The JokerBack to Villains Main > The Joker
Real Identity: Unknown
Appearances (Movies): Batman: The Killing Joke
Powers/Skills: Knowledge of Biochemistry, Knowledge of Engineering, Planning, and Armed Combat
Voiced By: Mark Hamill
The Joker is the self titled Clown Prince of Crime and uses his criminal genius to plot elaborate capers. He masks his deadly weapons as innocent looking props such as playing cards, joy buzzers, and his lapel flower. In a version of his past, the Joker was an ordinary man who quit his position as lab assistant at the Ace Chemical Plant because his heart wasn't in it and the place creeped him out. He wanted to make people laugh and feel good so tried to make it as a comedian while supporting his pregnant wife Jeannie. When she was around six months pregnant, he came home after failing another gig and blowing a punchline. He took out his frustration on her after she replied with an "Oh." He fell to his knees and apologized to Jeannie. Jeannie reassured him and revealed Mrs. Berkis was letting them slide on the rent for another three months. He recalled she hated him and scowled at him everytime he walked through the hallway. He wanted enough money to move her to a nice, decent neighborhood. Jeannie told him to stop worrying about them. She loved him, job or no job.
He didn't stop worrying. Driven by the need to prove himself, he agreed to work with the Red Hood Mob on a job. They wanted his knowledge of the Ace Chemical Plant's layout to aid in their robbery of Monarch Playing Cards next door. The mobsters gave him a peek at the Red Hood costume. He immediately realized who they were. They reassured him he would not be connected to the crime and it was set to happen on Friday night at 11. He met with them one more time on Friday. He felt bad about lying to Jeannie about a fake club engagement. Police entered the bar and approached him. They spoke outside and informed him Jeannie died that morning from a freak electrical shock while she tested out a baby bottle heater. He was aghast and tried to back out of the heist but the mobsters strong armed him. That night, he donned the Red Hood costume and led the mobsters past the filter tanks. He told them Monarch was just beyond the partition. However, things changed after he quit. A security guard spotted them. They exchanged gunfire.
More guards arrived. In a panic, the Hood lost his bearings. One of the thugs was shot in the head and the other in the leg. He tried to shift attention to the Red Hood but he, too, was shot dead. Batman arrived and ordered the guards to stop. He confronted the Red Hood, unaware he was not the same person he encountered previously. The Red Hood was scared and slipped on his cape. He fell over the railing into a vat of chemicals. He climbed to shore outside. Skin burning, he took the hood off and looked at his reflection. His skin was bleached white and his hair was green. He broke into a fit of manical laughter. Supposedly, the Joker was born. The Joker was branded a disfigured homicidal maniac by the press and was believed to have started out robbing banks. The Joker's crime sprees were ended by the Joker and often ended in his critical injury. The criminal underworld grew to fear him even more than they did Batman.
The Joker kidnapped four men from a dentists' convention in Gotham. He never revealed he was behind their disappearances but did empty out their bank accounts. Joker was captured and taken to Arkham Asylum. At some point over the next two years, he escaped and left an imposter in his place. Batman was called to a Gotham Storage locker on Commissioner Gordon's recommendation. Detective Bullock spoke with the coroner who estimated the four men in the locker died about three years ago. They speculated they were the missing conventioneers. Batman met with Gordon at Arkham Asylum. They walked to inmate 0801's door. Gordon warned him it was a mistake to think he knew what the Joker was going to do. Batman insisted the visit wasn't related to the bodies discovered in the locker but because he needed to be there. Batman found the Joker inside playing Solitaire. He sat down and told him he was thinking lately how it was going to end between them.
Batman tried to make a genuine attempt to talk things over and avert one of their deaths. He grabbed the Joker's right hand and insisted this was a matter of life and death. He noticed powder and realized he was talking to an imposter. He demanded to know where the Joker was. The imposter let out a scream. Gordon stormed in and reminded him there were laws against abusing inmates. Batman tossed Gordon the wig and asked "politely" one last time. The real Joker was looking over the Bonus Brothers Carnival and Amusement Park property as a prospective buyer. Secretly, his deformed henchmen were forcing one of the co-owners into signing the deed over to the Joker. The other owner found the Joker and asked if the park was what he was looking for. Joker observed it was garish, ugly and smelled like piss he couldn't identify as from bums or rats. He thought the riders were going to maim innocent little children. He was crazy about it. The owner wanted to start negotiating the selling price.
The owner insisted the park wasn't as bad as it looked. The Joker hoped he was wrong. They shook on the deal. The owner was exposed to Joker's toxin and died within moments with a smile on his face. He dressed in a gaudy tourist outfit and took two thugs with him to Barbara Gordon's apartment. She answered the door and the Joker shot her point blank in the stomach. He assured Commissioner Gordon she was suffering from a psychological manifestation common among librarians and thought she was a coffee table book. Joker's thugs stopped Gordon and roughed him up. On his orders, they took Gordon to the carnival. The Joker cryptically stated he was topping the bill. Barbara managed to ask him why he was doing all this. Joker replied it was to prove a point. He raised his glass to crime. He stripped her naked and took several photos. Back at the carnival, Joker informed Gordon he was going mad. Gordon remembered what happened. The Joker warned him against that.
He cautioned remembering was dangerous. He found the past such a worrying, anxious place. Memory was treacherous. Vile, repulsive little brutes like children. He countered people could live without memories. They were what our reason was based on. To deny them, denied reason itself. He didn't think anything was wrong it, since man was not contractually tied down to rationality and there was an insanity clause. He countered there was always madness when you were locked onto an unpleasant train of thought or headed for places in the past where the screaming was unavoidable. Gordon was taken to a mock court. The Fat Lady called for order in the court. Joker asked for ham on rye and was met with groans. He countered a joke didn't have to be good to be a classic. He asked Gordon for his help since there wasn't a sane mind and body among the Joker and his carnies. They asked what should be done to someone with no regard for the law. Gordon admitted he would throw the book at him. They goaded him into literally doing it. He picked up a law book and threw it at the Joker but a cardboard cutout of Batman rose up and was hit. Batman was on trial.
The Joker sang a song about going crazy while Gordon was forced to view all the photos Joker took of Barbara Gordon. Around the same time, Detective Bullock gave Batman a personalized invitation left by the Joker. The envelope contained one free admission to Bonus Brothers. Joker was disappointed to see Gordon was catatonic. He had him locked in his cage to reflect on life and all its random uncontrollability. Once Batman arrived, he fought off the carnies after Joker greeted him on the p.a. system. The Joker presented his star attraction, Gordon as the Average Man. Batman tackled him but Joker's cane shot acid across his arm. Joker ran into the funhouse nearby while Batman sprayed his injury and freed Gordon. As Batman made his way through the funhouse, Joker stated he demonstrated there was no difference between himself and everyone else and all it took was one bad day. He knew Batman had a bad day once, too. Batman found himself in an apartment room arranged upside down.
The Joker revealed he saw his past in multiple choice. He then admitted he was smart enough to admit he went crazy. He was irritated that Batman wasn't laughing and attacked him with furniture. Batman countered he heard the joke before and it wasn't funny before then declared he was wrong because Gordon was still saner than ever. Joker refused to believe it, shoved down Batman's mask over his eyes and pulled a gun. Batman tackled him through a window. They struggled but Joker recovered his gun. It turned out to be a pop pop flag prop gun. He implored Batman to kick the hell out him and get his ovation. Batman declined. He didn't want to hurt the Joker and didn't want either of them to kill each other. He offered a chance at rehabilitation and he didn't need to be alone. He held out his hand. Joker paused then turned him down. He stated it was too late for that. He chuckled and remembered a joke about two inmates that tried to escape an asylum. They made it to the rooftops but one inmate was afraid of falling. The other offered to make a bridge out of the beam from his flashlight and he could walk across. He was turned down. The other thought he would turn the flashlight off the moment he made it halfway across. Joker and Batman laughed together.