The Joker, depending on who's writing him, has two modes:
the "murderous clown genius" mode, where he's Batman's
deadliest and most wily arch-foe, or the "Rip Taylor unchained"
mode, where he's basically a lawless prop comic. The latter is
typified by Caesar Romero's Joker in the old TV series, who once tied
Batman to the inside of a giant coffee pot in order to kill him. An
interesting metaphor for many people's lives to be sure, but an
ineffective deathtrap. Yeah, the more sinister versions of the
Joker don't end up killing Batman either, but at least in those he
takes out some innocent bystanders. B
I'd think you could defeat this guy by just playing up
the indecision. "Do you want to hold that axe left-handed or
right-handed before you kill me with it? Do you want to use
an overhead swing, or a side-swing? Do you want to start hacking
at my extremities, or shall we just lop off my head and get
on with things? Heads or tails, bucko?"
After a while he's so exhausted from coin-flipping
that he has to go lie down on either the bed or sofa, and you're home free.
Another public service announcement from your friends at
the Brunching Shuttlecocks.C
Hmm. Short, slow, harmless, vaguely comical. Did The Penguin
choose his name at random or does he have some real bad-guy
self-esteem issues to work out? At any rate, The Penguin started
out as a chubby guy in a dumb suit with a pointy nose, and he's
pretty much stayed there despite all Burton-inspired attempts
to hip him up. I mean, umbrellas? Please. C-
Dumb name, cool villain. This was an evil guy made of clay who
could sculpt himself into anything, the better to pound the Caped
Crusader into spandex-clad bodily humors. Clayface hasn't made it into
the movies yet. One would presume that this is partly due to
cost -- it's cheaper to slap Arnold into a plastic suit than it
is to create a morphing clay guy -- and partly due to the fact
that it's hard to sell a movie using a big star when
the star in question is obscured by fifty pounds of clay.
"Look! It's Sylvester Stallone! Or Michael Jordan!
Or possibly Cheech Marin!" B+
You know, I've just never gotten into the homina-homina thing that
Catwoman seems to inspire in so many, not the least of whom is
Batman himself. I think I could create a much more stable
and rational long-term relationship with, say, Xena. The meow,
hiss, claw, whip, steal, flip, form-fitting black Bad-Guy-Au-Go-Go
bodysuit routine just doesn't do it for me. Now, Linda Carter
as Wonder Woman, there's someone who can violate my Comics Code
Authority anytime. C+
Okay, I've got it figured out. I'm going to call myself "The Non-Riddler,"
and I'm going to do everything the Riddler would do, but I'm not going to
give out any damned riddles. Judging from the fact that it's the Riddler's
own clues that inevitably give him away, I figure this is going to
leave the Dynamic Duo sitting in the Batcave playing Freecell on the
Bat-computer while I'm out crime-spreeing. I can retire after a
couple weeks of this, and Batman can go back to defeating villains
who provide four-color pamphlets detailing their upcoming capers.