Arthur Fleck is a failed comedian and party clown struggling with mental illness and a laughing disorder. It's later revealed that he actually is sociopathic and gradually begins to become evil as result of his abusive treatment from the people of Gotham City, leading him to become the vengeful anarchist Joker.
Believed to have been born in Gotham City, Arthur was abandoned as a baby and was later adopted by Penny Fleck. Penny allowed one of her boyfriends to sexually and physically abuse Arthur while tied to a radiator. Eventually, Arthur was rescued from this terrible childhood while his mother was taken to Arkham State Hospital.
Because of his abuse, Arthur developed a neurological condition that caused uncontrollable lapses of laughter until he would nearly choke up. While becoming an adult, Arthur learned how to control his laughter although he would constantly get embarrassed because of it.
Becoming the Joker
Arthur, now an adult, has dreams of becoming a stand-up comedian. He also had a social worker who helped him with his mental illness. He also acquired a job at HA-HA's as a party clown. One day, Arthur is assaulted by a group of teenage boys while doing some sign waving as a clown. Arthur was then violently beaten by those kids, increasing his fragile sanity problems.
Arthur met with his social worker when he recalls being locked away in a mental institution. Arthur lives with his mother, a now older Penny, and he uses his job to pay for his and her medication. Arthur and his mother are fans of the Murray Franklin show, where Arthur fantasizes himself being. He imagines Murray inviting him out on stage and saying he wished he had a son like him.
The next day at work, Arthur's friend, Randall, gives him a revolver for protection. Arthur also has a crush on his neighbor, single mother Sophie Dumond, and stalks her the next day. While performing at a kids hospital, Arthur drops his gun in front of all of them. This in turn gets Arthur fired from his job. When he takes the train home, he notices Three Wall Street Guys harassing a young woman. Arthur diverts their attention to himself by laughing because of his condition.
Arthur is then mocked and beaten by the three men. He then pulls out the gun and shoots two of them in self defense. Arthur chases the third one to the next platform and kills that one as well. Horrified at what he did, he runs into a public bathroom and dances to calm himself down. Arthur then concluded he loved killing them.
Arthur's act of violence inspires protests in Gotham where people dressed as clowns want to kill the rich population of Gotham. Arthur's life then starts to turn around because he starts dating Sophie, and tries stand-up comedy. After this, Arthur reads his mother's letters to Thomas Wayne and discovers that he is Thomas's son. Arthur goes to Wayne Manor and visits Bruce Wayne, Thomas's son. Arthur is then rudely dismissed by Alfred Pennyworth and returns home only to find his mother being rushed to hospital because of a stroke.
At the hospital, Arthur is approached by Garrity and Burke, two detectives, who ask him about the subway murders. Arthur denies he did it and goes inside to take care of his mother. In the hospital room, Arthur watches Murray Franklin humiliate him by playing a clip of his terrible stand-up performance. Arthur is horrified at this. He then sneaks into a premier at a movie theatre and confronts Thomas Wayne in the bathroom. Thomas says that Arthur is adopted and he never slept with his mother. Arthur has a violent outburst which ends with him laughing and getting punched in the face by Thomas.
Arthur then gets a call from the show worker of the Murray Franklin show and gets invited on because of his clip. Arthur accepts and goes to Arkham State Hospital to obtain his mother's medical records. Arthur discovers what Thomas said was true and learns about his twisted childhood. Arthur then goes to Sophie's apartment. Arthur never had a relationship with her, and he had imagined every moment with her.
Arthur returns to his mother and tells her he used to think that his life was a tragedy, but now he realized it was a comedy and kills his mother by smothering her to death with a pillow. Arthur then dyes his hair green in his apartment when Randall and Gary, Arthur's other friend, came to visit. Randall asks about the subway murders and wanted to know what Arthur said to the police. Arthur thanked Randall and brutally killed him by stabbing him in the neck and eye with scissors and then bashing his head repeatedly against a wall.
Arthur allowed Gary to go and kissed him on the forehead for his past kindness. Arthur put on a luxury clown suit, dyes his hair green and put on clown makeup in his apartment. He then danced down a public stairway, unleashing his alter ego: The Joker. When he was spotted by Garrity and Burke, they chased him through the street which resulted in Arthur getting hit by a taxi. Arthur escaped them by getting onto the train and after a protester got shot by Burke, allowed them to get beaten by the angry mob.
Arthur left and made his way to the Murray Franklin show. Arthur met Murray and asked him to introduce him as Joker. When Arthur appears on the show, he tells the audience that he was responsible for the subway murders, and tells them about how society has abandoned him and created him. Murray tells him not everyone his awful, and Joker then says he has another joke. Arthur then becomes Joker by shooting Murray Franklin in the head on live television.
Police arrive and arrest Arthur and while riding through the streets of Gotham is rescued by protesters by having an ambulance smashed into the side of the car. Arthur is taken out of the police car and rested on the hood. Up at the movie theatre, Thomas and Martha Wayne are killed by a protester leaving Bruce alone in the alley.
Arthur wakes up and dances for the protesters, and baptizes himself as The Joker by drawing a smile on his face with his own blood. Joker turns around and revels in the crowd's cheers.
It is believed that Joker either turned himself in or was eventually caught by a SWAT team. Arthur was then taken to Arkham State Hospital and gets interviewed by a psychiatrist. Arthur then walks down the hallway leaving behind a trail of bloody footprints, implying he violently murdered or at the very least severely injured that psychiatrist. Arthur is then pursued by orderlies as he dances down the hospital hall.
Powers and Abilities
- Firearms: Arthur is skilled in the use of firearms, particularly his .38-caliber revolver. He shot and killed three businessmen who attacked him in point-blank range, and later shot Murray Franklin in the forehead from greater distance.
- Weaponry: Arthur can use everyday objects as improvised weapons including a pillow and a pair of scissors.
- Pain Resistance: Arthur has a high tolerance for pain. This is seen when he was hit by a taxi and kept on running. He even quickly recovered from a car crash.
- Colt Detective Special Revolver
- This version of the character is exclusive to the continuity of the film Joker and is an adaptation of the Joker. The original character was created by Jerry Robinson, Bob Kane, and Bill Finger and first appeared in Batman #1.
- Joker was portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix.
- 1 Appearances of Arthur Fleck (Joker Movie)
- 9 Images featuring Arthur Fleck (Joker Movie)
- 1 Quotations by or about Arthur Fleck (Joker Movie)
- Character Gallery: Arthur Fleck (Joker Movie)