“You wanna know how I got these scars?” Heath Ledger said in his iconic take of The Joker in “The Dark Knight (2008).” The Joker is arguably the greatest villain in entertainment history for his mysterious origins, psychotic nature and the actors who wear his trademark purple suit.
The question of who best portrayed the green-haired menace is an ongoing bloody war. To celebrate “Joker (2019)” with Joaquin Phoenix which came out Oct. 4, let’s wage war and see why people fight for their “Clown Prince of Crime.”
In a poll on the Student to Student at ULM Facebook page, students enlisted to fight for one of six Jokers: Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Mark Hamill, Heath Ledger, Jared Leto and Joaquin Phoenix.
Heath Ledger won this war effortlessly with an army of 234 students; Leto with 16, Hamill with eight, Nicholson with seven and Romero and Phoenix tied with only two.
Ari Smith, a senior health studies marketing major, said she admired Ledger’s extreme dedication that consumed his life.
Arohan Rimal, a junior psychology major, said he enjoyed his nihilistic twist, which is a philosophy saying life is meaningless. James Hollowell, a senior medical laboratory science, said Ledger scared him.
Jared Leto (“Suicide Squad (2016)”) was mostly mocked. Rimal said Leto was not directed properly and needed more screen-time.
Mark Hamill voices The Joker in “Batman: The Animated Series (1992).” Matthew Rowland, a future communications major, said Hamill embodied the character with his voice. These purple-clad armies fought a bloody war, but Heath Ledger’s forces proved unstoppable.
We need an open mind to help explain the outcome of this war. Joshua Comer, a communications professor, said it comes down to who a person grew up with.
“I think it’s how old you were, where you were, what you were doing at the time that determines it,” Comer said.
Comer said he cannot choose a Joker or has not seen all versions. Picking only one Joker is not easy.
“I don’t know,” Comer said. “I’d have to think about it. I have not seen Jared Leto’s version. They all have their positives surely.”
The Joker war rages on evermore as Joaquin Phoenix joins in this year. Regardless, we will laugh as we “dance with the devil in the pale moonlight,” as Jack Nicholson once said.