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Joker

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The Joker is a supervillain and the archenemy of Batman. First introduced in Batman 1 Spring , he was originally a criminal mastermind with a devious sense of humor. Initially intended to serve as a one-time appearances, Joker's instant popularity ensured that the character would continue to appear, becoming a frequent enemy of the Dark Knight and Robin, the Boy Wonder.

By the late s, Joker had been reimagined as a harmless prankster. Falling into obscurity by the s, he was re-introduced in the s as a more legitimate threat and one of the most infamous criminals within Gotham City.

In recent years, the character has taken on the persona of an evil-incarnate, simply taking joy in tormenting Batman or trying to push him into villainy. Widely considered Batman's arch-nemesis, the Joker has also been responsible for numerous tragedies in Batman's life, including the paralysis of Barbara Gordon and the death of Jason Todd , the second Robin.

His characterization has changed over the years, with the most common incarnation being a criminal mastermind who commits crimes for his own entertainment. Joker is also considered one of DC' most recognizable characters, with him also battling other heroes such as Superman and Wonder Woman.

The character has also become an icon in popular culture, usually through his portrayals in various media related to Batman and other DC properties.

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. Kane, who started out as a gag artist, loved the concept and encouraged its production.

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 modeled. This influence was referenced in the graphic novel Batman: The Man Who Laughs , a retelling of the first Joker story from It is of note that in his second appearance he was actually slated to be killed off, with the final page detailing the villain accidentally stabbing himself, lying dead as Batman and Robin run off into the night.

DC editor Whitney Ellsworth thought the Joker was too good a character to kill off, suggesting that he be spared. A hastily drawn panel, calculated to imply that the Joker was still alive, was subsequently added to the comic.

Alex Ross painted cover art for The Joker: The Greatest Stories Ever Told. For the next several appearances, the Joker often escaped capture but suffered an apparent death falling off a cliff, being caught in a burning building, etc. In these first dozen adventures, the Joker killed close to three dozen people, impressive for a villain who didn't use giant robots, mutant monsters, or space lasers, as was the status quo between until around Ironically, the turning point came in "Joker Walks the Last Mile" Detective Comics 64 , when the Joker was actually executed in the electric chair only to be chemically revived by henchmen.

While the Joker was back, he was decidedly less deadly than previous engagements. At this point, the editors decided that only one-shot villains should commit murder, so as to not make Batman look impotent in his inability to punish such recurring foes as the Joker or the Penguin.

As the Batman comics softened their tone, the Joker shifted towards a harmless, cackling nuisance. He quickly became the most popular villain and was used frequently during the Golden Age of Comic Books. The use of the character lessened somewhat by the late s, and disappeared almost entirely when Julius Schwartz took over editorship of the Batman comics in In , the character was revived and profoundly revised in the Batman comic stories by Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams.

Beginning in Batman , with the story "The Joker's Five Way Revenge", the Joker becomes a homicidal maniac who casually murders people on a whim, while enjoying battles of wits with Batman. This take on the character has taken prominence since. Steve Englehart , in his short but well-received run on the book, added elements deepening the severity of the Joker's insanity.

Joker even had his own nine-issue series from to in which he faces off against a variety of foes, both superheroes and supervillains. This was a major change as he was now the protagonist and in every issue, he was always apprehended and never killed anyone, due to writers telling series creator Dennis O'Neil to make these changes.

However, the development of the Joker as a sociopath continued with the issues "A Death in the Family" in which readers voted for the character to kill off Jason Todd and The Killing Joke in , redefining the character for DC's Modern Age after the company wide reboot following Crisis on Infinite Earths.

A major addition to the character was the introduction of the character Harley Quinn. Originally introduced in Batman: The Animated Series , Quinn is a clinical psychiatrist who falls hopelessly in love with the Joker in Arkham Asylum after he relays his tale of having an abusive father and a runaway mother, and now serves as his loyal, if daffy, sidekick, costumed in a skintight harlequin suit.

Their relationship often resembles that of an abusive domestic relationship, with the Joker insulting, hurting, or even attempting to kill Quinn, who remains undaunted in her devotion.

She was popular enough to be integrated into the comics in and a modified version of the character less goofy, but still criminally insane and utterly committed to the Joker was also featured on the short-lived live-action TV series Birds of Prey.

Though many have been related, a definitive history of the Joker has never been established in the comics, and his true name has never been confirmed. Nobody knows who he truly is. Detective Comics February revealed that he had been a lab worker who turned to crime and became a criminal known as the Red Hood.

In the story, the Red Hood was robbing a factory called the Monarch Playing Card Company and encountered Batman for the first time. He tried to escape from the Dark Knight by fleeing to the Ace Chemical Plant where he fell into a vat of chemicals. He survived but the chemicals had radically changed his body resulting in chalk-white skin, emerald green hair, and a bizarre ruby-red grin.

The most widely cited back-story can be seen in Alan Moore 's The Killing Joke. It depicts him as originally being an engineer at a chemical plant who quit his job to pursue his dream of being a stand-up comedian, only to fail miserably. Desperate to support his pregnant wife, Jeannie , the man agrees to help two criminals break into the plant where he was formerly employed.

In this version of the story, the Red Hood persona is given to the inside man of every job thus it is never the same man twice ; this makes the inside man appear to be the leader, allowing the two ring-leaders to escape.

During the planning, police contact him and inform him that his wife and unborn child have died in a household accident. Stricken with grief, he attempts to back out of the plan, but the criminals strong-arm him into keeping his promise.

As soon as they enter the plant, however, they are immediately caught by security and a fatal shoot-out ensues, in which the two criminals are killed. As he tries to escape, he is confronted by Batman, who is investigating the disturbance. Terrified, the engineer leaps over a rail and plummets into a vat of chemicals.

When he surfaces in the nearby reservoir, he removes the hood and sees his reflection: bleached chalk-white skin, ruby-red lips, and emerald green hair. These events, coupled with his other misfortunes that day, drive the engineer through the massive personality shift that results in the birth of the Joker.

The story "Push-back" Batman: Gotham Knights , supports part of this version of the Joker's origin story. In it, a witness who coincidentally turns out to be Edward Nygma, a. The Riddler recounts that the Joker's wife was kidnapped and murdered by the criminals in order to force the engineer into performing the crime.

In this version, the Joker was called Jack. In Geoff Johns ' " The Three Jokers ", the final pages also support the retelling as the Joker's origin. However, the story also implies that the Joker was abusive to Jeannie and that her death was staged to by the GCPD to allow her to go into witness protection.

Bruce Wayne visits her and their child in the Canada wilderness, indicating he knows who the Joker really is. The second arc of Batman Confidential re-imagines the Joker as a gifted criminal and abandons the Red Hood identity, also called Jack, who is nearly suicidal due to boredom with his "job".

He talks to a waitress, Harleen Quinzel , who convinces him to find something to live for. Jack becomes obsessed with Batman after he breaks up one of his jobs, leading Jack to attract Batman's attention at a ball.

Jack injures Lorna Shore whom Bruce Wayne is dating , leading Batman to disfigure his face with a Batarang. Jack escapes and Batman gives Jack's information to mobsters, who torture Jack in a chemical plant.

Jack kills several of his assailants after escaping, but falls into an empty vat as wild gunfire punctures the chemical tanks above him, and the resultant flood of antidepressant chemicals alters his appearance to that of a clown, completing his transformation into the Joker.

In flashbacks to Batman: Streets of Gotham , there was a boy known as Sonny who had gone over to Martha Kane's clinic at a foster home, who treated him kindly, and then ended up witnessing a horrific crime by some mobsters and got his jaw broken and infected with a laughing virus, with Kane's clinic saving him again.

However, the mobsters proceed to firebomb her clinic and abduct Sonny as he was attempting to save Kane, and was repeatedly abused by the mobsters to such an extent that his already broken jaw was incorrectly aligned, with the mobster in question taunting him to "keep smiling" and stop frowning.

It is heavily implied that "Sonny" would grow up to become the Joker. In Scott Snyder 's run on Batman, Joker appears in the first arch of Batman: Zero Year Batman Volume 2 Depicted as the leader of the Red Hood Gang, he led the group on an anarchical crusade to bring chaos to Gotham, claiming to have been inspired by the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne.

The recruits were also average citizens in Gotham, though many were actually blackmailed into helping the group. Before Bruce became Batman, the Red Hood was hired by a pre-Riddler Nygma to attack Bruce Wayne, leading to him becoming a fixation.

After a fight with Batman, the criminal purposely threw himself into the vat of chemicals, though a body was later recovered but could not be identified. During the later Endgame arch, there are hints that the Joker may have operated in Gotham long before Batman appeared.

After discovering his use of Dionesium, Batman suspects that Joker, like Vandal Savage and Ra's al Ghul , may use the chemical to extend his lifespan. The story also mentions of a serial killer called the Pale-Man who operated in Gotham long before Batman's arrival, implying that the Joker may be centuries old.

As he says in 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! From the Joker's first appearance in Batman 1, he has been willing and eager to wreak as much havoc as possible upon innocent people in order to claim the mantle of Gotham City's greatest criminal mastermind.

Throughout his decades-long war with Batman, he has committed crimes both whimsical and inhumanly brutal, all with a logic and reasoning that, in Batman's words, "make sense to him alone.

In The Killing Joke , the Joker shoots Barbara Gordon a. Batgirl , paralyzing her below the waist. He kidnaps Commissioner Gordon and taunts him with photographs of what he has done to Barbara, in an attempt to prove that any man can have "one bad day" and become just like him, but fails to drive Gordon insane, despite giving him some serious trauma.

Batman rescues Gordon and tries one final time to reach the Joker, offering to rehabilitate him. After a few moments of consideration, the Joker refuses, stating that it is "too late for that", but shows his appreciation by sharing a joke with Batman which, surprisingly, receives an uncharacteristic laugh from the vigilante and allowing himself to be taken back to Arkham.

The Joker also murdered Jason Todd, the second Robin, in the story " A Death in the Family. She betrays her son to keep from having her medical supply thefts exposed, leading to Jason's brutal beating by the Joker with a crowbar. The Joker locks Jason and his mother in the warehouse where the assault took place and blows it up just as Batman arrives.

Readers could vote on whether they wanted Jason Todd to survive the blast. They voted for him to die, hence that Batman finds Jason's lifeless body. Jason's death has haunted him since and has intensified his obsession with his archenemy. Psychiatrist Harleen Quinzel eventually ponders whether the Joker may in fact be faking insanity so as to avoid the death penalty.

As she tries to treat the Joker, he recounts a tale of an absent father and runaway mother to gain her sympathy. Falling in love, she allows him to escape Arkham several times before she is eventually exposed.

Driven over the edge with obsession, she becomes the criminal Harley Quinn and the Joker's closest sidekick.

In a company-wide crossover, "The Last Laugh," the Joker believes himself to be dying and plans one last historic crime spree, infecting the inmates of 'The Slab,' a prison for super criminals, with Joker venom to escape.

With plans to infect the entire world, he sets the super-powered inmates loose to cause mass chaos in their "Jokerized" forms. Meanwhile, he tries to ensure his "legacy" by defacing statues in his image. The entire United States declares war on the Joker under the orders of President Lex Luthor ; in response, Joker sends his minions to kill the President.

The heroes of the world try to fight off the rampaging villains, while Black Canary discovers that Joker's doctor modified his CAT scan to make it appear that he had a fatal tumor in an attempt to subdue him with the threat of death.

Harley Quinn, angry at the Joker's attempt to get her pregnant without marrying her to continue his legacy, through artificial insemination , helps the heroes create an antidote to the Joker poison and return the super villains to their normal state.

Believing Robin then Tim Drake had been eaten by Killer Croc in the ensuing madness, Nightwing eventually catches up with the Joker and beats him to death heart stopped.

To keep Nightwing from having blood on his hands, Batman resuscitates the Joker with CPR. During the events of the No Man's Land storyline, the Joker murders Sarah Essen Gordon , Commissioner Gordon 's second wife, by shooting her in the head as she tries to protect the infants that he had kidnapped.

He did not, however, take any pleasure in the act, shown frowning afterward rather than with his trademark grin. He surrenders to Batman, but continues to taunt James Gordon, provoking the commissioner to shoot him in the kneecap.

After lamenting the fact he may never walk again, the Joker suddenly begins laughing manically as Gordon just avenged the fate of Barbara. In "Emperor Joker" , a multi-part story throughout the Superman titles, the Joker steals Mister Mxyzptlk 's reality altering power, becoming a nigh-omnipotent being , and remaking the entire world into a twisted caricature, with everyone in it stuck in a loop, repeating the same patterns over and over.

The conflict focuses on the fate of Batman in this world, with the Joker torturing and killing his adversary every day, only to bring him back to life and do it over and over again.

Superman's powerful will allows him to fight off the Joker's influence enough to make contact with the weakened Mxyzptlk, who along with a less-powerful Spectre , encourages Superman to work out the Joker's weakness before reality is destroyed by the Joker's misuse of Mxyzptlk's power.

As time runs out, Superman realizes that the Joker still is unwilling to erase Batman from existence, as the Joker totally defines himself by his opposition to the Dark Knight; if the Joker can't even willingly erase one man, how can he destroy the universe?

The Joker's control shattered, Mxyzptlk and the Spectre manage to reconstruct reality from the moment the Joker disrupted everything, but Batman is left broken from experiencing multiple deaths.

Superman has to steal Batman's memories so that he can go on, apparently transferring them to the Joker. During the return of new villain Hush to Gotham City, The Riddler hires the Joker to save him, offering the Joker the name of the crooked cop who killed his wife all those years ago.

However, the Joker's attempted revenge is cut short when Hush attacks with Prometheus , forcing the Joker to retreat. After Jason Todd returns to life and takes over his killer's old Red Hood identity during the lead-up to Infinite Crisis , Jason asserts that the Joker was not quite as crazy as he leads people to believe.

Jason attempts to force Batman to shoot the Joker, angered at Batman's refusal to kill the Joker despite what he'd done. Batman refuses, however, driving Jason away with a well-aimed batarang instead. At the conclusion of Infinite Crisis the Joker kills Alexander Luthor , hero of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths and villain of Infinite Crisis.

In Batman , a captive shoots the Joker in the face. The Joker returns in Batman after having undergone extensive facial surgery that has left him with a permanent smile and unable to speak coherently.

While in intensive care at Arkham, he sends Harley Quinn to kill his former henchmen, having her use a more lethal version of Joker venom, in order to signal his "rebirth". The Joker has by now developed an immunity to this venom. In Countdown 50, Jimmy Olsen interviews an incarcerated Joker about the murder of Duela Dent , who had called herself the Joker's Daughter.

The Joker states that he never had any daughter, and expresses awareness of the Multiverse's existence and of shifts in reality. The Joker appears as he did before Batman The Joker is among the many villains transported to a remote jungle imprisonment planet where Psimon is elected as their leader.

Joker gives up hope, thinking that he could never surpass Psimon in power, and sinks into a depression. Kid Karnival snaps him out of it and tells him about how he admires the Joker and how he wouldn't let anyone stand in his way, giving the Joker his confidence back to fight.

When Psimon gives his speech, the Joker chucks a stone at the back of his head, stunning him. He then picks up a larger rock and pins Psimon to the ground, giving him a speech on his views on survival and beats him to death with the rock, destroying his brain in the process, proceeding to take command as chief.

Lex Luthor questions his leadership and sends Iron Cross after the Joker with the intent of killing him. Iron Cross is killed by the Joker, upon which Splitshot attempts to kill him to avenge Iron Cross, but is eventually killed as well, being strangled by his own bow.

Following this, Lex Luthor takes half of the villains and leaves to form his own tribe. Later, Gorilla Grodd takes over the Joker's tribe and is told by Monsieur Mallah to ditch the humans and form a society together, which results in Gorilla Grodd killing Mallah by smashing the brain case over his head after being insulted.

Grodd, heavily wounded, asks the Joker to help him, being kicked off a cliff and being put into a coma in response.

Later on, the Joker's camp invades Luthor's camp, resulting in an all-out brawl. It is then decided that the Joker and Lex Luthor should fight to the death.

Luthor, despite having the upper hand for the first half of the fight, is beaten by the Joker. Nearing the end of their fight, the Parademons invade the planet.

They decide to work together against the Parademons, managing to defeat the first wave, after which Gorilla Grodd recovers from his injuries, making an attempt at tearing the Joker's arm off in revenge. Another wave of Parademons invades, interrupting their fight. The Joker helps fight off the invasion, eventually running out of ammunition.

He manages to trade guns with a gullible Parademon which he kills a moment later, taking its extra ammo and weapons, getting back in the fight to kill the rest of them. Eventually, after Lex Luthor uses elemental villains to power his teleportation machine, the Joker is able to escape from the planet, and the remaining Parademons are wiped out when Luthor rigs the machine to explode.

In the beginning of the Batman R. arc Batman visits the Joker in Arkham for information on the group known as the Black Glove. In response, the Joker nonchalantly deals himself a "dead man's hand, with a twist" - the twist being that the eights in his hand are red cards, the aces are still black, and his final card is a joker.

During routine therapy, Joker is met by a spy for the Club of Villains who offers him a chance to join them in their crusade against Batman. He participates in their action, considering it a farce all along knowing Batman will survive their attempts, which he spitefully reveals to them just when they think their plan has come to fruition.

He tells them that he has spent many years trying to kill Batman and that it would only be a matter of time before he'd come back. Later Batman infiltrates the headquarters, and the Joker flees, casually murdering some Black Glove members before escaping in an ambulance.

Joker drives through the Gotham bridge, plowing through police cars. The Joker then encounters Alfred Pennyworth and Damian Wayne in the Batmobile. Damian rams the Joker's ambulance with the Batmobile and sends him careening off the bridge unaware that it is the Joker.

The Joker soon returns as a member of Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains during Final Crisis. Meanwhile, his place in Gotham City was taken by his old henchman, Gaggy, during Gotham City Sirens.

During the events of the "Batman: Last Rites" story arc, the Joker is mentioned and shown several times in Batman's past experiences as his history is explored.

He is also shown entering the funeral service for Batman in Neil Gaiman's Whatever Happened to The Caped Crusader? At the same time however, he operated as the mysterious Domino Killer, killing members of the Black Glove one by one. The Joker then became the target of a blackmail scheme from an organization called "El Penitente".

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Joker R 2h 2m. IMDb RATING. YOUR RATING. Play trailer Crime Drama Thriller. Director Todd Phillips. Todd Phillips Scott Silver Bob Kane. Joaquin Phoenix Robert De Niro Zazie Beetz. See production info at IMDbPro. Top credits Director Todd Phillips. Top rated movie Videos Trailer Watch Theatrical Trailer.

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Watch Is the DCEU's Future Rated R? Watch The Biggest Supervillain Movies and Who's Coming Next. Photos Top cast Edit. Joaquin Phoenix Arthur Fleck.

Robert De Niro Murray Franklin. Zazie Beetz Sophie Dumond. Frances Conroy Penny Fleck. Brett Cullen Thomas Wayne.

Shea Whigham Detective Burke. Bill Camp Detective Garrity. Glenn Fleshler Randall. Leigh Gill Gary. Josh Pais Hoyt Vaughn. Rocco Luna GiGi Dumond. Marc Maron Gene Ufland. The concept was mine. Bill finished that first script from my outline of the persona and what should happen in the first story.

He wrote the script of that, so he really was co-creator, and Bob and I did the visuals, so Bob was also. I got a call from Bob Kane He had a new villain. When I arrived he was holding a playing card. Apparently Jerry Robinson or Bob, I don't recall who, looked at the card and they had an idea for a character the Joker.

Bob made a rough sketch of it. At first it didn't look much like the Joker. It looked more like a clown. The volume I had was The Man Who Laughs — his face had been permanently operated on so that he will always have this perpetual grin.

And it looked absolutely weird. I cut the picture out of the book and gave it to Bob, who drew the profile and gave it a more sinister aspect. Then he worked on the face; made him look a little clown -like, which accounted for his white face, red lips, green hair. And that was the Joker!

Although Kane adamantly refused to share credit for many of his characters, and refuted Robinson's claim for the rest of his life, many comic historians credit Robinson with the Joker's creation and Finger with the character's development. The Joker debuted in Batman 1 April as the eponymous character's first villain, about a year after Batman's debut in Detective Comics 27 May The Joker initially appeared as a serial killer and jewel thief, modeled after a joker playing card with a mirthless grin, who killed his victims with "Joker venom," a toxin that left their faces smiling grotesquely.

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. The character's regular appearances quickly defined him as the archenemy of Batman and Robin ; he killed dozens of people, and even derailed a train.

Around the same time, DC Comics found it easier to market its stories to children without the more mature pulp elements that had originated many superhero comics. During this period, the first changes in the Joker began to appear, portraying him as a wacky but harmless prankster; in one story, the Joker kidnaps Robin and Batman pays the ransom by check, meaning that the Joker cannot cash it without being arrested.

The cover of Detective Comics 69, known as "Double Guns" with the Joker emerging from a genie 's lamp, aiming two guns at Batman and Robin , is considered one of the greatest superhero comic covers of the Golden Age and is the only image from that era of the character using traditional guns.

Robinson said that other contemporary villains used guns, and the creative team wanted the Joker—as Batman's adversary—to be more resourceful.

The Joker was one of the few popular villains continuing to appear regularly in Batman comics from the Golden Age into the Silver Age, as the series continued during the rise in popularity of mystery and romance comics. In , Finger wrote an origin story for the Joker in Detective Comics , which introduced the characteristic of him formerly being the criminal Red Hood , and his disfigurement the result of a fall into a chemical vat.

By , the Comics Code Authority had been established in response to increasing public disapproval of comic book content. The backlash was inspired by Frederic Wertham , who hypothesized that mass media especially comic books was responsible for the rise in juvenile delinquency , violence and homosexuality , particularly in young males.

Parents forbade their children from reading comic books, and there were several mass burnings. The character appeared less frequently after , when Julius Schwartz who disliked the Joker became editor of the Batman comics. As the show's popularity waned, however, so did that of the Batman comics.

In , after a four-year disappearance, [2] the Joker was revived and revised by writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Neal Adams. Beginning with Batman 's "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge", the character returns to his roots as a homicidal maniac who matches wits with Batman.

I went to the DC library and read some of the early stories. I tried to get a sense of what Kane and Finger were after. DC Comics was a hotbed of experimentation during the s, and in the character became the first villain to feature as the title character in a comic book series, The Joker.

Although he murdered thugs and civilians, he never fought Batman; this made The Joker a series in which the character's villainy prevailed over rival villains, instead of a struggle between good and evil. The series never found an audience, and The Joker was canceled after nine issues despite a "next issue" advertisement for an appearance by the Justice League.

In , DC Comics reissued the series as a trade paperback. When Jenette Kahn became DC editor in , she redeveloped the company's struggling titles; during her tenure, the Joker would become one of DC's most popular characters. 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.

I really wanted to get back to the idea of Batman fighting insane murderers at 3 a. under the full moon, as the clouds scuttled by. Years after the end of the television series, sales of Batman continued to fall and the title was nearly cancelled.

Although the s restored the Joker as Batman's insane, lethal archenemy, it was during the s that the Batman series started to turn around and the Joker came into his own as part of the "Dark Age" of comics, with mature tales of death and destruction.

The shift was criticized for moving away from tamer superheroes and villains , but comic audiences were no longer primarily children. In the —89 story arc " A Death in the Family ", the Joker murders Batman's sidekick the second Robin, Jason Todd.

Todd was unpopular with fans; rather than modify his character, DC opted to let them vote for his fate and a vote plurality had the Joker beat Todd to death with a crowbar. This story altered the Batman universe: instead of killing anonymous bystanders, the Joker murdered a core character; this had a lasting effect on future stories.

Alan Moore and Brian Bolland 's graphic novel The Killing Joke expands on the Joker's origins, describing the character as a failed comedian who adopts the identity of the Red Hood to support his pregnant wife.

The animated series introduced the Joker's female sidekick: Harley Quinn , a psychiatrist who falls for—and ends up in an abusive relationship with—the Joker, becoming his supervillain accomplice. The character was popular, and was adapted into the comics as the Joker's romantic interest in 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.

However, the Anarky series was cancelled before the rebuttal could be published. 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 conclusion of the " Joker War " storyline by writer James Tynion IV and artist Jorge Jiménez sees the Joker leave Gotham after Batman chooses to let him die.

The Joker has undergone many revisions since his debut. The most common interpretation of the character is that of a man who, while disguised as the criminal Red Hood, is pursued by Batman and falls into a vat of chemicals that bleaches his skin, colors his hair green and his lips red, and drives him insane.

The reasons why the Joker was disguised as the Red Hood and his identity before his transformation have changed over time. The character was introduced in Batman 1 , in which he announces that he will kill three of Gotham's prominent citizens. Although the police protect his first announced victim, millionaire Henry Claridge, the Joker had poisoned him before making his announcement and Claridge dies with a ghastly grin on his face.

Batman eventually defeats him, sending him to prison. His resulting disfigurement drove him insane and led him to adopt the name "Joker", from the playing card figure he came to resemble. 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.

Batman: The Killing Joke built on the Joker's origin story, portraying him as a failed comedian who participates in a robbery as the Red Hood to support his pregnant wife.

Batman arrives to stop the robbery, provoking the terrified comedian into jumping into a vat of chemicals, which dyes his skin chalk-white, his hair green, and his lips bright red.

His disfigurement, combined with the trauma of his wife's earlier accidental death, drives him insane, and results in the birth of the Joker.

Although the Joker refuses, he shows his appreciation by sharing a joke with Batman. In the story "A Death in the Family", the Joker beats Jason Todd , the second Robin , with a crowbar and leaves him to die in an explosion. Todd's death haunts Batman, and for the first time he seriously considers killing the Joker.

membership, he is defeated by Batman and Superman. In the " No Man's Land " storyline, the Joker murders Commissioner Gordon's second wife, Sarah , as she shields a group of infants. The Joker, lamenting that he may never walk again, collapses with laughter when he realizes that the commissioner has avenged Barbara's paralysis.

The s 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. When the supervillain then tries to destroy the universe, his reluctance to eliminate Batman makes him lose control, and Superman defeats him.

Instead, the Joker flanked by an army of "Jokerized" supervillains launches a final crime spree. Believing that Robin Tim Drake has been killed in the chaos, Dick Grayson beats the Joker to death although Batman revives his foe to keep Grayson from becoming a murderer , and the villain succeeds in making a member of the Bat-family break their rule against killing.

In " Under the Hood " , a resurrected Todd tries to force Batman to avenge his death by killing the Joker. Batman refuses, arguing that if he allowed himself to kill the Joker, he would not be able to stop himself from killing other criminals.

in Infinite Crisis for excluding him from the Secret Society of Super Villains , which considers him too unpredictable for membership. The supervillain returns in "The Clown at Midnight" as an enigmatic force who awakens and tries to kill Harley Quinn to prove to Batman that he has become more than human.

When the Joker escapes, he attacks the Black Glove, burying its leader Simon Hurt alive after the supervillain considers him a failure as an opponent; the Joker is then defeated by the recently returned Batman. In DC's The New 52 , a relaunch of its titles following Flashpoint , the Joker has his own face cut off.

During the " Darkseid War " — storyline, Batman uses Metron 's Mobius Chair to find out the Joker's real name; the chair's answer leaves Batman in disbelief.

In the DC Universe: Rebirth one-shot, Batman informs Hal Jordan that the chair told him there were three individual Jokers, not just one. Three Jokers reveals that the three Jokers, who work in tandem, include "The Criminal", a methodical mastermind based on the Golden Age Joker; "The Clown", a goofy prankster based on the Silver Age Joker; and "The Comedian", a sadistic psychopath based on the Modern Age Joker.

The miniseries ends with the revelation that Batman knows the Joker's true identity. That doesn't seem to matter—just how he is now. I never intended to give a reason for his appearance.

We discussed that and Bill [Finger] and I never wanted to change it at that time. I thought—and he agreed—that it takes away some of the essential mystery. Although a number of backstories have been given, a definitive one has never been established for the Joker.

An unreliable narrator , the character is uncertain of who he was before and how he became the Joker: "Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another if I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!

He falls into a vat of chemical waste when his heist is thwarted by Batman, emerging with bleached white skin, red lips, green hair and a permanent grin. This story was the basis for the most often-cited origin tale, Moore's one-shot The Killing Joke. Desperate to support his pregnant wife, he agrees to help two criminals commit a robbery as the Red Hood.

The heist goes awry; the comedian leaps into a chemical vat to escape Batman, surfacing disfigured. This, combined with the earlier accidental death of his wife and unborn child, drives the comedian insane, turning him into the Joker. The miniseries also reveals that Batman knows the Joker's identity, and has kept it secret in order to protect the criminal's wife and son.

However, the Joker's unreliable memory has allowed writers to develop other origins for the character. He has his fateful first meeting with Batman, which results in his disfigurement. It is suggested that the Joker is sane, and researches his crimes to look like the work of a sick mind in order to avoid the death penalty.

In Batman Confidential 7—12, the character Jack is a career criminal who is bored with his work. He encounters and becomes obsessed with Batman during a heist, embarking on a crime spree to attract the Caped Crusader's attention.

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. Jack escapes, but falls into an empty vat as gunfire punctures chemical tanks above him.

The flood of chemicals used in anti-psychotic medication alters his appearance and completes his transformation. Renowned as Batman's greatest enemy, [] [] [] [] the Joker is known by a number of nicknames, including the Clown Prince of Crime, the Harlequin of Hate, the Ace of Knaves, and the Jester of Genocide.

The original, dominant image is that of a psychopath [] with genius-level intelligence and a warped, sadistic sense of humor. This appearance is such a fundamental aspect of the character that when the animated series The Batman placed the Joker in a straitjacket, it quickly redesigned him in his familiar suit.

The Joker is obsessed with Batman, the pair representing a yin-yang of opposing dark and light force, although it is the Joker who represents humor and color and Batman who dwells in the dark. Spectacle is more important than success for the Joker, and if it is not spectacular it is boring.

Despite this body count, he is always found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to Arkham Asylum , avoiding the death penalty.

The Joker displays no instinct for self-preservation, and is willing to die to prove his point that anyone could become like him after "one bad day". The Joker's main characteristic is his apparent insanity, although he is not described as having any particular psychological disorder.

Like a psychopath, he lacks empathy, a conscience, and concern over right and wrong. In Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth , the Joker is described as capable of processing outside sensory information only by adapting to it.

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. The Killing Joke in which the Joker is the unreliable narrator explains the roots of his insanity as "one bad day": losing his wife and unborn child and being disfigured by chemicals, paralleling Batman's origin in the loss of his parents.

He tries and fails to prove that anyone can become like him after one bad day by torturing Commissioner Gordon, physically and psychologically. Englehart's "The Laughing Fish" demonstrates the character's illogical nature: trying to copyright fish that bear his face, and not understanding why threatening the copyright clerk cannot produce the desired result.

The Joker is alternatively depicted as sexual and asexual. 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. Harley loves him, but the Joker does not reciprocate her feelings, chiding her for distracting him from other plans.

Snyder's "Death of the Family" describes the Joker as in love with Batman, although not in a traditionally romantic way. The Joker believes that Batman has not killed him because he makes Batman better and he loves the villain for that.

The Joker is often depicted as defining his existence through his conflict with Batman. In 's "Going Sane", the villain tries to lead a normal life after Batman's apparent death, only to become his old self again when Batman reappears; in "Emperor Joker", an apparently omnipotent Joker cannot destroy Batman without undoing himself.

Since the Joker is simply "the Joker", he believes that Batman is "Batman" with or without the costume and has no interest in what is behind Batman's mask, ignoring opportunities to learn Batman's secret identity.

The Joker is portrayed as having no fear; when fellow supervillain Scarecrow doses him with fear toxin in Knightfall , the Joker merely laughs and says "Boo! At these moments, the Joker is depicted as expressing remorse for his crimes; [] [] however, during a medically induced period of partial sanity in Batman: Cacophony , he tells Batman, "I don't hate you 'cause I'm crazy.

I'm crazy 'cause I hate you," and confirms that he will only stop killing when Batman is dead. The Joker has no inherent superhuman abilities. 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 as harmless joke items.

The Joker has used venom since his debut; only he knows the formula, and is shown to be gifted enough to manufacture the toxin from ordinary household chemicals. Another version of the venom used in Joker: Last Laugh makes its victims resemble the Joker, susceptible to his orders.

The character's arsenal is inspired by his nemesis' weaponry, such as batarangs. In "The Joker's Utility Belt" , he mimicked Batman's utility belt with non-lethal items, such as Mexican jumping beans and sneezing powder. His technical genius is not limited by practicality, allowing him to hijack Gotham's television airwaves to issue threats, transform buildings into death traps, launch a gas attack on the city and rain poisoned glass shards on its citizens from an airship.

The Joker is portrayed as skilled in melee combat, from his initial appearances when he defeats Batman in a sword fight nearly killing him , and others when he overwhelms Batman but declines to kill him. The Joker's unpredictable, homicidal nature makes him one of the most feared supervillains in the DC Universe; the Trickster says in the miniseries Underworld Unleashed , "When super-villains want to scare each other, they tell Joker stories.

He has collaborated with criminals like the Penguin , the Riddler , and Two-Face , although these partnerships rarely end well due to the Joker's desire for unbridled chaos, and he uses his stature to lead others such as Killer Croc and the Scarecrow.

Although they have a friendly partnership in 's World's Finest Comics 88, later unions emphasized their mutual hostility and clashing egos.

Despite his tendency to kill subordinates on a whim, the Joker has no difficulty attracting henchmen with a seemingly infinite cash supply and intimidation; they are too afraid of their employer to refuse his demands that they wear red clown noses or laugh at his macabre jokes.

They have a classic abusive relationship ; even though the Joker constantly insults, hurts, and even tries to kill Harley, she always returns to him, convinced that he loves her.

Although his chief obsession is Batman, the character has occasionally ventured outside Gotham City to fight Batman's superhero allies. In "To Laugh and Die in Metropolis" the character kidnaps Lois Lane , distracting Superman with a nuclear weapon.

The story is notable for the Joker taking on a relative god and the ease with which Superman defeats him—it took only 17 pages. Asked why he came to Metropolis, the Joker replies simply: "Oh Superman, why not?

A number of alternate universes in DC Comics publications allow writers to introduce variations on the Joker, in which the character's origins, behavior, and morality differ from the mainstream setting.

Amalgam Comics is a —98 shared imprint of DC Comics and Marvel Comics , which features characters that are composites of DC and Marvel characters. The Hyena Creed H. Quinn is a composite of DC's Joker and Marvel's Sabretooth.

He is the nemesis of the Dark Claw Logan Wayne , a composite of Batman and Marvel's Wolverine. Hyena, like Wayne, is a mutant with the ability to rapidly heal injuries. The two were both subjects of the Weapon X program, an attempt to create "living weapons".

Hyena used his enhancements to become a psychopathic killer. The Hyena first appeared in Legends of the Dark Claw 1 April In the timeline of Batman Beyond , set in the DC animated universe after the events of the film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker , the Joker remains deceased.

In the Justice League Beyond arc "Flashdrive" his corpse appears in a flashback, set immediately after his death at the hands of Tim Drake in Return of the Joker , being buried beneath Arkham Asylum by Batman and James Gordon.

The Joker's death is shown to be the catalyst for Barbara Gordon 's retirement as Batgirl besides Drake's eventual retirement as Robin. The Joker helped free the original Dark Judges in exchange for immortality.

He received his payment by having his spirit merged into a corpse which was not quite the "immortality" he had sought , creating "Judge Joker".

As a Dark Judge, the Joker could kill masses of people with his laugh, which caused human heads to explode. His tenure was a brief one, as he quickly became bored with slaughter simply for its own sake and did not share the original Dark Judges' fanatical zeal for their "sacred mission" of purging all life.

The Joker was restored to his normal, mortal form upon returning to Gotham City via a defective dimensional jump device. Despite almost killing Batman, he is quickly knocked out by Donatello. In the miniseries Batman: Damned , printed under the DC Black Label , the Joker's death is the center of the story.

The circumstances are left unclear, though it occurred after a confrontation with Batman led to both of them tumbling over a bridge. The Joker's body is later discovered by police, having washed up on shore, while Batman is severely injured and disoriented.

The Joker is introduced towards the end of Volume Three of the graphic novel series Batman: Earth One. In this version, he is suggested to be the one responsible for the Flying Graysons' demise, and frees Toyman from police custody in order to enlist him for his future plans.

In this alternate reality, the Joker mocks Batman's attitude towards his "crusade" for justice, claiming that Batman's actions amount to nothing but an attempt to control his world and the Joker simply gives him the opportunity to express this rage.

Disgusted at this claim, Batman force-feeds the Joker a bottle of pills that the villain had just stolen, but the overdose has the unexpected side effect of restoring the Joker to sanity, as well as remembering his former identity of Jack Napier , prompting him to "order" the GCPD to either charge Batman for assault, or he would sue the department for complicity in Batman's abuse of prisoners.

The s series Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew presented the parallel Earth of "Earth-C", a world populated by talking animal superheroes. Captain Carrot, in his secret identity of Roger Rodney Rabbit, is the creator of the superhero comic Just'a Lotta Animals a cartoon-animal version of the Justice League of America.

Captain Carrot and the Zoo eventually discover the characters in Rodney's comics actually live on "Earth-C-Minus", in yet another alternate universe.

There, the Porker, a pig analog of the Joker, is the nemesis of the Batmouse. Joker's history on Earth-Two is the same as his Golden Age history.

King Kull later recruited Joker of Earth-Two to assist Weeper II of Earth-S, Doctor Light of Earth-One, and Shade of Earth-One in order to trap one side of Earth-S in darkness.

Joker did show Weeper II how he commits his crimes on Earth-Two. Their plot was defeated by Batman and Robin of Earth-Two, Mr. Scarlet and Pinky the Whiz Kid of Earth-S, and Hawkman and Hawkgirl of Earth-One. After Batman had died from terminal cancer, Joker refused to believe that his archenemy is dead.

Dick Grayson posed as Batman to mesmerize Joker enough for Huntress to apprehend him. When Nicholas Lucien came out of a coma following his last fight with Batman, he found himself incarcerated at Gotham State Penitentiary where Joker became his cellmate. Lucien planned to have his revenge on Batman only to be told by Joker that Batman is dead.

The Joker of the Post- 52 Earth-2 is depicted as an old man, frail and wheelchair-reliant after a lifetime of exposure to deadly chemicals, and ironically unable to laugh without hurting himself. After disfiguring the Huntress's boyfriend, Harry Simms, in an attempt to create a replacement for the deceased Two-Face , he is tracked down by the vengeful heroine.

The Joker attempts to kill the Huntress with a lethal joy buzzer , but the attack is intercepted by Power Girl , and the Joker is himself electrocuted as a result.

The Joker of Earth-3 is a hero operating under the alias of the Jokester, and first appeared in Countdown 32 Sep He is the nemesis of Owlman , a villainous version of Batman. Jokester and his daughter Duela Dent are killed by the rogue Monitor Solomon.

The Joker of Earth-9 in the DC Comics imprint Tangent Comics is a female hero who uses her array of jokes and comical devices to mock the evil tyrant Superman 's authority. This Joker is actually three women: student Mary Marvel , entrepreneur Christie Xanadu , and reporter Lori Lemaris , all of whom take turns wearing the Joker costume.

Mary is captured by the Tangent Superman and tortured into revealing the identities of the other two before she is killed. Lemaris is sent to prison and Christina's fate is left unknown. Lemaris is later re-offered the Joker mantle, but instead chooses to take up that of her fallen comrade, Manhunter.

On this alternate Earth, the children of metahuman heroes and villains have been forced into apparent retirement due to the efficiency of Superman robots. In the timeline of Batman: The Brave and the Bold , set outside the DC animated universe, the character operates as the hero the Red Hood , escaping the clutches of the villainous Batman counterpart Owlman.

On Earth of the Dark Multiverse , the Joker discovers Batman's secret identity. He slaughters most of Batman's other rogues, as well as Commissioner Gordon, and then infects a sizeable portion of Gotham's population with the same chemicals that transformed him, subsequently killing several parents in front of their children with the goal of creating a gathering of children that were essentially a combination of himself and Batman.

As Batman grapples with the Joker, the Joker finally dies from the chemicals that had originally transformed him. As he dies, his decaying body infects Batman with a virus that gradually transforms him into a new Joker.

By the time the Batman realizes this, the process is too advanced for him to find a cure. Batman kills most of his allies and transforms Damian into a mini-Joker before turning on the rest of the Justice League and then conquering the world.

The Joker mockingly notes that even an insane Batman can only plan for scenarios that he believes are possible, and an alliance between the Joker and the Batman is the one thing the Batman Who Laughs could never have considered. In , " The New 52 " rebooted the DC continuity.

On Earth 2, Joker is a dangerous criminal who is imprisoned in a stasis chamber at Arkham Base. When Batman entered Arkham base to look for inmates to aid him, he shot Joker in the head. Elseworlds titles are stories that take place in their own separate continuities and often feature different interpretations of mainstream continuity characters.

Although he successfully coordinates their efforts to take control of Gotham's major crime families, the now-vampire Batman aided by were-cat Selina Kyle is able to destroy the Joker's minions. Unfortunately, Selina is killed in the final battle with the Joker's vampires, with her death causing Batman to succumb to his lust for blood and drink from the Joker.

Although he stakes his foe to prevent him from coming back as a vampire, Batman is left tormented by the knowledge that the Joker won their long conflict by driving him to kill, often reflecting that he is damned by Dracula's bite and the Joker's blood in equal measure as he surrenders to his vampire side and turns on his old enemies.

The classic Joker origin as depicted in The Killing Joke is referenced, but averted by Green Lantern Bruce Wayne; after being arrested, the Red Hood says he has "had a really bad day", and Bruce counters by saying that that is no excuse, because everyone has terrible days, which shames the Hood into apologizing.

In Batman: Leatherwing , the Joker is represented as the "Laughing Man" , the deformed and insane pirate captain of the ship Pescador. He is the adversary of Captain Leatherwing, a Batman analogue.

In Batman: Nosferatu , the Joker appears as the Laughing Man , a monstrous cyborg created by the experiments of the depraved Dr. Arkham, who uses him as an assassin. This version of the Joker ironically ends up creating this world's Batman after an assassination attempt on Bruce Wayne's counterpart.

In Batman: Two Faces , the Joker is not an independent entity, but a shared identity created when a potion created by Bruce Wayne to give himself superhuman strength also creates a new personality, Bruce alternating randomly between himself and the Joker, his Batman identity fighting crime, while the Joker commits murders.

After he realizes the truth and confesses to his allies, Bruce, unable to cure himself, allows himself to fall off a building to stop the Joker once and for all.

The Joker cameos in Gotham by Gaslight as a serial killer who, having married and poisoned at least 10 women, tries to commit suicide with strychnine when he is caught, leaving him with a permanent grin.

In JLA: The Nail , the Joker is provided with Kryptonian gauntlets and launches an attack on Arkham Asylum, forcing most of the inmates to fight each other before brutally murdering Batgirl and Robin while forcing Batman to watch. Catwoman distracts Joker long enough for Batman to escape, but the traumatised Batman subsequently kills the Joker in a rage.

During JLA: Another Nail , Batman encounters the Joker in the afterlife when dimensional anomalies allow him to escape from Hell, briefly attempting to sacrifice himself to ensure that the Joker will remain trapped, but Robin and Batgirl's spirit halts Batman's attempted sacrifice and gives him the strength to move on from his guilt.

In , the Joker and Lex Luthor kidnap a pregnant Lois Lane and expose her to gold kryptonite ; this renders her first-born child a normal human. The Joker kills the second Batman an adult Dick Grayson before revealing his true identity to the police as he gloats about how he has finally killed Batman, but Bruce Junior, Bruce Wayne's son and Grayson's Robin, manages to switch costumes with his mentor to create the impression that the Joker killed Robin rather than Batman.

Learning that his enemy is about to die of old age, the now-retired Bruce Wayne dons the cape and cowl for a final visit to the Joker's deathbed. Batman rejects the Joker's request to learn his true identity, on the grounds that the Joker is the last man that he would want to bring peace to.

This Elseworlds story Superman: Speeding Bullets is set on an Earth where baby Kal-El was adopted by Thomas and Martha Wayne and raised as Bruce Wayne.

When Bruce's parents are killed, he becomes the ruthless vigilante Batman. Batman's nemesis is Lex Luthor who, in this reality, was injured in the same type of chemical accident that created the main universe Joker.

The accident also drives Luthor insane, and he attempts to destroy Gotham City with an army of thugs, but is stopped by Batman. In the Elseworlds miniseries Batman: Thrillkiller Jan. Steeplechase poisons Robin, masquerades as the mayor's wife, abducts and tortures Bruce Wayne, and is in a lesbian relationship with Earth's Harley Quinn.

Bianca is killed by Batgirl, drowning in the Gotham River. In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, Martha Wayne is the Joker and even resembles Heath Ledger 's portrayal as seen in The Dark Knight.

After Bruce Wayne is shot and killed by Joe Chill, Martha is unable to cope with her loss, so she cuts open her cheeks to create a faux smile. As the Joker, she is the nemesis of Batman and uses Yo-Yo as a henchman.

She kidnaps Harvey Dent 's son and daughter. The Joker kills James Gordon after she tricks Gordon into shooting Harvey's daughter disguised as the Joker. After Dent's son and daughter are saved, Batman confronts the Joker [] about their son's death.

As Batman has recently met Barry Allen , Martha learns that there is a way to rewrite history where Bruce will live, although they will die. Realizing that her son will be Batman in that timeline, Martha flees in horror, falling to her death in the caverns below Wayne Manor.

In this spin-off of the online game , the Joker tires of his unsuccessful fight with Batman, and decides to attack Superman. He and Harley Quinn kill Jimmy Olsen and abduct Lois Lane who is pregnant with Superman's child. They place a stolen nuclear warhead within Metropolis with a deadman switch wired to Lois.

After exposing Superman to kryptonite -laced fear toxin stolen from the Scarecrow , Superman mistakes Lois for Doomsday and kills her. Metropolis is destroyed in the subsequent nuclear detonation. A grief-stricken and vengeful Superman confronts the captured Joker, who states that he will just escape to commit more crimes and taunts Superman about not finding love and happiness again, saying he will take it again from him.

Enraged beyond words, Superman kills the Joker and establishes the Regime, intent on eliminating crime through any means necessary. In the Year Three comic series, Superman is placed into a magical sleep where he imagines events playing out differently.

He is able to break free of the fear toxin in time to save Lois, their child, and Metropolis. Before an angry Superman can attack the Joker, Batman takes the Joker away. When the Joker confesses to Batman that he would try to kill Lois again, Batman kills the Joker and is imprisoned as a result.

With the tragedy averted, Superman is able to live a happy life with his wife and child. Superman is eventually woken from his dream and forced to contend with a world where the Joker bested him much to his agonizing fury.

In Year Four it is revealed that the Joker's name is used by the Joker Underground, a large group of people who oppose Superman's Regime and see the Joker as a symbol of freedom.

This catches Batwoman and Harley Quinn's eyes and they convince the protestors to use a different system. The Underground agree, but shortly after the two depart an enraged Superman shows up, furious they are using the Joker as a symbol.

He then kills the Underground, including over people, as punishment. This results in others continuing to use the Joker's name as a symbol, in response to the fact that Superman showed he is willing to murder those who had already agreed to stop using the Joker's name as their symbol, resulting in the Underground being temporarily co-opted by the Joker of an alternate universe.

Another graphic novel, called simply Joker , focuses on the character in a more gritty, realistic version of the Batman mythos. He is apparently harmless and has a habit of giggling when he is nervous. Elijah Snow mentions not liking the way Jasper "kept hugging himself" when looking at pictures of homicides.

In a comic book miniseries based on the television series Smallville , an interpretation of the Joker made his debut in Smallville: Alien 3 February In the graphic novel Batman: Digital Justice created by Pepe Moreno , an artificial intelligence calling itself the "Joker Virus" takes over a futuristic, technology-dependent Gotham City in the late 21st century and claims to be the reincarnation of its creator, the original Joker.

Batman, in this version the grandson of Commissioner James W. Gordon , stops the virus with help from another A. In Grant Morrison 's —15 miniseries The Multiversity , this alternate Earth is given the designation Earth Since the Bronze Age of Comics, the Joker has been interpreted as an archetypal trickster , displaying talents for cunning intelligence, social engineering, pranks, theatricality, and idiomatic humor.

Like the trickster, the Joker alternates between malicious violence and clever, harmless whimsy.

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