But Is It Art?

Man, can’t the Joker do anything normally?

Well, at least this is slightly better than those Laughing Fish he once tried to patent...

Well, at least this a slight improvement over those Laughing Fish he once tried patenting…

Today’s insane pastime has been brought to you by Secret Origins #44 (September 1989) by Mike W. Barr, Dan Raspler, Len Wein, BEM 89, Keith Giffen, Tom Grummett, Al Gordon, Gary Martin, and Denis Rodier.

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6 Responses to “But Is It Art?”

  1. awritershailmarypass Says:

    Who the hell gave him a paint brush!? We know what he can do with a pencil now. Who knows what havoc he can wreak with a paintbrush!

  2. Lunar Archivist Says:

    Maybe they already know and that’s why they stopped using viewslits. :O

  3. awritershailmarypass Says:

    Good point. Wow, the people running Arkham learning from their mistakes? Who knew…

  4. Lunar Archivist Says:

    Well, they must have some basic safety features in place. Maybe they count on the inmates going after each other rather than the staff, as in the case of the man who would eventually become known as the Great White Shark.

  5. awritershailmarypass Says:

    I-I don’t know exactly how to respond to that. Now I’m wondering how much safer Gotham would be if Bruce Wayne donated money to improving mental healthcare…

  6. Lunar Archivist Says:

    Bruce Wayne would have to improve the mental healthcare – or at least the public perception of mental illness – in and around the Gotham City area. Even though it was written by Dan “Superior Spider-Man” Slott, the miniseries I’m referring to was actually quite interesting and one I think that you, as a fan of TV Tropes, might find enjoyable, because it shows how someone can outsmart themselves with their own genre savviness with horrific consequences.

    Ever noticed how either juries or mental health professionals in Gotham City must be stupid, confused, or incompetent because they routinely send any criminal who puts on a costume and commits a crime in Gotham City to Arkham Asylum regardless of whether or not they have a mental illness or are genuinely insane? Well, in “Arkham Asylum: Living Hell”, Warren White – a notorious con artist and businessman whose predatory business practices earned him the nickname of “The Great White Shark” – did as well and decided to take advantage of it for his own benefit.

    After being caught stealing the life savings from hundreds of investors à la Bernie Madoff, White filed for a change of venue for his criminal trial so that it would take place in Gotham City…and then decided to plead insanity, counting on the jury to give him a slap on the wrist. And sure enough, White is found not guilty by reason of insanity, much to the disgust of the judge, who then decides to teach him a lesson by giving him exactly what he wants and sentencing him to a stay at Arkham Asylum.

    Unfortunately for White, however, the personnel at Arkham Asylum – some of whom have friends and family that were victims of his, if they weren’t victims themselves – find him utterly ethically repugnant. And so do the inmates, who think he’s one of the worst people they’ve ever met. How bad does it get? Well, let’s just say that when the Joker claims to have the moral high ground on you…


    …that’s pretty bad. 😛

    In a nutshell, since everyone hates him, the personnel turn a blind eye to the physical and mental indignities he suffers during his stay and he ends up becoming just another mentally unbalanced freak in Batman’s rogues gallery by the story’s end even though he started out as a completely sane but morally bankrupt man.

    That’s not to say there aren’t some genuine friendships among the inmates there. In “Batman: The Animated Series”, the most popular one was Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, one which sort of made its way into official continuity. One story I found rather touching involved Harley Quinn helping Batman to take down the female Ventriloquist because she felt that the woman taking over the mantle was disrespectful to the memory of Arnold Wesker, the original Ventriloquist, who had once used his skills with puppets to cheer her up when she was depressed after she’d been captured and imprisoned in Arkham with him. 🙂

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