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Author Topic: Why is Joker, Batman's arch enemy?  (Read 286 times)

Offline Sayg

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Why is Joker, Batman's arch enemy?
« on: June 03, 2021, 01:38:09 PM »
It sometimes puzzles me why Joker is worthy or became Batman's arch nemesis. I mean Joker is just another crazy gangster. Wasn't he just an ordinary meek guy with a wife before? If i remember his story in the "Killing Joke" arc/story. There are a lot of other crazy villains out there, how is the Joker more of a threat to Batman compared to them? The Joker isn't much of a fighter or skilled in weapons right? While Batman is pretty much skilled in martial arts and other weapons. I could understand how Bane could give Batman more of a hard time.

I guess the only reason why Joker became Batman's arch enemy is that he is obsessed with Batman? Compared to the others maybe? As can be seen when he takes out Batgirl or Jason Todd (as Robin). Still i think Joker's threat level can just as easily be compared to perhaps Riddler, Penguin, or Two Face. I just sometimes don't know why Batman seems to have a hardest time with the Joker.
With knowledge comes power. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Offline BentonGrey

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Re: Why is Joker, Batman's arch enemy?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2021, 04:19:47 PM »
Interesting question, Sayg.  I suppose one of the first places to begin is to think about your context.  The Joker of today isn't the same as when he was created, and neither is Batman.  Batman is a lot more skillful and powerful these days than he was in the Golden Age, and the same is true of the Joker.  Remember, the modern origin for Joker is a (relatively) recent invention, considering he's been around since 1940.  Before that point, his origins were a complete mystery, so who knows what skills or talents he might have possessed?  And even today, the Red Hood origin is treated uncertainly.

But that's really dealing with the practical side of your question.  I think the Joker's success depends much more on thematic elements.  Batman is a symbol of order, and the Joker, with his madness and over-the-top gimmicks is practically an avatar of chaos.  The binary opposition is positively archetypal.  Add in how effective the Joker's visual is, how perfect his design is, and how excellently it mirrors Batman's, and you've got...well, exactly what we see, a natural fit for Batman's nemesis. 

In terms of in-universe explanations, well, I always have liked the old Golden Age device that the Joker has "the strength of a madman."  He's this beanpole of a guy, but he hits like a truck because his madness sort of removes all the stops from his physical condition.  He's also clearly a genius in most interpretations, despite his madness (or perhaps because of it?), and is an intellectual equal to Batman.  In fact, in a lot of the older stories, he wasn't really much of a physical match for Bats, but he was an intellectual one.
God Bless
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Offline Sayg

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Re: Why is Joker, Batman's arch enemy?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2021, 09:29:32 AM »
I guess you were right about his origins still being rather obscure until today.

Reading the wikipedia on Joker,  it would seem that he is a chemical genius after all. With his joker poison and other stuff. I forgot that he did mention that he invented the chemical toxin himself in Michael Keaton's Batman movie. :doh: And apparently, he is also some kind of a technical genius too, with all the other gadgets he has used during his career.  What i didn't know was that he is also considered to be skilled in melee combat? I guess he wouldn't survive this long if he wasn't that good right? Didn't know he can overpower Batman though. So you probably are also right about his mind being his most greatest asset. Despite him losing it.  :P

The wiki also echoes your sentiment on their symbols being the exact opposite. Order vs Chaos. I would agree that the design of a scary clown villain is very nice. As you said, visually it is very effective in instilling fear even to his own men and co-villains. But i'm not really sure if he can beat other stronger villains out there. But i guess he is strong enough to beat Jason Todd or Batgirl.
With knowledge comes power. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Offline BentonGrey

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Re: Why is Joker, Batman's arch enemy?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2021, 02:57:18 PM »
Haha, yeah, you could say it took Joker losing his mind to find his brilliance. 

Yeah, he's almost certainly not Batman's most powerful foe, but he is Bats' most unpredictable foe, which I think may make him the most dangerous.  Also, to one degree or another, you can reason with most of the Bat foes, even the crazy ones. You can't do that with the Joker (generally speaking).
God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
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Offline Nyte Dragon

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Re: Why is Joker, Batman's arch enemy?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2021, 06:52:47 PM »
Why is Joker considered Batman's archenemy?  I love questions like this. Because there really isn't a wrong answer, it's all in how someone interprets things.

 I see as this. Batman has something like OCD of sorts. He wants his world to be nice and ordered. Hence his plans within plans within plans. And with almost every member of his rogues gallery, they have a behavioral pattern they tend to follow. This allows Batman to out think them, much as a profiler does when they are trying to figure out the psyche of an unsub. (I like the show Criminal Minds)

 But the Joker, giving the nature of his mind, is truly unpredictable. Batman can't plan for what Joker will do or how he will react. IIRC, it has been said that the Joker has a form of 'Hyper-Insanity', where he develops different persona. This is why one time he might just be a prankster, pulling a crime for the lols, and the next he could be a vicious murdering psychopath. And it's this fact that makes him so hard for Batman to deal with him.

 And while there are other villains that are more powerful, more deadly, but none are more personally frustrating to Batman then the Joker.
Hate is always foolish and love is always wise.
 ⁓Doctor Who

Offline dknight95

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Re: Why is Joker, Batman's arch enemy?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2021, 04:28:31 AM »
Hi All, I think Nolan touched upon this in "The Dark Knight" when the Joker explains to Harvey Dent that he is an agent of chaos.  His simple explanation that he is a dog chasing a car, but wouldn't know what to do with a car if he actually caught one exemplifies the Joker's thinking in regards to how he see himself fitting in to society and the world at large.  He like Batman is a creature that was created out of circumstances that neither had any control over, yet these selfsame circumstances gave them each individually a drive or purpose that would define them.  For Batman he would defeat all evil and bring order to the world as he understands it.  For the Joker, he would create chaos and unpredictable change to his environment, whether it led to profit or not.  These two goals are in direct conflict and thus makes the Joker Batman's greatest nemesis.
Be well, God bless, Be at peace, and may the forces of evil become lost and confused on the way to your home! - George Carlin

Offline BentonGrey

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Re: Why is Joker, Batman's arch enemy?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2021, 06:46:30 PM »
Interesting and well-said, DK.

ND, your point about the Joker's unpredictability is, I think, an important one.
God Bless
"If God came down upon me and gave me a wish again, I'd wish to be like Aquaman, 'cause Aquaman can take the pain..." -Ballad of Aquaman
Check out my DC voicepacks at my yahoo group.
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