BATMAN AND JOKER

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Easily one of the most famous hero/villain relationships in the superhero genre would be Batman and the Joker. For years, these two have battled one another in the streets of Gotham City. In addition to being a famous relationship, I find that their relationship is also quite more complex than a regular hero/villain relationship. The Joker’s greatest weakness is that he cannot imagine a world without Batman. The Mark Hamill Joker said, “Without Batman, crime has lost its punchline.” The Heath Ledger Joker said, “I won’t kill you because you are too much fun.” In the Batman animated series, the Joker thought Batman was dead and threw a funeral for his nemesis. In the Dark Knight Returns, when Batman disappeared into retirement, the Joker lost his will to live became catatonic, but when Batman returned, the Joker was back to his old self. Batman, on the other hand, has no such obsession with the Joker. There are even times when Batman toys with the idea of killing the Joker. In The Dark Knight Returns, during his final battle with the Joker, Batman said, “All the people I murdered by letting you live.” Batman feels responsible for every death the Joker causes because he spares him every time. However, he does not kill the Joker because he knows there would be no turning back. The Joker is like a twisted reflection of what Bruce Wayne could have been when he witnessed his parents’ murder. Overall, Batman and the Joker are the best and most complex examples of how superheroes and supervillains interact with one another.

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