The Joker is absolutely a compelling character. A psychopath with little regard for humanity, he makes an excellent foil for Batman. The ultimate test of the Dark Knight”s commitment to not killing bad guys. There was even a time the Joker may have had some redeemable qualities. Way back in the wacky, giant ACME-like contraption era of the Silver Age.
But that was then. Neil Gaiman has written a lovely bit in SECRET ORIGINS SPECIAL VOL 2 #1 where the Riddler laments how dark things have gotten.
And boy have they gotten dark. From THE KILLING JOKE to DEATH OF THE FAMILY, Joker has become one of the most terrifying villains in pop culture history. Yet he still has his fans. The people who think he has something in him worth admiring. They turn up without fail in stories about Batman to defend his anarchist, anti-establishment ways as respectable. A handful seem to want to BE the Joker when they grow up.
DC Entertainment has a message for those people: Stop it.