New 52 Joker Costume Tutorial

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Every now and then, the planets align and make it possible to create a really cool costume with ease.  Such is the case with the new 52 Joker.  If you didn’t already know, DC Comics rebooted all of its comic book properties in 2011.  In the process of doing so, they redesigned Batman’s arch nemesis, the Joker.  I won’t go too deep into spoiler territory, but suffice it to say, he’s not exactly a kinder, gentler Joker.  Quite the contrary.  This may be the craziest, most violent Joker we’ve seen to date.  He even goes so far as to skin his own face and then decide to wear it as a mask!  Now he looks like this:

The_Joker_-_New_52

Interested in making this costume?  Well, follow along and connect the dots and you too can end up with a killer New 52 Joker outfit!  I’m going to list a bunch of Amazon links simply because it’s convenient and most readers can make purchases there.  Always consider your local sources, though, before resorting to online vendors.

 

THE FACE:

First up is the mask.  Fortunately, DC Comics has released a gift set that includes volume one of Batman: Death of the Family and a New 52 Joker mask, made by Rubies.  As of this writing, Amazon has it here: http://www.amazon.com/Batman-Death-Family-Book-Joker/dp/1401249272/ .

Rubies gets a lot of flak due to their status as a manufacturer of cheap Halloween costumes, and much of it’s deserved, but on occasion, they make something really cool.  Unfortunately, this is not one of those occasions.  While this mask is perfectly acceptable as a base, it’s also the epitome of cheap.

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The sculpt is well done but the paint is just awful.  The colors aren’t bad.  It’s the slop everywhere that gets me down.  Still, I see no need to repaint it.  The “wig” is another thing entirely.  It’s more like a hair flap than a wig.  It just lays over the back of your head.  My suggestion is to cut the white face off and use it as the base for your own mask.  You could also cut out the mouth if you want to do makeup effects on your own face underneath the “skin” mask.  That’s up to you.  Me, I’ll stick with the grin as-is.

joker_mask_trimmed

The sides of the face have portions of a leather strap molded into it.  Take an old, brown belt and cut it so the buckle is at the back of your head, a la Jason Voorhees.  You can then use some Amazing Goop or rubber cement to attach the belt to the mask.  After it’s dry, dress it up with some stitches or wire so it looks like the Joker sewed the leather to the skin.

You’ll need to add some red makeup to your eyes and the edges of your own forehead and neck so it looks like the skin was pulled away there, but that’s very easy.  Also add some white makeup to your neck and ears.

I usually recommend Aquacolor makeup, but for this, a clown white like Mehron’s would work best: http://www.amazon.com/Mehron-Clown-White-Makeup/dp/B00429O3EY/.

Don’t forget to powder the white makeup to set it.  Use Mehron Colorset powder: http://www.amazon.com/135-ounce-Mehron-ColorSet-Powder/dp/B00BCOLYVM/.

You’ll also need to replace the mask’s green hair.  Hair spray is your best bet.  I recommend Jerome Russell’s B WILD color spray: http://www.amazon.com/jerome-russell-Color-Spray-Jaguar/dp/B0031QDHIW/.

 

THE COSTUME:

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This incarnation of the Joker is less of a fashion plate than the other versions.  In fact, you can make a very good replica of this costume without breaking the bank.  The base of the outfit is a blue, short-sleeved worksuit.

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This one from Dickies is great: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005FQNL8M/ .

Another good source is Automotive Work Wear.

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You’ll need to add a name tag to the front that reads “JOE”.  Check Ebay for those.  Seriously, they have plenty with that name already added.  All you have to do is iron it on.

You’ll also need to add the words “JOE’S GARAGE” to the back.  You can do that with iron-on letters like these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00275YACK/.

joker_toolbelt

Now, you’ll need a tool belt and some fake tools.  Here are a few suggestions.  Your local Halloween store probably has even more.

Tool belt: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GATFH8/

Hammer: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0093SZZMS/

Wrench: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0093SZYHE/

Pliers: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001DBZUTQ/

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CAUTION: Do NOT use real tools for your costume.  Not only are they dangerous, but brandishing a real hammer in public could land you in jail.  You’ve been warned.

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But what about your hands and arms?  You can cover your arms with makeup, but that’s kind of a pain.  I prefer using compression sleeves like these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KHO2QW4/.

joker_gloves

For your hands, you just need some large, leather work gloves like these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0084CRP1I/.

batman&joker

Last but not least, wear some brown lug-sole shoes with white socks.  The beauty of a comics-based costume is that no real brands are represented.  Just get something similar.

Now, just weather the Gotham out of everything and you’ll have a kick-ass Joker.  Oh, and you might want to brush up on that Mark Hamill laugh while you’re at it.

Above all, have fun, scare some kids, and avoid Batman.  Happy Halloween!

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