went around inflicting chaos to keep people on their toes - and they regulated population growth, finding people aged 65 and throwing cyanide pies in their faces. What a way to go!
  • In Robyn Hood: I Love NY #4, Robyn fights a gang of monster clowns who are abducting children.
  • Whiteface from Supreme Power: Nighthawk is an absolutely psychopathic serial-poisoner with a body count in the thousands who dresses up as a clown.
  • In Sink, a blue van filled with psychotic clowns drives around at night. Those unfortunate enough to be caught by them are mutilated, driven insane and turned into clowns as well.


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