There's no question that The Joker is one of the most iconic comic book villains of all time. The character has been portrayed numerous different times in countless different ways since his first battle with The Caped Crusader in Batman #1 back in 1940, and each portrayal has evolved him in some form or another. Jared Leto is the current go-to in the DCEU, but there's already more of the Clown Prince of Crime on the way.

With a Joker origin movie reportedly in development, it seems like a perfect time to talk about why Todd Philips' movie needs to include Batman in its story. Sure, this is a Joker story first and foremost, but we need The Caped Crusader to make it work. On that note, let's dive in and talk this out

Joker's Existence Is A Direct Response To Batman

First and foremost, it needs to be reiterated that Batman's presence in Gotham City has traditionally invited the more outlandish and flamboyant villains that he fights on the streets. In his first year as a vigilante, the Caped Crusader typically faced off against standard mobsters like Carmine Falcone; then The Joker showed up on the scene. As seen in films like The Dark Knight, as well as classic graphic novels like The Dark Knight Returns (in which The Clown falls into a catatonic state when Batman retires), Joker's very reason for existence is his never-ending quest to get a laugh out of The Bat. Even in Batman: The Animated Series, Mark Hamill's Joker falls into a deep depression when he believes that Batman has been killed and utters the somber lamentation, "Without Batman, crime has no punchline."

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