"If the police expect to play against the Joker, they had best be prepared to be dealt from the bottom the the deck."
~ Batman (Issue #1), April 25, 1940
Although Batman doesn't have an official tartan of his own (despite his Scottish ancestry), one of his archenemies does - the Joker. Taken from the tartan trousers worn by Jack Nicholson as the Joker in the 1989 Batman film, this supervillain first appeared in the debut issue of the comic book Batman (April 25, 1940), published by DC Comics. Introduced as a psychopath with a warped, sadistic sense of humor (the victim of a slip into a vat of chemical waste), the character became a goofy prankster in the late 1950s in response to regulation by the Comics Code Authority, before returning to his darker roots during the early 1970s. The Joker possesses no superhuman abilities, instead using his expertise in chemical engineering to develop poisonous or lethal concoctions, and thematic weaponry, including razor-tipped playing cards, deadly joy buzzers, and acid-spraying lapel flowers. What a card!
For Batman Day, we can't leave out the most dangerous of Batman's arch enemies! The Joker has his own official tartan designed as a tribute for the first of the Batman film series by Warner Brothers, Batman (1989), directed by Tim Burton.
The film starred Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman, alongside Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough, and Jack Palance. In the film, Batman is widely believed to be an urban legend until he actively goes to war with a rising criminal mastermind known as "the Joker".
The purple and blue design for the tartan trousers worn by Jack Nicholson as the Joker was re-created from film stills by Andy Garringer and woven by House of Tartan in July 2008.
For a retrospective on the film and its legacy, click Joker and Batman.