[51], Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's 1988 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. [94], However, the Joker's unreliable memory has allowed writers to develop other origins for the character. WorldCat (a catalog of libraries in 170 countries) records over 250 productions featuring the Joker as a subject, including films, books, and video games,[205] and Batman films featuring the character are typically the most successful. [67] After Batman's apparent death in Final Crisis (2008), Grayson investigates a series of murders (which leads him to a disguised Joker). Bob made a rough sketch of it. As Batman … Clearly inspired by The Killing Joke, Joker begins as a failed stand-up comic named Arthur Fleck, who it's teased may be the illegitimate son of Thomas Wayne, although that's not confirmed to be true. "[145][146] Gotham's villains also feel threatened by the character; depending on the circumstances, he is as likely to fight with his rivals for control of the city as he is to join them for an entertaining outcome. [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. It was sometime afterwards, that those individuals b… ”The next game to use a joker was poker around 1875 where it functioned as a wild card. [199] As in the comics, the character's personality and appearance shift; he is campy, ferocious or unstable, depending on the author and the intended audience. I really wanted to get back to the idea of Batman fighting insane murderers at 3 a.m. under the full moon, as the clouds scuttled by. The Joker is Batman most iconic nemesis but does the Clown Prince of Crime have a true real name? Unfortunately, we never actually learn Joker's real name (though the initials "JW" can be seen monogrammed on his wife's suitcase). [73][101] Still others describe distant futures in which the Joker is a computer virus or a hero trying to defeat the era's tyrannical Batman. [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). While FOX TV series Gotham was denied actually labeling their take on the villain Joker, twins Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska (Cameron Monaghan) both offered a unique reinvention of the character. [141][142], 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. [68] The 1970s redefined the character as a homicidal psychopath. [165] The Joker rejects most authority, but retains his own, using his actions to coerce and consolidate power in himself and convert the masses to his own way of thinking, while eliminating any that oppose him. It also appeared that John was also unaware of his past and didn't remember his life prior to Arkham, how he got there or even his own name. And it looked absolutely weird. The villain displays no instinct for self-preservation, and is willing to die to prove his point. [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. Lieberman (w), Dale Eaglesham, Paul Ryan, Roger Robinson, Al Barrionuevo (p), John Floyd (i). [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]. [2] The Comics Code banned gore, innuendo and excessive violence, stripping Batman of his menace and transforming the Joker into a goofy, thieving trickster without his original homicidal tendencies. In the final scene of Batman: Three Jokers, Bruce Wayne travels to … This appearance is such a fundamental aspect of the character that when the 2004 animated series The Batman placed the Joker in a straitjacket, it quickly redesigned him in his familiar suit. [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. : The Many Looks of Joker", "The 25 Greatest Comic Book Villains of All Time", "Texas Tech librarian and professor publish book on Joker", "75 Greatest Friends and Foes of Batman: Villains #5-1", "Should Batman Kill The Joker? [162] The Joker possesses abnormal body imagery, reflecting an inversion of order. [235] Zach Galifianakis voiced the character in The Lego Batman Movie (2017). Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson are credited with creating the Joker, but their accounts of the character's conception differ, each providing his own version of events. 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. [182], The Joker has appeared in a variety of media, including television series, animated and live-action films. [107][109] During the evolution of the DC Universe, interpretations and versions of the Joker have taken two main forms. ... Bill Finger had a book with a photograph of Conrad Veidt and showed it to me and said, 'Here's the Joker.' He was played by late Australian actor Heath Ledger. [23][24], 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. [105], The Joker's popularity (and his role as Batman's enemy) has involved the character in most Batman-related media, from television to video games. [93] The ending of Batman: Three Jokers establishes that the Joker's wife did not actually die—rather, she fled to Alaska with the help of Gotham police and Batman because she feared her husband would be an abusive father; the police then told the Joker a story about her dying to protect her. [152][153] The Joker is sometimes shown to keep spotted hyenas as pets; this trait was introduced in the 1977 animated series The New Adventures of Batman. Directed by Christopher Nolan. [41], When Jenette Kahn became DC editor in 1976, she redeveloped the company's struggling titles; during her tenure, the Joker would become one of DC's most popular characters. [79] The Joker is arrested, and then-Robin Damian Wayne beats him with a crowbar, paralleling Todd's murder. I tried to get a sense of what Kane and Finger were after. 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. Although his primary obsession is Batman, the Joker has also fought other heroes, including Superman and Wonder Woman. the Joker is recruited by the Black Glove to destroy Batman, but betrays the group, killing its members one by one. 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. "[121], The Joker's main characteristic is his apparent insanity, although he is not described as having any particular psychological disorder. He has written words for Den of Geek, Collider, The Irish Times and Screen Rant over the years, and can discuss anything from the MCU - where Hawkeye is clearly the best character - to the most obscure cult b-movie gem, and his hot takes often require heat resistant gloves to handle. [10][11], Robinson credited himself, Finger, and Kane for the Joker's creation. Jack escapes, but falls into an empty vat as gunfire punctures chemical tanks above him. [10] Packs with two jokers started to become the norm during the late 1940s for the game of Canasta. Despite this body count, he is always found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to Arkham Asylum, avoiding the death penalty. The heist goes awry; the comedian leaps into a chemical vat to escape Batman, surfacing disfigured. [2][17] The show's popularity compelled Schwartz to keep the comics in a similar vein. ", 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. [126], Snyder's "Death of the Family" describes the Joker as in love with Batman, although not in a traditionally romantic way. His first appearance was in April 25, 1940 in the Batman comic books. Brings "Batman: Assault On Arkham" To DVD/Blu-Ray August 14", "Batman: Arkham Knight: The Kotaku Review", "Joker puts a smile on that face in newest Injustice 2 gameplay trailer", "The Joker brings a bag of deadly surprises to Mortal Kombat 11", "Joker, Harley Quinn in LEGO Batman Screenshots", "Anime USA Welcomes Voice Actor, Christopher Corey Smith", "Cast Featured in New LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Trailer", "A Very Familiar Smile Will Be Showing Up Next Week in the Telltale Batman Video Game", "Riddler returns, Joker takes a selfie in Telltale's Batman: The Enemy Within trailer", "Profile on Jerry Robinson - Creator of The Joker", Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Joker_(character)&oldid=995052776, Chemical war and weapons in popular culture, Supervillains with their own comic book titles, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Short description is different from Wikidata, Pages using multiple image with auto scaled images, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The character Catwoman was debuted by Bill Finger and Bob Kane. [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. [115] Comics scholar Peter Coogan describes the Joker as trying to reshape reality to fit himself by imposing his face on his victims (and fish) in an attempt to make the world comprehensible by creating a twisted parody of himself. "No Man's Land – Endgame: Part 3 – Sleep in Heavenly Peace". [63][64], The conclusion of the 2020 "Joker War" storyline by writer James Tynion IV and artist Jorge Jiménez sees the Joker leave Gotham after Batman chooses to let him die. [60] The Joker's first major storyline in The New 52, DC Comics' 2011 reboot of story continuity, was 2012's "Death of the Family" by writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo. [241][240][242], The Joker has also been featured in video games. The Joker is one of the most iconic fictional villains in history. [96] The superhero Atom sees the Joker's memory of burning his parents alive (after they find him killing animals) in The Brave and the Bold #31,[97] and Snyder's "Zero Year" (2013) suggests that the pre-disfigured Joker was a criminal mastermind leading a gang of Red Hoods. [169], Ryan Litsey described the Joker as an example of a "Nietzschean Superman," arguing that a fundamental aspect of Friedrich Nietzsche's Superman, the "will to power," is exemplified in all of the Joker's actions, providing a master morality to Batman's slave morality. [141] A 1976 issue of Batman Family introduced Duela Dent as the Joker's daughter, though her parentage claim was later proven to be false. 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. [55] The Joker quits his job as a lab assistant, becoming a stand-up comedian to support his pregnant wife. 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