Ace in the hole: media panics, muted voices, and anxieties of consumption in the reception of ‘Joker’

By Ernest Mathijs

Excerpt:Ace in the Hole positions Joker as part of a media panic. And how could it not? Comic books, the Batman franchise, and jokers and clowns have traditionally led media to raise alarm over ‘villainy’ (and the Joker is one heck of a villain, in DC Universe’s ‘Year of the Villain’ that was 2019), connoted via such words as ‘freak’, ‘evil’, ‘deviancy’, and ‘harm’ as being at odds with normative culture. Amidst super-imposed references, a reference such as Ace in the Holeremains a contentious tag, a badge for the ‘knowing’ or a nudge from one viewer to another, but that recognition had to remain an almost unspoken moment in a solitary reception kept from view out of anxiety for revealing one’s instability, a bit like Taxi Driver, to drop another reference.” Read the full article here