The Joker (Colorful kids toy or Charles Manson’s Inspiration)

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By  Phil Perich for Before the Bat: The Gotham Podcast

Hello its me again, miss me?  

Anyway I’ve been thinking about what to write my second post about.  The first one was of course about Batman and my thoughts on him.  So I figured why not go the opposite way this week?  If Batman is Order and Control, the opposite is chaos and anarchy.  That’s why the Joker is the perfect opponent for Batman.  He is Batman’s polar opposite and Batman can’t outthink him a lot of the time, because the Joker is so crazy, most of the time even he doesn’t know what he’s going to do until he does it.  But the Joker also came to mind because of something that’s been bothering me for awhile.  I’ve had this thought before but it’s really hit home lately since I’ve been walking down toy aisles more and more with my son (He’s 16 months old now).  Go to most big toy stores in this country (including stores with toy departments, your Wal-Marts, Targets, etc.)  and you’ll see superhero figures, even for little kids. I’ve noticed over and over DC comics sets of little chunky, childlike superhero figures, I think for kids age 3-8 the package said.  And of course with heroes you get villains, and in one pack I saw him, The Joker.  The Joker!  Let that sink in.  no Riddler, Penguin, Killer Moth for bats sake.  They’re pushing a Joker figure to 3 year olds?  For anyone not to familiar with the comic book Joker, remember the death toll the Joker wracked up in the Dark Knight?  Or in the 1989 Batman movie?  Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson combined didn’t kill the amount of people the DC comics Joker has.  Even in the New 52 stories (from 2011 until now) the Joker, as insane as he is, has CUT OFF HIS OWN FACE!:

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Or lets not forgot the fact he shot Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) crippling her for years (1988-2011):


Or when he beat Jason Todd (Robin #2) and blew him up with a bomb.  (But years later he got better, maybe I’ll tell you about Lazarus pits someday kids, or alternate superboys).


Back to my point.  We are giving children, even young children, an action figure of a homicidal mass murderer?  What’s the logic?  Because he is a fictional character?  We wouldn’t see Charles Manson figures in toy aisles.  Or because not many of the parents buying their children this toy don’t know of his comic book actions?  Many of these people may think of Caesar Romero’s Joker from the 1966 Batman.  There really weren’t many deaths in that show and Batman and Robin always had to escape goofy death traps.  So what do I do?  The day my son wants one, get it for him?

Yes!  Because in the mind of a young child, no one gets seriously hurt, the bad guys are always caught, and Batman ALWAYS WINS and never lets the Joker hurt anyone. Let me know YOUR thoughts on the Joker:



Until next week, be good. Remember, The Joker’s on the loose!



Posted on July 13, 2014 .