There’s no question that The Joker is the most iconic villain in the Batman mythology, perhaps even the most recognizable comic book villain, period. But to me, one of the most interesting things about the character is the fact that his very nature lends itself to widely different interpretations. From the mischievous prankster often found in the pages of the early Batman books, to the insane and ruthless serial killer popularized by Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams in the 1970s, to the grotesque madman with the missing face that menaced the Caped Crusader in the pages of Scott Snyder’s epic run, there’s a version of The Joker for everyone.
Of course, The Joker’s influence on pop culture can be felt in other mediums, too, and a number of actors have breathed life into the character in both live-action and animated form. Heath Ledger’s cruel, calculating anarchist may be the best version we’ve seen on the big screen, but for many fans – myself included – the definitive Joker will always be Mark Hamill.
After first lending his voice to the Clown Prince of Crime in Batman: The Animated Series, Hamill has reprised the role for numerous animated appearances, as well as the critically acclaimed Batman: Arkham video game series. For years, rumors have swirled that Hamill was ready to bid farewell to one of his most popular roles, and many fans have assumed the upcoming adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke would serve as his swan song.
But that doesn’t appear to be the case – at least, not as far as Hamill is concerned. Check out this Twitter exchange:
He’s not exactly being coy, is he?
Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Hamill is already lining up another project – it could just mean that he’s open to the idea of returning to voice the character in the future. Game developer Rocksteady seems to have closed the book on the Arkham series, but there have been rumblings about a Justice League video game that could be in the works, and fans would no doubt love for Hamill to come back for another round of gleeful depravity.
Nothing is official right now, but we can look forward to the release of Batman: The Killing Joke in just a few more weeks, after the films makes its worldwide debut at San Diego Comic-Con before hitting store shelves on July 26.
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