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Why you’ll flip over the new roller coaster at Six Flags, The Joker

The supervillains will have Batman surrounded at Six Flags Over Texas this season when The Joker joins the nearby Mr. Freeze and Riddler attractions as the theme park’s 13th roller coaster.

The maniacal free-fly coaster will start playing its tricks on riders Saturday, but the Star-Telegram got a sneak peek Tuesday during the park’s grand opening event for the ride.

“Any day a new roller coaster opens in Texas is a phenomenal day,” said Tim Baldwin, communications director for American Coaster Enthusiasts, the world’s largest organization for coaster fans.

Magnetic fins placed along the track cause each car to flip six times throughout the ride, which lasts roughly a minute, with the weight distribution in each car determining which way it flips. And they are really “cars” in name only, as both riders’ arms and legs dangle outside, creating a somewhat different ride each time The Jokers’ victims step aboard.

So if you’re brave enough to face off with The Joker this season, make sure your valuables are tightly secured.

“This is the newest innovation to coasters right now,” Baldwin said. “As you’re zipping along you can’t tell which way you’re going to flip, and it really amps up the fear factor because you can’t predict what’s going to happen.”

The mayhem begins after an ascent of 120 feet, with downtown Fort Worth visible over one shoulder and downtown Dallas over the other. Though the line looks fraught with bumps and jerks from the outside, it might be the smoothest ride at the park.

The park used a small corner of real estate closest to Copeland Road, in the northeast corner of the park, while construction on the Texas 360 and Interstate 30 interchange takes center stage just outside, electing not to replace an existing ride with The Joker.

“I don’t think you can simply call this ride ‘fun,’ ” said Six Flags Over Texas President Steve Martindale. “I think you’d have to call it ‘crazy fun.’ 

Matthew Martinez: 817-233-7314; @MCTinez817

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