To a generation of Batman fans, Mark Hamill is The Joker, having voiced the villain for two decades worth of animated shows and video games. So when the former Luke Skywalker announced he would no longer be voicing the pivotal Batman character, there was a lot of concern.
Relax, folks. The clown prince of crime is in very capable vocal chords.
Video game voice actor du jour Troy Baker, who takes over the role later this month in Batman: Arkham Origins, showed off his take on the Joker at this past weekend’s New York Comic Con. And fittingly, he killed it.
Baker read a Joker monologue from the legendary 1988 graphic novel "Batman: The Killing Joke" during a panel at the convention. Beware that it's grizzly subject matter. In the book, Joker straps Commissioner Gordon to a chair and forces him to view pictures of Barbara Gordon (his daughter, also Batgirl) - naked and paralyzed (the good stuff starts around 2:10 mark in the video below):
It's chilling stuff, and incredibly impressive to pull off live in front of an audience of Batman fanatics.
The Joker is just the latest stop on Troy Baker's blitzkreig through the gaming world this year. He's already starred as Booker DeWitt in Bioshock Infinite and Joel in The Last of Us.
However, he told us back in July, it's the role of the Joker that he's most nervous (and excited) about.
"I remember rushing home from school every day and at 4:30 I was watching the [Batman] animated series," he said. "That Danny Elfman score was engrained in my DNA as a kid, so I fell in love with those specific interpretations of those characters. Kevin Conroy was my Batman and Mark Hamill was my Joker."
He actually turned down the job initially, but executives at Warner Bros. executives convinced him to reconsider. And he's glad he did.
"It's such an honor to be part of something you're going to geek out over later," he says.
We’re geeking out over it already, Troy. Batman: Arkham Origins hits store shelves on Oct. 25.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Mark Hamill
- Troy Baker