Joker Smile

The Morning GIF: Joker's wild

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Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

Wake up, friend! Time to put on your game face! For some of us, that takes a little more work than for mundanes: M.A.C salespeople, movie stars, Cirque du Soleil performers, and supervillains.

The Joker is one of the most iconic villains in popular culture, thanks to a visage that makes Cthulhu look like Miss Ohio and a character that makes Albert Fish look like Cheer Bear. Originally merely clownish in appearance back in Batman #1, he has steadily become more gruesome with time, something with which even non-villains can sympathize. His character has varied from psychopathic killer to mere trickster/hood and back again with the swing in Zeitgeist to a darker rainbow of possibility.

Playing with his appearance, playing with lives, playing with the Batman, the Joker truly is one of the greatest threats, the nightmare made real.

This set of three GIFs by Daily Dot fave ABVH each articulate the Joker's essential character in their own ways: The top and bottom left images based on still images by famed illustrator Greg Capullo, and the third chittering monstrosity based on work by Patrick Gleason. Capullo's first publication was a comic book called Gore Shriek, and that essential understanding of the actual anatomy of horror (as HP Lovecraft expressed it) pervades his work to this day. Gleason's work owes more to classic comic book images, but his work is particularly marked by the subtlety of what he chooses to leave out, and this GIF is an outstanding example.

This GIF set has helped 666 people start their days with a (twisted) smile.