by Jesse Schedeen
With "Suicide Squad" hitting theaters, DC fans are about to be introduced to a whole new take on Batman's greatest villain, The Joker. The Clown Prince of Crime has taken many forms over the years. Here are 11 interesting facts you might not know about Mister J.
1. He Has Cinematic Origins
Joker's look was heavily inspired by actor Conrad Veidt's (pictured above) character Gwynplaine in the 1928 film "The Man Who Laughs." In the film, Gwynplaine is the son of an English nobleman whose face is disfigured and given a permanent grin.
2. He Was Supposed to Be Killed Off
Joker was originally slated to be killed off after his first appearance in 1940's "Batman #1." But recognizing the character's vast potential, editor Whitney Ellsworth gave him a stay of execution.
3. He Brings Families Together
4. We Know Where He Was During 'The Dark Knight Rises'
Though the Joker didn't appear in "Dark Knight Rises," due to the passing of actor Heath Ledger, the character is referenced in the movie's novelization. It's hinted that Joker is the sole remaining inmate at Arkham Asylum, after all the others were transferred to Blackgate Prison.
5. Harley Quinn Isn't His First Sidekick
In the '60s-era Batman comics, Joker was given a sidekick named Gagsworth A. Gagsworthy (or "Gaggy" to his friends). Obviously, the character didn't stick around, but he did pave the way for more famous sidekicks like Bob the Goon and Harley Quinn.
6. He's Pals With... Scooby-Doo?
The 1977 Filmation animated series, "The New Adventures of Batman," featured actor Lennie Weinrub as the voice of Joker. Weinrub is also notable for having voiced Scrappy-Doo in the various Scooby-Doo cartoons.
7. It's Tough Getting Into His Head
In order to prepare for the role in "The Dark Knight," Ledger spent 43 days shut away in a motel room in order to get into the character's mindset. He also studied the mannerisms of Malcolm McDowell's character Alex in 1971's "A Clockwork Orange."
8. There's More Than One Joker
According to recent revelations in DC's comics, there are actually three different men who call themselves Joker. One is based on the classic 1940's version of the character, another is the version seen in 1986's "Batman: The Killing Joke," and the third is the modern incarnation seen in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's "Batman" comic. The Batman comics will continue to explore this twist in the years to come.
9. Joker Had Some Growing Pains
In 2003, Sandy Collora directed a fan film called "Batman: Dead End," which featured Batman chasing Joker into an alley and duking it out with, um, an Alien and several Predators. That version of Joker was played by none other than the late Andrew Koenig (best known for his role as Richard "Boner" Stabone on "Growing Pains").
10. He Hates Nazis
Apparently even Joker has standards. When the Marvel and DC Universes crossed over in the 1996 comic "DC vs. Marvel," Joker teamed up with Red Skull until realizing, to his horror, his new partner was a Nazi.