YOU voted for Joker to be February’s character of the month on our Facebook page, and in his debut fight the Clown Prince of Crime will take on Spider-Man’s arch enemy, Green Goblin. These two costumed criminals are as crazy as they come, each with a penchant for murder via novelty gag.
While even Joker himself is unsure of the specifics of his history, what is known is that Batman was the catalyst that made him who he is now. While attempting to rob the Ace Chemical Processing Plant, the man who would be Joker and his gang were ambushed by the Dark Knight. During the ensuing fight, the man fell into a vat of caustic chemicals, etiolating his skin and granting him a permanent red smile. Despite his unimaginable insanity, Joker’s intellect still manages to shine through, as his slew of deadly props and criminal conspiracies can attest. His most notorious creation is a toxic gas known as Joker Venom, which painfully kills its victims and leaves them with a ghoulish grin on their corpses.
In the Batman storyline, “A Death in the Family”, Joker once again escapes from Arkham Asylum and acquires a nuclear weapon that he sells to Middle Eastern terrorists. Batman and then-current Robin Jason Todd spoil the Joker’s plans, and the Dynamic Duo proceeded in their own quest to locate Robin’s mother. Shortly after finding her, the heroes learn that she is under the thumb of the Joker, and she delivers her own son to the Mirthful Menace. The Joker proceeds to savagely beat Robin with a crowbar and leaves him unconscious in a warehouse with a time bomb. Batman arrives moments too late and the bomb explodes, killing his protégé.
Oscorp CEO Norman Osborn is obsessed with his career and the wealth and power that comes with it, which led him to neglect his son Harry. When Norman discovers a formula for superhuman enhancement in the notes of his former partner, Norman elects to test the serum on himself. However, resentful of his father, Harry tampers with the chemical before the procedure began. While the concoction does grant Norman extraordinary powers, it also saps his sanity. Not unlike Joker, despite his mental instability Green Goblin creates sophisticated themed paraphernalia including the Goblin Glider and an array of Pumpkin Bombs.
In the seminal Spider-Man story entitled ‘The Night Gwen Stacy Died”, a briefly amnesiac Norman Osborn regains his memories (including the knowledge of Spider-Man’s true identity) after the compound stresses of his son’s drug-related hospitalization and his impending bankruptcy. Naturally blaming Peter Parker/Spider-Man for his woes, Green Goblin kidnaps Peter’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy and lures him to the George Washington Bridge. There, Green Goblin throws Gwen over the edge, and while Spider-Man is able to hit her with a strand of webbing before she lands, when he pulls her up he realizes that her neck is broken. Spider-Man, unsure if Green Goblin had killed her earlier or if her neck snapped from the resulting whiplash of being caught by his own web, brutalizes Green Goblin. While Green Goblin would seemingly die by his own hand during the fight, he would of course live to torment Spidey another day.
Which maniacal nemesis will prevail? Will it be the architect of Batman’s greatest failure, or the killer who stole Spider-Man’s first love? YOU can vote below to decide!