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Quote1.png Why don't you understand? You need me!!! I'm the answer to your life's question! Without me, you're just a joke... without a punchline. Quote2.png
Jeremiah Valeska src

Jeremiah Valeska is a sociopathic terrorist and engineer, as well as the twin brother of the nihilistic anarchist Jerome Valeska. He found a fascination in Bruce Wayne, and dedicated himself to binding the two of them together, through love or hatred, and by any means necessary.

Origins

A mostly sane Jeremiah

Jeremiah Valeska and his twin brother Jerome were born to Paul Cicero and Lila Valeska. As a child, Jeremiah convinced his mother that Jerome was dangerous, and that he needed to be hidden away or Jerome might kill him. Jerome later claimed this was false and that Jeremiah's rejection of him caused him to go completely insane. Regardless, Jeremiah ran away with the help of his uncle. He became a genius in math and design, and as an adult became an engineer, hiding out in a bunker designed like a maze to stay safe from Jerome. Jeremiah changed his legal name to "Xander Wilde" and only used his proxy to communicate with clients such as Thomas Wayne, head of Wayne Enterprises.[1]

One Bad Day

Brothers reunited

Eventually, Jerome located Jeremiah in his bunker, and was taken hostage by him and his team, the Legion of Horribles. Jerome by this point had become a nihilistic terrorist and serial killer with a sick sense of humor and a cult that worshiped him like a god, and swore to drive his brother as insane as he was. The Legion brought him to the center of Gotham City along with Bruce Wayne, the late Thomas Wayne's son, and prepared to unleash gallons of the Scarecrow's Insanity Gas on a massive crowd, driving them all mad. In front of the crowd, Jerome tried to goad Jeremiah into killing him, showing that he was as crazy as him, and Jeremiah nearly did, but was knocked unconscious. Detectives Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock were able to stop Jerome and kill him, and the relieved Jeremiah made a partnership with Bruce to develop a series of next-generation power generators.

Jeremiah goes mad

When Jeremiah returned to his bunker, however, he was greeted by a trap with a special brew of Insanity Gas that pushed him fully over the edge of insanity and turned his skin completely white, his lips red, his eyes green, and his hair dark green. He became a homicidal maniac like his brother, but instead wanted to transform Gotham into a more unique landscape to fit his liking by destroying it with his power-generators, which could be reworked into powerful bombs.[3]

Rebuilding Gotham City

Revealing his dark side

With Ecco by his side as his loyal henchwoman, Jeremiah recorded a series of video messages disguised as Jerome to taunt Gordon and get Jerome's cult on his side, all while Jeremiah began hallucinating visions of his dead brother. He sent the tape to the police station and had Ecco invite Jerome's cult to the GCPD. When he met with Bruce and told him about the visions, he tried to offer moral support, and Jeremiah came to see him as a true friend, and someone he could really count on. When Bruce tried to show him that his brother was indeed dead at the graveyard, Jerome's cult met up with the pair, and Jeremiah revealed his true nature by declaring himself as better than Jerome, and that they would enact his plans in a sane way as opposed to the madness Jerome touted. The cult rallied behind him, reimagining themselves as the as Jeremiah's followers, and they prepared to give Gotham City its new face just as a bomb in the vicinity of Jim Gordon was detonated, presumably killing him.[4]

"Six hours, Detective. The clock is ticking."

Jeremiah and his followers reworked his generators into powerful bombs and planted them around the city, planning to detonate them and destroy the city to be rebuilt in Jeremiah's image. They then kidnapped Bruce's father figure and butler, Alfred Pennyworth, and began torturing him at an abandoned theater while Jeremiah gave his ultimatum to the police to clear the city in six hours before he detonated all the bombs, seeing no reason to kill innocent civilians if he didn't need to. He then called Bruce and told him where to find Alfred, and explained he planned to drive Bruce mad to free the darkness inside him, which he saw as doing the boy a favor. After attempted interventions by the Penguin and his gang, Jeremiah moved up his deadline to the bombs to as soon as he was safely away from the city. He then left to his bunker in the woods, all while Bruce, who had been sprayed with Scarecrow's fear toxin, was fighting an Insanity Gas-sprayed man he believed to be Alfred, and was slowly being pushed over the edge by Jeremiah's machinations.

When he and the Cult were safely hidden in the bunker, Jeremiah attempted to detonate the bombs, but they had been all deactivated by the police, and when Gordon was revealed to be alive, the cult turned on him and Jeremiah, furious at his failure, sealed them in his bunker and incinerated them all. In his moment of defeat, Jeremiah was approached by the powerful Ra's al Ghul, leader of the League of Shadows, and the two agreed to rebuild both Gotham and Bruce Wayne together. With the League's help, Jeremiah placed his bombs on Gotham's bridges and then went to Bruce's home of Wayne Manor, where he learned that Bruce had saved Alfred and overcame the fear toxin with the help of his girlfriend, Selina Kyle. Determined to aide his "friend" in his own sick way, Jeremiah shot Selina point-blank in the stomach, and she was hospitalized while Alfred captured and helped arrest him.[5]

Jeremiah with Bruce and Ra's

While being interrogated by Gordon, Jeremiah revealed he had other bombs hidden around the city, and asked to see Bruce if they wanted to know where they were. Bruce came to Jeremiah, and Jeremiah explained that he was just trying to help him through his torment, and then kidnapped Bruce with the League's help. They brought Bruce to a building overlooking a bridge, where Jeremiah and Ra's revealed they planned to create a legacy in the city when Bruce became the "Dark Knight" Gotham needed after its darkest hour. As the bombs exploded, cutting Gotham off from the mainland, the Penguin and Barbara Kean arrived, killing Ra's and battling Jeremiah. The city then began experiencing power outages, and Jeremiah took advantage of the confusion and escaped into the night, knowing he'd have his chance with Bruce again one day.[6]

No Man's Land

After the bridges blew, Gotham City was declared no longer a part of the United States and became a lawless wasteland. Jeremiah took advantage of the chaos and, in his infinite ego, formed a religion around himself known as the Church of Jeremiah, with Ecco as his first disciple. He then began concocting a new plan to unlock the madness within Bruce, and as the city became a lawless wasteland, he took control of Bruce's home, Wayne Manor, and kidnapped Alfred once again, enlisting Jervis Tetch to brainwash two kidnapped into thinking they were Thomas Wayne and Martha Kane, Bruce's murdered parents, after they were surgically altered to look like them.

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However, due to his friendship with Bruce Wayne, Jeremiah decided not to kill him and only forced him to become as crazy as him by doing several tricks, such as extracting the Joker Venom and re-enacting the night Bruce's parents were killed. With these failing, he decided to "be bonded with Bruce by hatred." He destroyed Wayne Manor using bombs, but was later faced off by Bruce in Ace Chemicals, where Jeremiah fell into the vat of chemicals.[7]

Ten years later, Jeremiah, now completely grotesque with only a few strands of hair after falling into the chemical, was broken out of Arkham Asylum by his sidekick Ecco after the news of Bruce Wayne returning to Gotham City. Pretending to be brain-dead for a decade, he kidnapped James Gordon and Barbara Kean's daughter Barbara Lee Gordon. About to kill James, a sharp bat-shaped weapon hit his hand, and he saw a mysterious man in the dark. Saying "You" after seeing it, Jeremiah realized that the man was Bruce Wayne. His hand was later pierced by another of the bat-shaped weapon, in which he just laughed off to show his pain tolerance, while a third weapon knocks him out.[8] Many years later, Alfred Pennyworth recalls looking the Joker in the eye, seemingly referring to Jeremiah.

Powers

  • Unique Physiology: Since being driven insane and his chemical bath, Jeremiah has shown considerable strength and immunity to pain. Even with a batarang piercing his palm straight through, he only laughed.
  • Cheating Death[9][7]

Abilities

Other Characteristics

  • Obsession: Before they were enemies, Jeremiah and Bruce became friends after the latter offered him help with his projects through Wayne Enterprises. Jeremiah grew fond of Bruce, appreciating his actions and help as he stayed in a bunker for his entire life, and only getting to spend time with Ecco. He then become obsessed with Bruce after the insanity gas incident, seeing him as the brother that he never had. To this end, he hoped to bring the darkness in Bruce out so they could be the same. Jeremiah stated that Bruce is the only reason why he was still holding on to his sanity.
  • Deluded: Since his chemical bath and subsequent decade without Bruce Wayne, Jeremiah began to lose touch with reality. He began confusing his memories with fantasy; he couldn't even remember his own name.
  • Monstrous Appearance: Following the incident at Ace Chemicals, Jeremiah's body was left badly burned and scarred from the toxic chemicals, giving him a ghoulish, clown-like appearance.

Equipment


  • Jeremiah Valeska was portrayed by Cameron Monaghan.
  • According to showrunner John Stephens, Jeremiah along with his brother is heavily involved in the origins of the Joker and embody certain traits that explore the mythology of the character. The showrunners have since remained vague as to whether Jeremiah becomes the Joker later on or inspires him.[10] Despite this, Warner Bros. Entertainment released "The Joker: Put on a Happy Face", a short documentary utilising footage of Jeremiah Valeska alongside various cinematic and animated portrayals of the character, thus implying that he is officially the Joker.[11]
  • Despite never being called the Joker in Gotham, the tie-in comic to Pennyworth, the show's prequel series, references the Joker by name, presumably referencing Jeremiah.

Related

External Links

Footnotes


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Batman Villain(s)
This character, team or organization, is or was primarily an enemy of the Batman, or the Batman Family as a whole. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Batman Villains."

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League of Assassins member
This character is or was a member of the League of Assassins, a international organization of the world's greatest killers, operating both for hire and their own agenda, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "League of Assassins members" category.

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