The Joker at 75: Terror with a Smile

Originally posted on Reel World Theology on Wednesday, May 6, 2015.

April 25 marked the 75th anniversary of the first appearance of the Joker in DC Comics. Created by Jerry Robinson, Bill Finger and Batman creator Bob Kane, the Joker has endured as Batman’s most formidable foe. The Joker’s seemingly endless parade of death, destruction and torment has been the impetus for many of Batman’s most acclaimed and compelling stories over the years.

The Joker has become as celebrated as his adversary, and is considered one of the greatest comic book villains of all time – perhaps THE greatest. He has undergone many interpretations over the years: from eccentric killer to harmless trickster to sadistic psychopath. And yet, this character has latched on to the public consciousness and has become something of a fascination to casual and hardcore fans alike.

Let’s take a look at some of the most well-known cinematic interpretations of the Joker, and then delve deeper into the appeal of this maniacal clown. He bears striking resemblance to our spiritual adversary in motive and manner.

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