When I found out that Mark Hamill had retired himself as the Joker I have to admit I was completely devastated! Words cannot describe how gutted I was that I would never again hear the epic voice of the Joker that I had grown up with. I’d known Mark Hamill as the Joker since I started watching Batman the Animated series as a child. I was adamant that no one would ever be good enough to fill the giant hole that Mark Hamill had left and that the character of the Joker would fall into degradation in any and all future DC games/animated series etc. However! After watching Troy Baker on the Batman: Arkham Origins panel my mind has…changed.
During his time on the panel Baker read the monologue that he had used to audition for the role of the Joker. The monologue was from “The Killing Joke” and in it the Joker is forcing Commissioner Gordon to look at pictures of his wounded daughter, Barbara. At first I didn’t think he would be in any way good enough to read such a great monologue and before he had even started I was convincing myself that he was going to be greatly inferior to Mark Hamill.
Then he started…
What can I say I got chills!
He has obviously taken great inspiration from Hamill however he has is own quirks. There is something about the quality of his Joker voice which is oddly calming…in a chilling sort of way. You can imagine his Joker lulling his enemy into a false sense of security and then pouncing when they least expect it.
That was always going to be a big thing for me. If the Joker’s laugh wasn’t in any way perfect (like Hamill’s) then the person had failed miserably in my eyes. Baker completely nailed it. The laugh is Hamill-esque however again he has added his own quality to it.
This, for me, has sated any fears that I had of the Joker being less than perfect in the Arkham Origins game. I have to keep reminding myself not to judge people too quickly and convince myself that they will fail. I did the same thing for Heath Ledger when I heard that he was going to play the Joker…and look how that turned out!