In Batman: The Animated Series, the character of Joker went through a significant change in both his appearance and personality. The original Joker was a sinister and ruthless villain, but in the later seasons, he became more comical and silly. This change has been the subject of much debate among fans of the show.
The Original Joker:
The original Joker in Batman: The Animated Series was a terrifying figure. He had a gaunt, skeletal appearance with sunken eyes and razor-sharp teeth. His voice was chilling and menacing, with a hint of insanity lurking just beneath the surface.
The writers of the show intended for this version of Joker to be a serious threat to Batman and Gotham City. He was cunning, ruthless, and unpredictable. His schemes were diabolical and often involved mass murder or other heinous crimes.
The New Joker:
In later seasons, Joker underwent a significant transformation. He became less menacing and more comical.
His appearance changed as well; he gained weight and his features became rounder. His voice also became higher pitched, giving him a more childlike quality.
This new version of Joker was still dangerous but in a different way. He was more unpredictable than ever before, switching from moments of silliness to extreme violence at the drop of a hat. He also had a more twisted sense of humor than before, finding joy in causing chaos and mayhem.
Why Did This Change Happen?
The change in Joker’s character can be attributed to several factors. One reason is that the writers wanted to appeal to younger audiences by making the show less dark and violent. By making Joker more comical, they could soften the impact of his crimes on young viewers.
Another reason for the change was that Mark Hamill, who voiced Joker in Batman: The Animated Series from its inception until its end (1992-1995), had developed a new take on the character. Hamill had always been interested in the clown aspect of the Joker and saw him as someone who was always “on stage.” He wanted to explore this side of the character, which led to the more comical version of Joker that we see in later seasons.
The Impact of the Change:
The change in Joker’s character had a mixed impact on fans of the show. Some appreciated the new, lighter take on the character, while others felt that it detracted from his menace and made him less threatening. However, it’s important to remember that Batman: The Animated Series was intended for a younger audience, and so this change was likely necessary to keep the show relevant and appealing.
In conclusion, while some fans may prefer the original Joker over his comical counterpart, it’s important to appreciate both versions for what they bring to the table. The original Joker was a terrifying figure that posed a serious threat to Batman and Gotham City, while the new Joker brought a twisted sense of humor and unpredictability that kept audiences on their toes. Regardless of which version you prefer, it’s clear that both are integral parts of Batman: The Animated Series’ legacy.