The Lilac Pilgrim – Yet Another Blog

Posts Tagged ‘batman

As I expected, I got a LOT of backlash on that post. Surprisingly enough I got very little defence. My point, ladies, was that I don’t care if these girls have self-insert fiction (whether or not they admit that it is), really BAD fiction deserves to be kept secret. I’m sick of stories where “ZOMG! HE STOLEDED A SKOOLBUS DEN TIED MI 2 GASOLEEEEEN! LOLOL!”>_<

I’m going to take the comments I got and go through them, but first I want to make one thing clear: I have nothing against romance. Romance is fine. I’m aware that the Joker has a girl in canon – Harley Quinn (whom I love to bits). But she’s his only girl, and he has tried multiple times to kill her because he can’t handle such human feelings. He’s made her into a constellation, he tied her to a rocket, he was going to shoot her, he’s kicked her out of windows, he tortures her, pushes her around, hurts her, and this is all in the name of love. And very dangerous love, I might add.

On to the comments, now.

Brie said:
Hmm, I agree on the ‘not being able to change him’ part.
Nut that’s the point of fanfiction.
It’s fiction written by a fan.
If they want to make him mushy and vulnerable, that’s fine…it’s their choice because they’re writing it.

Fair points, I agree, but The Joker just isn’t vulnerable. As per my post “Hush: Chapter Seven: Just TOO Dark?” vulnerable!Joker is just a big NO. The Joker always puts up a fight and has fun with everything. When Rachel was ready to fight for her life, The Joker was ready to fight to take it from her. He’s not a vulnerable man. He’s manipulative, sneaky and vile; he is only ever mushy about Harley, and she’s not even safe from him.

In “The Killing Joke”, The Joker serves as an unreliable narrator in his flashbacks – he remembers a wife, Jeannie, with whom he was completely in love, and he lost her to a household accident. However he later confesses that he sometimes remembers what happened to him one way and sometimes another, and he’s comfortable with that. This means that possibly the Joker suffers from false memories – and so Jeannie may never have existed!

And sure, The Joker has gone through thousands of characterisations, but remind me; which one was vulnerable? Exclude Hush – we’ve been through that. It’s a little contradictory that you say “I agree on not being able to change him” and then defend the fangirls for doing exactly that.

I’m all for OCs, I’m even fine with self-inserts – but the majority are not well-written, especially within The Dark Knight fan-fiction. And that sours me towards the experience. Look at the following excerpt from an honest-to-goodness Joker/OC fan fiction, about a vampire who falls in love with, well… who else?:

“Shit she took some crack heads blood, that was high now she it too.”

“Huh crack where give me some!”

I started to jump up and down like an excited puppy.

“No you are going to bed now.”

He tossed me over his shoulder and carried me away to never never land. Hehe I would finally get to meet Peter Pan and the notorious Captain Hook and his weird beard. I felt myself be put into a bed. I was still giggling. I got quiet and went to sleep. I awoke to the sun coming in through the crack. It was very little but still. I sat up and realized that I was in my bed with Jokester. He was facing away from me. I went to climb over him to get out but he grabbed me and now I was lying on top of him.

I… I have no words here. What could make anyone think that this is okay? This story has good reviews, too. A lot of this story carries on in the same vein (no pun intended) as the above, with a lot of really odd (understatement) happenings and the Joker being incredibly OOC. It’s not fun or cute; it’s annoying, and the only reason stories like this get good reviews is because girls want to imagine that they are the Mary-Sue/self-insert.

Moving on:

Kat said:
“…I don’t entirely know what the appeal is, but I don’t see any harm in it. Beyond writing some fanfiction of questionable quality, it’s not hurting anyone. There’s a big difference between developing a crush on a fictional character who kills people and a man on death row who has killed people…”

I didn’t say it was harmful, but I’d like to be able to find a GOOD The Dark Knight fiction without being bombarded by “questionable” fan fiction about how much some crazy girl wants to boink The Joker.

Agreed on the big difference part, but some of these girls really don’t seem to know the difference. I have known girls to say “I know >real-life murderer whose name escapes me< is evil, but he’s kind of cute in a weird way… is that wrong?” Yes, really.

“..Also, the dude clearly has ISSUES. Young girls love a broken man with emotional problems. They like the idea of being the one to give him a hug and ease the pain. Some women do too. Heck, some men are also all about crazy ladies who will bring them nothing but grief…”

It doesn’t matter whether they are real or fictional, chances are neither are going to be magically cured of their issues with a hug and some hot chocolate. I admit to being the kind of woman who is attracted to a man with issues. But I’m attracted to psychology. I don’t want to hug the guy better, I want to analyse him. I want to take care of him, sure, but getting to the root of the problem solves much more than a teddy bear can. As a fictional character, The Joker completely fascinates me. There’s so much there that is carried forward onto the next incarnation, so much psychology within a character who murders for laughs. But I’m not sexually attracted to him. I’m not physically attracted. His mind gets me; the madness behind the method. And it infuriates me to no end when that psychology is destroyed. He’s suddeny got purpose, and it’s a pathetic one. He’s suddenly a simpering mess, no longer the Harlequin Of Hate. It gets to me.

“I say let them have their wicked way with him in the fanfiction world.”

I say so too – just keep it the hell outta my way.

And finally:

gypsywitchbarbara said:
“alright, “and here we…go!” Now im a grown up, hardly a teenage, who now has the most inspiring ( im a graphic novel author artist) the most erotic and the most downright obsessive crush on ledger’s joker.”

No offence, because you seem lovely, but age does not a grown-up make.

“Amidst drooling over the characters poweful alpa male agressive ness i noticed a real reason for ladies to fuel the female sexy joker fantasy with this particlar character in this particular movie. the scean where joker taunts and circles rachel at bruce waynes fundraiser,joker tell the story of his wife and how he loved her so damned much he sllced his own face to prove his wifes horrable disfigurement did not change his feelings for her. So ledger’s joker would have sex with you and quite possably might marry you. why not he did it once before? And he didnt kill his wife. So in context with the dark knight movie itself and direct dialouge from Ledger’s jokers character now you have a concreat foundation for female infatuation with this character. “

Grammar and spelling aside, there’s a lot wrong with the above paragraph.

The Joker actually had little aggression in The Dark Knight. Alpha-male type aggression is top-dog, obvious, Schwarzenegger-type aggression. The Joker is, for the most part, passive-aggressive, which is very different. Yes he’s the top, but in a sneaky fashion. He gets into the minds of those he gets to assist him (the schizophrenic Arkham inmate Thomas Schiff, for example), he completely twists people into becoming his little guinea pigs/minions. I mean, he doesn’t go on an all-out kill spree; each killing is calculated (Misters Harvey and Dent are examples).

As per “but he loved his wife!!!!!”, well… I’ve made the point already but it’s worth going through again. The Joker recounted a different story as well; that his father cut his mother up and then sliced the young Joker’s mouth open. It’s possible that when he was to tell Batman the story, it would have been another false memory. Maybe the Joker’s a compulsive liar? We don’t know, we probably never will.

He told Rachel she was beautiful – then proceeded to throw her out of a window. Oh yeah, really loving character you got there. While it’s possible that the Joker has been in love in the Nolanverse – accept that this Joker is not the same Joker as in the comics or earlier movies or TV shows – it’s also completely possible that he’s never been in love. And if he has, he was in love before he went stark-raving bonkers. It might never happen for him again.

(Note: “female” infatuation? Gay guys might like the Joker too…)

Ledger’s Joker was wonderful. I loved every minute. But I did not fall in love with him. I fail to see the attraction, I completely cannot see it. His mind is only on chaos – he’s positively obsessed with trying to prove that everyone has their dark side. He is completely enamoured with anarchy and disorder, he wants to see Gotham fall into a fit of violence and desperation. He is extremely intelligent and very manipulative. But a lover he isn’t. He didn’t have a girlfriend in the film, the only woman he targeted was Rachel and he tried to kill her twice in one scene, he didn’t angst over the wife he may have made up in his mind, so where is this sensitive!Joker coming from?

At the end of the day, by all means write your fictions, draw your art but please make it bearable at least. Especially in your fiction, because if I have to read another sickening “I’M THE JOKER I’M INSANE MWAHAHA I KILL YOU NOW PRETTY GIRL ONOZ I LOVE YOU” story I swear to whatever is up there I’ll be another step closer to putting smiles on a lot of people’s faces.

Now all I gotta do is wait for more people to contradict me :S It seems to happen a lot where Heath Ledger’s (and strangely only Heath Ledger’s) Joker is concerned.

I admit it; I am a Joker fan. The guy’s a genius! And brilliantly done in most every story (I was very impressed by The Dark Knight, but that’s a different review for another day).

However, I have to say, reading Hush, Chapter 7: The Joke, a few weeks back made me cringe.

Basically, Batman finds the spindly, chalkskinned clown hovering over the dead body of his friend Tommy Elliot. Now he’s ready to murder him with his bare hands, and most of this chapter is spent with Batman’s odd little thought-squares hovering over images of a bloodied and whimpering Joker, who by about the third or fourth panel has at least three teeth missing.

The Joker takes a nasty beating at the hands of the Caped Crusader

The Joker takes a nasty beating at the hands of the Caped Crusader

I can only imagine that whoever wrote the story (I believe it was actually Jeph Loeb) really has it in for the Joker. Where’s the fight? The Joker normally has a good few tricks up his sleeve or a fiesty punch in him but in this chapter, he falls to the ground like a wind-battered straw-house. The only resilience he shows is in the fact that he isn’t dead by the time the chapter concludes, and by all rights and means he should be.

In fact, Loeb hates the Joker so much that, as if being thrown to the ground in a wet alleyway to be choked to death after about a million hooks and uppercuts wasn’t pain and humiliation enough, Harley Quinn takes a swing at Batman with a massive mallet, misses, and presumably crushes her “puddin'”s wrist. I mean ow!

The end of the chapter pretty much sees the Clown Prince of Crime, terrified, curled into a foetal position pleading “I’m innocent!”. What happened to him? He acts like he’s never been kicked around by Batman before!

This is a horrible piece of fiction. I’m all for Batman giving the Joker a good kicking (the man IS a psychopath) but this whole chapter is uncalled for! At one point, The Joker does manage to get away, but ruins it by being unable to keep his trap shut, running through the alleyways screaming “HELP! MADMAN!” and one Godawful pun. Ugh. What happened to my favourite villain?

When Batman catches up to him, he pins him down again and Joker doesn’t even try to defend himself. Instead of being the psychopathic killer he’s supposed to be, he whimpers like a girl and allows the oversized bat to continue in his blood-lust fuelled rage. He’s terrified, he’s going to die, and worst of all, he really is innocent.

Thankfully Commissioner Gordon steps in and shoots at Batman, grazing him, but ultimately, Batman gets up and rethinks the situation while the Joker, who by now has lost more blood than the NHS gets donated to them in a year, lies in a pool of the aforementioned liquid, whispering his innocence in a frail voice. GAH!

The Clown Prince of Crime reduced to a bloody, shattered lump

The Clown Prince of Crime reduced to a bloody, shattered lump

I know the Joker has had several different characterisations before, but he should never be this vulnerable. Okay, I know, different writer, different characterisation but my God, at least he was interesting before.

He has spirit, he’s a capable fighter, he’s very intelligent and always has a trick or two up his sleeve, and yet can’t defend himself against the caped crusader on the rampage? Hell, he’s probably killed thousands and yet just lies there and allows Batman to nearly kill him?

Okay, I get that he’s OMG!evil, and I understand that Batman has just been pushed that bit too far, but the Joker is not this weak, he never has been. The entire story made me cringe, and I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m pretty appalled by the fact that the Clown Prince of Crime, the Harlequin of Hate, simply lies down, rolls over and takes every last punch. I don’t know, maybe he’s never been punched quite so hard, but the fact still remains that he can defend himself. I just can’t fathom why he didn’t.

Anyone else dislike this one as much as me? Or am I alone here?

    • HoistTheColours: Dear author, I full-heartedly and absolutely agree with your above statements. I just thought I would let you know, since I don't quite understand w
    • richclark: I covered this in my blog too. Found your post on one of Wordpress' random (associated posts). Has Ask really made the impact it needed to from
    • The Lilac Pilgrim: I couldn't go anywhere without someone mentioning it. It was incredibly obvious and yet people were still arguing about it. Absolutely ridiculous.