Famous antagonist of Batmanthe Joker was often interned at thearkham asylum but that is not where it belongs, according to a psychiatrist professional.
The joker, a “agent of chaos”
It’s in the spring of 1940, in the comic Batman #1that the Joker first appeared. Supposed to be quickly eliminated, he is finally saved by the publisher and he quickly becomes the most emblematic antagonist of the masked vigilante. A true potential psychopath, he has appeared in comics, in video games, but also in films. Fans remember the version played by Heath Ledger in Nolan’s trilogy in particular, but also his more heartbreaking version embodied to perfection by Joaquin Phoenix in 2019. But don’t be too soft either: he’s not really crazy and he has no business being in Arkham Asylum! In any case, this is explained by psychiatrist Eric Bender in a very interesting video for GQ.
If I saw the Joker, I would first wonder if he really belongs in Arkham Asylum. This is an individual who does not appear to me to have any mental illness. Yes, something is wrong with him, as people say, in the sense that he commits crimes, he kills people, he wants anarchy. He tells Two-Face [dans The Dark Knight de Christopher Nolan] to introduce a bit of anarchy [en lui tirant dessus]. That’s what he says, he’s just ready to create chaos. He is an agent of chaos. All of this makes me wonder if he has any mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or psychosis. Something like that. And I don’t see any.
The Joker would therefore not be suffering from any mental illness strictly speaking but, as you can imagine, this does not mean that all is well in the best of worlds. With the continuation of the reflection of this professional psychiatrist, we understand better where the real problem lies.
From arkham asylum to blackgate penitentiary
After reading the words of the psychiatrist behind this analysis, you are probably intrigued: would the joker be sane despite all his “excesses”, his nervous laughter, his untimely anger and his murders in shambles? The situation would actually be more complicated than that, as Eric Bender explains later.
I wonder about antisocial personality disorder. In that case, [le Joker] Clearly meets criteria for anti-sociability, and I think he’s a psychopath. Not all people with antisocial personality disorder are psychopaths, but in this case I think they are. Given that he is a psychopath and that there is no mental illness significantly linked to the fact that he commits crimes he has no place in Arkham. He knows what he’s doing, so not only is he not sick, but he is aware of his actions. It’s bad. His place is at Blackgate Penitentiary.
The conclusion, therefore, is that the Joker is not crazy enough to be interned in an asylum. As a killer and a psychopath, he should be put in prison as a real criminal. But that’s not necessarily the case for everyone. the villains of Batman. In the long video of QG, Dr. Eric Bender indeed attacks the case of other antagonists such as Two-Face, the Riddler or even the Mad Hatter, and some are truly… mad precisely. For English speakers, the video is available in full above!