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YMMV / The Joker

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  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Batman & Captain America: This incarnation of The Joker lacks many unsavory traits of other versions. Receiving information from a mysterious figure, he decides to use a nuclear weapon to blackmail Gotham City into paying him $1,000,000. He first plans to build his own nuke, successfully obtaining radioactive material and cleverly escaping from Batman in the process. When this approach fails after Batman and Captain America foil an attempt to kidnap Robert Oppenheimer, he changes tack and decides to steal a prototype atomic bomb. After succeeding, he learns that his informer is Red Skull. Declaring his hatred of Nazism, Joker tries to kill the Skull, and helps foil his plan to nuke Washington, D.C. Years later, he helps plot and execute a scheme to permanently De-Power Superman, only narrowly failing. Then he spends several years masquerading as his own non-existent successor as part of a long-term ploy to kill Dick Grayson, the second Batman, cheerfully turning himself in after he succeeds. Some time later, tormented by Dick's vengeful ghost, he refuses to break, and when he realizes his death is inevitable, he accepts it with quiet grace. Ruthless, witty, and able to roll with the punches, the Joker demonstrates that he's earned his title of "Clown Prince of Crime".
    • The Dark Knight Novelization, by Dennis O'Neil: The Joker is a brilliant, nihilistic madman who seeks to give Gotham a "better class of criminal". The Joker showcases his audacity and intelligence at the start of the story by staging the robbery of a mob bank, tricking all of his hired thugs into killing each other, then keeping the cash for himself while using a stolen school bus to cover his escape. After convincing local crime bosses to hire him to murder Batman, the Joker stages assassinations of public figures and the kidnapping of Batman's Love Interest all in attempts to force Batman to unmask himself, and the Joker later allows himself to be captured by police just so he can stage an escape and kill a mob witness. Eventually deciding that his "game" with Batman is too fun to end, the Joker overthrows his ostensible bosses and continues to terrorize Gotham until his defeat at Batman's hands, which Joker accepts with laughing glee before revealing that his backup plan of corrupting Harvey Dent into villainy has nonetheless ensured victory for the clown. With a genuine belief in his chaotic code that his film counterpart lacked, which is best illustrated when he gives an elderly woman a hundred bucks on a whim, the novel's take on the Joker manages to be an even more complex, intriguing villain than he is in the film.
    • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: The Joker is the self-proclaimed Clown Prince of Crime, depicted here as a far more affable, respectable nemesis to Batman than often portrayed. An energetic Wild Card who will happily team up with Batman to take down a greater threat—even saving the life of a small child in the process—Joker nonetheless considers himself a villain through-and-through, and pulls off a bevy of crimes with flourish and style. Joker's goofy exterior often throws off his opponents, allowing him to take down even the likes of Aquaman and Wonder Woman herself with ease, and his tactical intelligence flourishes in such instances as recommending a switch in enemies to his failing villain colleagues, or actually managing to fake his own death for decades then kill Batman in one possible Bad Future. With genuine respect to many of his fellow villains and even ready to sacrifice his own life to give one a morale boost, Joker stands out among Batman's Rogues Gallery with his hilarious, oddly personable attitude towards enemies and teammates alike.


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