After 19 Years, Mark Hamill Officially Retires from Voicing The Joker

Although Mark Hamill’s most meaningful contribution is arguably playing Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars Trilogy, the actor is also quite well-known for voicing many popular characters from various animated series and video games. One of those characters is the fictional supervillain and Batman’s nemesis, The Joker. The character was recently featured in Batman: Arkham City, the sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum.

Last year at the San Diego Comic-Con, the actor clearly stated that Arkham City would be his last performance as The Joker and Hamill kept his word and retired from his position after voicing the character for 19 years. “Hello/Goodbye Joker,” the actor stated. “I’ve enjoyed every minute behind the wheel of the Crown Prince’s crazy car–I’m going to miss him more than I can say!! He added.”

Although many fans of the actor are probably sad he’s finally retiring, his contribution is simply undeniable and he’s been a huge part of The Joker. Interestingly enough, a few months ago this is what Hamill posted on his Twitter account https://twitter.com/#!/HamillHimself/status/97902843834540033: “If I do 1 last performance as The Joker, hope it’s The Killing Joke!!!” Unfortunately, this actually never happened.

Batman: The Killing Joke is one of the most influential one-shot graphic novels ever released and is still considered a true masterpiece. Written by Alan Moore and drawn by Brian Bolland, The Killing Joke tells the story of The Joker as he escapes Arkham Asylum and tries driving one of Gotham City’s most distinguished citizens insane.

Source: GameSpot

Now, let’s just focus on the last two games:

Batman: Arkham Asylum is an action-adventure stealth game developed for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC by Rocksteady Studios and published by Eidos Interactive and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The title is played from a third-person perspective and it heavily focuses on combat, stealth, exploration and action. The game also allows players to use a bewildering array of weapons and gadgets like the grapple gun, batarang, explosive gel and so forth.

Something that quickly stands out about the game is the fact that most characters are voiced by actors from the DC Animated Universe and this definitely helps creating a sense of correlation. The game was critically acclaimed and it has been one of the most impressive and best video games based on a superhero. The title mixed various ideas in a really graceful way and it delivered one of the most concise stories in the Batman franchise.

Arkham Asylum was such an incredible success that a sequel was just a matter of time. Batman: Arkham City was released on October 18, 2011 and it features many elements proper of the open-world concept, expanding the adventure in some unimaginable ways. For obvious reasons, I won’t make reference to any plot details, but let me just say that the main story seems to be one of Arkham City’s strongest elements. As its predecessor, this game has also gained universal acclaim, mainly for living up to the expectations and for improving on its predecessor.

It is worth pointing out that voice acting was terrific in both games and Mark Hamill was definitely a huge part of it so his role will definitely be missed. Although Hamill’s replacement hasn’t been announced yet, whoever ends up being the voice of The Joker, will undoubtedly have some very big shoes to fill.