Rating Versions of the Joker


Art of different versions of the Joker by me.

Sofia Bierhorst, Staff Writer

The Joker is one of the most iconic villains ever made, and for good reason. He’s a great foil to Batman, and he’s a lot of fun. The Joker also has many different iterations, and I’m going to take a look at them and rate some of Joker’s iterations in film and television. There may be spoilers ahead for the following series’ and movies: Batman (1989), Batman: The Animated Series, The Batman (2004), The Dark Knight, Teen Titans Go!, Suicide Squad (2016), The Killing Joke, Lego Batman, Batman Ninja, Joker, Harley Quinn and Batman: The Long Halloween.


Batman (1989)

In Batman (1989), the Joker is portrayed by Jack Nicholson. Jack Napier worked in the mafia before falling into a vat of chemicals and becoming the Joker. This version of the Joker is amazing; Nicholson captures the campy and flamboyant nature of him as well as how horrifying and awful he can be. Nicholson is a great actor, and he did an amazing job with the role. I give this Joker a 9/10.


Batman: The Animated Series (1992)


Mark Hamill portrays the Joker in most of the animated Batman films and in Batman: The Animated Series. He has the perfect voice for the role, and the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series is great. He’s silly, fun, and dark, but just dark enough so that it can still be a kids’ show. This series also marks the first appearance of his girlfriend (now ex-girlfriend in many universes), Harley Quinn. The Joker, as usual, is horribly abusive to Harley. In the last episode, she’s about to leave him for good after he pushes her off a roof, but he ropes her back in with flowers and a “Get well soon.” Mark Hamill does an amazing job in this role, as he always does. Of course, I have to give this Joker a 10/10


The Batman (2004)


The Batman (2004) is another animated series, and in it, the Joker is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson. His design is different from most other iterations of the character, and I think it’s refreshing to see a change of pace. Harley is also in this series, but her origins are a lot different from the original animated series. In this series, she’s a TV psychologist who gives dating advice, and the Joker is a huge fan of her show. After her show is canceled, he decides to take advantage of her. He manipulates her into being on his side, and when she almost leaves, he manipulates her into staying. This is one of my personal favorites, he’s silly, fun, and horrible. Overall, I give him a 9/10.


The Dark Knight (2008)


Heath Ledger portrayed the Joker in The Dark Knight, and he did a phenomenal job. Ledger’s Joker is an agent of chaos. That’s in his own words. He’s not as campy as the Joker typically is, but it works better for the movie that he isn’t. His creating Two-Face was interesting to see, and how he’s fine with dying to Dent as he becomes Two-Face shows that he really does just believe in chaos. This version of the Joker is dark and chaotic and an amazing villain. Overall, 10/10.


Teen Titans Go (2013- )


In the season seven episode four episode of Teen Titans Go, “Pig in a Poke,” the Joker is voiced by Jason Spisak. Teen Titans Go’s Joker is silly and campy. He’s not really a horrifying villain; this is Teen Titans Go after all. In the episode, he scams Starfire, and the Teen Titans decide to scam HIM and get her money back. There’s a scene where the Titans dress up as different Jokers, and it’s golden. I LOVE the Jared Leto slander. Overall, Teen Titans Go Joker gets a 7/10. He’s good, but he’s not too great in comparison to other Jokers.


Suicide Squad (2016)


Jared Leto portrays the Joker in this movie, and I HATE IT SO MUCH. I hate the decisions made with him. Why did they get Jared Leto to play him? Jared Leto is weird and dumb and a stupid idiot, and I HATE HIM. Why did they get an “attractive” actor to play the Joker and not do anything to make him look gross and messy? He’s not MEANT to be attractive!!! Heath Ledger had this wack makeup that made him look pretty ugly. Why couldn’t they do something similar with Leto? WHY DOES HE HAVE STUPID HAHA TATTOOS AND A DAMAGED TATTOO ON HIS FOREHEAD?! His tattoos are so stupid, I’ll never get over it. Jared Leto is also a MASSIVE WEIRDO. His band has a LITERAL CULT. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. He was also in character for the entire time they were filming Suicide Squad. He sent the other cast members gross gifts AS THE JOKER!! THIS GUY IS COO COO CRAZY!! I HATE THIS MOVIE, AND I HATE THIS JOKER. 0/10.


The Killing Joke (2016)


The Killing Joke is an amazing movie about the possible origin of the Joker. It’s tragic and shows just how far the Joker will go. It was horrifying to watch what he did to Jim Gordon, and it was amazing to see in the end how Jim never broke. He still wanted Batman to do things by the book, not to stoop to Joker’s level. Mark Hamill does an amazing job in his portrayal of the Joker, as usual. 9/10.


Lego Batman (2017)


I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS MOVIE. Zach Galifianakis is the voice actor for the Joker in this film, and he does an amazing job. This movie is meant to be silly, it’s perfect. I love just a cute silly movie with these characters. HE’S SO SILLY! The Joker in this movie has this thing going on with Batman where he wants to be his nemesis and the main villain he fights. Fighting is basically dating in this movie, and hating is like loving. Batjokes are literally canon in this movie. 10/10, one of my favorite Jokers.


Batman Ninja (2018)


UNDERRATED MOVIE ALERT. This movie deserves so much praise; it was such a fun time watching it. The character designs in this movie are stunning, and the plot is great. I recommend this movie to anyone reading; I can’t get over how good it is. Tony Hale portrays the Joker in this movie, and he does amazing. The Joker has my favorite design in this movie. He’s a silly guy! It’s a whole roller coaster when he seems to be redeemed, having lost his memory, but then he gains it back. I give this Joker a 9.5/10.


Joker (2019)


Joker is a beautiful movie. It’s really art, and I loved watching it. It puts an interesting spin on the Joker. Arthur Fleck is a disturbed man who never got the help he needed. Everyone treated him horribly, and the society he lives in drove him to murder, becoming the Joker. Nothing Arthur did was justified, but you can understand and sympathize with him. The men in the subway were complete jerks. Penny was a horrible mother and was blind to all of Arthur’s pain. Randall was horrible to Arthur, as well as all the other people from his old job besides Gary. Murray mocked Arthur. Arthur’s pathological laughter is a nice touch as well. I give him a 9/10.


Harley Quinn (2019- )


Harley Quinn is an ongoing TV show following Harley Quinn after she breaks up with the Joker. The Joker is voiced by Alan Tudyk in this show, who does a great job. The Joker is a sexist, abusive jerk, and he’s a delight to watch. He’s funny as usual and his freak out over people thinking the Riddler was funnier than him in the first episode was great to watch. It was heartbreaking seeing how much he hurt Harley, and horrible to see when she went back to him. You love to hate him, as usual, and it works great. I haven’t finished season two, so I’m unaware if he returns, but I hope he does. 8.5/10.


Batman: The Long Halloween (2021)


Joker isn’t in these movies much, so there’s not a whole lot to say, but overall he was a fun time as usual. His voice actor is Troy Baker. His trying to kill the holiday killer because being a homicidal maniac is his thing was great and in character. His design was great, although the super high-waisted pants looked very silly. 8/10.


The Joker is one of my favorite DC characters, maybe even one of my favorite fictional characters in general, and it was quite fun to watch all these media with him and analyze so many iterations of him. I may do this with other DC characters, and maybe I’ll even delve into different comic iterations of the characters at some point. My favorite Joker from everything I watched has to be either Batman Ninja Joker, Lego Joker, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker or Ledger’s Joker. It’s hard to choose. Well, that’s all I have.