Of all the comic book hero/villain relationships, there are none quite as fascinating as Batman and the Joker. Order vs. Chaos. Seemingly opposite in nature, but more similar than you might believe. One of them insane while the other borders on insanity, some might argue. All Batman might need to take is one step in the wrong direction to become just like the Joker. Just a little push.
No one gets under the Dark Knight’s skin like the Joker, and vice versa. Joker has taunted Batman by challenging the nature of his existence, by brutally attacking his allies, sometimes even killing them. Batman meanwhile, frustrates Joker endlessly by refusing to give in to Joker’s temptation to kill him. In spite of this, Joker has a certain admiration for the Dark Knight. Depending on the interpretation, some might even call it love.
Over the years, a number of excellent writers have done their version of the Batman and Joker relationship. Whether in the comics, the television shows, or the movies, each medium has allowed a creator to leave their mark on this age-old battle. In the great Batman/Joker stories, the conflict between the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime is never just physical. It’s always philosophical, psychological and existential. Without one, we have to wonder whether the other would exist at all.
Click next to learn more about the greatest stories featuring the two characters.