Adam Markovitz
July 04, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

1940
Golden Age
In his first comic-book appearance (Batman #1), the Joker’s green hair, white face, and murderous appetite made him instantly iconic.

1966
Batman
For this camp-classic TV series, actor Cesar Romero refused to shave his trademark mustache. Makeup artists had to apply the face paint over it.

1973
Silver Age
For Batman #251, the longtime collaborating team of writer Denny O’Neil and artist Neal Adams reimagined the Joker as skeletal and seriously evil.

1986
The Dark Knight Returns #3
Frank Miller’s groundbreaking comic miniseries portrayed the villain as bulky, effeminate — and scarier than ever.

1989
Batman
In Tim Burton’s blockbuster film, prosthetics stretched Jack Nicholson’s famous grin, making his performance even more unnerving.

1992
Batman: The Animated Series
For this TV show, Luke Skywalker himself (Mark Hamill) provided the cackling voice. This Joker’s look recalled his early incarnations.

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