A Guide to the Batjokes Fandom
Come one, come all to the “Inevitable Slash Fandom”! Whether you grazed across it on Squidge back in the day, Batjokes it hasn’t been as widely acknowledged as the OG Kirk/Spock Star Trek ToS fandom but is easily as important to the slash/yaoi trope.
I will not be giving away any spoilers but will direct you as to where you can expeditiously find #batjokes in the media.
Please feel free to add! These are what have sustained me for all of this time.
Some facts for you, if you’re new.
Batman 60’s Series has Adam West and Caesar Romero, who refused to shave his mustache for the role and had it painted white. Adam stayed campy throughout and Caesar just a tad bit foppish. He played very similar to the comics without compromising his ego.
Batman 1989 had Michael Keaton (fresh off of 1988’s Beetlejuice) as Batman/(curly haired) Bruce Wayne and Jack Nicholson as the Joker/Jack Napier. The universe is fun but screwey as director Tim Burton made the Joker’s back story a bit well too known.
Batman Returns has Keaton back as Batman but no sign of the Joker. Danny DeVito (pre-prising a version of Frank from IASIP) as the Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot and Michelle Pfeiffer as (a very well done) Catwoman/Selina Kyle. Fun facts about this flick, 1) Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman) plays Oswald’s father, reprising the role today in Gotham. 2) Christopher Walken plays Max Skreck, Selina’s boss.
We can go straight to Batman: The Animated Series. Firstly, Kevin Conroy is a great vocal Batman/Bruce. He was asked back to the franchise to do the voices for the Arkham Series of games as was the voice actor for the Joker. (I will get to the games shortly) Some may know him from his work in the space saga, eh, what’s it called? Star Wars? I’m kidding, it’s Mark Hamill. He IS the Joker and he has nailed the signature laugh.
This series introduced Harleen Quinzel as the Joker’s henchwench; the idea being that she could be abused candy and J could come off less John Waters-y. (It didn’t work.) B:TAS has got incredible music, inspired by Danny Elfman but perfected by Shirley Walker. (Look up Batman 101, the music of Batman, it is wonderful and like 5 minutes). This series also has Paul Reubens as Bat-Mite (seems we have a Batfan.)The tv movie “Mask of the Phantasm” has a few fleeting Batjokes moments, namely the Joker being confronted about the Phantasm and saying it couldn’t be Bats because of the butt.
Batman Beyond doesn’t have much Bruce/Joker activity until the movie “Return of the Joker” which brings back Mark as the Joker while keeping Kevin as Old!Bruce.
Batman: The Brave and The Bold was actually hilarious for being the campiest ever. We had the return Paul Reubens as Bat-Mite but our hero is voiced by Diedrich Bader and the Joker a familiar voice in Jeff Bennett. This show had more of the Joker and Batman teaming up at times and/or tolerating each other but was very fun.
I regret that I have been somewhat ignorant of the more recent Batman cartoon series but perhaps I will be enlightened.
Real Quick… The Nolanverse. People tend to lean on Bale and Ledger for their handsome appeal but the lack of genuine interaction between the Batman and Joker was the ultimate disappointment. (Also, imho, the Joker could have been… y'know… a little funny? Maybe that’s just me…)
Onto the games!
Arkham Asylum brings back Kevin and Mark for several hours of the Joker taunting Batman about picturing him in a thong and other great, squeeable tidbits. This starts the arc of Joker being absurdly desperate for Batman’s attention. The first game only allows you access to Arkham Island and the Batcave but game play is great for what you get.
Arkham City… I have some MAJOR BEEF with but whatever, that is me. This game has more of the Joker directly harassing Bats, straddling Batman’s lap and other “!!!” Stuff. The open world is of old Gotham and still no Batmobile. The ending is 😬but it parlays into the next games.
ARKHAM ORIGINS! This is the least well game by fanboys but easily is the most Batjokes thing that existed until now. Young Joker meets Young Batman on Christmas Eve. They show down and then there is a 9 minute video of the Joker telling the player how he fell in love with Batman. This link shows you the cut scene where you start gasping at how they interact and then so on. (Watch it : https://youtu.be/MbsP_C562Wo) The game ends with a showdown in a wedding chapel… just sayin’.
Arkham Knight… hoo-boy. HOOBOY. This takes place after Arkham City (so the games technically go AO, AA, AC, AK) and has the Joker taunting you AGAIN but this time he is physically with you, lounging around, chit-chating and bs-ing. (There are a ton of screencaps on this very Tumblr) It is intense as the game starts with Frank Sinatra’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”.
It should be noted that all of the games after AA have the Joker singing to Batman.
Cold Cold Heart in AO - https://youtu.be/vH70BDA749Y
Only You in AC - https://youtu.be/w8UEQf6ED7o
I Can’t Stop Laughing in AK - https://youtu.be/3sRPEtlG2gU
Really enjoyable and I mean, jaw dropping.
Next we have the comics but let me just start and stop at Death of the Family. No spoilers just get the Canadian version. (It wasn’t as heavily edited as the US version)
And now Lego Batman. See, the major issue with Batjokes has been how Bruce would handle it/take it out on himself. The callousness may habe always let Batman keep his true intentions hidden. But now… Now there is sort of a sense of catharsis with Will Arnett’s Batman just letting go of the Bat-machismo admitting the obvious (over and over) and Zach Galafanakis making the Joker rubbery and wonderful and ridiculous. A+ A+ A+
There ya go! Find more and add it here! And again, welcome to the darkness. The wound that never heals!