The Joker's latest incarnation can be currently seen in Suicide Squad, being played by Jared Leto. As we all know though, many actors have taken on the role of Batman's most iconic villain. Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson certainly deserve their share of acclaim, however Mark Hamill's voice work as the Joker has been a continual force for over twenty years. In addition to various cartoons, animated films and video games, it should be no surprise that Hamill can summon up the Joker whenever he sees fit. Just ask acclaimed comic book artist/writer and DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, who has recently put up a post showing just how far Hamill's Joker will go for a laugh.
The message itself is nothing short of brilliant for anyone who is familiar with the "Clown Prince of Crime". While obviously not serious when he speaks of dangling Lee over a vat of acid (we hope), it plays perfectly into the sort of malicious glee that Joker would have. With the caption, "Man, that Joker is a real pisser. Thank you to el maestro," it's clear that the DC co-publisher has the same level of respect for what Hamill continues to bring to his take on the Joker as most fans. And how can you not appreciate hearing a good Joker laugh?
With Hamill and Lee clearly having crossed paths multiple times over the years (with Hamill's voice work in so many facets of DC's catalogue) at conventions, if nothing else. It's also worth remembering just how much Lee's work has influenced the various incarnations of the Bat and his iconic villain over the years in everything from comics, to movies and video games. What a strange twist of fate that Hamill, too, should carve out such an illustrious career in so many of the same media, regardless of the visual evolution.
The recording is also a good representation of the fun that can be had with Hamill's Joker sticking to the oddball instead of driven to the perhaps more likely epitome of dark and deranged. While Ledger and Leto have certainly pushed the character to the extreme, and the recently-animated The Killing Joke reminded us of just how evil the Joker can be, it is great to hear the playful (and psychotic) exuberance that also comes from this character in certain settings. One just has to hope that whoever hears Lee's voicemail will be in on the joke - not rush to call it into the police out of panic.
Mark Hamill can be heard as the Joker in the animated adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke, which is now available on Blu-ray and VOD.