In the recent Joker/Daffy Duck comic (Side Note: The latest batch of DC/WB crossovers are neither especially good or especially bad), there's a scene in which the Joker kills the patrons of a comedy club and has his gang take their stuff (Another Side Note: Who in the Blue Hell would go to a comedy club in Gotham City? That's just asking for trouble!), and this scene inspired in me a sudden realization.

Now, I'll say up front that I'm sure I'm not the first person to have this realization (or the tenth, or the hundredth, or the thousandth...), it's just something that I never really thought about all that much before.

Anyway, the great realization was this:  

There's no (expletive gerund omitted) way that someone wouldn't have killed the Joker by now.  Victim's grieving relative, vigilante, fed-up cop, "accident in the cells", a villain who's sick of the Joker's crap - someone would have wasted him by now.   I can no longer sustain my suspension of disbelief as regards this character.


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I've always read it "Girrick" as well. I didn't realize they said it that way in the X-Men movie. I have to say, I'm not changing the way I say it.

Actually, come to think of it, I haven't seen old Gyrich in a long time. Has he been replaced by Agent Coulsen in the Marvel comics now?

The Baron said:

I always pronounced "Gyrich" as "Girrick", but I just saw an excerpt from an X-Men picture, and they pronounced  it "Guy Rich", and maybe that's the way it's supposed to pronounced, but it still sounds wrong to me.

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Richard Willis said:

Steve Ditko's Mr. A let a criminal fall off a building and later let some others drown. The second one way have been The Question, or both characters. He didn't kill them, he just didn't save them when he presumably could. The Azrael Batman let a serial killer fall into, IIRC, a fiery cauldron of something or other. Same thing. Both were considered very edgy, even though they didn't actually (hands-on) kill the criminals. I think it can be justifiably stated that saving the Joker equals being guilty of all his future murders, just so Bruce Wayne can feel blameless. 

The list of words I've been mis-pronouncing (according to modern TV and movies based on comics) is long and embarrassing. I did get Guy-Rich right, but it's probably the only one. My pronunciation track record is abysmal.

I'm guessing Gyrich is gone from the comics these days for a couple of reasons.

One, all the people responsible for his creation and use are no longer working at Marvel. (Primarly John Byrne.) Today's creators are using their own creations to fill whatever plot niche Gyrich once filled.

Two, I don't think his plot niche is particularly valid any more. The "arrogant government bureaucrat" has been superseded by the "evil government black-ops organization." The whole era that burped up Gyrich is gone, replaced by the circus we have now.

I'm not even going to tell you guys how I mispronounced the names of some super-heroes when I was a kid, except that I was a Sub-Mar-EE-ner guy!

As for Gyrich, a friend in high school said it as one syllable as "Grinch" without the "n". And in my mind even today, that's how I pronounce it.

I was a Sub-ma-REE-ner guy until the early '70s, when we read "The Ancient Mariner" in junior high. Shame-faced, I corrected my pronunciation, but at least I did correct it.

Not so with Mag-NEAT-o. I mispronounced that as Mag-NET-o until the first X-Men cartoon I saw, which would have been probably the 1990s. I am more ashamed than usual.

And I came out of Wonder Woman with about five or six corrections. I am too embarrassed to list them.

I remember they said Hippolyta differently than I pronounce it in my head. I can't remember how exactly they pronounced it, but I still think my way (Hip-PAUL-it-uh) sounds better, so I'm sticking with it.

Didn't they say in either John Byrne's Wonder Woman or JSA that she was nick-named "Polly"? That's where I came up with my pronunciation.

Captain Comics said:

And I came out of Wonder Woman with about five or six corrections. I am too embarrassed to list them.

In Ken Burns's documentary on Lewis and Clark, they pronounce Sacagawea as "suh-KAH-ga-WEE-uh", and I've pronounced it that way in the classroom and out ever since. People look at me weird, but I can't undo it. To me, it's as if I continued to pronounce "corps" as "corpse", knowing the proper way to say it. (Incidentally, the name of the Burns doc is The Corps of Discovery.)

I guess I'm more concerned with historical and English accuracy than I am with the names of fictional characters that mostly play out in my head; that's the only way I can explain my inconsistency.

"One of the basic problems of most super-hero universes is that If super-humans had started appearing in number around, say, 1938, then by 2018 society would be unrecognizable. Because most super-hero continuities tend to mirror our "real" world, they can't accurately reflect the way that the confirmed existence of aliens, magic, super-science and mythical beings would change the way people live. Superman by his mere existence would disrupt the world order."

As Kurt Busiek said in the first Astro City TPB, it's a trade-off. Part of the charm of superhero comics is imagining them taking place in a world just like ours. It's unrealistic, but it's more fun than a realistic world that looked completely different would be.

I think the Batman should be skeptical about magic unless he knows the person (Boston Brand, Zatanna, Phantom Stranger). There's no shortage of fake supernatural supervillains and phony magic scams (check out Dr. Thirteen when he's doing a solo story). Possibly more than in our world as the active supernatural presence might make people more gullible. But things like the B&B story where he declared a ghost couldn't come back to get revenge ... he knows better!

I'm pretty sure everyone mispronounced SubMariner. I certainly did.

While I agree 100 percent about the Joker not having been whacked, I'm not bothered by his implausible physical skills. "Ordinary person" in comics doesn't seem to mean the same thing it does in our world. Batman and Robin would be both be suffering from the hundreds of concussions they've received over the years (much like all the tough gumshoes on Earth-Hardboiled).

 I should add that much as I agree about the Joker getting killed that doesn't bother me as much as just how badly he's written. As if the writers think anything less than Hannibal Lector on Venom wouldn't be a good villain, or Scott Snyder's conviction the Joker somehow knows Batman deep inside (I skip over all the Joker's deep insights into the Caped Crusader). Heck "War of Jokes and Riddles" even made the Riddler into a stone-cold killer.

Well, that's why I skim the current stuff in the library and buy the Golden Age omnibuses.

The 1980s Spider-Man cartoon (Spider-Man & Friends?) added an extra syllable to J. Jonah Jameson's last name (like the whiskey). I go with the 1968 filmation pronunciation.

This one always seemed a no-brainer to me. "Jame-uh-son" is the way I always thought of it. I think I may have encountered the name before I read Spider-Man. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

The 1980s Spider-Man cartoon (Spider-Man & Friends?) added an extra syllable to J. Jonah Jameson's last name (like the whiskey). I go with the 1968 filmation pronunciation.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

The 1980s Spider-Man cartoon (Spider-Man & Friends?) added an extra syllable to J. Jonah Jameson's last name (like the whiskey). I go with the 1968 filmation pronunciation.

As do I.  the "Jam-uh-son" pronunciation just doesn't sound right to me.

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