We're one year into the reboot and people still haven't gotten over their being Jokered out from before. The new universe alone should have been enough to overcome that, as it should not be 'bound' by the older stories. That so many of us are still feeling Joker fatigue is just another faliure on DC's part. For now I think we should think of stories like Batman proving Joker's innocence as out of continuity. Only the big ones count, and it just so happened that Batman was able to capture Joker without killing him those times.
When Daniel cut the Joker's face off, I doubt he had any concrete plans for what was to come, but nonetheless the Joker having his face removed was a potent symbol: the Joker cavalierly stripping himself of his identity, his iconicity, the promise of something totally new and bizarre and genuinely unpredictable.
And what has Synder done with Daniel's idea? He's had the Joker strap his face back on. He's had the Joker rehash ancient history. Kill the son of the man he once killed. Try to kill the mayor (again). Confront Batman at Ace Chemicals with a Red Hood costume (again). Try to poison the reservoir (again). Even the Joker is bored with his own plots. He blows up the pipeline himself so that Batman doesn't have to, so they can get all this tedium out of the way. Why do people get sick and tired of the Joker to begin with? Because he murders, murders, murders, kills and cripples those near and dear to Batman, and gets away with it time and time again. So of course what is Synder's big plan for the Joker? Why, he's going to try and kill the entire Bat-family, of course!
It's brilliantly meta-textual. Everyone knows the Joker is eventually going to get his face sewn back on, editorial wouldn't allow Daniel to permanently mutilate their cash cow like that. The Joker's a typecast character who's stuck in a single iconic role, and he finally gets a chance to ditch the character and go off and do something new. And of course it doesn't work, of course the Joker ends up repeating his old schtick with ever-diminishing results. He goes back to his old routines only this time it's ironic, geddit? He doesn't really care about poisoning the reservoir. He becomes a parody of himself. This time you're (not) supposed to laugh. When Joker complains that Batman's gone soft, that he's lost his edge, he's projecting. Joker's really talking about himself.
The best comparison, hilariously, is Adam West, who was so ingrained in the public imagination as Batman that it ruined his career after the show ended. The public wouldn't accept him playing anyone else. And he's only revitalized his career by playing parodies of himself: Adam West played the Grey Ghost, Cat-Man, the Fearless Ferret; Adam West plays Adam West on Family Guy. Joker straps on his own face for Death of the Family, the controversial best-seller where Robin/Red Robin/Nightwing/Batgirl/Red Hood/Alfred dies!
(Over in Batgirl he's threatening to cripple red headed Barbara Gordon (Senior))
Joker cut his face off so that he could put it on and play himself.
Especially if the comedic sense is inadvertent.
Because the bat-crew thought it was a cool and edgy idea to remove his face with the intention of not use him for a year. And then Snyder brought him back with such a cliched, boring and unimaginative take.
Seriously, they should have removed the Joker for a very long time by killing him.
I've always wondered why the Batman editorial team doesn't just kill off the Joker, and have Batman do it. This idea that Batman will never ever ever take a life no matter if the life is a criminal who regularly butchers scores of people is a 1970's, Denny O'Neil construct and it doesn't make a lot of sense anymore, with the Joker routinely killing so many people that he's actually more of a terrorist than a serial killer. If Batman suddenly came to the conclusion that he's been selfishly elevating his own moral code above the lives of the people he's sworn to protect, and decided to kill the Joker in order to stop the inevitable murder of yet more innocents, that could be one heck of a Bat-Family crossover event. And it's not like DC would actually have to lose the Joker--let someone else "take up the mantle" of the character and become the New Joker. Any character can be the Joker; all there is to the guy is insanity, a contempt for authority, and a certain theatricality. I'd actually prefer a new Joker at this point (and I would love it if it was Harley.) The current Joker is showing his age.
A little off topic, but....
What if at the end of the crossover, after Batman catches Joker and throws him in Arkham agan, a bunch of guards go into his cell and just club him to death and say he was trying to escape?
Or what if a guard pays one of the other inmates to shank him while they're all sitting around playing checkers and watching TV?
To give Doll maker something "cool" on his wiki rogues resume.
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