6 thoughts on “Cara Rafferty on the Joker’s Popularity”

  1. Cara, you really DID THAT! love it. I hope some publishing company talent recruit sees this and emails you

  2. The form of the presentation is great, Cara! and I think you’re raising a number of really interesting questions about The Joker. In lots of its incarnations, Batman texts have a kind of joke-y quality, and so it doesn’t seem a coincidence that a number of Batman’s nemeses are jokers (I’m including The Riddler here). There seems something queer-ish happening with both the villains and the heroes in the Batman series more generally, and it’s partly that, maybe, that the Joker as bullied figure “Joker” is mobilizing. But, as you point out, there are real problems with the “sympathetic” view of the bullied villain … I wonder how central you’d see questions about sexuality being in representations of the Joker more generally.

  3. Love the format of your presentation! Joker’s depiction as a tragic anti-hero in the last edition did not sit well with me for all of the reasons you outlined. I was also taken aback by his anti-hero status because he is clearly linked, in the film, with the real frustration and angst of the suffering peoples of Gotham City. Spoiler: by the film’s end, he is presented as the reluctant leader of their protest movement which invalidates the legitimacy of their protest because he is a callous murderer. This association between Joker and the protesting people of Gotham openly invites people to interpret protestors as fools, who are easily duped. In this respect, the film’s ending invites viewers (reeling from BLM protests or Standing Rock protests among others) to ask if protest, itself, is worthwhile if the the Waynes of the world are reasonable and kind overlords unlike like the new Joker-like overlords, willing to assume power. I went on a tangent there lol but I did so because I really enjoyed your work!

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