Tuesday, January 24, 2006

How do you like YOUR Joker?

(Note: I just read THE KILLING JOKE, recently. This post may contain spoilers for those who still haven't read it.)

Do you prefer the pure evil version or the more complex version?

I enjoyed THE KILLING JOKE, but between what I'd already heard about the story and what has occurred since it was published, it didn't have the impact that I'm confident it had, at the time. I'm sure this is how young people feel after watching STAR WARS, for the first time, in 2006.

Anyway, I got the feeling that THE KILLING JOKE wouldn't or couldn't be written, now, for a few reasons - the main reason being that I think most people like having a simple villain. He's "simple" in that his character isn't very layered. Since he's not a complex character (in my opinion), readers needn't worry about having complex feelings about and reactions to him.

In a world of greys, it's probably nice to read a story in which the bad guy is clearly bad and you don't have to look at him like a human-being. Heck, the temptation to treat real-life bad guys that way is almost as irrestible, to some. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that they'd rather have a Joker without the back-story, without the tears, and without the uncomfortable "THAT could've been ME" epiphanies.

What do you think?

How do you like YOUR Joker?

1 comment:

Art Williams said...

I like a complex villain, just like my heroes. It doesn't mean I want my heroes whiny or my villains noble. Just help me understand how each got that way and why they stay that way. Damn its cold in January. Doing another jump...