Want to learn more about the Joker, but do not know where to start? Have no fear! There is plenty of material for you to read to catch up with his comic book roots. In no particular order, here are my Top 10 Graphic Novels To Read To Learn About The Joker:
The Dark Prince Charming– European author Enrico Marini explores the Joker and not only his relationship with Batman, but also a mysterious connection to Bruce Wayne after he kidnaps a young girl.
The Man Who Laughs- Written by Ed Brubaker, this retells the origin of the Joker’s first appearance in Gotham City and his first battle with the Dark Knight.
Going Sane– J.M. Dematteis tells a story of the Joker thinking he killed Batman and retiring from a life of crime.
The Joker- This is a darker, grittier graphic novel by Brian Azzarello that tells the story of the Clown Prince of Crime from the perspective of one of his lackeys. It was this personification that got the interest of Christopher Nolan.
Endgame- What would happen if the Joker got bored of the Batman? James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder explore this idea in the New 52 story-arc and its disastrous consequences.
The War of Jokes and Riddles– Tom King tells the story of Gotham is embroiled in a battle between the Riddler and the Joker. As the bodies pile up, Batman has to make decisions that could compromise his morals.
The Dark Knight Returns- In the Frank Miller classic, Batman comes out retirement to fight some of Gotham’s deadliest villains, including the Joker, who takes the Dark Knight on a deadly adventure.
Mad Love- Ever wonder how the Joker’s relationship with Harley Quinn started? This story by Paul Dini tells the defining origin of Quinn and how the Clown Prince of Crime corrupted her.
Joker’s Last Laugh- Written by Chuck Dixon and Scott Beatty, the Joker is locked up but makes an alarming discovery, he is dying. Instead of going straight, he decided to go out with one last joke.
Batman Black & White: Case Study- Found in Volume 1 of the series, Paul Dini writes and Alex Ross illustrates the most realistic origin of the Joker, but it has a dark twist at the end no one is expecting.
Honorable mention: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore. While it is incredibly overrated, it does have some insights into the story of the Joker and his origins.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my Top 10 Favorite Joker Quotes. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.