75 Greatest Joker Stories: #35-26

In honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Joker, we're doing a countdown of your favorite Joker stories of all-time.

You all voted, now here are the results of what you chose as the 75 Greatest Joker Stories! Click here for a master list of all 75 stories.


35. "Knights of Knavery" (1944's Batman #25)

In this story, we get what I believe is the first official team-up of two previously established Bat-villains, as the Joker and Penguin end up in prison together. They escape but find themselves pulling off the same crime in an attempt to prove that they are the smartest crook in Gotham City...

How Batman gets out of being killed once he is captured is in-sane. It involves having the Joker and Penguin shoot guns at his head!!!

34. "The Return of the Joker" (1990's Batman #450-451)

After a longer than normal absence from the Bat-books after seemingly dying at the end of "A Death in the Family," Marv Wolfman had brought the Joker back at the end of his storyline introducing Tim Drake (the Joker had been communicating with and manipulating Two-Face). So not only is this the first time Batman's met with the Joker since the Joker killed Jason Todd, this storyline is also the first Joker appearance since The Killing Joke, so both Gordon and Batman are having a hard time wondering what each of them will do when they see the Joker. The story opens with an impostor Joker committing "humorous" crimes in the Joker's name. The bad jokes ultimately force the real Joker out of hiding, where he had been recuperating from his injuries suffered at the end of "A Death in the Family."

Wolfman nicely articulates those conflicts at the start of part two (it is crazy watching artists Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo have to recreate the events of The Killing Joke)...

Wolfman was one of the first writers to really work the whole "Why don't I just kill this guy?" angle with regards to Batman and Joker (and, in this case, Gordon and Joker, as well).

33. "World's Finest" (1990's World's Finest #1-3)

One of the most gorgeous books of its era was World's Finest, a three-book prestige format mini-series with artwork by Steve Rude and Karl Kesel (with painted covers by Rude and a story by Dave Gibbons). The basic gist of the story is simple, as it is basically just Luthor and Joker teaming up to take on Superman and Batman, but the devil is very much in the details, and Gibbons and Rude NAIL all of those details. Check out this striking sequence where Joker and Luthor strike up their bargain...

Go to the next page for #32-29!

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