James’ Shamelessly Nostalgic A-Z Of Cartoon Characters That He Liked As A Child – Part 10: Joker

James Proclaims (6)

It’s day 10 of the A-Z challenge, which brings us up to the letter ‘J’, I had to resist my natural urges to go with a cartoon character called James. There is no shortage of them either, and I kind of did like a lot of them. Indeed, it would be remiss of me not to at least give some of them a nostalgic nod, so before we move on to the main focus of today’s post, let’s hear it for all of the cartoon Jameses out there. In no particular order, here are a few of the best:

James the Cat


James the Red Engine off of Thomas the Tank Engine (I’m not sure if stop-motion animation counts as a cartoon but it’s close enough for my purposes)


Jimbo  off of Jimbo and the Jet Set

Jimbo and the Jet Set 476px.jpg.opt476x249o0,0s476x249

Jimbo off of The Simpsons


Jamie off of Jamie and the Magic Torch


And, lest we forget, the inimitable James T Kirk off of Star Trek: the Animated Series.


The cartoon, which is the focus of today’s entry, also had a character called James, who was reasonably important – Commissioner James Gordon.


But there was another ‘J’ character who was a touch more memorable:


‘J’ is for Joker


I touched upon the high quality of superhero cartoons in the 1990s in yesterday’s post, but even by the high standards of the era, Batman: The Animated Series was particularly strong. Partially inspired by the Tim Burton movies that preceded it, Batman: The Animated Series was darker in tone that your average cartoon, and dealt with more complex themes and ideas. It was visually very stylish, noiresque and slightly offbeat – the animated Gotham City was a skewed, surreal reflection of reality, which served the narrative well. The stories, were for the most part, pretty well written, but it was the vocal talent that gave the show it’s edge over other animated shows. Listen to Kevin Conroy as Batman, and every other actor who has ever portrayed him just sounds wrong. However it’s the episodes which feature the Joker which really elevate the show above pretty much every other superhero cartoon, and the majority of live-action movies. Voiced by none-other than Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, the Joker is beyond superlatives. Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the villain is often seen as the definitive version of Batman’s arch-nemesis, Jack Nicholson’s performance has its advocates, and I’ve always had a soft spot for Cesar Romero’s incarnation in the sixties TV show. But though he only lends his voice to the character, Hamill’s performance has to be considered among the best. He’s just so unhinged and manic, and it’s never really clear why he does any of the things he does, which is, I suppose, the essence of the character.

Without Hamill’s performance as the Joker, Batman: The Animated Series would probably still be virtually peerless as animated series go,  but with it, the bar is raised considerably higher.

  13 comments for “James’ Shamelessly Nostalgic A-Z Of Cartoon Characters That He Liked As A Child – Part 10: Joker

  1. April 11, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    I see a certain similarity in your smiles!

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 11, 2018 at 8:59 pm

      It’s certainly true that no-one has ever seen us in the same room at the same time…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. April 11, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    I enjoyed the slightly darker flavor of Batman: The Animated Series and am/was deliciously creeped out by Joker.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 12, 2018 at 10:46 am

      I don’t think there’s anything’s ever quite managed to match it since.


  3. April 11, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    That was a review and a half! I can’t remember ever watching it but feel I have to now, you paint such a excellent picture. And as you predicted none of your Js were my cartoon crush. That accolade went to Jayce of the Wheeled Warriors 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 11, 2018 at 8:57 pm

      I knew it would be Jayce! It’s one I never saw but I’m not quite sure how I missed it cos it seems like one I really would have been into. But Batman was awesome, if admittedly made when I was a bit older and really not as cartoon focused as I had been in the 80s

      Liked by 1 person

  4. April 12, 2018 at 1:55 am

    Iceman in your prev.post was a new-to-me character never seen before. Batman (tAS) was a fave in our house, another one I watched with my boy (if I wasn’t in the kitchen cooking) and I loved his toy Batman car and figure too. We weren’t keen on the Joker. I don’t even remember noticing Mark Hamill’s voice in it. I was probably too entranced in the visual aspects. I was happy to see Jamie and the Magic Torch feature in your post, I’d already taken a fill of the intro for that cartoon found on youtube before I started reading down the page having broken away for a minute or two. LovelyJubbly, looking forward to your post for K 🙂 Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  5. April 12, 2018 at 3:04 am

    I’m really going to show my age when I name my favorite cartoon or cartoon character beginning with the letter “J”, but here goes: The Jetsons. I have a few more with the letter J, but they’re all just in the so-so category:
    Jiminy Cricket
    Johnny Bravo
    Melissa @
    Sugar Crime Scene


  6. April 12, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Mark Hamill CRUSHES the role of Joker. Have you ever seen him read it live at a convention? It’s practically Shakespearean…

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 12, 2018 at 11:02 am

      Just watched a few clips. Particularly enjoyed the Trump tweets as read by the Joker. Awesome stuff

      Liked by 1 person

  7. May 11, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    I would have liked Thomas train if we had been contemporaries so to speak. Tudor the Turtle

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 15, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      I’ve always admired your work Tudor


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