starwolf_oakley: (Default)
[personal profile] starwolf_oakley posting in [community profile] scans_daily

Some time later, the Joker approaches Gaggy. Gaggy is so annoyed by doing his act he's happy to either team up with the Joker or get killed by him.

6 pages from GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #6.

Silver Age tomfoolery. Gaggy first appeared in BATMAN #186 in 1966.
Some info can be found here:

I know art of the reason was that around this time, none of the villains were very violent. Sure they wanted to kill Batman, but innocent bystanders were a different story. Also, the Joker killing people left and right would make Batman look inefficient. At least back then it did.

These days it makes Batman look like a moron for not killing the Joker. Like he's willing to let the Joker kill hundreds of people so he (Batman) won't feel like a hypocrite. But that's another topic.

There's a Dave McKean vibe to the artwork on this page.
Gaggy serves the rest of his term, then decides to wait at the HQ he shared with the Joker.
It's quiet, but one night...

Gaggy has not shown up again. I wonder what he'd think of Mr. J's "Oberon Sexton" deal. Like me and others, he'd think it's a little "too Riddler."

Date: 2010-07-19 03:39 am (UTC)
richardak: (Default)
From: [personal profile] richardak
These days it makes Batman look like a moron for not killing the Joker. Like he's willing to let the Joker kill hundreds of people so he (Batman) won't fell like a hypocrite. But that's another topic.

I see people write this or something like it all the time, and I don't understand it at all. The state Gotham is in has the death penalty. If the people of Gotham want the Joker dead, they can kill him, legally. Why should Batman kill him if the people don't want him dead?

Date: 2010-07-19 03:52 am (UTC)
auggie18: (Default)
From: [personal profile] auggie18
I remember reading something about the Joker always pleading insanity and being sent to Arkham Asylum because you can't legally put the mentally ill to death. I might be remembering that wrong, though.

The Joker has, in canon, killed buses full of children. On multiple occasions. It's extraordinarily hard to believe that even the strongest anti-death penalty supporter would argue against putting him to death.

Given the fact that there are several heroes that kill, it becomes more and more odd that Joker is still alive.

Date: 2010-07-19 04:03 am (UTC)
jaybee3: Nguyen Lil Cass (Default)
From: [personal profile] jaybee3
I once had an idea for Batman to flat-out state that one of his problems with The Huntress is not only that she kills but having taken that step refuses to kill people like The Joker (and considering Helena's come face to face with him several times including in NML, it WOULD make sense) but no, Huntress would rather kill some nameless mob bosses as part of some personal vendetta rather than knock off the Joker or Killer Croc or Black Mask or someone like that. Once you've made the decision to kill a villian - where do you stop (this is actually how I see Bruce see it as his own reasons for not doing it).

This would make a hell of a lot more sense (not much more, I grant) for his tool-ish behavior towards the Huntress rather than the reason most writers seem to give - that he's a jerk to her.

Date: 2010-07-19 06:39 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
It's also used in "Under the Red Hood" movie, where Batman points out that killing the Joker wouldn't be too difficult for him to manage, it would be too EASY, and once he started he'd find it hard to stop.

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Date: 2010-07-20 05:39 am (UTC)
auggie18: (Default)
From: [personal profile] auggie18
That is terrible reasoning. "If I kill a mass murderer, then I have to start killing small-time offenders!" There is such a huge disconnect. Not all crimes are equal. They don't all deserve the same punishment.

The Joker stays alive through poor reasoning and good marketability.

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Date: 2010-07-19 06:58 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
...Huh. That would be interesting--and it does make more sense.

Date: 2010-07-19 01:06 pm (UTC)
richardak: (Default)
From: [personal profile] richardak
I think there have been occasions where the Huntress has tried to kill some of Gotham's real lunatics. But we all know that if the Batman doesn't stop her, the writers will. They're not going to let her kill off a major Batman villain. Those villains, especially the Joker, are too valuable. (Which is the real reason Batman will never kill the Joker either.)

That's why I just try not to think too hard about superheroes' "no killing" rule. It's so obviously necessary for the story to continue that I think you just have to accept it or stop reading the story.

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Date: 2010-07-19 04:21 am (UTC)
katzedecimal: Is me, by me. I drawed it. (Default)
From: [personal profile] katzedecimal
I've come to the conclusion that the chemical bath gave the Joker a secret healing factor that renders him effectively immortal. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

Date: 2010-07-19 05:00 am (UTC)
midnightvoyager: Just Middy (FAIL)
From: [personal profile] midnightvoyager
Also, this lets us know that they have NO IDEA how the insanity plea works. Do they have any idea how many people on death row are infirm in the head? Psychopaths? Sociopaths? The insanity plea is for people who are pretty much insane to the point where they have no idea what they're doing.

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Date: 2010-07-19 05:57 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
Although there HAVE been occasional moments - the climax of 'Rock of Ages', for example - where Joker has briefly been restored to sanity, and he's genuinely horrified at the stuff that he's done. The inference is that, crazy as he is, he's still not completely beyond hope - given enough time and effort, he could still be cured, which is why they put people in asylums in the first place. Furthermore, if you go by 'Killing Joke', he was actually a fairly decent guy before he went crazy, so curing him would be genuinely worth it - he IS a bit of a genius, after all, and if he could be turned into a valuable citizen, he could do some amazing things. There IS a reason why he's in Arkham; it's just that he keeps breaking out again before anyone can make any headway on curing him.

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Date: 2010-07-19 03:35 pm (UTC)
tacobob: Mordecai Not Very Impressed (Default)
From: [personal profile] tacobob
I've noticed when others try to kill the Joker, it's Batman's job to save the Joker. Even when a freaking COP tried to kill him. YESH! I have a feeling if Supes got bored one day and cleared Gotham of its evil doers, poor Bruce would have to stick with his day job. :(

Date: 2010-07-19 04:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What we're told whenever the subject is brought up is that the Joker can't get the death penalty due to being not guilty by reason of insanity, nevermind that the way the Joker is usually written he is clearly too sane for that to apply.

Date: 2010-07-19 01:01 pm (UTC)
richardak: (Default)
From: [personal profile] richardak
The problem with the whole "can't execute him because he's insane" deal is that only a jury can make that determination. That is, a jury would have to find him not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. Which goes back to my point: if the people of Gotham want the Joker dead, let twelve of them on a jury say so.

It is true that a judge could find the Joker mentally unfit to stand trial, but even then, judges would either be elected by the people, or appointed by elected officials. Either way, the people are still responsible, even if indirectly. Let them choose judges who will find the Joker fit to stand trial.

Again, why should this be Batman's responsibility?

Date: 2010-07-19 06:00 am (UTC)
sherkahn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sherkahn
"Snake curled up waiting to strike" is too much of a gentle analogy to describe the terror Mr. J can bring. I'll go with your idea and take it a step further. It's the trip to the zoo, and while at the reptile section the baby relative of yours you've been charged with has gone missing. You see him/her has somehow found their way into the snake cage, with the python gently sliding up the leg of said favorite baby niece/nephew who adores and is amused by this "caring, affectionate" creature until it's too late. And all you can do is bang on the glass.

That's the Joker.

Date: 2010-07-19 06:17 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
I like it, too - the horrified expression on poor Gaggy's face as he watches his beloved boss go crazy is really what makes it. We've seen Joker go crazy plenty of times, but it's seldom that we see a reaction to it from someone who actually LIKES him. I also like the idea that Joker had a sort of a 'dormant period' early in his career when he was only KINDA crazy, and this is where you could fit in a lot of the wacky Silver Age stuff. It makes sense, too, because there ARE still elements of his personality that are quite charming and even likable when he's not over the edge and, y'know, slaughtering people at random (which, of course, is most of the time these days) - if this is the period before he truly snapped, then presumably those elements are still in control, and he's still pretty close to the fairly likable guy he used to be pre-'Killing Joke' (I don't care what DC says, I will NEVER accept 'Man who Laughs' as a legitimate origin story for the Joker. 'TKJ' is MILES better, and always will be). It also explains a few things about how he's managed his career since then - if he was a fairly nice, if unstable, guy back in his early days, that would explain how he's managed to keep attracting henchmen despite his fearsome reputation - there's always some slightly older crook going 'oh, the Joker? Yeah, I used to work for him, he ain't that bad, if you keep on his good side'. (And considering the sizable, loyal gang that always used to work for him back in the late Golden-early Silver Ages, there must be plenty of those guys, if SA stuff is implicitly included here.)

Date: 2010-07-19 07:31 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
I haven't read much of 'Man who Laughs', but from I HAVE read, yes, we do get to see a good deal of him before he gets Jokerfied, and it's not particularly inspiring. In 'Killing Joke', he goes from a reasonably OK guy to completely buggo over the course of one really, really bad day, which is INTERESTING, and explains a fair amount of his 'making people get the joke' philosophy - 'the joke' turned him insane; now it's everyone else's turn. In 'Man who Laughs', there IS no joke - unless you count the whole 'bunny in the moon' thing, which I don't - and he goes from a slightly crazy crook to a much, much crazier crook. Personally, I like it when there is at least a LITTLE bit to relate to in any character, even a complete psycho like the Joker, and having him be a gangster with a nasty streak before his transformation just kind of ruins that for me - it works in the Tim Burton movie, but I don't like it in the comics. (It also makes less sense in terms of the whole 'Joker is his only identity' thing - if he was an ordinary schlub before his chemical dip, that's one thing, but if he was a reasonably successful criminal, surely there'd be at least a few people from his old life who'd still recognize him afterwards? I mean, it's not like he's DEFORMED; he just has different colored hair and skin, and his facial structure is fairly distinctive, what with the long, lean jaw and big nose. You'd think there'd be some crooks going 'heyyyy, I know that guy! He didn't used to look like that, but I recognize him - we knocked over a bank together back in '95.')
The Joker has never really been about killing Batman, as best I can tell - it's not like he hasn't TRIED to do it often enough, but that's more of a sideline - it's never really been his primary goal. Back in the Golden/early Silver Ages, he mainly just wanted to steal things and commit spectacular crimes, as well as being very proud of his talents as a comedian and general showman - he was perfectly willing to off Batman if he could, but he was more about the spectacle. There's been the odd story since then where he's decided Batman must die - 'Mad Love' being a notable, fairly recent example (although, of course, it's part of the DCAU, not mainstream continuity) - but largely, he's more about playing deadly games with the general public. Really, I don't think he WANTS to kill Batman these days, because he enjoys messing around with him too much.

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Date: 2010-07-19 02:38 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] warpedhand
I always thought it was pretty clear that if Batman started killing villains, then Gotham would just have one more murderer in a mask, and the last shred of hope for the city would be gone.

Date: 2010-07-19 03:23 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: (ask the questions)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
thats what i always believed, its kinda like the speach Gordon gives at the end of Dark Knight. about Batman being the hero that Gotham needs, but doesn't deserve..... i need to go re-watch dark knight :(

From the very brief court transcript:

Date: 2010-07-19 03:32 pm (UTC)
equinox216: (Beecannon)
From: [personal profile] equinox216
"Random_Citizen_of_Gotham_07691, you stand accused of shooting, stabbing, exploding, drowning, poisoning, electrocuting, and kicking to death the notorious criminal known as The Joker. How do you plead?"

"Preemptive self-defense, your honor. I have no superpowers or crazy origin story wherein my parents are aliens/assassins/mutants/demons/scientists/dead, and live and work in Gotham, which means at some point, statistically speaking the Joker was 100% certainly going to get around to killing ME."

"... Point taken. Case dismissed!"


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