Heath Ledger as the Joker in TDK and Jack Nicolson as
the Joker in Batman 1989 both play the antagonist, wanting to take over
Gotham city. This is the only similarity between them as their portrayals of
the character and the techniques used are very different. This brings us to the
question of who played the best joker.
Heath Ledger’s representation of the Joker in The Dark
Knight was an iconic performance and set a difficult standard for all Joker
actors to follow. Heath Ledger’s Joker is seen as a terrorist who wants to
watch the world burn. Ledger is very mysterious and the audience is never sure
what his motivations are. The best villains are usually mysterious and chaotic
in which Heath Ledger did exactly that. Jack Nicolson’s version of the Joker is
very cartoony and over the top and not seen as a typical villain.
Heath Ledgers version of the Joker scared the audience to death.
There was nothing comical about this joker and the majority of his jokes were
just evil actions such as: he blew up a hospital while wearing a nurse outfit,
he threatened to keep killing innocent people unless Batman revealed his
identity etc. Ledgers purpose in the film is evident and people can take him
seriously because of how the other characters react to him as well .whereas the
audience would tend to laugh at Nicolson’s version of the joker and couldn’t take
him seriously, because of his extreme absurdity and how he was whimsical in his
The joker in 1989, his costume is very cartoony like a dress
up costume, and the colours associated with the outfit are very bright colours
which are another reason why many people wouldn’t take him seriously as a villain.
Heath Ledger doesn’t have a costume the character wears normal clothes of much
paler colours which makes him look more creepy. What makes, Ledger different is
his wild green hair and his whimsical makeup on his face.
I would definitely say that the Joker in Batman 1989
is a better character in terms of being an antagonist and the way he represents
himself as the Joker