All the crimes scenes have eye witnesses or video surveillance of the Joker. [133][134], The Joker has no inherent superhuman abilities. Batman, Batgirl, and Red Hood investigate if there are imposters or if there really are Three Jokers. [128] The character's earliest on-screen adaptation was in the 1966 television series Batman and its film adaptation Batman, in which he was played as a cackling prankster by Cesar Romero (reflecting his contemporary comic counterpart). [167] The Joker rejects material needs, and his first appearance in Batman #1 sees him perpetrate crimes against Gotham's wealthiest men and the judge who had sent him to prison. Parents forbade their children from reading comic books, and there were several mass burnings. In 2012, Michael Emerson voiced the character in a two-part animated adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns. [53] The novel is described by critics as one of the greatest Joker stories ever written, influencing later comic stories (including the forced retirement of then-Batgirl Barbara Gordon after she is paralyzed by the Joker) and films such as 1989's Batman and 2008's The Dark Knight. Jack Napier, also known as the Joker, is a fictional character and the main antagonist of the 1989 superhero film Batman, directed by Tim Burton.Portrayed by Jack Nicholson, the character was based on the iconic supervillain the Joker. Back in 2016, DC Comics teased there was more to the Joker than anyone had ever realized. Although his primary obsession is Batman, the Joker has also fought other heroes, including Superman and Wonder Woman. In his comic book appearances, the Joker is portrayed as a criminal mastermind. A man with a joker mask killed the parents and the child was left abandoned. In "The Laughing Fish", the Joker disfigures fish with a rictus grin resembling his own (expecting copyright protection), and is unable to understand that copyrighting a natural resource is legally impossible. [178] Removing the traditional male-female relationship, such as in the Batman: Thrillkiller storyline where the Joker (Bianca Steeplechase) is a female and involved in a lesbian relationship with Harley, their relationship lacks any aspects of violence or subjugation. "[34] O'Neil's 1973 run introduced the idea of the Joker being legally insane, to explain why the character is sent to Arkham Asylum (introduced by O'Neil in 1974 as Arkham Hospital) instead of to prison. [35] Adams modified the Joker's appearance, changing his more average figure by extending his jaw and making him taller and leaner. [126], Snyder's "Death of the Family" describes the Joker as in love with Batman, although not in a traditionally romantic way. He wrote the script of that, so he really was co-creator, and Bob and I did the visuals, so Bob was also. [19], The character inspired theme-park roller coasters (The Joker's Jinx,[200][201] The Joker in Mexico and California,[202][203] and The Joker Chaos Coaster),[204] and featured in story-based rides such as Justice League: Battle for Metropolis. I tried to get a sense of what Kane and Finger were after. This Joker appeared on the cusp of the Bronze Age and the Modern Age. [28] The Silver Age introduced several of the Joker's defining character traits: lethal joy buzzers, acid-squirting flowers, trick guns, and goofy, elaborate crimes. Click the button below to start this article in quick view. The flower in his lapel sprays acid, and his hand often holds a lethal joy buzzer conducting a million volts of electricity, although both items were introduced in 1952 as harmless joke items. [35][124], The Joker is alternatively depicted as sexual and asexual. Harley loves him, but the Joker does not reciprocate her feelings, chiding her for distracting him from other plans. The remaining two Jokers, The Golden Age-inspired "The Criminal" and "The Comedian" of Batman: The Killing Joke fame, are ready to carry out their final plan. [65] This leads into a second ongoing Joker series, set to begin in March 2021 with Tynion writing and Guillem March providing art. Frank Miller interpreted the character as fixated on death and uninterested in sexual relationships, while Robinson believed that the Joker is capable of a romantic relationship. Mark Hamill, Troy Baker and others have provided the character's voice ranging from animation to video games. In addition, largely due to that incarnation's popularity that regarded his very dark nature, several later incarnations of the Joker were depicted in a similarly dark manner. [179], The Joker is considered one of the most-recognizable and iconic fictional characters in popular culture,[180][181][182] one of the best comic villains, and one of the greatest villains of all time. In the 2007 "Lovers and Madmen" arc of the comic Batman Confidential, The Joker is a former mob hitman named Jack, although a last name isn't given. Zach Galifianakis in The Lego Batman Movie. Bill finished that first script from my outline of the persona and what should happen in the first story. But if he always knew who the Joker was, fans might be wondering why then did Batman ask the Mobius Chair for the Joker's real name. The death of his wife and his disfigurement push him over the edge of sanity, but the Joker himself later casts doubt on this origin, claiming to remember differently depending on the day. [182][205] The Jokermobile was a popular toy; a Corgi die-cast metal replica was successful during the 1950s, and in the 1970s a Joker-styled, flower power-era Volkswagen microbus was manufactured by Mego. "[89][90] This revelation was the basis for the miniseries Batman: Three Jokers, written by Geoff Johns with art by Jason Fabok. The Joker is one of the most iconic fictional villains in history. [31], In the 1999 "No Man's Land" storyline, the Joker murders Commissioner Gordon's second wife, Sarah, as she shields a group of infants. Originally conceived as an evil \"court-jester\" type, the character was initially rejected by studio writer Bill Finger as being \"too clownish,\" but he later relayed the idea to Bob Kane. But as it features Mark Hamill as the Joker, I've put it together with the Batman: The animated series films and it's follow-ups as Mark Hamill also portrayed the Joker in them. [135] He commits crimes with a variety of weaponized thematic props such as a deck of razor-tipped playing cards, rolling marbles, jack-in-the-boxes with unpleasant surprises and exploding cigars capable of leveling a building. Apparently Jerry Robinson or Bob, I don't recall who, looked at the card and they had an idea for a character ... the Joker. [155] The character has joined supervillain groups like the Injustice Gang and the Injustice League to take on superhero groups like the Justice League. The Joker was the arch-enemy of Batman.Even after his death, the memories of the Joker's crimes scarred Batman. [2][3][4][9] By 2011, Finger, Kane, and Robinson had died, leaving the story unresolved. Jerry Robinson had absolutely nothing to do with it, but he'll always say he created it till he dies. The Joker's real name and identity hasn't been uncovered either. [216][217][218][219] A redesigned Joker, voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson, appeared in 2004's The Batman; Richardson was the first African-American to play the character.[220][221]. [94] Other stories have expanded on this origin; "Pushback" suggests that the Joker's wife was murdered by a corrupt policeman working for the mobsters,[95] and "Payback" gives the Joker's first name as "Jack". "[193] Complex, CollegeHumor, and WhatCulture named the Joker the greatest comic book villain of all time[181][135][194] while IGN listed him the top DC Comics villain in 2013,[195] and Newsarama as the greatest Batman villain. 6. [29][30], In 1973, after a four-year disappearance,[2] the Joker was revived (and revised) by writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Neal Adams. [204] The Joker is one of the few comic book supervillains to be represented on children's merchandise and toys, appearing on items including action figures, trading cards, board games, money boxes, pajamas, socks, and shoes. ", Other articles and topics related to Joker, Finger in a panel discussion at New York Academy Convention, August 14, 1966, transcribed in, Greenberger and Manning, p. 163: "In this fondly remembered tale that was later adapted into an episode of the 1990s cartoon, Greenberger and Manning, p. 38: "Offering keen insight into both the minds of the Joker and Batman, this special is considered by most Batman fans to be the definitive Joker story of all time. More: Gotham’s Joker Wasn’t A Proper Joker (But Still The Show’s Best Villain). Nobody truly had an identity for Joker, with the name "John Doe" that was given to him by the Asylum Staff. [243] Hamill was replaced by Troy Baker for the 2013 prequel, Batman: Arkham Origins, and the Arkham series' animated spin-off Batman: Assault on Arkham,[216][244][245][246] while Hamill returned for the 2015 series finale, Batman: Arkham Knight. The villain displays no instinct for self-preservation, and is willing to die to prove his point. Breyfogle conceived the idea as a means to expand on Anarky's characterization, but O'Neil (by then the editor for the Batman series of books) was opposed to it, and only allowed it to be written under protest, and with a promise that the revelation would eventually be revealed incorrect. The character's popularity has seen him appear on a variety of merchandise, such as clothing and collectible items, inspire real-world structures (such as theme park attractions), and be referenced in a number of media. This enables him to create a new personality every day (depending on what would benefit him) and explains why, at different times, he is a mischievous clown or a psychopathic killer. In this story, the Joker is obsessed with maintaining his illusion of wealth and celebrity as a criminal folk hero, afraid to let Gotham's citizens know that he is penniless and was tricked out of his fortune. [37] The series followed the character's interactions with other supervillains, and the first issue was written by O'Neil. [70] Following the character's maiming of Barbara, she became a more important character in the DC Universe: the Oracle, a data gatherer and superhero informant, who has her revenge in Birds of Prey by shattering the Joker's teeth and destroying his smile. One night. [19][61] Capullo's Joker design replaced his traditional outfit with a utilitarian, messy, and disheveled appearance to convey that the character was on a mission; his face (surgically removed in 2011's Detective Comics (vol. Hamill returned to voice the character in 2009's critically acclaimed Batman: Arkham Asylum, its equally praised 2011 sequel Batman: Arkham City and the multiplayer DC Universe Online. Conversely, in Batman: Streets of Gotham 's 2010 "The House of Hush" arc, The Joker is revealed to be named Sonny, a little boy who's kidnapped by a mobster named Sallie Guzzo, and abused both … [160] The trickster employs amoral and immoral acts to destabilize the status quo and reveal cultural, political, and ethical hypocrisies that society attempts to ignore. Jack Napier was the name of the man who eventually broke bad and became the Joker in Tim Burton's 1989 adaptation of Batman – which was considered the … Most recently, the Batman: White Knight limited series had Joker be named Jack Napier, which traces back to the next section. 2) #1) was reattached with belts, wires, and hooks, and he was outfitted with mechanics overalls. ", Rucka, Greg, Grayson, Devin (w), Scott, Damion, Eaglesham, Dale (p), Parsons, Sean, Buscema, Sal, Hunter, Rob (i), Rambo, Pamela (col). [107][109] During the evolution of the DC Universe, interpretations and versions of the Joker have taken two main forms. These debates weigh the positive (stopping the Joker permanently) against its effect on Batman's character and the possibility that he might begin killing all criminals. When the supervillain then tries to destroy the universe, his reluctance to eliminate Batman makes him lose control, and Superman defeats him. Hearing the correct answer, he next asks what the Joker's real name is. [136] In 1942's "The Joker Follows Suit", the villain built his versions of the Batplane and Batmobile, the Jokergyro and Jokermobile (the latter with a large Joker face on its hood), and created a Joker-signal with which criminals could summon him for their heists. All the latest gaming news, game reviews and trailers. [225][226] Ledger won a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance, the first acting Oscar ever won for a superhero film. During this period, the first changes in the Joker began to appear, portraying him more as a prankster than a threat; when he kidnaps Robin, Batman pays the ransom by check, meaning that the Joker cannot cash it without being arrested. Like the trickster, the Joker alternates between malicious violence and clever, harmless whimsy. [14], Although Kane adamantly refused to share credit for many of his characters (and refuted Robinson's claim until Kane's death), many comic historians credit Robinson with the Joker's creation and Finger with the character's development. I cut the picture out of the book and gave it to Bob, who drew the profile and gave it a more sinister aspect. The story arc explores the symbiotic relationship between the Joker and Batman, and sees the villain shatter the trust between Batman and his adopted family. The point is it doesn’t matter who he was because that not who the joker is. ", "Batman and The Joker : Through the Years", "Lennie Weinrib: Joker Through the Years", "Animated Shorts – Actor Lends Voice to the Joker Legacy", "The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (1985–1986)", "Mark Hamill Retires From His Role As The Joker After 19 Years", "Kevin Michael Richardson: Joker Through the Years", "How 'The Dark Knight' Proved Irrelevance of Box Office Rank", "Box Office Milestone: 'Dark Knight Rises' Crosses $1 Billion Worldwide", "Everyone Was Also Furious with the Initial Casting of Heath Ledger As The Joker", "Brent Spiner on playing Conan O'Brien, Data on Star Trek, and Brent Spiner", "Michael Emerson Takes On the Joker in 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, "Under the Red Hood cuts through Batman's baggage to reveal the dark side of his legacy", "Jared Leto to Play Joker in Zack Snyder's 'Justice League' (Exclusive)", "Why 'Joker' became one of the most divisive movies of the year", "Venice: Todd Phillips' 'Joker' Wins Golden Lion, Roman Polanski Wins Silver Lion", "Joker becomes first R-rated movie to gross $1 billion worldwide", "Mark Hamill returns as Joker in 'DC Universe Online, "New York Comic Con 2013: The Electrocutioner takes on the Dark Knight in 'Batman: Arkham Origins, "Warner Bros. [79] The Joker is arrested, and then-Robin Damian Wayne beats him with a crowbar, paralleling Todd's murder. He said he created the character as Batman's larger-than-life nemesis when extra stories were quickly needed for Batman #1, and he received credit for the story in a college course:[12], In that first meeting when I showed them that sketch of the Joker, Bill said it reminded him of Conrad Veidt in The Man Who Laughs. [70] Other interpretations show that the Joker is fully aware of how his actions affect others and that his insanity as merely an act. The Joker, lamenting that he may never walk again, collapses with laughter when he realizes that the commissioner has avenged Barbara's paralysis. Finger wanted the Joker to die because of his concern that recurring villains would make Batman appear inept, but was overruled by then-editor Whitney Ellsworth; a hastily drawn panel, indicating that the Joker was still alive, was added to the comic. Spectacle is more important than success for the Joker, and if it is not spectacular it is boring. One of the most iconic characters in popular culture, the Joker has been listed among the greatest comic book villains and fictional characters ever created. [175] When Harley successfully defeats Batman in Mad Love (1994), the Joker, emasculated by his own failure, severely injures her out of fear of what the other villains will think of him; however, while Harley recovers, the Joker sends her flowers, which she accepts, reasserting his control over her. The shift was derided for moving away from tamer superheroes (and villains), but comic audiences were no longer primarily children. [16] The character was intended to be killed in his second appearance in Batman #1, after being stabbed in the heart. [86][87] The story implies that the Joker is immortal—having existed for centuries in Gotham as a cause of tragedy after exposure to a substance the Joker terms 'dionesium'—and is able to regenerate from mortal injuries. [177] In the 1999 one-shot comic Batman: Harley Quinn, the Joker decides to kill Harley, after admitting that he does care for her, that their relationship is romantic, and that these feelings prevent him from fulfilling his purpose. [75] The Joker kills Alexander Luthor, Jr. in Infinite Crisis (2005) for excluding him from the Secret Society of Super Villains, which considers him too unpredictable for membership. After Jack injures Batman's girlfriend, Batman scars Jack's face with a permanent grin and betrays him to a group of mobsters, who torture him in a chemical plant. At first, we thought it was so the detective could get the answer that had always eluded him. The first came in a 1951 issue of Detective Comics, where the character was formerly an unnamed laboratory worker who dons a Red Hood to become a thief. [2][17][27] The character risked becoming an obscure figure of the preceding era until this goofy prankster version of the character was adapted into the 1966 television series Batman, in which he was played by Cesar Romero. [25][31] This version has been cited in many stories, including Batman: The Man Who Laughs (in which Batman deduces that the Red Hood survived his fall and became the Joker), Batman #450 (in which the Joker dons the Red Hood to aid his recovery after the events in "A Death in the Family", but finds the experience too traumatic), "Death of the Family",[93] and Batman: Three Jokers (which asserts that it is the canon origin story). The Joker was running Gotham City back before Batman ever came on the scene. [10][11], Robinson credited himself, Finger, and Kane for the Joker's creation. Introduced as a psychopath with a warped, sadistic sense of humor; the character became a goofy prankster in the late 1950s in response to regulation by the Comics Code Authority, before returning to his darker roots during the early 1970s. [32][67][137][138] The villain is immune to venom and most poisons; in Batman #663 (April 2007), Morrison writes that being "an avid consumer of his own chemical experiments, the Joker's immunity to poison concoctions that might kill another man in an instant has been developed over years of dedicated abuse. Todd's death haunts Batman, and for the first time he considers killing the Joker. 73 of them, in fact! The Joker falls into a vat of chemicals that bleaches his skin, colors his hair green and his lips red, and drives him insane. In 1951, Finger wrote an origin story for the Joker in Detective Comics #168, which introduced the characteristic of him formerly being the criminal Red Hood, and his disfigurement the result of a fall into a chemical vat. It was published as part of his Batman run. He has his fateful first meeting with Batman, which results in his disfigurement. [67] The Joker commits whimsical, brutal crimes for reasons that, in Batman's words, "make sense to him alone". Batman: The Animated Series would name him Jack Napier in one episode, and the aforementioned comic series Batman: White Knight revealed the Joker's real name was Jack Napier. Lieberman (w), Dale Eaglesham, Paul Ryan, Roger Robinson, Al Barrionuevo (p), John Floyd (i). His first appearance was in April 25, 1940 in the Batman comic books. Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, Barcelona International Comics Convention, The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, "Dark Knight Flashback: The Joker, Part I", "R.I.P. [2][27] After the TV series ended in 1969, the increase in public visibility had not stopped the comic's sales decline; editorial director Carmine Infantino resolved to turn things around, moving stories away from schoolboy-friendly adventures. [111][112] The other version, popular in comic books from the late 1940s to the 1960s and in the 1960s television series, is an eccentric, harmless prankster and thief. Although the 1970s restored the Joker as an insane, lethal foe of Batman, it was during the 1980s that the Batman series started to turn around and the Joker came into his own as part of the "Dark Age" of comics: mature tales of death and destruction. The flood of chemicals (used in anti-psychotic medication) alters his appearance and completes his transformation. [49] The Joker temporarily escapes justice when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini appoints him the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, giving him diplomatic immunity; however, when he tries to poison the U.N. membership, he is defeated by Batman and Superman. In "To Laugh and Die in Metropolis" (1987) the character kidnaps Lois Lane, distracting Superman with a nuclear weapon. The character was popular, and was adapted into the comics as the Joker's romantic interest in 1999. Bill was the writer. [182] Indeed, when DC Comics released the original series of Greatest Stories Ever Told (1987–1988) featuring collections of stories about heroes like Batman and Superman, the Joker was the only villain included alongside them. [67] After Batman's apparent death in Final Crisis (2008), Grayson investigates a series of murders (which leads him to a disguised Joker). In Batman Confidential #7–12, the character, Jack, is a talented criminal who is bored with his work. [17][26], The character appeared less frequently after 1964, when Julius Schwartz (who disliked the Joker) became editor of the Batman comics. The heist goes awry; the comedian leaps into a chemical vat to escape Batman, surfacing disfigured. Finger found a photograph of actor Conrad Veidt wearing make-up for the silent film The Man Who Laughs, and it was from this photograph that the Joker was mo… There are many names of the joker whether it’s Jack Napier, Jerome valeska, Martha Wayne or Arthur fleck. I'm crazy 'cause I hate you," and confirms that he will only stop murdering when Batman is dead. James Tynion IV " The Joker War " is a Batman Family crossover storyline conceived by by James Tynion IV. [93] "Case Study", a Paul Dini-Alex Ross story, describes the Joker as a sadistic gangster who creates the Red Hood identity to continue the thrill of small-time criminality. [36], DC Comics was a hotbed of experimentation during the 1970s, and in 1975 the character became the first villain to feature as the title character in a comic book series, The Joker. The Joker is a supervillain created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson who first appeared in the debut issue of the comic book Batman (April 25, 1940), published by DC Comics. Robinson said that other contemporary villains used guns, and the creative team wanted the Joker—as Batman's adversary—to be more resourceful. [164], Rather than the typical anarchist interpretation, others have analysed the character as a Marxist (opposite to Batman's capitalist), arguing that anarchism requires the rejection of all authority in favor of uncontrolled freedom. The most common interpretation of the character is that he is disguised as the criminal Red Hood and pursued by Batman. [73] Broken by his experience, Batman's experiences of death are transferred to Superman by the Spectre so he can heal mentally. [25][52] Unlike The Dark Knight Returns, The Killing Joke takes place in mainstream continuity. [151][152] Introduced in the 1992 animated series, Quinn is the Joker's former Arkham psychiatrist who develops an obsessive infatuation with him and dons a red-and-black harlequin costume to join him in the 1999 graphic novel Batman: Harley Quinn. "[154] In 1995, the Joker fought his third major DC hero: Wonder Woman, who drew on the Greek god of trickery to temper the Joker's humor and shatter his confidence. [61][127] Batman comic book writer Peter Tomasi concurred, stating that the Joker's main goal is to make Batman the best that he can be. It’s pronounced Paw-rick, not Pad-raig. [161] However, the Joker differs in that his actions typically only benefit himself. [42] Detective Comics #168 (1951) introduced the Joker's first origin story as Red Hood: a criminal who, during his final heist, vanishes after leaping into a vat of chemicals to escape Batman. He is a supervillain that originates from the DC Comics. Beginning with Batman #251's "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge", the character returns to his roots as an impulsive, homicidal maniac who matches wits with Batman. [163] In Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, the Joker serves as Batman's trickster guide through the hero's own psyche, testing him in various ways before ultimately offering to cede his rule of the Asylum to Batman. [71] He taunts Gordon, who shoots him in the kneecap. The trickster is simultaneously subhuman and superhuman, a being that indicates a lack of unity in body and mind. Batman's interference causes him to leap into a chemical vat, which disfigures him. [174], The Joker's controlling and abusive relationship with Harley Quinn has been analyzed as a means of the Joker reinforcing his own belief in his power in a world where he may be killed or neutralized by another villain or Batman. [25] However, the Joker says that this story may not be true, as he prefers his past to be "multiple choice". ... What did Batman show the Joker when he dropped his batpants? [83], The Joker is portrayed as having no fear; when fellow supervillain Scarecrow doses him with fear toxin in Knightfall (1993), the Joker merely laughs and says "Boo! [69] In this graphic novel, the Joker shoots and paralyzes Barbara Gordon and tortures her father, Commissioner James Gordon, to prove that it only takes one bad day to drive a normal man insane. Bob made a rough sketch of it. The Joker sometimes works with other Gotham City supervillains, such as the Penguin and Two-Face, and groups like the Injustice Gang and Injustice League, but these relationships often collapse due to the Joker's desire for unbridled chaos. Like a psychopath, he lacks empathy, a conscience, and concern over right and wrong. Another reason can be the main theme of the two movies. There has never been a true origin that explains who the Joker is, with a number of conflicting backstories being proposed. [5][9][15], The Joker debuted in Batman #1 (April 1940) as the eponymous character's first villain, about a year after Batman's debut in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). [59], The 2000s began with the crossover story "Emperor Joker", in which the Joker steals Mister Mxyzptlk's reality-altering power and remakes the universe in his image (torturing and killing Batman daily, before resurrecting him). 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