[the following post is actually a tragedy: during the frantic composition of my second BatPaper, my dearest Denise met her demise (my laptop got broked). procrastinator that i am, after obtaining the sympathies of Super Soo, BatClass Instructor/Facilitator, i put off finishing this for a long time. SUCH a long time, in fact, that i somehow managed to lose the (SUPER PWN AMAZING MIND-BLOWING) outline i had made for this potentially-rockin paper. as it is, i have no idea where i was masterfully going with it, & it makes me sad, because the point i have emphasized in bold beneath is a GREAT ONE. in the spirit of things, here’s my unfinished second paper, on The Killing Joke.]
To one such as the X-Man Gambit, perhaps, the identity, design, or pictorial of any particular playing card may not have much importance—after all, each is an equally viable energy-charged weapon, regardless of its value in poker or whist or rummy. The Five of Diamonds buried in a heaving rib cage is just as potent as the King of Spades would be. To the rest of us laymen, though, it matters very much whether the flop, turn, and river contain three more clubs to complete the flush we’re waiting for. The next card to be revealed could make or break countless hopes for keeping pocketbooks in the black. The table is quiet, tells hidden behind mirrored aviators, jaws vigorously working Wrigley’s best over to conceal nervous energy… the dealer’s ringed claw deftly flips the last card, and—a grin no one expected cackles from a face that has no money in the pot. A Joker? What?
Imagine—what would this mean in the World Series of Poker? What is a joker? In a deck of cards, jokers are provided as wilds—unwanted in Old Maid, discarded even before the start of any other game, their only function is to stand by as generic understudies for the true fifty-two stars of every playing-card show; that is, whenever a card goes missing or is irreparably damaged, a joker has a chance for actual playing time. No, really: a joker only has purpose in a broken community. Accordingly, then, we see that THE Joker of DC Universe fame belongs in Gotham, terrifying denizens of its high-rises and back alleys alike. For decades, since his first appearance in Batman #1, The Joker has been the toughest yet most intriguing of Batman’s rogues gallery. In 1988, Batman: The Killing Joke, spearheaded by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, took the comics world by storm with a graphic novel that finally explored the mind and origins of the Caped Crusader’s worst foe yet best foil.