As of the time of this writing, I am planning to spend every moment of free time being Batman... because if that's an option why would you ever choose anything else? Batman: Arkham Origins just arrived and it's already arguably the best in the series so far.
It's also a prequel, and while I can understand the point artistically, I can't help but feel that the reason is so that we could have some fun with Joker one last time. The Clown Prince of Crime succumbed to a virulent strain of his own Joker Venom at the end of Arkham City, leading to what looks like his final end in the games.
In the new game we're rewound to the beginning of Batman's career, and there's Joker just eating up the scenery once again. I get it; it takes a lot of courage to leave Joker out of any Batman project. Even Christopher Nolan couldn't resist dropping a hint of him in Batman Begins. He's not only one of Batman's most iconic foes, but also one of the greatest villains in the history of evil in any medium. He's also inspired some pretty amazing art on Etsy, and today we're going to look at it.
See also: Pop Quiz: The Joker or Kefka Palazzo?
Sculptorio specializes in these resin wall-mounts dedicated to many incarnations of Batman and his rogue's gallery. He has six of Joker alone, and each one is a study in horror. None tops this one, though, depicting his recent appearance in "Death of the Family." By his own request Joker had his own face cut off and then loosely put back on with straps and staples. He was trying to prove a point... that no matter how deep you cut behind Joker is only more Joker. $40 seems a lot for a piece that measures less than five inches in length, but it's undeniably well-done work.
It's a common trope in fiction that psychopaths are musically adept, though as far as I can tell this is not generally true in real life. This print from Hello U Wall shows off a classic-style joker getting down with a slap bass. Funny, I would have figured him for something more esoteric like a Theremin personally. They also offer a pretty hot print of Catwoman as a jazz singer.
Phil Gibson is here with a truly bizarre bit of pop culture. Joker offers a bleeding lollipop to a young boy who could not possibly look more bored by the prospect. This could actually be one of those rare Joker moments of kindness that he displays every once in a while just to keep everyone guessing. Probably not though.
Now we're getting into some truly fine art that delves into the fractured mind of the Jack of Knaves. Billy Bianco has produced a really remarkable watercolor that explores the dichotomy of Batman and Joker as a twisted mirror images of each other. It's a pretty daring execution that pulls no punches, and I particularly like the way it almost looks as if Joker his hugging the Dark Knight as he laughs at a joke Batman just doesn't get.
Artist Michael Banks says he suffers from a sugar and caffeine addiction, a condition most of us refer to as "Being American." This leads him to staying up all night and crafting these sad-eyed versions of pop culture characters over and over and over again. Nice to see someone doing something positive with candy bars and coffee.
Piece continues on next page.
Minimalism and whimsy always work well with madness, and Civil Ward proves that well with this almost caricature painting of Joker. I have no idea what the hell he is holding, though. I swear it's green eggs and ham, and that wouldn't even be the weirdest thing Joker has ever used as a weapon.
There is just something mad about the very idea of this piece by The Secret Life of Toys. One of the most enduring images of Joker is him taking pictures of Barbara Gordon right after he shoots her in the spine, paralyzing her. It's a terrible mixture of jocularity and cruelty that sums him up perfectly. That image has been recreated with an action figure, so it's basically a photo of an icon of a moment about taking a photo of atrocity. That's meta.
From the product description...
What is going on behind Vader's mask? Is he grimacing at the Joker's advance, or is he waiting - eyes closed, lips parted - for the moment of truth?
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Dear Blue Movers... why is this?
There's a song that states a certain Space Cowboy who may or may not be named Maurice is both a Joker and a smoker, and now you can be both at once thanks to WOOF Terra Pipe. These handcrafted ceramic pipes are individually painted, and serve all your smoking-while-creeping-people-the-hell-out needs. Must be 18 or older to order.
In looking around for this article I found way too many Joker and Harley Forever sort of items. Even wedding cake toppers. Guys, don't do that. Do not declare your love with two characters locked in perhaps the most perverse and abusive relationship ever depicted. That's why I like this watercolor parodying Silence of the Lambs. Not only is Justin 13 Art's work technically awesome, it lays bear all the horrifying ways Joker has led Harley down to follow him in insanity over the years. What a wonderful creation.