Ledger's Joker has become the go-to blueprint for every goddamn villain out there. And how so? (click for full column) http://goo.gl/OtuDji
  1. Everyone Is Doing A Wacky Goddamn Voice
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    Back in 1989, creating a perfect Joker was as simple as painting Jack Nicholson white and letting him whiskey-jackal that shit up. Heath Ledger had the disadvantage of not naturally sounding like a strangle monster -- and as a result gave The Joker a crazy-ass voice to compensate. It made sense for the specific character, but until that moment, creepy voices weren't exactly the style for actors playing super villains.
  2. There's A Grittiness Arms Race
    Despite the hearsay, there are quite literally no accounts or evidence that Heath Ledger was negatively affected by playing The Joker. The rumor came solely from the fans ... because it turns out that an actor's job is to act like something they are not. Only, somewhere in the translation the death of Heath Ledger got mixed into what made Dark Knight a hit, and "gritty" became "dark and depressing without exception."
  3. Every Bad Guy Is A (Motivationless) Terrorist Now
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    Unlike the films before and after it, The Dark Knight introduces the concept of an Adam West-style ticking bomb that actually goes off. Terrorists win! Cut to Batman V Superman, and Lex Luthor is (SPOILERS) blowing up Congress by hiding a bomb in an unknowing henchman's wheelchair. Sound slightly familiar?
  4. It's Not Enough To Just Kill The Good Guy; You Have To "Break His Spirit"
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    Bane has very little reason not to step on Batman's neck until he stops gravely wheezing, but instead drags him to some Middle Eastern chant dungeon so he can watch Gotham crumble on an '80s television set. Had they won, he and Talia would have presumably traveled back there to take a dump on his prison bed or something.
  5. Getting Caught Is Somehow Part Of The Master Plan
    Nobody expected The Joker to stay caught in the middle of The Dark Knight -- but by having him captured, the filmmakers give us an opportunity to see him up close and learn what his chaotic motivations are before he retakes the upper hand. It's a semi-original and effective means of exposition that worked exactly once, which didn't stop every fucking movie from doing it over and over again.
  6. Every Villain Is (Conveniently) Insane
    Here's a fucking question: What is up with Lex Luthor in Batman V Superman? Why is the iconic, cool-headed businessman transformed into a shaky-voiced lunatic peeing in jars while ranting about the paradoxical nature of man? In the end, his slap-shit babble plan is to make Superman and Batman fight while also releasing an uncontrollable ogre on the city for the fuck of it. That is objectively not the character of Lex Luthor; it's a level of nonsense quite conveniently close to The Joker.