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A pop-culture touchstone, a nearly all-purpose metaphor and one of the most beloved sci-fi franchises of the Seventies and beyond, the Planet of the Apes films do what all good what-if fantasies should do: hold up a mirror to humanity and reflect our own conflicts, issues and failings back to us through a wildly outrageous premise. The original 1968 movie mixes satire, social commentary, action and suspense, capped by a first-rate twist at the end. ("Damn you, damn you all to hell!")

Subsequent sequels dealt with the arms race ( Beneath the Planet of the Apes ), animal cruelty ( Escape from the Planet of the Apes ) and race war ( Conquest of the Planet of the Apes ), while the movies were innovative in other ways: they advanced the art of film make-up, became one of the first film series to tell a single complete story over several installments, and (for better or worse) changed the way in which film-related products and merchandise were marketed. 

Above it all, however, they're great fun and, even at their weirdest, incredibly entertaining (well, maybe not Tim Burton's 2001 remake so much). The newly rebooted saga, which began with Rise of the Planet of the Apes  (2011) and continues this month with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes , has captured the spirit and thrill of the original films. The history of the series is a colorful one, and in honor of Dawn 's arrival, we've constructed a brief timeline of the Apes saga…with some key events from the movies' alternate future thrown in as well.

Jared Leto’s prison-tattooed version of the Joker made a big splash the other day — but a radically transformed Joker is nothing new. Batman’s most iconic foe has undergone many revamps, reimaginings, updates and interpretations over the past 75 years. Here’s the complete history of the ever-changing face of the Joker.

Although the character of Batman was introduced in Detective Comics #27 in 1939, he wouldn’t get his own self-titled comic until the year after — where Batman and Robin’s first story pitched them against a new foe: the maniacal Joker. Bob Kane’s iconic, clown-esque design was inspired by Conrad Veidt’s Gwynplaine in the 1928 silent movie The Man Who Laughs and Bill Finger, who co-created the character and wrote the comics, planned for the Joker to die in the first issue. The Joker was stabbed through the heart, but an editorial decision lead to a hastily added panel showing the character survived the attack.

The Joker went on to become a recurring villain, and soon the archenemy of Batman and Robin. In his earliest days, he was also a ruthless killer — many of his crimes involved killing people. But when Jack Schiff became Batman ’s editor, the Joker started softening, largely committing non-lethal crimes so that the comic could be marketed to children. The softening of the Joker would be fully completed in the mid 50’s with the introduction of the Comics Code Authority, banning gore and excessive violence in comic books. The Joker was no longer a killer but a thieving trickster, a much more camp and light-hearted villain to go up against the blunted, less brutal Batman.

Our  book, modestly entitled “BANG! – The Complete History of the Universe” is now available, and this site is intended to build a companion community for those interested in matters relating to the book.

We all, Patrick Moore, Chris Lintott and myself, plus the whole BANG! team, hope that the interactive nature of BangUniverse.com will stimulate constructive discussion of the astronomical topics raised in the book. In addition we will be open to suggestions to do with improvements that might be made to the site as time goes on. We will welcome constructive questions, suggestions and criticisms, and one of our first projects, as the site grows, will be to construct a Questions & Answers feature to enable quick answers to be found for the queries most often raised.

916 Shares Share On Facebook Tweet Share Email Share Share Pin It Share Comment Everyone knows who Batman is, and everyone knows who The Joker is; that is because the rivalry between The Joker and Batman is the most iconic supervillain/superhero match-up in comic book history. Interestingly, he is also the most feared supervillain within the DC Universe – other supervillains tell each other Joker stories around the proverbial campfire.

The Joker was ideated by Batman creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger ( who was only recently given the credit he deserves ), as well as artist Jerry Robinson in 1940, meaning he has been around practically just as long as The Dark Knight himself – over 75 years! Known for his unusual appearance, his outlandish crimes, and his unique relationship with Batman, The Joker is one of the most obscure characters in the DC Universe. His lack of a definitive origin story plagues even him.

The fact is, the Clown Prince of Crime has influenced the comic book industry and pop culture more than anyone realizes. And he is scheduled to make his debut in Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe next month with David Ayer’s Suicide Squad . So, now is the perfect time to brush up on The Complete History Of The Joker .

A pop-culture touchstone, a nearly all-purpose metaphor and one of the most beloved sci-fi franchises of the Seventies and beyond, the Planet of the Apes films do what all good what-if fantasies should do: hold up a mirror to humanity and reflect our own conflicts, issues and failings back to us through a wildly outrageous premise. The original 1968 movie mixes satire, social commentary, action and suspense, capped by a first-rate twist at the end. ("Damn you, damn you all to hell!")

Subsequent sequels dealt with the arms race ( Beneath the Planet of the Apes ), animal cruelty ( Escape from the Planet of the Apes ) and race war ( Conquest of the Planet of the Apes ), while the movies were innovative in other ways: they advanced the art of film make-up, became one of the first film series to tell a single complete story over several installments, and (for better or worse) changed the way in which film-related products and merchandise were marketed. 

Above it all, however, they're great fun and, even at their weirdest, incredibly entertaining (well, maybe not Tim Burton's 2001 remake so much). The newly rebooted saga, which began with Rise of the Planet of the Apes  (2011) and continues this month with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes , has captured the spirit and thrill of the original films. The history of the series is a colorful one, and in honor of Dawn 's arrival, we've constructed a brief timeline of the Apes saga…with some key events from the movies' alternate future thrown in as well.

Jared Leto’s prison-tattooed version of the Joker made a big splash the other day — but a radically transformed Joker is nothing new. Batman’s most iconic foe has undergone many revamps, reimaginings, updates and interpretations over the past 75 years. Here’s the complete history of the ever-changing face of the Joker.

Although the character of Batman was introduced in Detective Comics #27 in 1939, he wouldn’t get his own self-titled comic until the year after — where Batman and Robin’s first story pitched them against a new foe: the maniacal Joker. Bob Kane’s iconic, clown-esque design was inspired by Conrad Veidt’s Gwynplaine in the 1928 silent movie The Man Who Laughs and Bill Finger, who co-created the character and wrote the comics, planned for the Joker to die in the first issue. The Joker was stabbed through the heart, but an editorial decision lead to a hastily added panel showing the character survived the attack.

The Joker went on to become a recurring villain, and soon the archenemy of Batman and Robin. In his earliest days, he was also a ruthless killer — many of his crimes involved killing people. But when Jack Schiff became Batman ’s editor, the Joker started softening, largely committing non-lethal crimes so that the comic could be marketed to children. The softening of the Joker would be fully completed in the mid 50’s with the introduction of the Comics Code Authority, banning gore and excessive violence in comic books. The Joker was no longer a killer but a thieving trickster, a much more camp and light-hearted villain to go up against the blunted, less brutal Batman.

A pop-culture touchstone, a nearly all-purpose metaphor and one of the most beloved sci-fi franchises of the Seventies and beyond, the Planet of the Apes films do what all good what-if fantasies should do: hold up a mirror to humanity and reflect our own conflicts, issues and failings back to us through a wildly outrageous premise. The original 1968 movie mixes satire, social commentary, action and suspense, capped by a first-rate twist at the end. ("Damn you, damn you all to hell!")

Subsequent sequels dealt with the arms race ( Beneath the Planet of the Apes ), animal cruelty ( Escape from the Planet of the Apes ) and race war ( Conquest of the Planet of the Apes ), while the movies were innovative in other ways: they advanced the art of film make-up, became one of the first film series to tell a single complete story over several installments, and (for better or worse) changed the way in which film-related products and merchandise were marketed. 

Above it all, however, they're great fun and, even at their weirdest, incredibly entertaining (well, maybe not Tim Burton's 2001 remake so much). The newly rebooted saga, which began with Rise of the Planet of the Apes  (2011) and continues this month with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes , has captured the spirit and thrill of the original films. The history of the series is a colorful one, and in honor of Dawn 's arrival, we've constructed a brief timeline of the Apes saga…with some key events from the movies' alternate future thrown in as well.

A pop-culture touchstone, a nearly all-purpose metaphor and one of the most beloved sci-fi franchises of the Seventies and beyond, the Planet of the Apes films do what all good what-if fantasies should do: hold up a mirror to humanity and reflect our own conflicts, issues and failings back to us through a wildly outrageous premise. The original 1968 movie mixes satire, social commentary, action and suspense, capped by a first-rate twist at the end. ("Damn you, damn you all to hell!")

Subsequent sequels dealt with the arms race ( Beneath the Planet of the Apes ), animal cruelty ( Escape from the Planet of the Apes ) and race war ( Conquest of the Planet of the Apes ), while the movies were innovative in other ways: they advanced the art of film make-up, became one of the first film series to tell a single complete story over several installments, and (for better or worse) changed the way in which film-related products and merchandise were marketed. 

Above it all, however, they're great fun and, even at their weirdest, incredibly entertaining (well, maybe not Tim Burton's 2001 remake so much). The newly rebooted saga, which began with Rise of the Planet of the Apes  (2011) and continues this month with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes , has captured the spirit and thrill of the original films. The history of the series is a colorful one, and in honor of Dawn 's arrival, we've constructed a brief timeline of the Apes saga…with some key events from the movies' alternate future thrown in as well.

Jared Leto’s prison-tattooed version of the Joker made a big splash the other day — but a radically transformed Joker is nothing new. Batman’s most iconic foe has undergone many revamps, reimaginings, updates and interpretations over the past 75 years. Here’s the complete history of the ever-changing face of the Joker.

Although the character of Batman was introduced in Detective Comics #27 in 1939, he wouldn’t get his own self-titled comic until the year after — where Batman and Robin’s first story pitched them against a new foe: the maniacal Joker. Bob Kane’s iconic, clown-esque design was inspired by Conrad Veidt’s Gwynplaine in the 1928 silent movie The Man Who Laughs and Bill Finger, who co-created the character and wrote the comics, planned for the Joker to die in the first issue. The Joker was stabbed through the heart, but an editorial decision lead to a hastily added panel showing the character survived the attack.

The Joker went on to become a recurring villain, and soon the archenemy of Batman and Robin. In his earliest days, he was also a ruthless killer — many of his crimes involved killing people. But when Jack Schiff became Batman ’s editor, the Joker started softening, largely committing non-lethal crimes so that the comic could be marketed to children. The softening of the Joker would be fully completed in the mid 50’s with the introduction of the Comics Code Authority, banning gore and excessive violence in comic books. The Joker was no longer a killer but a thieving trickster, a much more camp and light-hearted villain to go up against the blunted, less brutal Batman.

Our  book, modestly entitled “BANG! – The Complete History of the Universe” is now available, and this site is intended to build a companion community for those interested in matters relating to the book.

We all, Patrick Moore, Chris Lintott and myself, plus the whole BANG! team, hope that the interactive nature of BangUniverse.com will stimulate constructive discussion of the astronomical topics raised in the book. In addition we will be open to suggestions to do with improvements that might be made to the site as time goes on. We will welcome constructive questions, suggestions and criticisms, and one of our first projects, as the site grows, will be to construct a Questions & Answers feature to enable quick answers to be found for the queries most often raised.



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