Some time ago I wrote a piece asking if readers are afraid of change. Then another issue arose that I think goes hand in hand with that which is readers finding themselves entitled to how characters are portrayed.
Not too long ago there was an announcement that The Joker would get a possible origins story during DC’s Villains Month. I’d think that people would be excited for this, I certainly was. Villains Month is supposed to give some of these villains the spotlight they haven’t gotten in a long while. Joker is no exception from this and there comes a time when mystery is not enough to carry them forward. It’s going to be written by Andy Kubert and illustrated by Andy Clarke, this unique one-shot will not only hint at a possible origin for The Joker, but will also feature the origin of a classic Batman villain who folks might not suspect as having ties to the Clown Prince of Crime.
I see no issue with Joker having an origins story. Others seem to and say that it ruins the character by taking away the mystery which makes Joker who he is. I don’t think his past really affects who he is, let alone his appeal. The Joker isn’t hurt in any way if someone takes the time to show what makes him who he is today. I mean there was no complaining when Death of The Family explored what makes him tick, in fact that storyline was praised by most fans. This shows Joker is not some character who is above change and definitely isn’t untouchable. Every villain has a start and that keeps them from becoming one-dimensional. The problem I see here is that people are so used to what is known that when something unexpected comes around they don’t know how to accept it. It’s as if the character must remain how they envision them or it isn’t the same character.
The writers who take the liberty to flesh out these characters should be allowed the creative freedom to do so. They are as much fans of that character as you and in no way could anyone say they know or understand that character more because they don’t see eye to eye. If you have a problem with how that character is portrayed or with what is revealed about them that you didn’t want to know, that’s honestly your problem. The character does not belong to you and in no way are you entitled to have that character your way. If you have that mindset then you will always find disappointment because characters evolve. If they don’t then you will be the one complaining and it would be your fault that you don’t give the writers room to explore characters that have room for it.
Just being the New 52 it would be a smart move to explore Joker’s origins and that should be something readers should wait and see for themselves before they shut down the idea. It just seems petty as if certain comic characters are your possession when they are not. They belong to the publishers and their goal for the characters are what’s in their best interest. If you don’t like the idea of this then you simply just don’t buy the comic, best way to avoid having knowledge of something you don’t want to know.