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Mark Hamill to play the Joker for the final time in Arkham Asylum 2

Mark Hamill has been the definitive voice for the Joker for nearly two decades, and it’s probably his most famous role, not counting Kenny Dantley in the significant film milestone Corvette Summer. But according to a recent interview the New Hope gave at Cannes, he’s hanging up his poison flower after the upcoming Batman: Arkham Asylum 2.

"This will be my last, there's no question about that. But it's the last hurrah," he said about plans for the anticipated title. This led to rampant speculation that with this statement and how pathetic Mr. J looked in the teaser trailer that Puddin’ may be headed for a dirt nap, but if 25 years of comics reading have taught me anything, it’s that the Joker can’t be killed. Period. He can be in a situation that would kill normal people and then there will be no body found, but give him six months and he’ll pop up again, good as new. Only in possible futures does he die, and that usually causes a major turning point in not just the Bat’s life, but DC in general. (See the comics Dark Knight Returns and Kingdom Come for further proof.)

But whether this is the end for the Joker or not, it’s certainly worth noting what a crossroads this is for the Batman franchise in general. Ever since I and just about everyone I know were kids, Mark Hamill has been the Joker and was largely considered the best until Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight became the first real challenger to his psychotic/whimsical portrayal. But before I even played the first AA, I felt that maybe it was time to give Mark a break and let someone else have a chance. Of course, when I did play it and heard him bring an even more sinister spin to his classic depiction I changed my mind. Still, now that his days are numbered we hope that his last time on the mic is worthy of his legacy and we feel bad for whoever has to follow that clown. In closing, here’s some of my favorite of Mark Hamill’s performances over the last 18 years:


Above: Joker’s intro in the classic Laughing Fish episode


Above: Probably the best Bats/Joker fight ever animated is featured in the film Mask of the Phantasm


Above: This scene from the Batman Beyond movie is about as sinister as the Joker ever got in the cartoon


Above: SPOILERS! This is Mark’s best scene from the finale to the first AA

May 27, 2010

22 comments

  • crisdace - June 8, 2010 4:53 p.m.

    Titan powered Joker was one of the easiest bosses I faced, especially for the final boss. Poison Ivey was much harder for me. I'm sad Mark Hamilton isn't Mr.J anymore, but can't wait for the long awaited seqeal.:D
  • sleepy92ismypsn - May 30, 2010 6:26 a.m.

    i wont be buying arkham asylum 2 because i disliked the first one. i bought it used for $15 i feel like i should have bought something else. i may give the sequel a rent.
  • starhaw - May 28, 2010 7:52 p.m.

    Heath did alright as the joker but as avantguardian said its the laugh, its the way Hamill does it...whenever I think of the joker I think of mark Hamill's interpretation and no one elses because if the joker where real that's exactly how I would expect him to sound like in real life..Heath didn't capture the true joker, he captured jokers ehhhh I'm bored but what if I try this to entertain myself side....Hamill on the other hand captures jokers essence..the crazy psychotic megalomaniac that laughs at the most sinister and twisted things....or when its just not appropriate lol.....Mark Hamill is the best joker in my mind and I know he's getting up there in years but I hope he sticks around longer....on another note...I think Kevin Conroy has the best voice for Batman as well...but Mark hamill if this is your last bow...you will surely be missed and what an honor it would be for your last act to be in a video game (I'm sure we can all think of some reasons as to why a video game would be a great way for mark to end his run as the Joker)
  • HaitianSensation - May 28, 2010 5:25 p.m.

    I loved his maniacal laugh. Over the top but still creepy. Looking forward to the AA2.
  • avantguardian - May 28, 2010 3:52 p.m.

    oh yeah, harley quinn ftw...
  • avantguardian - May 28, 2010 3:47 p.m.

    without a doubt my favorite version of my favorite villain...DK was great, like really great, but the more realistic trappings robbed him of a lot of his grandeur...the laugh absolutely nails it... one question: as much as i loved his inclusion in AA, did they really have to make him repeat the same sh*t over and over again while you're stalking fellas? maybe more lines? maybe more time in between lines? even the wittiest dialogue becomes inane after you've heard it 20 times in 10 minutes...seriously...
  • nadrewod999 - May 28, 2010 12:33 p.m.

    Here lies the Joker. Laughed his whole life. Went out with a big bang. Hamill, wherever you find your next line of work, may it be as good to you as you have been to Joker.
  • 8bitBaby - May 28, 2010 12:01 p.m.

    whuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut?! well... it was a good ride. hamill made the joker truly insane for me. here's looking forward to him reprising his role as larry 3000 in the upcoming time squad reunion special. if only...
  • Clovin64 - May 28, 2010 11:22 a.m.

    I still havnt played Arkham Asylum despite all the relentless praise its been getting, but I'm slowly being tempted to get it. Need to get Bioshock 2 first though!
  • grimv9 - May 28, 2010 8:08 a.m.

    Tis saddening to see him go. Least he got his last best performance of the joker out while he still could. I salute thee. Great mash up of vids for joker scenes in it.
  • MW3 - May 28, 2010 3:33 a.m.

    Gonna miss that guy. Great actor.
  • Tomsta666 - May 28, 2010 12:57 a.m.

    Ive only just got around to playing Arkham Asylum. (late to the party I know) Hamill's Joker completely stole the show. Awesome performance, you can tell he had a hell of a lot of fun in the role. I never really watched The Animated series that much when I was a kid so don't really remember what he was like in that, but damn! His Arkham Joker was awesome! Almost if not as good as Ledgers.
  • SonicofBoom - May 28, 2010 12:55 a.m.

    When i read the first part of the title i was like "YESS!" Then i read the second half and was like "NOOOOOOOO!" Well this sucks. The Internet should give a huge "goodbye" to Mr. Hamill somehow, cause past star wars it doesnt seem like he had the recognition he deserved, though i'm not exactly the informed expert of Hamology. Idk
  • JamesT - May 28, 2010 12:55 a.m.

    Noooooo! :( Although he has said the same thing before so hopefully this won't be his last "last hurrah"
  • FlikNightshade - May 28, 2010 12:20 a.m.

    Say what you will about the Batman Beyond series, that movie was great. If Hamill does indeed hang up the purple suit for good, it'll be a sad day indeed.
  • WickedSid - May 28, 2010 12:20 a.m.

    I'm not ashamed to say that I've seen all of those, and yes, they are great. Thank you, Henry Gilbert. Although, I'm not that old, it was great just being able to witness most of the times that Mark has played the Joker. I just wish they had included Mr. J in the Gotham Knight compilation.
  • Corsair89 - May 27, 2010 11:57 p.m.

    That's too bad. Oh well, I wonder who the next Joker will be...
  • whiteknight1981 - May 27, 2010 11:47 p.m.

    You know, there have been so many times we have heard people who do voices or are known for characters and after a good run claim that they are finished for good. Come a few years later and they return to voice that character or perform that role "for the fans." So I won't give up hope that Mark Hamil is giving up his incredibly sinister voice for the ultimate psychopath. Still, thanks for all the years of excellent voice work Mr. Hamil!
  • lobsterhunt - May 27, 2010 11:44 p.m.

    That death of joker video creeped the bejeesus out of me! I thought Mark was amazing in AA and the animated series, so I'll miss him very much.
  • McSpermie - May 27, 2010 11:29 p.m.

    damn, no one will ever be better than Mark...

Showing 1-20 of 22 comments

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