Date: 2010-07-28 08:10 am (UTC)
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
From: [personal profile] skjam
Which was in fact the first time Joker *had* killed anyone since the mid-forties, when he was executed for his crimes and had his slate cleaned. He naturally was revived, and went back to his criminal ways, but did not kill again for decades.

That was to solve the whole "Joker Immunity" problem that the writers noticed even then--if the Joker kills a bunch of people, Batman puts him away, the Joker gets out and kills people, Batman puts him away, wash rinse repeat, it makes Batman look stupid for not using a more...permanent solution.

So they did the "Joker pays for his crimes" story, and had it be a rule from then on that only one-shot gangsters and monsters would ever succeed at killing anyone in the Batman comics, and get punished at the end of the story.

Problem with *that*, of course, is that the Joker became essentially toothless. He's amusing but not actually a threat if everyone knows he can never follow through on threats of death. So when the Comics Code eased up, and the Batman comics could be grittier, "Five-Way Revenge."

But now we're back to the Joker Immunity problem, and I don't think today's readers will swallow the "he paid for those crimes and is back to being goofy fun!"
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