In a story that keeps getting stranger and stranger, when 24-year-old gunman James Holmes was arrested for the brutal shootings at the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, he referred to himself as 'The Joker' when speaking to police, according to NBC News.

The Joker, of course, is one of the main villains that The Batman has battled for over 70 years. According to police, Holmes was covered in a helmet, a gas mask, a tactical vest, and more when he opened fire at the Century 16 movie theatre, which killed 12 and injured 59 other people. Police also say that Holmes' hair had been dyed red or orange. While this differs from the green-haired villain in the Batman comics, it will no doubt spark speculation that the The Dark Knight Rises itself was partially to 'blame' for his actions, however erroneous that statement may be.

This is not the first time comic books have sparked controversy. In 1954, a book called Seduction of the Innocent was published, which claimed that comic books were one of the serious causes of juvenile delinquency and called into question many of the moral and ethical dilemmas in comic books, as well as the violence that took place inside the pages. The publication of this book, written by psychiatrist Frederic Wartham, sparked a US Congressional inquiry into the comic book industry.

Since that time, the book, which came out 15 years after the first publication of Batman, has been much maligned in terms of content and the ideas that it suggested. Yet other groups and organizations, such as the Parents Television Council have tried hard to censor what certain people can and cannot see. One can only assume that Holmes' desire to be called 'The Joker' will lead to some backlash on the comic-book industry but it remains to be seen just how much blame will be put on the shoulders of The Dark Knight.

Christopher Nolan, the director of the latest Batman Trilogy, expressed 'profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community.'

Holmes was taken into custody without incident in the parking lot of the theater, yet he refused to answer investigator's questions.


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