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Should Two-Face & The Joker Return In Batman 3?

NO RETURNS

So I have to say it at least once before the rest of you do: Maybe the best option would be not bringing back either The Joker or Two-Face, instead introducing a completely new villain (or set of villains) for Batman 3. We've already heard a few rumors (Catwoman or Penguin and The Riddler) but even if Nolan and Warner Bros. do choose to introduce a yet-unseen Bat-villain - even a relatively unknown one (Black Mask, Bane, Talia al Ghul) - that doesn't let them off the hook of having to acknowledge that both The Joker and Harvey Dent were major players in the events leading up to Batman 3, the state of Gotham City and its hero.

Or does it?

Now that I think about it, did Dark Knight ever mention Ra's al Ghul? We had the Scarecrow thrown in for novelty, yes, but even with that, was there really any nod to the role The Scarecrow played in Batman Begins? It's not like Batman caught him, kicked him in the face and screamed "You nearly killed Rachel!"

I guess the debate over "Bring the villains back / don't bring them back," is really just ours, and if Nolan and his co-writers want to jump back into Gotham City, while ignoring all these strands some of us see as loose ends, they'll find a way to do just that. After all, as Nolan has stated (and proven), each one of these films needs to stand on its own, apart from the others. Beyond the initial premise - a rich guy who dresses up as a bat and fights crime - each installment should stand on its own foundation, not have to be stacked upon the film that came before it (the Marvel way).

Clearly I recognize the wisdom of that approach (hard not to), but it doesn't make for that lively of a debate, does it? And besides, I have to confess there's a small bit of geektastic pleasure that is sacrificed when you don't wink at the films that came before, will come after, or are currently taking place in the same sandbox you're playing in (the DC Universe). I mean, how cool were those crossover scenes in Iron Man and Incredible Hulk? Or when The Scarecrow hopped out of that van in Dark Knight?

And please remember: with most new villains inevitably come the burden of origin stories. Unless you're a random psycho like The Joker, or maybe a middleman gangster with an unfortunate nickname like The Penguin. Those guys just exist, no explanation necessary.

All right, I've argued it best I can but in the end your opinion is the one that matters: Should The Joker and(or) Two-Face be brought back for Batman 3? Or is "no returns" the best policy for the next Bat-film?

Image Sources: Black Mask (Comic Book Movie), Harley Quinn (deviantART)

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