The Joker has been one of the most oft portrayed DC characters on screen. As Batman's arch nemesis, he's built up a cult of personality based around his unpredictability, psychotic tendencies, and whimsical disregard for human life. Since his first appearance in Batman #1 in 1940, he's been an indelible part of the Batman mythos and now with the arrival of The Joker standalone film starring Joaquin Phoenix, he's grown beyond.
With the rise of standalone films for DC superheroes such as Wonder Woman, Shazam, and Aquaman, attention is being turned to DC villains that deserve some recognition (the much maligned Catwoman movie can't be the benchmark). Below you'll find 5 DC villains that deserve their own film, and 5 reasons why The Joker is timeless.
10 HE'S TIMELESS: IT ONLY TAKES ONE BAD DAY
For all his comicality, The Joker is one of Batman's most astute villains. He may not play by society's rules but that doesn't mean he isn't keenly aware of them. In The Killing Joke, he remarked it only takes "one bad day" to turn someone into a villain. Based on their reaction, a single pivotal event in someone's life can turn them good or evil.
Batman could just as easily become a villain after the death of his parents, but he chose a different path. The Joker makes us contemplate the complexities of choice and the repercussions of free will.
9 DESERVES THEIR OWN FILM: POISON IVY
Poison Ivy has been portrayed a handful of times in films like Batman and Robin and on television like Gotham. And while Catwoman got her own (unsuccessfull) feature film, Poison Ivy has yet to get the chance.
Not only are Poison Ivy's powers entertaining to watch (she can not only manipulate any growing thing, she can also form it into other objects), but her backstory is full of personal loss. Additionally, the reasons why she became a supervillain are complex. Harley Quinn is getting her own film, what about Ivy? People are all about environmental concerns these days.
8 HE'S TIMELESS: HE'S UNPREDICTABLE
One of the main reasons why The Joker is one of Batman's most terrifying nemesis is because he's so unpredictable. One minute, he's cracking wise while inflicting torture on one of Gotham's city officials, and the next, he's having a tete-a-tete with Batman about the burden of personal responsibility.
The Joker can never be pigeonholed in his villainy because his personality is so mercurial. His motivations and intentions are never firm, but rather constantly changing according to his whim, which makes him fascinating to follow. He's never dull, one-dimensional, or stereotypical.
7 DESERVES THEIR OWN FILM: LOBO
As an intergalactic bounty hunter, Lobo is a charismatic villain who has a lot of potential. Like The Joker has similarities to Batman, Lobo has his own parallels to Superman, making him an effective foil.
6 HE'S TIMELESS: HE KNOWS BATMAN'S IDENTITY AND DOESN'T CARE
While never explicitly stated, it's been considered by many DC fans that The Joker has known of Batman's identity (Bruce Wayne) but doesn't want to reveal it - not even to other supervillains! This is due to the fact that he always targets people both close to Wayne and to Batman in order to enrage him.
More than anyone, The Joker understands that Bruce Wayne is really the mask that Batman wears. He also isn't bound by the information he knows, which makes him able to engage with Batman on a less superficial level than other typical supervillains.
5 DESERVES THEIR OWN FILM: DARKSEID
Due to the lack of support behind Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, we won't see Darkseid any time soon. His arrival was only hinted in Dawn of Justice during a "flash forward", where his symbol appears scorched into the Earth.
Darkseid is to DC what Thanos is to Marvel - the ultimate cosmic villain interested in galactic domination. From his throne in Apokolips, he seeks the Anti-Life Equation and is worshiped as the "God of Evil". A Darkseid film would allow the DC Universe to go to a dark level that Marvel wouldn't let Thanos approach.
4 HE'S TIMELESS: HE'S A TRUE SOCIOPATH
Most supervillains in the DC Universe have some sort of agenda. Whether they want to rule Gotham or the whole of planet Earth, their evil schemes are all towards a certain destructive end. The Joker is a true sociopath, and has no such ultimate designs.
As stated in The Dark Knight, the second film in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, some men "just like to watch the world burn". The Joker does horrible things just to get a reaction from Batman and just because he feels like it, which makes him all the more despicable.
3 DESERVES THEIR OWN FILM: BRAINIAC
Another cosmic villain on par with Darkseid is Brainiac, one of Superman's oldest foes and also one of his most formidable. Brainiac is part organic material and part machine, who travels the galaxy looking for worlds to shrink and make a part of his collection.
Brainiac was behind The Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline, which saw superheroes and supervillains from a multitude of eras all across the multiverse fighting to preserve their respective futures. Many fans have craved seeing him properly featured in a full length film.
2 HE'S TIMELESS: HE CAN BE INTERPRETED A VARIETY OF WAYS
One of the fun things about The Joker is the fact that he can be portrayed a variety of different ways. Different writers, artists, and actors have given him different backstories and appearances, making him either a corrupt city official, a deranged sociopath, a common street criminal, or an amalgamation of all three.
On screen, he's been portrayed by several different actors, who each focus on a different side of his persona. Heather Ledger focused on his instability whereas Jack Nicholson focused on his sense of whimsy. There really is no right or wrong way to play him.
1 DESERVES THEIR OWN FILM: DEATHSTROKE
One of the most exciting aspects of Justice League was the build up to Deathstroke's appearance. When he appeared on Lex Luthor's yacht, fans were hoping they would finally get to see the famous mercenary in action. Unfortunately, due to the film's lack of success, it may be a long time before that happens.
Deathstroke is one of Batman's most dangerous enemies. He's been genetically enhanced to be stronger, faster, and more lethal than any human. He's basically a less chatty Deadpool, and a feature film starring him would be as brutal as The Punisher.