Injustice League redesigns, part 9 of 10.
Having asked you all pick your favourite Injustice League members from a selective list, the Joker placed second. Out of 86 votes, he received 19. It was a real knock-down-drag-out between him and the winner... of course, I really had no doubt that it would be Batman villains who placed at the top. Not necessarily because they're the best but because they're the most familiar.
As with many iconic characters, it's hard to try to re-imagine them especially when it comes to one so well-known as the Joker. Part of his 'charm' is the mysteriousness that surrounds his character specifically in reference to his background. Though DC Comics afforded him an origin, I'd more or less remain ambiguous as to who and what he was prior to the incident that transformed him into the Joker. His personality really must remain uniform though since it's so much a part of his appeal. He's a raging psychopath whose unpredictable behaviour makes him more than just a menace to society. He is incredibly resourceful and can maneuver his way out of or into any situation he desires. I would, of course, downplay some of the elements that are more comical and would instead ensure that the punchline to most of his "gag" weapons is "Oops, I blew off your head." Despite his fractured psyche, the Joker is still a genius. He's easily the most manipulative male member of the Injustice League far above Lex Luthor and Black Manta but lacks the ambition. He's more of an anarchist than 'a man with a plan.' He can also be quite callous and misogynistic which puts him at odds with the female members of the Injustice League. He most notably has a long-standing rivalry with Poison Ivy and there is an underlying tension within the team that at any moment Ivy could assassinate the Joker. Due to Ivy's regenerative nature and immunity to toxins as well as her expertise in manipulation, she remains the only 'person' on Earth who the Joker views as a threat.
In coming up with a design for the Joker, I wanted to actually go in a little bit of a different direction for him. I was really inspired by British fashion and wanted to give him a more stylish design that would maybe go along with a more suave personality. What I mean here is that the Joker would enforce a false gentlemanly behaviour that would ultimately give way to extremely violent bouts of rage. I suppose the inspiration there is the old school gangster archetypes where you find the bad guys dressing nicely and being courteous until they've been crossed. Anyway, I really went for something very streamlined and almost '60s-ish. Interestingly enough, the Joker ended up coming out like he's dressed up like Michael Jackson... which is fine... I can totally imagine the Joker doing the moonwalk after burning someone's face off with acid. I did find drawing the Joker to be a difficult task. It's hard to draw someone as menacing especially when they have a big grin on their face but I did my best. In the end, he kind of came across as androgynous. I guess it works since the other male members of the Injustice League have enough testosterone pumping through their body to make up for Joker being a little bit more of a waif. Oh yeah, the crowbar came out sucky. *shakes fist*
Remember, the rest of the Injustice League and Justice League redesigns can be found in my gallery.