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The JokerA Serious Study of the Clown Prince of Crime$
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Robert Moses Peaslee and Robert G. Weiner

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781628462388

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2016

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628462388.001.0001

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Making Sense Squared

Making Sense Squared

Iteration and Synthesis in Grant Morrison’s Joker

(p.209) Making Sense Squared
The Joker

Mark P. Williams

University Press of Mississippi

Mark P. Williams uses the Joker as a vehicle through which to meditate on “the reader’s own relationship with the superhero form, and the superhero form’s relationship with contemporary modernity.” Focusing specifically on the character as he has been realized in the work of Grant Morrison, Williams suggests that the latter’s work performs its “central conflicts through play with the opposing forces of cyclicality and progress” that characterize the superheroic narrative genre itself: “His Batman narratives make the double-bind of subversion-co-option central and the Joker a key player: the Joker teaches Batman how to regain agency against the totalizing backdrop of his endless ultimate enemies.” In Williams’ analysis, “Morrison has developed a theory of Batman-Joker directly analogous to avant-garde praxis: détournement and aesthetic collage of pre-existing elements to create new juxtapositions.”

Keywords:   Superhero form, Grant Morrison, Joker, Batman

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