Sometimes it takes one person’s madness to save us from our own insanity, but if that is the case which is truly insane? This was the thought that came to my mind upon finishing the Batman X Joker fanfiction Of Broken Steel by The Adorable Joker, (love that username, I must admit) and with me excited about the upcoming release of the animated adaption of The Killing Joke later this month I thought it might be time to shine some light on one of my favorite dysfunctional pairings.
When Joker escapes from Arkham only to disappear and not course any trouble, Bruce finds himself in a strange predicament when he finds the Clown Prince of Crime bleeding and feverish in an alleyway. His own moral compass dictates that he cannot just leave his arch nemesis there to die in the gutter so he does the only thing he can think of and takes the Joker home as if he were an injured stray.
What follows is a heart-wrenching tale that will leave even the most veteran of Batman fans actually feeling pity and sympathy for the Joker, a sign of brilliant writing on the author’s part. Now I will admit as much as I am a fan of this pairing there are not that many fanfics of the two out there that I can say I am a fan of, let me explain myself.
Many writers like to play up the Joker’s insanity along with losing his grip on reality which most of the time ends up in a story of obsession over ol’Batsey with the outcome of a messy noncon story that is that and nothing more. I’m not saying that rape in a story is a bad thing I’m just saying that, I myself cannot find enjoyment in a story if the end goal of a PWP (porn without plot) is a rape scene and more often than not with this pairing snuff and nothing more. When a scene like this is used as a story device instead of an end goal what you can end up with is a powerful story of overcoming the most brutal of physical and mental attacks because rape is not about sex it is about power.
Joker is a fascinating character to read and watch for many fans of the Batman franchise and it is not hard to see why. He is a character that balances on the knife’s edge of sanity and insanity and it is a balancing act that is never perfect and he always ends up cut on that edge. Joker represents a darker part of all us, a part of us that we all hold back because of our own sanity, he represents us without that moral compass, our own bestial desires if you will act on emotion and emotion alone without the thought of consequences and to relish in the insanity of the moment.
In Of Broken Steel, however, another side of Joker is explored one that I feel perhaps does not explored enough, the frightening side of one’s own insanity and what happens when that unstoppable force of insanity meets an immovable force. The Unstoppable Force paradox is a perfect description of that which is Batman and Joker, but the immovable force that is Batman shifts in this story when he finds out what has happened to Joker.
Now, of course, I would not be recommending this story here if there was not a touch of the good old yaoi stuff in this fic and I will say the pairing of the two has a natural feeling of progression throughout the story with both characters staying in character with natural growth given the circumstances of the story.
What’s your favorite Batman X Joker fanfiction or do you perhaps prefer another pairing in the Batman and/or DC universe?
*All fanart featured in this Review is by the very talented Yayoi Neko