The Clown Prince of Crime
Real NameUnknown (possibly Jack)
AliasThe Joker
Red Hood
Mr. Genesius
Mr. J
Johnny Jape
Height6' 1"
Weight192 lbs
AbilitiesSuperior Class of Intellect
Highly Skilled Chemist
Master of Disguise
High Tolerance for Pain
Team AffiliationsInjustice Gang
Injustice League
Secret Society of Super Villains
Base of OperationsGotham City

The Joker is a fictional character from the Batman universe. He is considered to be Batman's greatest enemy and has earned the reputation of a sadistic psychopath focused on inflicting worldwide insanity and chaos. He made his debut in Batman #1 and was created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson.


[edit] Overview

Infamously known as The Clown Prince of Crime, The Joker is Batman's deadliest and most unpredictable foe. He has had many origin stories, yet his identity remains enigmatic. One of the most most popular origin tales depicts him as a failed stand-up comedian who falls into an enormous vat of chemical waste, bleaching his skin white, his hair green and his lips crimson. Renowned for his unique obsession with Batman, he is also well-known for his sense of mileage from their constant struggle of 'Comedy versus Tragedy', even declining on chances to kill Batman. This has even been interpreted in some novels to be an almost homo-erotic nature with The Joker's fixation on Batman questionable. Their uncanny relationship has often been referred to as two sides of the same coin. He is certifiably insane, even expressing a form of uber-insanity, making his psychological state somewhat a subject of analysis which continues to be explored deeper and deeper.

The Joker has appeared in almost any form of Batman-related media outside of the comics. Including animation such as Batman: The Animated Series and The Batman. Also in film, Jack Nicholson provided his incarnation as a benign, goofy trickster Joker in Tim Burton's Batman(1989) and more recently in The Dark Knight(2008) where Heath Ledger's portrayal famously re-captured The Joker's darker tones from his first two appearances in the comics, this is seen as such an iconic performance that it is currently the subject of speculation for an Oscar.

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[edit] History

[edit] Background

There are several accounts which relate to The Joker's true origins, some providing to be more resourceful than others, yet none have ever confirmed his definitive creation and his background has never been truly established. The Joker's real name and identity hasn't been uncovered either. As Batman's deadliest enemy, he still remains a mystery and with his own multiple-version stories on what happened, the Joker's past life as a normal Gotham citizen seems like a myth that he himself has created. In his words from Batman: The Killing Joke “Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another… if I’m going to have a past I prefer it to be multiple choice!”, this theory of The Joker’s self-created origins was also capitalized on in Christopher Nolan’s Batman film The Dark Knight. Ledger’s Joker tells two different chilling accounts of his origin, yet both linking to the idea of a Glasgow Smile caused by family orientated problems.

Detective Comics #168

The first documented origin leads back to Detective Comics #168 (February 1951), where The Joker was once an average criminal infamously known as The Red Hood. He began as just a chemist looking to steal from his own company of which employed him, he then took on the alias of The Red Hood to avoid detection. However while attempting this crime, Batman intervened and defeated him. This resulted in The Red Hood’s stumble into a vat of chemical toxins and after his emerge from the waste, he discovered his skin to be bleached white, his lips turned red, striking green hair, and a wide grin.

Another origin tale depicts The Joker's former life as a ruthless gangster in Paul Dini (Of Batman: The Animated Series fame) and Alex Ross's “Case-Study”. This interpretation also combined the Red Hood story as the murderous gangster continued to climb the criminal ladder of Gotham, eventually taking on the persona of The Red Hood and leading his first meeting with Batman. This lead to The Joker's disfigured face in a battle with Batman, however did not turn him totally insane. It is believed that The Joker deliberately committed crimes to look like the work of a sociopath madman in order to seek revenge on Batman for causing him such monstrosities. This story is also supported by another related account in "Pushback" of (Batman: Gotham Knights # 50-55). In which, a young Edward Nigma is the witness of an incident which turns out to be the death of The Joker’s wife. Criminals had kidnapped her to force an engineer called Jack to perform a crime. This Jack is a pre-accident Joker, as the crime leads to his wide-grinned creation.

[edit] Batman: The Killing Joke

The Joker's Creation

The most commonly used and largely relative back-story, is in Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke. In this story, The Joker’s origin is explored through flashbacks of a reminiscent nature. He quits his job as a lab assistant at Ace Chemical, to pursue a career in stand-up as his main passion is comedy. And with a pregnant wife to support, he aids two criminals in their goals to break into the very same chemical plant. The two criminals provide pre-Joker with a Red Hood, this alias is given to the inside man for each job the two criminals proceed with, thus creating a false sense of importance for anyone who is unlucky enough to wear the mantle of The Red Hood. And so, making The Red Hood appear as the kingpin of the operation, gives the two criminals leverage for making a quick escape if things turn sour. However, things don’t go according to plan as the police contact the newly-placed Red Hood to tell him that his wife has just died in a tragic accident.

Devastated by the sudden catastrophe, The Red Hood decides to leave the operation against the criminals wishes. However, the two criminals hold him to his promise and force him to proceed. Upon entering the chemical factory, they are surrounded by security, causing a shootout as they try to escape. The two criminals are killed, although the Red Hood still tries to evade the onslaught of bullets. Resulting in a confrontation with Batman. Struck with fear, the former-engineer dives into a tank of chemical waste. He is washed out into a close reservoir, and upon removing the Red Hood he discovers his bleached-white skin, crimson-red lips and tinted green hair. The result culminates into a frenzy of laughter as the turn out amalgamates with previous disasters earlier that day. It drives him completely insane, and as epitomised in the novel, utterly psychopathic with a unique psychoses pushing him beyond help.

[edit] Criminal Biography

Batman #1, Birth of a Psychopath

From his debut in Batman #1 The Ace of Knaves has taken on the mantle of a mass-murdering serial killer to a harmless laughing idiot, both interpretations are strongly contrasted. Yet he has always symbolized his signatures and appearances from the idea of a Joker card. He has also become something of an enigma as he has avoided death on more than one occasion, even when the catastrophe is so extreme, he has managed to escape at either the last minute, or his body hasn't been found. Either way, The Joker has a habit of constantly returning to sneak up once again on his greatest obsession, Batman. The Joker has a history of causing horrific and inexcusable crimes, to an extent that he has been responsible for numerous catastrophes in Batman’s life. He has inflicted both annoyingly pointless and unethically brutal crimes, of which each have reason for. This leads to speculation as to whether The Joker commits unpredictably random evil or crime that makes sense to him alone. The Joker has also been prone to make his crimes more personal than that of, say, Mr Freeze or The Penguin, often taking his villainy to extremes. For instance, in The Killing Joke, The Joker kidnapped Commissioner Gordon and tortured him with pictures of his naked daughter, all to prove a point that he can make anyone mad. He has no principles, or moral backbone, he infamously murdered an entire nursery of children, gaining pleasure from the sick torment he inflicted on his victims, especially if it its to provoke a certain Bat.

[edit] The Joker's Five Way Revenge!

Batman #251, Rebirth of a Psychopath

In this revisionist issue published in September 1973, The Joker returned to his dark, murderous roots as a mass-murdering serial killer thanks to writer Denny O'Neil. Rather than squirt liquid at public property or deface Wayne Manor and make a get away in the Jokermobile, he is involved in random killings and delves more into The Joker's past homicidal maniac tendencies. Following the betrayal from his own henchmen of ratting him out to Batman, Joker ruthlessly hunts down members of his former gang of goons leading to his own arrest. However, whilst escaping from a mental institute (Arkham Asylum wasn't established then) The Joker kills his old henchmen individually. The Caped Crsuader pursues his greatest foe for this manipulative crime, and finally reaches the villain at an abandoned seaside aquarium. Batman manages to save the last remaining henchman just as The Joker throws him into a tank of water home to a ravenous shark. Batman chases down The Joker on an oil-slicked beach, eventually pummelling him into submission and delivering him to justice. This incarnation inspired Tim Burton's Batman and was crucially developed on in Batman: The Animated Series. This revision also heavily effected the way The Joker was portrayed in later issues to come.

[edit] Batman: The Man Who Laughs

Following on from the Year One storyline and based on Batman #1, this one-shot graphic novel revisited Batman's first documented encounter with The Joker. The title references the 1928 film The Man Who Laughs in which the star Conrad Veidt inspired the original creation of The Joker. The novel was also great inspiration for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight in which also features the first appearence of The Joker. The tale starts with James Gordon and his battalion of GCPD officers inside a vast building which is currently the resting place of countless massacred bodies. Batman makes his shadowed entrance, apparently being first on the scene, he discusses with Gordon about the origins of such a sadistic disaster. Attending a social get-together Bruce Wayne overhears a news broadcast which reports the re-opening of Arkham Asylum. Until suddenly, the news reporter begins to break out into uncontrollable laughter. A rictus smile forms aggressively on her face before she mysteriously dies, a fate seemingly similar to the corpses in the investigated building. A peculiar figure appears onto camera (The yet untitled Joker) and threatens that he will murder millionaire Henry Cladridge as soon as midnight.

The Joker's First Public Appearence

Hearing the announcement, Bruce suits up in cape and cowl and meets with Gordon at the infamous, Arkham Aslyum. Batman continues through the building of ordered insanity, making his way down its hallway's filled with twisted psychopaths until, significantly spotting a criminal's scribble on the wall of a cell. It states "One by One, they'll hear my call. Then this wicked town, will follow my fall". The sinister scribbles become apparent as the work of a madman (The Joker). Meanwhile, police secure Henry Cladridge in his house, however the efforts to protect him are futile as Cladridge dies with the same laughing and smiling symptoms of the last victim. After attempting to save the millionaire, Batman realises that he is too late.

Day's pass and The Joker continues to wreak his chaotic mayhem, plunging Gotham into fear over the terrorism as he unleashes inmates from Gotham Medical Center. This provokes Batman and during a fight with one of the escaped lunatics he unveils his presence to some Gotham citizens for the first time. Trying to stop the catastrophe, Batman only defeats a few of the inmates. And with The Joker and the remaining madmen loose, Batman descends to the Bat-cave, baffled by the enigmatic chaotic force that is the new rising criminal, The Joker as the media have branded him for his twisted and macabre ways. Once again, The Joker announces that he will end the life of another millionaire, Jay W Wilde on live television which, in turn leads to The Joker's brief capture at the hands of Batman and Gordon who set-up the loose cannon criminal. The Ace of Knaves manages to evade Batman and Gordon's control again however... After trying to do some research on his greatest and deadliest enemy yet, Bruce discovers the chemical bleaching origins of his foe. Yet after another terrorist announcement from The Joker, Bruce Wayne finds himself falling victim to The Clown Prince of Crime's laughing joker-poision. Eventually culminating at Gotham's reservoir to the water supply of the city, Batman faces The Joker. After a brief battle for Gotham's safety, Batman prevents The Joker from poisoning the city and after defeating his arch-enemy, Batman imprisons The Joker in the newly re-furbished Arkham Asylum. After the entire terrorism of the sinister foe has been settled, Gordon then reveals atop GCPD headquarters the new Bat-Signal, signalling an offical partnership between the two crimefighters.

[edit] Batman: A Death in the Family

As arguably one of the most controversial comic book graphic novels ever, DC Comics awarded fans with an opportunity to vote to determine the fate of the story's outcome. However, this chance for voting marked as a landmark in comic book history, the choice of whether or not the second Robin Jason Todd should be killed off or live. With the only premise that once he was dead, he would remain dead. Rarely had this ever been done before, and to such a famous character to die in full presentation never to come back. Recently fans had expressed disappointment over the almost child-friendly nature of the Jason Todd related stories. Fans cried out that he was just a shadow, a pale imitation of the true Boy Wonder of earlier comics. And there was the fact that a vast majority of fans preferred Batman to fight crime, alone. And with that, a narrow majority of the vote decided that it was time for the poorly recieved Robin to die. Whilst The Joker has been responsible for countless deaths, it is the first time in Batman history that Batman actually considers killing his Arch-nemesis. Stating "his insanity always got him a stay of execution. But no more. Jason's dead".

The entire story builds up with an almost sadistic pleasure in the knowledge of the charcater's death. After having an arguement with Batman over their sour-turned relationship of late, Robin discovers clues about his real mother (It was long believed that he was an orphan but as it apparently turns out, his deceased parents only fostered him). Batman aids him in his quest, only to find that Jason's own Mother, Sheila, is a small good-intentioned pawn in an evil plot contrived by Batman’s ever-escellating archenemy, The Joker. After blackmailing Sheila for the exchange of her son for her history of illegal experiments, the infamous villain then captures Robin.
Death In The Family
Jason is then painfully beaten to a pulp by the Joker and then battered with a crowbar for good measure. Lying in his own pool of blood, Jason stays still unconscious, his imminent doom approaching. The Joker flippantly remarks the situation as "a bit messy". Slowly recovering from the brutal torture, Jason finally reunites with his Mum Sheila. As emotional as the situation becomes, a bomb is left by the Joker. As both mother and son gaze into eachothers eyes, the bomb goes off.

Unlike the blood-thirsty fans, Batman is heartbroken as he reaches the scene of the explosion. Placing his enemy at the last straw he vows revenge on Robin’s killer, but, the Joker has immunity. Recently after escaping Arkham Aslyum, he had gone into politics, and gained elected office. Now rich and powerful, he can protect himself. And The Joker employs none other than Superman to protect him. Bruce attends a general assembly where The Joker is giving a speech at. Bruce passes The Harlequin of Hate and the two swap meaningful glances of spite. As their eyes contact with eachother, The Joker pauses as if he's calculated Batman's identity, however the thought is quickly withdrawn when he lets out a cackling laugh and leaves. Eventually, The Joker loses control and Superman helps Batman to dispose of the villain. Escaping into a helicopter, The Joker and Batman do battle and after an intense fight, The Joker disappears into the sea. His body isn't found, so whilst his greatest enemy won, Batman claims that everything that happened between him and The Joker this time, stays unresolved, for now.

[edit] No Man's Land

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[edit] Skills and Abilities

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[edit] Psychological State

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[edit] Harley Quinn

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[edit] Weapons & Equipment

Joker guns from Batman(1989).

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[edit] Appearences In Other Media

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[edit] Film

"Psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy" - Ledger On The Joker

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[edit] Television

Mark Hamill's Joker, Batman: The Animated Series

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[edit] Video Games

(In Progress By Maxwell Atoms)

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Last edited by on 9 October 2017 at 13:34
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