Having expressed such a less-than-glowing opinion of Batman #17 in the last post here at TooBusyThinking, I thought I might at least put my arguments into the context of my own taste. And so, in this blog's tradition of Baker's Dozens, I offer up my favourite Joker stories. I make no claims for them being the most important, influential or outstanding of the hundreds of tales about the character. Nor have differentiated from stories in which the Joker is the lead and those in which he's been put to work as part of an ensemble. These are simply the tales that I've most enjoyed, and the order which they appear in reflects nothing but the order in which they were published.
Please do feel free to mention in the comments the comics that you would have chosen, and also to suggest which of my choices appear to be .... questionable.
Finally, I've completely ignored everything but the comics here. Almost 75 years of Joker appearances in the pages of DC's product was enough of a challenge in itself.
|By Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson et al|
1. The Joker versus The Batman/The Joker Returns, Batman #1, 1940
|By Bill Finger, Lew Schwartz, Win Mortimor et al|
2. The Man Behind The Red Hood, Detective Comics, #168, 1951
|By Bill Finger, Dick Sprang, Charles Parris et al|
3. The Joker's Crime Costume, Batman #63, 1951
|By Alvin Schwartz, Dick Sprang, Charles Parris et a;|
4. The Crazy Crime Clown, Batman #74, 1953
|By Edmond Hamilton and Dick Sprang et al|
5. Superman's And Batman's Greatest Foes, World's Finest #88, 1957
|By Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff et al|
|by Neal Adams, Denny O'Neil et al|
7. The Joker's Five Way Revenge, Batman #251, 1973
8. The Laughing Fish/Sign Of The Joker, DetectiveComics #475/6, 1978
|by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Gerry Conway|
9. The Last Laugh, Batman #353, 1982
|By Frank Miller, Klaus Janson et al|
10. The Dark Knight Returns, 1986
|By Paul Dini & Bruce Timm et al|
11. The Batman Adventures: Mad Love, 1994
|By Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, Michael Lark et al|
12. Gotham Central: Soft Targets, 2003/4
|By Paul Cornell, Jimmy Broxton et al|
13. Knight & Squire #5/6, 2011
And coming soon, Sequart and Newsarama writer Forrest Helvie and his take on what makes a splendid Joker story, as well as his nominations for his own individual canon of Joker tales.