The Joker

jokerfilmHere we are, for everyone’s favorite psycho! One of the latest characters confirmed for Injustice: Gods Among Uscasualgamer‘s request object, The Joker is surely Batman‘s most famous and popular villain, and had a number of live action appearances. The first one was Cesar Romero‘s in Batman tv series and spin-off movie, an ex hypnotist who became a pie-launching bank robber. Not so menacing. The following portrayal was Jack Nicholson‘s one, in which he starred as Jack Napier, a former gangster who, betrayed by his boss, became a vengeful maniac who in no time took control of Gotham City‘s underworld; he was also depicted as the killer of Bruce Wayne‘s parents. He briefly appeared in some flashbacks in Birds of Prey, portrayed by Curtis Armstrong and voiced by Mark Hamill: in the tv series he had killed Catwoman and forced Batman to retire. Latest, and maybe the best one, was the late Heath Ledger‘s performance in The Dark Knight, a mysterious and causeless killer who enjoyed spreading chaos everywhere. Now, let’s see who Batman’s nemesis is in the comics.

Most of The Joker’s past has been a complete mystery for years, with his real name still unknown. Writer Alan Moore, with his great The Killing Joke, uncovered the origins of the the one who’s possibly world’s most dangerous man alive (even if Joker himself says that he remembers many versions of his own story, thus his real past is still dubious at least). The man who would have become the Joker was a regular guy, an engineer who tried a career as a stand-up comedian, but all of his efforts ended up in miserable failures. The man had a pregnant wife at the time, and he needed money to support her and their future son: with no other way he could see, he agreed to lead two criminals into the chemical plant he was once working for, for a robbery. When everything was about to start, a police officer contacted the engineer, and told him that his beloved wife had died in a household accident, electrocuted by a malfunctioning baby jokercomics1bottle heater. Overwhelmed with grief and with no reason to go on with the plan, the engineer tried to step away from the robbery, but the criminals didn’t let him, threatening him. Everything went on as programmed, but for one thing: with the excuse of hiding his real identity, the robbers had the engineer don The Red Hood‘s costume, planning to blame the infamous criminal mastermind if anything went wrong. The same night he had lost his wife and his unborn son, the man entered the plant with the criminals:  a shooting immediately started between the robbers and the security agents, and the noise attracted Gotham’s vigilante, the Batman. The hero easily disposed of the goons, and approached the engineer believing he really was the Red Hood, a mob boss he had been hunting for months. Terrified by The Dark Knight, the man escaped throwing himself into the toxic waste catch-basin vat, finding his way to the outside through a dumping pipe. Once out of the plant, the engineer found out in horror that, under the Red Hood’s mask, his skin had permanently bleached, his hair had been turned green and his face donned a stained red smile. That was the precise moment in which the engineer lost his sanity: with a savage laughter, The Joker was born.

It passed some time between the plant’s incident and The Joker’s official debut as the new Gotham City’s criminal, but time only helped the now lunathic maniac to plan his entrance the best he could. Using his chemical engineer’s skills, he had developed what would have been called the Joker Venom, a lethal toxin which caused extremely painful and uncontrollable spasms of laughter thus jokercomics2suffocating the brain. Joker killed a news reporter, and announced on television that he would have killed millionaire Henry Claridge that same night, at midnight. Despte Gotham’s police efforts, Claridge died laughing at midnight, with the maniac’s trademark grin on his face. The Joker had planned to contaminate all of Gotham’s water supplies with his Venom, but Batman managed to stop him and to incarcerate him. Imprisonement didn’t prove much of an obstacle for the Joker, who, from that moment on, would have considered Arkham Asylum, the local criminal sanatorium, as a holiday house, a place in which he could take a break between a plan and another. Batman never knew of the deep mix of hatred, gratitude and fascination that Joker felt for him the first time they “officially” met: Batman was the one who gave Joker the final push over the edge of folly, and for that, the psycho was deeply grateful; with madness, he thought he had finally understood life, the biggest joke ever invented, a senseless and stupid run towards death, in which a simple bad day could transform the most normal and honest man into a mind-broken lunathic. With years of fighting and battling, the Joker and the Batman developed a closer bond than what the Dark Knight wanted to admit, since both of them became what they were after traumatic experiences that destroyed everything they believed to be “life”. From a first, almost regular confrontation for Batman, Joker would have become the greatest menace Gotham had ever faced, and Joker’s haunting laughter would have turned into the nightmare of every citizen, Batman included.

The Joker is a completely deranged and demented criminal, a man with no compassion or empathy at all, who kills for fun and spreads chaos wherever he goes. He uses a genius level intellect to conceive intricate plans, with the only common element of having Batman’s destruction as the main (but not only) aim. Joker uses a variety of clown-themed lethal gadgets, such as an acid-spitter flower, razor-sharp playcards and many other tools, last but not least his infamous Joker Venom. Despite a skinny constitution, folly gives him an unexpected strength, and his unpredictable movements make him a dangerous opponent in hand-to-hand combat even for Batman. With a personal body count which easily goes over the thousand(s), The Joker is the most dangerous, evil and insane man that ever walked on Earth.

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  1. […] Loeb seemed to be pretty honest, and at least apparently not on the mob’s payroll. Anyway, The Joker‘s intervention avoided any further evolution of the character. Now, let’s see who he is […]

  2. […] character, the tattooed prisoner portrayed by Tom Lister, Jr. who throws out of the boat The Joker‘s detonator, bringing a sparkle of hope in the film’s ending and making everyone […]

  3. […] had Clayface transform into Tommy Elliot’s “dead body”, thus making Bruce believe The Joker had killed his old friend; than he had Poison Ivy use her mind-controlling pheromones to […]

  4. […] Maroni himself was the responsible of the murders. Even one of Gotham’s most dangerous men, The Joker, believed so, and came to Maroni’s restaurant to kill him, beliving he was the killer (he […]

  5. […] villains, heir to Carmine Falcone’s criminal empire, and the main responsible along with The Joker of Two-Face’s transformation. Waiting to see this new version of one of the most vicious […]

  6. […] wife already, and she suffers some major traumas: first she believes her husband dead, killed by The Joker, then she is targeted with her children by Harvey Dent, now Two-Face, in his act of vengeance. […]

  7. […] appears in flashbacks, since she died before the beginning of the story, as she’s killed by Jack Napier, the future Joker. She also appeared in Batman Begins (and, in flashbacks only, in The Dark […]

  8. […] David Baxt portrayed him in Batman, where we only see him in a flashback as he was killed by Jack Napier, the man who would have become The Joker; the same flashback is seen again in Batman Forever, but […]

  9. […] When The Joker, a deranged psycho who had recently appeared in Gotham, went on yet another killing spree, Bullock actively helped Gordon track him down: they succeeded in their mission, and prevented a massive bomb to explode and erase Gotham City from the maps…all without the help of the city’s new masked vigilante, Batman, who Bullock didn’t like nor trust at all. With an emergency following the other, Bullock couldn’t pretend anymore he was a crooked cop, since Gordon needed his active service, and he started pointing out clearly he was one of the Commissioner’s men. In a couple of years, Harvey Bullock became a detective, and joined a small “team” of law enforcers loyal to Gordon; despite the actual brutality he deployed in his job, Gordon thought he could trust him because he had never accepted a bribe since his “conversion” and had always hated criminals. Along with Bullock, the team was composed by DA Harvey Dent, detective Maggie Sawyer and detective Eric Cohen, the only ones who weren’t on gangster Sal Maroni‘s paybill; when to Maroni some supervillains like Scarecrow, Joker or Clayface threatened the GCPD, also detective Crispus Allen and detective Renee Montoya joined Bullock and the other. Despite usually being distrustful and rude with everyone, Bullock formed quite a bond with Montoya, and he was paired with her by Gordon. Despite disliking vigilantes, Batman especially, Bullock also became friends with the second Robin after the boy saved his life when he had been badly injured by KGBeast: they found out they shared the same passion for old movies, and started liking each other. Slowly, Bullock was truly becoming the good cop he wanted to be. […]

  10. […] killed. The situation repeated when, in Keystone City, they met again in a case involving the Joker. After some time, however, Flash started flirting with her, and Linda suprisingly found herself […]

  11. […] of the Dollmaker, a killer for hire. For first, he sent one of his “sons” to the Joker. The Clown Prince of Crime had other plans, and he killed the goon by ripping his troath off with […]

  12. […] at the idea of a kid jumping from roof to roof and dealing with deadly psychos like Two-Face or The Joker, maybe the deadliest of them all, but in time he came to accept Robin and to trust him just like he […]

  13. […] Prey tv series, portrayed by Dina Meyer: during the pilot, Batgirl was shot and paralyzed by the Joker, and years later she became Oracle to assist her mentor’s daughter, the Huntress. Last but […]

  14. […] both Dent’s faces in The Dark Knight, an idealistic knight in a shining armor turned mad by The Joker. Let’s see who Harvey Dent/Two-Face is in the […]

  15. […] two hard on-field exams, the first, unpredicted one that put him against The Hangman, Two-Face, The Joker and many other deranged villains, and the second one, his final test, that saw him succesfully […]

  16. […] mutant in the tv series Birds of Prey, portrayed by Maggie Baird, but she is killed by the Joker before the beginning of the story and seen only in flashbacks. And, sure, she was one of the main […]

  17. […] villain in casualgamer‘s request: Harley Quinn, the Joker‘s psycho girlfriend. Despite being born an original character for Batman: The Animated […]

  18. […] birth to a new generation of criminals, inspired by his figure: deranged psychos like the lethal Joker or ambigous anti-heroes such as the thief Catwoman, a bunch of quaint maniacs that became more […]

  19. […] motivation when her friend Barbara Gordon, who used to be Batgirl before being crippled by the Joker, invited her to join her women-only supergroup, the Birds of Prey. That proved to be a positive […]

  20. […] founded by a notorious crime boss, Amos Fortune, disbanded after Fortune left the team, and the Joker manipulated it. Reston was mind-controlled by Hammond to create an android, the new Ace, […]

  21. […] a son conceived with an unknown father (some claim the biological father was none other than The Joker); unable to take care of the baby, Greta abandoned him. The baby was found and given in adoption to […]

  22. […] a bloody battle between Batman and The Joker, Silver just realised she didn’t want to spend her life worrying about her man’s life […]

  23. […] for a psychological war that would have bent Flash, but Turtle had to stop when it seemed that The Joker had arrived in Keystone: such a psychothic lunathic could be dangerous for any plan he had in […]

  24. […] up a certain “someone” from Arkham Asylum. The man was the psychothic serial killer The Joker, and surprisingly enough, the madman took an immediate liking in Frost, and decided to use him as […]

  25. […] understand feelings, Indigo started developing a true personality, and in battling menaces like The Joker, Brother Blood or Gorilla Grodd she proved more than once to be ready to sacrifice herself for […]

  26. […] portrayed by Clyde Gatell, but he wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger, as his partner Jack Napier killed the Waynes in his place. He made his full relevant appearance in Batman Begins, portrayed […]

  27. […] third and definitive Bizarro was created when The Joker managed to steal Mr. Mxyzptlk‘s reality-bending powers. He created a twisted world he was […]

  28. […] series Birds of Prey, portrayed by Dina Meyer: in the show, she used to be Batgirl as well, until The Joker crippled her in revenge of the role she had in aiding Batman take down his organization. […]

  29. […] Thunder, but when the two were forced to team up against Solomon Grundy, gone berserk because of Joker‘s toxin, they finally managed to create a bond. It was a brand new life for Stargirl, and she […]

  30. […] and eaten a man named Ed Hunt and the Dark Knight had tracked him down). Stirk teamed up with The Joker, who planned to contribute to the destruction of Batman by kidnapping his closest […]

  31. […] however, didn’t care if he was honest or not: he wanted to wipe out all Falcones, so he sent The Joker after Mario as […]

  32. […] array of gadgets either for their own gang or for other criminals they seldomly work for, namely The Joker and the Mad Hatter. Just as unusual as a Gotham’s criminal pair can be, Tweedlum and […]

  33. […] Snapper Carr also took an active part in the team’s adventures, such as when he posed as The Joker in a plan to lure the Royal Flush Gang out. The real deal, however, didn’t take too well […]

  34. […] interest of both the supehero (and, of course, his billionaire alias Bruce Wayne) and the deranged Joker. Vicki and Batman interrupt their relationship somewhere between Batman and Batman Returns, and […]

  35. […] rivalries and civil wars, and Heatmonger witnessed her former teammate Iron Cross being killed by The Joker, but some ray of hope seemed to appear on the horizon as Lex Luthor started gathering the best […]

  36. […] families. Dent, who now called himself Two-Face, attacked with an army of “freaks” (The Joker, Catwoman, Solomon Grundy, The Penguin, Poison Ivy and Mad Hatter) the Falcones’ mansion, […]

  37. […] even know who her father is and she grows up with her mother, but when she is killed by the Joker she decides to use her supernatural abilities (mostly feral strenght and agility, and a mild […]

  38. […] apparently some seed of insanity waiting for the right moment to sprout. This happened the moment The Joker decided to make a grand-return after one year of absence from the scenes: the Clown Prince of Crime […]


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