Friday, September 02, 2005

A Full House for the Joker

What do you think Batman would do if he were chasing the Joker to his hideout, and turned a corner to find the Joker's new gang:

Harley Quin
Punch & Jewelee
The Madmen
The Harlequin
a new version of The Joker's Daughter
The Prankster (sorry, the only decent Prankster page is in Spanish)
The Mime (a one-shot Max Allan Collins creation, but still available!)
The Royal Flush Gang
Double Down

Run for his life, that's what he'd do.

As mentioned in previous posts on "the Rungs of Villainy", "Dynastic Centerpieces", and "Johnsification", I think the DCU would be more fun if some of the minor characters floating around homelessly were connected to some of the more major characters. So, using that principle, I'm going to build some gangs around some of my favorite villains, starting with the Joker.

I think it's already obvious why the group of characters go naturally together and would be a threatening group and an interesting read. We might also get a real sense of the Joker as the criminal mastermind he used to be in the Golden Age, not the jibbering wack-job he's sometimes portrayed as. I happen to think that if he's written well, we can have our cake and eat it, too.

"But Harley Quin has grown and is out from under the Joker's thumb and she'd never blah blah bah!" Uh-huh. How's that working for her? One brief cancelled series later, her "new persona" has rendered her unusable. Just return her to her "classic" self, and bring her back to life, I say.

Nothing says wacky like Punch & Jewelee. Unmoored from their Charlton origins with Capt. Atom and Nightshade, these seldom-used characters are more daft and less effective than the Joker and Harley. Their perverted "rather TOO happy couple" would provide comic relief, taking the pressure off the Joker/Harley relationship, and letting the other gangmembers be as dark as needed.

The Madmen? These old Blue Beetle villains are too bizarre to be left bouncing around in the background! Visually stunning, but undermotivated, they'd be perfect as nameless underlings for the Joker.

The Harlequin, the Prankster, and the outre Double Down are underused, underappreciated villians of Green Lantern, Superman, and the Flash respectively. Some screentime as trusted lieutenants of Mr. J and their profiles will skyrocket, giving them enough oomph to be seen occasionally as independent operators. Plus, the smiling guy gets some super-powered help!

The Royal Flush Gang. Any version. D'uh!

The Joker's Daughter. A child of Bob "Wacky" Rozakis, the Joker's Daughter was so much fun people are STILL talking about her 30 years later. Give in, DC! Give us the Joker's Daughter, I don't care how you do it. Just put her in the original outfit; there are few comic book images more disturbing than a woman dressed as the Joker!

The Mime. Okay, she was AWFUL in her one appearance. All the more reason to dust her off, give her a new personality and stick her with Mr. Laughapalooza. To satisfy those who prefer a more independent Harley, she could be the Joker's silent squeeze.

I'd love it if the Red Hood could be brought into the mix. But somehow I can't see that happening with the current version...!


Marionette said...

There's another Duela Dent (Joker's Daughter) site at
She also briefly appeared in a recent issue of Teen Titans.

Thad said...

The Muse, a post-crisis Blue Beetle villain.

Gaggy, the Joker's pet midget.


They could fight a carnival-themed hero team: The Barker, Elongated Man, Deadman (and his living brother), Joe Hercules, Double Dare, Madame Xanadu, and the Jester.

David J Oakes said...

Can the Royal Flush Gang be part of a Gang? How does that heirarchy fit on the Ladder of Villainy? And whith the Madmen on top of that, what do we call a Gang of gangs? A Mob? A Polooza? A Poorly Crafted Crossover Wherein Sidekicks are Tortured to Near Death, Only to Shock Us With the True Crime Months Later?

(I don't know where that last one came from.)

Seriously though, it's just too much. I think Mime and Harley are great. Throw in Duela and it just gets so twistedly OEdipal, that, well, it's the Joker, you have to try. And I think that Double Down (lousy name, great visual) is a good addition, though perhaps better as the new Ace. Prankster deserves some screen time after his recent drubbing (and Un-Metrosexualization) in the Super books. But you start throwing in P&J, who are almost names as well, and then the two gangs on top of that...

Like I said, it sounds more like a crossover inspired by sniffing the fifth ink on "Last Laugh" covers. Not even counting too many cooks syndrome, if you have too much broth, even an icon as strong as the Joker can become diluted.

Keep it below six, hangers on only, and one gang at a time. But yeah, I definitely want to see that comic. (Written by Max Allan Collins, natch...)

Where's the love for themed villain groups secretly managed by an A-list Bat-villain now, eh? (Flamesplasher to Marvel, Hah!)

Harvey Jerkwater said...

The Red Hood could be their recurring nemesis instead of Batman. That could be kinda cool.

Or, since El Hood Rojo is a killin' sort of vigilante, he could be the bad guy to the bad guys. They worry about Batman stopping their schemes, but they worry more about the Hood finding them and killing them.

How about uniting the cat-themed villains? Cat-Man, Catwoman, the Bronze Tiger, the Cheetah, um, some others. They could be a great squabbly group, what with the idea of "herding cats." Cat-Man, Catwoman, and the Bronze Tiger have all either partially or fully reformed at one point or another, and sometimes backslide into villainy. Put all them ethically dubious folks together in their cat suits, and you know what you got?


Scipio said...

That's the spirit, Thad!

When Devon and I originally discussed the Joker's gang, I'd included the Ragdoll, but I forgot...

But there is no Gaggy.
There never was a Gaggy.
I deny all knowledge of Gaggy.

Scipio said...


"(I don't know where that last one came from.)";

War Games, I believe.

It could be approached this way: one initial arc about the entire group, and from then on the Joker might appear with any combination of them.

Because occasionally people go to jail ... even in the DCU!

Scipio said...

Harvey --

don't get ahead of me, I beg you!

But, yes, we are headed there.

I intend to follow the Classical Sequence of Batman Villains:

The Joker
The Penguin
The Riddler
The Catwoman

David Lawson said...

Don't forget Bud and Lou, even a madman needs pets. And maybe a little more Flash crossover with Trickster spending a stint with Joker's gang before heading back to the Rogues.

And definitly bring Duela in. Considering how much Joker broods over his dead wife and child he may actually trick himself into believeing she's really his daughter who somehow survived. I also want to see her arguing with Harley on occasion as they would both vie for Joker's affection, just in different ways.

And of course, don't forget Moe, Lar and Cur (and my additions of Rowan and Martin).

David J Oakes said...

"War Games, I believe."

Well, yes. But if you don't know Gaggy, I don't know that Batman was Punked by a 16 year old girl.

As for your suggestion of a rotating cast , I now officially hate you. The idea has wormed it's way into my brain like a acid dart, and has now playing house with my frontal lobes.

"Joker's Full House (Written by Jeph Loeb and Alan Heisenberg, Illustrated by Howard Chaykin.) - The Joker finds himself playing den mother to a group of super villains. Wacky hijinks ensue."

Guest starring the intellectual oldest child (Harley), the emotional middle child (Mime), and the cute kid (Duela - twins, of course). Special Guests the Absolutely Heterosexual Male Couple who Live in the Basement (Prankster and Rag Doll).

"This week on 'Joker's Full House': The Madmen crash the party and keep cranky neighbor Red Hood awake. You'll laugh so hard you'll die!"

I hate you, Scipio.

Scipio said...


That's hilarious!

"Can a single supervillain manage his successful homicidal career... AND a hacienda of half-witted hangers-on? It's enough to make you find your mind on--


Now that all Giffen's characters are dead, we have something new for him to write!

Kevin Melrose said...

The Prankster bears a striking resemblance to James Sime.

totaltoyz said...

I intend to follow the Classical Sequence of Batman Villains: The Joker, The Penguin, Two-Face, The Riddler,The Catwoman

It'll be interesting to see whom you come up with for Two-Face! Will you stick with the two/double/twin theme, or will any number do?

Scipio said...

You'll see soon...!

Anonymous said...

For Penguin, surely you will be using Orca.


Also, look at this. Directions to the Bat Cave.

Soma Online said...

Yea, when Devon and I originally discussed the Joker's gang, I'd included the Ragdoll, but I forgot...

annette said...

Never heard of these guys before. They a comic book crew?

Generic Propecia said...

such a cool idea!! crocheting intimidates me, but if I ever learn, this will be the first item I make :)