Joker’s Twisted New Rampage Shows Why He’s the True Soul of Gotham

For years, Batman has been on a mission to save the soul of Gotham City and for years, criminals like The Joker have gotten in the way of that mission. The Joker especially has served as Batman’s most frequent foil and, therefore, The Dark Knight’s most significant obstacle in his attempt to restore the city’s integrity. Gotham City is practically a character itself within the DC Universe as it is the prime motivator for everything Batman does in his pursuit of justice.

While Batman’s origins began in Crime Alley when he was a little boy, the mugging and murder of his parents were far from an isolated incident. Gotham has always been a notorious refuge for inmates to run the asylum. From corrupt cops to homicidal lunatics, crime has always been rampant in this city and Bruce Wayne became Batman to restore order to it. For Batman, to clean up the crime-infested streets of Gotham is to save the soul of Gotham. That becomes increasingly difficult when someone like The Joker is the prime definition of Gotham’s madness.

In Batman: Killing Time #5 by Tom King and David Marquez, an all-out war brews among “representatives” of each Gotham villain, leading to The Joker going on a chaotic murder spree. At least, it looks like The Joker. No one is certain whether it was really him or someone dressed as him. After all, if every criminal is in a costume, it’s hard to say if it was the real man himself who dressed as a clown on this given day causing carnage in broad daylight.

Rampages like these are not isolated incidents and The Joker is far from the only Gothamite with a kill streak in his bones. Heinous crimes like those The Joker commits on the daily basis pre-date the existence of either Batman or The Joker. The madness and brutality within Gotham City is old hat at this point. It’s not madness that The Joker created with Gotham as his target. He is merely someone who benefits directly from the chaos. The Joker may add to the chaos, but he by no means planned it or caused something that was already there. It really highlights how deeply rooted the damage within Gotham’s soul is. Even worse, it highlights how difficult Batman’s mission is when he’s merely an outside force trying to make change happen. When The Joker himself is an agent of chaos, Gotham is practically a playpen for his own carnage.

Gotham is in Joker’s natural element. He doesn’t just feed off the soul of Gotham, The Joker is the soul of Gotham and its primary representative of chaos. This makes Batman’s search for justice even bleaker than it already is. How can Batman redeem the soul of Gotham when the soul of The Joker is irredeemable?

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