Few comic book supervillains have been so frequently, and so widely, reinterpreted as The Joker, who gone from homicidal maniac to prankster back to homicidal maniac and then to embodiment of chaos over the course of 77 years. Batman’s arch-nemesis has appeared across comic books, television, film and video games, where his look and personality have changed according to the creators, the actors and the needs of the story. However, this latest depiction of the Clown Prince of Crime may be the most radical yet.
Designed by famed Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts designer Tetsuya Nomura, who in 2015 delivered an absolutely bat-crap crazy take on Batman, Square Enix’s DC Comics Variant Play Arts Kai – The Joker collectible figure reimagines the iconic villain in multiple forms, from a terrifying Renaissance jester to the Red Hood to … a frail old man on life support. There are also interchangeable heads that offer classic and contemporary takes on The Joker, as well as something a little more monstrous.
As weird and wonderful as those seven interchangeable heads may be, they’re nothing compared to the body, which is attached to a robotic exoskeleton that can transform into a wheelchair, or something akin to clawed mechanical arms … protruding from The Joker’s back? Whatever this figure’s backstory is, it’s undoubtedly deeply disturbing.
DC Comics Variant Play Arts Kai will be available in September for about $266.