He was on PCP plus he's crazy.
He was on PCP plus he's crazy.
a). He thinks Bat's real face is his mask, so he's wearing his real face as a mask.
b). He mutilated himself for his beliefs (ie. how some monks immolate themselves in protest)
c). He mutilated himself in tribute to Batman to show devotion (since he worships him like a god).
d). So he has a way to escape when the whole Batcalvary shows up to string him up, he can just cut off someone else's face who has a similar build to him and plop his face mask on top of it, or have a new face put on so they can't recognize him.
I'd like to take his face...off.
In his own way he wanted to be like Batman wearing a mask
IDK either that or he really wants to freak people out
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He must have watched this awful movie with Travolta and Cage.
True that it was kinda fun.
Cage's movies tend to be, especially the bad ones.
Outside of the external reasons - sales, shock, to keep him out of the narrative - I think there's a pretty neat thematic gimmick here.
The Joker claims Death of the Family is about making Batman strong again, so they can play together like old times. He's jealous of Batman's family.
However, it's worth noting that the Joker has a tendency to lie or exaggerate to present himself as more altruistic - or at least philosophically sincere - than he actually is.
In The Dark Knight, the Joker lies. A lot. "Do I look like a guy with a plan?" he asks, despite the fact that everything is executed with precision. The Joker there claims to want to liberate and enlighten Gotham, to show them how things really are, much like he is trying to do in Death of the Family to Batman. Sort of a "this is for your own good" nonsense.
However, in The Dark Knight, the character REALLY just wants proof he's not alone, that "deep down", as Batman suggests, everybody is "as ugly as [him]."
How dies this relate to the face? Simple. The Joker doesn't care about Batman. The cowl is Batman's face. However, Batman takes off his face and he is Bruce Wayne. He has a life, a family, friends, people who love him.
The Joker takes off his face and... there's nothing. There's no inner life or humanity, or friends or family.
That's why I suspect Harley has played a bigger role here than she did in Morrison's Clown at Midnight. Morrison put the interactions between the Joker and Harley in the prelude to Batman R.I.P. Snyder positions Harley in Death of the Family itself. I suspect that's an intentional attempt to demonstrate that the Joker could have a supporting family to mirror to Batman's. He just brutalises and victimises Harley despite her tragic affections for him.
And, in light of the themes of Death of the Family, that just makes the Joker himself somewhat tragic, because it means the Joker can't blame the world for the way that he is. It's just him. And that's the thing I've always consistent seen in the best Joker portrayals - ultimately, he's the butt of the Joker. Death of the Family is him lashing out at Batman because Batman has all these things that he can't.
He couches it in elegant and grand language and makes it seem philosophical, but the Joker's really just a spoilt child. He's a funhouse mirror of Batman. A cynic might suggest that Batman uses his mission as an excuse to beat up criminals and make himself feel powerful, but that's not what he's about at all. The Joker, on the other hand, disguises his pettiness as some deep-seated personal philosophy, when it's about making the world suffer because he suffered.
The fact that Batman can take off his face and be Bruce Wayne, especially the version of Bruce Wayne reconstructed as a family patriarch by Grant Morrison, really gets at the Joker on some primal level. And I think the Joker taking off his face to show there's nothing there is like a teaser for Batman, a sign of things to come.
Of course, he knew that there was nothing beneath his face before it got cut off, but then the Joker is about grand absurdist theatre. It's the gesture, the act that matters. Carving your face off is grand guignol. He doesn't really want Batman to become stronger. He wants Batman to be like him, to have nothing beneath the mask. The Joker removing his face to reveal nothing underneath is a tease, a suggestion of what he has planned for Batman.
Or, at least, that's my theory. And I think it fits thematically with what Snyder does.
Last edited by Darren Mooney; 11-18-2012 at 01:59 PM.