Wonder Woman and The Joker

           

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 Comics depend on various elements for a successful story, but one of the easiest ways to create a good plot is to have a good villain.  In terms of Wonder Woman though, her relatively weak rogue’s gallery often times does not provide as much to draw upon.  Either Circe or Cheetah would be considered Diana’s archenemy, Circe in terms of power, Cheetah in terms of longevity (having appeared back in the 1940s in Wonder Woman #6).  The general lack of engaging rogues to do battle with means that generally Wonder Woman stories are mostly based on their plots, and so they either succeed or fail based on the ability of the writer.  Occasionally a writer will produce both a good story and a good villain to go along with it, for instance in the cases of Devastation or Genocide, both of whom were mostly forgotten afterwards. 

            Another relatively easy way to circumvent this problem though is to simply lift a villain from another hero to provide an easy antagonist.  Generally speaking this will be the case that the character is of a relative power level to the hero, for instance Lex Luthor makes a decent villain for Batman as they are both without superpowers.  Interestingly enough in volume 2 of Wonder Woman though, one of the characters who was borrowed the most was the Joker.  In comparison he is really not there that many times, he only shows up in four stories out of 226 issues, but by comparison Cheetah showed up in seven, and Circe about the same (though to be fair one of the Joker appearances was during Last Laugh where he appeared everywhere in the DC Universe and another was a lifelike dream sequence.)  Still in terms of borrowing a character the Joker does not really fit the mold of one that would be a good villain for Diana.  Obviously his power level is nowhere near hers, and the only thing he can really challenge her with is his craziness.  One of the interesting aspects of the portrayal of the Joker is that in two of the cases his gender is at least partially reversed, either morphed partially with Diana or with Circe.  Still in terms of the character seeing as he does add some interesting challenges as a foe of Diana, it might be interesting to see a villain for Diana with similar characteristics.  It has been done before (Veronica Cale was similar enough to Lex Luthor) so maybe this could be a change to Diana’s rogues gallery which could be successful. 

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