Gotham’s Clown Prince of crime has revealed himself as he only would in your worst nightmares — as a walking cesspool of grotesque Easter eggs.
Sideshow continues its Gotham City Nightmare Collection — a dark dream vision that asks how the denizens of Gotham would appear through terrified eyes. If last year’s warped Batman, with an alternate Demon Bat swap-out portrait that seethes with the worst of its vampire-bat DNA, was any indication, this exclusive Joker was not going to be a villain you could just laugh off. What crawled out of the imaginations at Sideshow is an amalgam of all the most terrifying moments in his existence.
“We wanted a very organic collage of all the elements of The Joker’s life and his character intermeshed into his body,” designer Paul Komoda said of the concept on the official site.
If you dare, get really up close and personal with him and you’ll realize that he is made up of not just tattered fabric and greasepaint, but the Caped Crusader (obviously), Harley Quinn, Red Hood, a carnivorous school of Joker fish, and legions of victims, enemies, chilling quotes, and killer clown faces brought to life in polystone, vinyl, and PVC. His orange vest is another depiction of that fiendishly grinning face. His backbone is literally Arkham Asylum. His shoes flash venomous smiles.
Even his face is something of an Easter egg — out of all the iterations of Joker, it most eerily resembles the maniacally laughing murderer in the iconic Brian Bolland image from The Killing Joke animated film. The HAHAHAHAHAs cackling over his lapels may have been seen and heard in every Batman comic and movie ever, but they also incorporate the background of Bolland’s art into his suit. Tributes to Jim Lee, Frank Miller, Dave McKean, and more Joker artists can also be found in that face and everywhere else.
The swap-out portrait lurking in the exclusive edition shows another face of Joker that is no less nightmarish. The pedestal is, appropriately enough, a jack-in-the-box springing out of radioactive green ooze.
Will that trick flower spray your face with noxious chemicals? Only your undertaker knows for sure.