Wednesday, April 18, 2012

James Moriarty vs. The Joker

The showdown of , what I call, the two best negative or rather characters with a different view of what is 'right', in fictional work history. There might be many others but no single character caused so much mayhem into their ach-nemesis’s life such as these two. Moriarty is projected as the mastermind scheming criminal who is behind every wrong that takes place in Europe while still remaining behind the scene, whereas joker is projected as the mastermind psychopath with a twisted sense of humor and is dangerously unpredictable.

For those living under a rock and/or not a fan of either graphic novels (read comic books) or the works of Mr. Doyle’s, Professor James Moriarty is the arch-nemesis of Sherlock Holmes (go shoot yourself if you just asked Sherlock Holmes WHO?). The only villain Watson believes had holmes right up on his toes. Joker is considered batman’s arch-nemesis because he stands against the very idea of goodness.

Apart from there being a difference of 100 years in the birth of characters in the fictional worlds, they are indeed similar in some aspects. I have always believed that joker, what we know and believe him to be, is inspired from moriarty’s character. When I say inspired, I mean idea-wise. Moriarty was a mathematical genius and was offered mathematical chair at a university but resigned in the years to come because of his, as holmes put it, ‘strong criminal streak’. Although joker has a rather mythical birth story, the aftermaths of the character are modeled pretty much on the brilliant but twisted mind that he possesses. He is always shown as the exact opposite of what batman stands for. Batman was tested for his analytical skills time and again by penguin, riddler, scarecrow and others but none came close to making batman question his own belief. Joker has nothing to prove to anyone. He believes that if your belief can be molded, manipulated and changed; it stands for nothing. His ‘war’ is not against batman per se, but he wants to show Gotham city by defeating batman’s ideologies that they are not worth following.

On the other hand, moriarty is a genius that is just amused by the brilliance of holmes and is constantly taunting him by leaving enough clues, which he knows only sherlock can decipher. He once mentions that he does this for fun because he felt intrigued by sherlock's mind. Even though Sherlock has always referred to his elder brother as a more gifted observer than he is, moriarty has proved him wrong. Moriarty’s way of functioning is behind the curtain where he protects every criminal under him by charging them an amount of their ‘gain’. And since Sherlock has proved his brilliance by solving a number of cases, explains why he is so adamant about defeating him.

The similarity also steps up from the fact that these characters truly believe that whatever they are is because of their counterpart’s. Not to miss that Batman and Sherlock are , in all originality, detective's. But while Sherlock does it for fun to stimulate his mind, batman does it because he feels indebted to the city.

What makes these villain distinguished from others is the closeness they share with their yang’s. It’s never about the material gains for any of them. Joker wants batman to agree that his ‘misplaced sense of self - righteousness’ is meaningless while moriarty wants Sherlock to accept his defeat by asking him to jump to the valley on his own because he lost.

The writers of joker were, at best, planning to keep it a psycho prankster but the interpretation drawn by the directors/writers in the later years have given birth to the idea behind this post. While I sincerely believe that Sherlock is a more thought out, researched work; joker takes the cake as the best supervillian ever written.

For reference, I suggest watching ‘Sherlock’ on BBC (guy Ritchie version is CRAP) and any of the Batman movies or animated series featuring joker.

Do you agree or you have another character who you think beats these two to pulp?

Do share \m/oO\m/


  1. Phantom comes to my mind, riding his white stallion.... but a great comparative insight here.

  2. Have they put on the second season of it?? I watched all the episodes of the first season- would love to see more if they have done more.

  3. ^three episodes have come out in Season 2 ending with the Reisenbach Fall/Final Problem.

    You know what, Mr. Chatri, I feel that Moriarty kicks most villains asses including The Joker all the way to Sunday. Why? For the sole reason that he is on par with Holmes who I believe is THE MOST brilliant human being that ever existed.

    The Joker and Batman war physically, for material things, for control. But Moriarty and Sherlock war on an intellectual level, a plane high above us mortals.

    Now you know how much I wish Sherlock was real and what a big crush I have on Cummerbatch :P

  4. Joker and Moriarty both are so amazing!!! If they mix would be perfect to defeat Holmes and Batman muahahahaha, They're my favorite villains <3<3

  5. I think you should also put your views on GABBAR AND MOGAMBO too




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