The GeeksverseTop Five Mark Hamill Joker Moments

Top Five Mark Hamill Joker Moments
Published on Saturday, November 26, 2011 by

The final horse has crossed the finish line and what a line it was. I picked up Arkham City when it came out and due to other obligations I have let it sit for five weeks. I learned real quick that Arkham City was going to take up a huge chunk of my time and so I let it sit; dealing with the withdrawals as best as I could.

But now, the moratorium has ended and I have spent two days making my way through  Arkham City and dealing with an ending that was as touching as it was shocking.

I won’t spoil the ending for those who may not have played it yet but I will talk about one thing that is not a spoiler: Mark Hamill has called it a day as the Joker. Since 1993 Mark has been the  the best version of The Clown Prince of Crime ever.
Jack got his kudos, Caeser kept his mustache, and Heath received his Oscar. However, Mark has outshone them all as the definitive version. For nearly twenty years, we have had the gift of Mark Hamill stepping in to voice the Batman’s greatest enemy and now those years have come to a closed.

In the knowledge of that and in the final moments of Arkham City I have decided to post what I think are the five great Mark Hamill Joker moments, enjoy:

5. THE LAUGHING FISH- The story itself is a mash up of several of the Joker stories in the comics (Joker’s Five Way Revenge, The Laughing Fish, Sign of the Joker, and the first ever Joker story way back in Batman #1 and Mark is on point as the Clown Prince of Crime. Mark is at his delightfully evil best as the Harlequin of hate and again showcases the manic personality and menace that the Joker is well known for. His scene with the patent clerk who turns him down is a tour de force and the final moments of the episode in the aquarium is memorable to say the least, leaving no one to truly doubt that they would see him again.

4. JOKER’S FAVOR- Ah, this episode is a personal favorite of mine. Mark’s portrayal of the Clown is always known for the manic way in which Mark has the Joker’s swing from one extreme to the next. At times, it’s easy to forget that the Joker does indeed plan things from time to time. In this episode, Mark moves the Harlequin of hate from homicidal Joker who does many things on a whim to a long range planner in dealing with the accountant Charlie Collins, a man who had the horrible luck of mouthing off to the Clown in an act of road rage.

Charlie tried everything he could to escape, but there wasn’t an identity he could take to keep the Joker off his heels. Years of tabs came to a head when the Joker pulled him in to repay the favor of the Joker not killing him. The favor: Charlie simply had to open a door. The chestnut of this performance is the intelligence that Mark puts in the Joker and the idea of him keeping an IOU on a guy for years to have him be in on a murderous plan is not that hard to believe. The voice that Mark uses fo the Joker always had a note of intelligence in it. Charlie would learn quickly to not take the Joker at face value with his simple task and that nothing is ever as simple as it seems with him. After years of laying joke’s on others, the Joker would wind up on the end of a joke he for once didn’t find funny.

3. CHRISTMAS WITH THE JOKER- The very first Joker episode broadcasted and therefore, the introduction to this universes Joker is one of the best in the series. In this episode we get Christmas spirit, danger and peril for Bullock, the Commish, and a newswoman who was not Vicki Vale. We get a beat the clock scenario for the Batman and Robin to locate these victims before it’s too late.

On top of all this, The Joker is cackling all the way, treating a horrifying death trap with such nonchalance that you can’t help but like him. When it’s all said and done the episode ends on the Joker in his cell thoroughly happy from his time playing with the Batman. Of special note:  The Joker reciting the Christmas classic “Jingle Bells” using the iconic Batman lyrics set up puts this firmly in the top three for me.

2. THE MAN WHO KILLED BATMAN- The Bat died from the actions of a little nobody Mafioso wannabe Sid the Squid and it does not sit well with the Joker. In the best Joker episode of the Animated Series, Mark’s Joker gradually switches from happy joking villain to hate filled, psychotically angry madman with a simple inflection change in the middle of an eulogy that takes the Squid by surprise as he did not know he was in danger until it’ was too late.

The real tour de force comes from Mark’s helpless sense of loss in his voice when the Bat doesn’t show up to stop a heist the Joker set up to see if he was there. So disgusted and downtrodden, The Joker doesn’t even take the loot. His angry rant at the man who “killed” Batman and dour expression after sending the man to his supposed death is capped by the Joker sudden change again to happiness as he takes his crew for chinese. A gamut of emotion from the murderous mirth maker is presented in quick succession with such a natural progression that quite simply you have to admire Hamill’s talent.

1. ARKHAM ASYLUM/ CITY-  The Man who killed Batman would be #1 if not for these two video games. Why are these two games #1? Simply put, Mark is allowed to bring the clown to glorious life in a much more mature setting and it pays off like gang busters. Arkham Asylum and City both will go down as the greatest comic book games of all time and the voice acting is as big a part of this as everything else that garners these games top marks. From his hilarious taunts to the Bat and his own crew over the Asylum P.A. in the first game to the voice messages left to the Dark Knight in City; Mark’s Joker is sinister, deadly, hilarious, and much more importantly: terrifying. His offering of Harley to the first to kill the Bat in Asylum always makes me chuckle especially when he finishes it with “If you can survive”.

Mark has always established the Joker’s instability with the switch in tones from light and chipper to heavy and sinister all within the same sentence and it works perfectly in both of these tales. It’s hard to choose the better of these two truly, because he shines in distinct and similar ways. However, Arkham City does give Mark something to shine brighter in one respect: The Ending. Mark’s final moments as the Clown are some of his best and the final words spoken by him in the game are great words that are simply perfect for the character. Mark delivers them with such raw power and weakness all at the same time, I challenge someone not to be touched by those final moments. Mark’s career in the shoes of the Joker is topped off with his final message to the Batman that plays over the credits. There is so much going on in that message and each one poignant.

In the first place, this is the perfect expression of how the Joker does view Batman. Secondly, it’s a wonderfully beautiful end to Marks’ career as the Joker. Thirdly, it’s a great sendoff and goodbye message to the fans.

Mark as the Joker has had me admire the talent and time it takes a trained voice actor in utilizing vocal shifts and subtleties that have me in stitches, make me completely angry, make me tense and terrified, and in the end of Mark’s final performance; leave me in tears.

Mark may never again bring life to Batman’s all time greatest enemy (unless DC makes the Killing Joke as an animated film; GET ON IT!), but the legacy he leaves behind as the Joker will never be touched. There may be those who are more popular, get more accolades, but all will only be doing a pale impression of the greatest Joker of them all: Mark Hamill.

Only you can make this world seem right
Only you can make the darkness bright
Only you and you alone can thrill me like you do
And fill my heart with love for only you

Only you can make this change in me
For it’s true, you are my destiny
When you hold my hand I understand the magic that you do
You’re my dream come true, my one and only you

 

 

Only you can make this change in me
For it’s true, you are my destiny
When you hold my hand I understand the magic that you do
You’re my dream come true, my one and only you

(One and only you)

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