Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker movie has been met with critical acclaim. Fans and critics have praised Phoenix’s acting and the movie itself. However, an exclusive chat with Professor Chris Murray, the UK’s only professor of Comics Studies, has revealed an issue which could befall the movie.
Professor Murray revealed how for many, origin stories for villains can be “a lot less satisfying” than when we find out the origins behind a hero.
Asked about origin stories for villains in relation to the new Joker movie, he said: “Origin stories for villains are usually a lot less satisfying and mythically resonant than hero origin stories.
“A story that sets up a lifelong mission and ethic of self-sacrifice is compelling, but supervillains rarely have a compelling origin story that works in a similar fashion.
“Plus, whatever course they have set themselves on has to be able to survive near continual frustration at the hands of the superhero.
“So, villain origins often benefit from ambiguity.”
The one problem with Joaquin Phoenix's Joker (Image: Warner Bros)
Professor Murray, one of whom’s specialist subjects is the work of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, also expressed why The Killing Joke’s ‘origin story’ for The Joker is instead an example of how the relationship between Batman and Joker should play out, as well as a way to help the reader better understand Batman.
He added: “What [Alan] Moore and [Brian] Bolland achieve in The Killing Joke is a vision of the Batman-Joker relationship as perversely co-dependant.
“In the relationship between hero and villain that is set up here the Joker becomes integral to Batman’s sense of self, and his world.
“That works well, especially the ’one bad day’ line, which really put its finger on what makes Batman tick, and uses his relationship with the Joker to underpin this.”