The Joker, Clown Prince of Crime, Mr. J
Drive people insane
|“||Any man can have one really bad day and end up just like me.||„|
|~ The Joker|
The Joker is the main antagonist of the Batman franchise. He is a supervillain and Batman's arch-nemesis. He is portrayed as a criminal with a clown-like appearance, and murders people for his own amusement. His many crimes include the paralysis of Barbara Gordon, the murder of Jason Todd, and the death of Jim Gordon's second wife, Sarah Essen.
The Joker's real name and true origins are unknown, as the Joker has told numerous stories of how he came to be Batman's most dangerous adversary. His most consistent backstory is that he was commiting a robbery with a group of thugs at the Ace Chemical Plant while under the guise of the Red Hood, and during a confrontation with Batman, he fell into a vat of chemicals that bleached his skin, dyed his hair green, and gave him a red smile. His new appearance drove the man insane, and he blamed Batman for his new state.
Renaming himself the 'Joker', the man quickly became one of Gotham City's most prominent crime bosses. The Joker engaged in multiple battles with Batman, threatening the whole of Gotham City on numerous occasions.
The Joker is the arguably the most dangerous of Batman's enemies, having a body count that numbers in the thousands. Finding death and destruction amusing, the Joker holds absolutely no regard for human life, and seeks to plunge the whole of Gotham City into anarchy and prove that anyone can become just as evil as he is.
The Killing Joke
In an attempt to prove that any man could degenerate into insanity if they go through "one bad day", the Joker abducted Commissioner James Gordon and shot his daughter, Barbara, crippling her. Unbeknownst to the Joker, Barbara was actually Batman's ally Batgirl. The attack left Barbara wheelchair bound, forcing her to give up crime-fighting for a time and operate as Oracle instead.
Imprisoning Commissioner Gordon in a run-down amusement park, the Joker had his thugs strip Gordon naked and cage him before showing him giant pictures of his paralyzed daughter, hoping to drive the man insane. The attempt fails, and Batman arrives at the amusement park to free Gordon. After rescuing Gordon, Batman pursues the Joker into the funhouse. Despite the Joker's attempts to convince him of his idealogy that any man could be driven insane by one bad day, as well as correctly guessing that it was one bad day that drove Batman to become a vigilante, Batman finally catches the Joker. He briefly attempts to reason with the Joker and convince him to give up crime, but the Joker miserably declines, claiming it is too late for that. The Joker then tells Batman a joke, and the two partake in maniacle laughter at the punchline of the joke.
A Death in the FamilyThe Joker escapes Arkham Asylum and obtains a nuclear bomb, intending to sell it to Arab terrorists. Finding Sheila Haywood, the mother of the second Robin Jason Todd, the Joker blackmails her with the information that she was involved in illegal operations on teenagers, forcing her to give him medical supplies that he intends to sell on the black market. At the same time, he replaces the supplies with his laughing gas, which will kill thousands of people when set off.
Capturing Robin, the Joker beats him with a crowbar before abandong him and Sheila to die in the warehouse with a time bomb. Despite an injured Jason's attempts to save his mother, the bomb goes off and both are killed. Batman, heartbroken by the death of his partner, resolves to find the Joker and exact vengeance upon him.
The Joker, meanwhile, is offered a position in the Iranian government. As he is now Iran's representative at the United Nations, he is granted diplomatic immunity and therefore cannot be charged for his crimes. The Joker gives a speech to the General Assembly, stating that he and the other Iranians are treated with disrespect by the rest of the world, and proceeds to release poison gas in the chambers to kill everyone present. However, Superman, disguised as a guard, inhales the gas, saving everyone in the building. While Superman disposes of the gas, Batman battles the Joker, who flees in a helicopter. One of his men opens fire with his machine gun and unintentionally shoots the Joker and his pilot, causing the helicopter to crash into the sea, leaving the Joker's whereabouts unknown.
The Joker was freed from Arkham Asylum by Bane and formed an alliance with Cornelius Stirk to kidnap Commissioner Gordon and take over the Gotham City Police Department. After leaving Stirk to be apprehended by Batman, the Joker instead formed an alliance with Scarecrow. The two intoxicated Mayor Krol with the Scarecrow's fear toxin and used him to do their bidding. Eventually, the Joker formed a plan to lure Batman out by using Krol as bait. The two intoxicated Batman with the fear toxin, causing him to recall Jason Todd's death at the Joker's hands. Batman promptly pummeled the Joker, who was saved by Scarecrow. They then escaped by causing the water from the river to fill the tunnel, forcing Batman to save Krol and letting them get away.
After their escape, the villains found out that Bane had defeated Batman. Furious at their failure, the Scarecrow used the fear toxin on Joker, but it had no effect on him. Enraged at the Scarecrow's betrayal, the Joker beat him with a chair and called off their partnership.
No Man's LandAfter Gotham City became a desolated wasteland overwhelmed with crime, the Joker took over a section of the city. After Batman temporarily left Gotham City, the Joker didn't think it worth being active in the crime-filled city. When Batman returned, the Joker finally emerged with the plans of shattering what little hope the residents of Gotham City had left. First, he abducted a group of Gotham City Police Department officers and disguised them as himself, leading to several of them being killed by a sniper trying to murder the Joker.
Later, the Joker abducted a large group of newborn infants and held them hostage at the GCPD headquarters, planning to kill them all and destroy Gotham's spirit. Detective Sarah Essen, Commissioner Gordon's wife, intervened and held the Joker at gunpoint. The Joker then threw one of the infants at her, causing her to drop her gun and catch the child. The Joker took the opportunity to then gun down the defenseless Sarah. The Joker promptly surrendered himself to the police, where a grief-stricken Gordon nearly murdered him. Instead, however, he shot the Joker in the knee. The Joker, initially panicked at the thought that he might never walk again, then started laughing as he realized that this was vengeance for when he crippled Gordon's daughter Barbara.
At one point, Joker stole the powers of Mr. Mxyzptlk, becoming a reality-warping deity called Emperor Joker. With this newfound power at his disposal, Emperor Joker warped and twisted the world into a deranged caricature, tormenting its denizens for his own amusement. As entertainment, Emperor Joker killed Lex Luthor over and over again, and devoured the entire population of China. With Batman at his mercy, the deranged deity tortured and killed his nemesis on a daily basis, only to resurrect him and repeat the process. Eventually, Emperor Joker attempted to wipe out all of reality. However, he was ultimately defeated when Superman realized that the Joker could not exist without Batman, and used this to break the Joker's control. This allowed Mr. Mxyzptlk and the Spectre to reconstruct reality.
The Joker is a psychotic lunatic who revels in the suffering of others for his own amusement. Though intelligent, he utilizes his genius to commit crimes throughout Gotham City. He does not intend to kill Batman, but has often attempted to push the Dark Knight to break his one rule and kill him. Aside from killing his victims, he also attempts to drive them insane as proof of how corrupt humanity is. Thusly, his attempts to corrupt Batman is to prove how alike they are. He also mentally and physically abuses his girlfriend, Harley Quinn, who nevertheless retains her crush on him. The Joker has several times been shown to depend on Batman for opposition, and finds himself meaningless without the Dark Knight.
- The Joker is widely considered one of the most iconic comic book villains of all time, as well as one of the most evil.
- The Joker's original design was inspired by actor Conrad Veidt in character as Gwynplaine in the 1928 film The Man Who Laughs. The character, Gwynplaine, is portrayed as having a disfigured face giving him a perpetual grin.
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