After nearly 1,400 ballots were cast, YOU the reader ranked your favorite comic book characters of all-time from 1-10. I assigned point totals to each ranking and then tabulated it all into a Top 50 list. We’re now revealing that list throughout September. Here is the master list of all the characters revealed so far. The countdown continues…
4. Joker – 2667 points (18 first place votes)
Created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson, the Joker made his debut in the very first issue of Batman, and soon became a mainstay Batman villain, being one of the few Bat-villains to continue fighting Batman from the Golden Age through to the Silver Age.
It was actually in the Silver Age, when Julie Schwartz took over, that Joker basically vanished from the Bat-titles, only to be brought back by Denny O’Neil a number of years later. In the 50s and early 60s, the Joker had lessened from a murderer to basically being an annoyance, but O’Neil brought him back as an insane sociopath, the characterization that has, for the most part, persisted to this day.
In the 1980s, Joker achieved his two greatest blows to Batman, when he both murdered Batman’s partner, Robin (Jason Todd) and crippled the daugher of Commissioner Gordon, Barbara (who was, unbeknown to the Joker, the hero Batgirl). He then later murdered Commissioner Gordon’s wife, as well!
The Joker continues to make routine appearances, showing up to fight Batman from time to time. He maintains his position as the most prominent Batman villain there is. In the first Batman story in the new DC reboot, Detective Comics #1, Joker is featured prominently and goes to some drastic measures by the end of the issue. Time will tell how much of Joker’s history has remained the same in the reboot.