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Marvel Just Gave A Cosmic Hero The Same Origin as Jack Nicholson’s Joker



Beta Ray Bill is a hero with a past that’s as uplifting as it is sad, and now Marvel just gave him an eerily similar origin as Jack Nicholson’s Joker!

Warning! Spoilers for Beta Ray Bill #4!

Marvel’s Beta Ray Bill is a cosmically inclined, cybernetically enhanced, horse-looking hero who just so happens to be a good friend of the God of Thunder himself, Thor, and now he has an origin that befits Jack Nicholson’s Joker! Their origins may look similar now, but Bill’s has decidedly less laughing.

Touched on in the penultimate issue of the limited series Beta Ray Bill, written and drawn by Daniel Warren Johnson, Bill is on a quest to procure a new enchanted weapon called Twilight – the sword of a Fire God named Surtur – which is said to hold the power to transform Bill back into his humanoid Korbinite form at will. Setting out for the realm of Muspelheim, his trusty ship, Scuttlebutt, inexplicably develops a humanoid form, and as Bill and his team fight back against fire demons and a giant tentacle monster, Scuttlebutt begins to play back memories of her and Bill’s journey together – Jack Nicholson’s Joker-esque origin included.

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Related: How Jack Nicholson Secretly Made $90 Million For Playing Joker In Batman

Literally walking through memories of their shared experiences stemming from the afore mentioned tentacle monster taking over Scuttlebutt’s records room, Bill stumbles upon the exact moment when he was turned into the horse-like hero he is today. Stepping into the memory where Bill was “changed”, various Korbinite surgeons are gathered around Bill’s unconscious body as he’s poked, prodded, cut apart and sewn back together in order to make him into something better than his original self.

Beta Ray Bill smashes mirror

Moving on to another memory set shortly after his successful surgery that turned him into the cybernetic hero of his people, Bill – like Jack Nicholson’s Joker after getting his own surgery post-chemical bath – begins to unwrap the bandages on his face to reveal his new form. Finally pulling the last piece of gauze away, Bill is left looking at a face that he no longer recognizes, and as this realization grows, so too does Bill’s anger and sadness as he smashes the mirror in front of him to pieces; something the Joker also did after seeing his own twisted face in a mirror his terrified surgeon hands to him.

Devoid of the insane cackling the Joker employs after he realizes what he’s become, Bill’s reaction and the events surrounding this particular memory are eerily similar to what Jack Nicholson’s take on the Clown Prince of Crime experiences in 1989’s Batman. And to put a further point on this comparison, not only is Bill surrounded by literal darkness on all sides during this memory, but the Joker also ends his scene in darkness as he smashes the only light source in the dungy basement he finds himself in, laughing all the way back upstairs and into a world that has no idea what has just been unleashed.

So although Beta Ray Bill has come a long way as a hero of his people and the Marvel universe as a whole, his origin story is one that is way more similar to Jack Nicholson’s Joker than fans could have ever suspected. Luckily, Bill is a better guy than some random psychotic clown with a bat-fetish, so fans can actually feel for a hero that deserves their sympathy.

Next: Beta Ray Bill Has a Secret Skill Nobody Expects

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Benvenisti Eyal

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