I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)

Which is the best Joker? Is it Jack Nicholson in Batman? Is it Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight? No. It's probably Mark Hamill in Batman: The Animated Series. A year ago, I finally sat down to watch Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, a fine film that features many of the voice actors from the Batman cartoon. In just over a month, the video game Batman: Arkham City will be released, featuring Mark Hamill's last performance as the Joker.

Mark Hamill did the voice of Joker here and there from 1992 until 2011, nearly twenty years of the finest voice acting in the industry. Sure, the last few years have seen some fantastic voice acting, especially that of the multi-talented Neil Patrick Harris, but is Harris good enough to take the mantle of the Joker? No. He's more oriented toward heroes with a light-hearted sense of humor. Nicholson hasn't played the role of Joker since 1989 and Heath Ledger is now dead. With Hamill's reign ending, who's next?

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