Relationship Between Batman And The Joker

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Wei-Ting Lin English 383 Dr. Nilsson Response Essay 2 April 4, 2015 Batman & The Joker In Frank Miller’s work, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (1986), we discover that the relationship between the Joker and Batman is both a reflective and a homoerotic relationship. Around the 1950’s, there were anxieties regarding censorship within graphic novels. As a consequence, in 1954, the Comics Magazine Association of America produced the Comics Code Authority, which adopted values from both the Association of Comics Magazine Publishers of 1948, and the 1930 Hollywood Production Code. The code was originally made for the protection of young and impressionable readers from the many issues within comic books, such as violence, illicit sexuality, and homosexuality.…show more content…
By making the Joker a villain, it can be suspected that this is an example of homophobia rather than the homoerotic. But is it really? With the Joker, it seems like they are in constant battle, but it is apparent that they have a kind of symbiotic connection with one another. We can see their relationship through the comparison similar relations that Batman forms with the other villains which he faces. One such example is Batman’s association with Two Face. While, at first, it seems perplexing how Bruce Wayne would want to financially support Harvey Dent’s rehabilitation, we learn that Wayne depends on Dent’s recovery as a hope for his own sanity. There is a parallel between the two characters that make this relationship work together. For Two Face, he was like Batman: a rich man, part of the bourgeoisie, with a lot of power and influence, but with a traumatic past. This trauma, that almost-literally creates a dual personality for Harvey Dent, is very similar to that of Batman’s traumatic childhood, where his parents’ murder lead to his own personality disorder. We are able to see Batman’s psyche begin to fall apart in several parts near the beginning of the comic. On…show more content…
He sits, watching the television with a blank face, until the bat symbol comes onto the screen and an eerie smile bursts out. It becomes apparent that the break in their mental states are almost simultaneous and dependent on each other’s awakening. The theme of reflection is repeated when the two fight in the House of Mirrors (145-146). They mirror each other in several ways, and this scene serves as a way to show how they are reflective of each other. This is done by the prediction of each other’s moves, and when one is injured the other is wounded in return, as if they are fighting with themselves. In the talk show scene, when Joker is asked to come in as a special guest, the psychiatrist tells the audience that Batman’s psychosis is due to sexual repression (26). There are links between the Joker and sexuality within Miller’s work. The first instance are his pet names for Batman, who he calls “Darling” (41) and “My Sweet” (150). This suggests a less homosocial relationship and more of a homoerotic relationship. When preparing for the talk show, he says that he “brought [his] own [lipstick]” (121). He applies his lipstick in a feminine manner, with lips puckered and his face leaning towards the mirror. It is also ironic how their last struggle ends in a Tunnel of Love (148). Within these scenes, this tunnel becomes a symbolic way to represent the lasting, almost

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