- All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once. Am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed. Why else would you dress up like a flying rat? You had a bad day, and it drove you as crazy as everybody else... Only you won't admit it!
- — The Joker src
Accounts of the Joker's origins have been varied and numerous. He himself has told the story of how he came to be with several different variations, saying that sometimes he remembers it one way, sometimes another; and that if he has to have a past, he "[prefers] it to be multiple choice." What has remained the most consistent is that his first encounter with the Batman was while he was acting in the identity of the "Red Hood," along with a gang of other thugs, committing a robbery in or near the Ace Chemical Processing Plant. During this robbery he either tripped into a vat of chemicals, or was accidentally pushed in by Batman.Most versions end with him falling into chemicals which bleach his skin, make his hair green, and give him a maniacal red smile. Sometimes the chemicals are also blamed for his mental state, and the combination of chemical exposures, and possible brain damage due to oxygen deprivation have been cited as factors in his insanity.
His activity between the accident in the chemical factory and his first public appearance as The Joker is unknown, but his return to the Gotham City crime scene was a spectacular one. He announced himself on television, after murdering a reporter with Joker Venom, and publicly told the police he intended to murder local millionaire Henry Claridge that evening at the stroke of midnight. Despite taking every security measure possible, Joker managed to kill his intended victim and nearly contaminated Gotham City's entire water supply with his poison, but Batman was able to stop him. The Joker was successfully incarcerated, but not for long.
Gotham City Life
Incarceration would prove no obstacle for the Mirthful Menace, and he quickly rose to become one of the top members of Batman's Rogues Gallery. He would find a frequent home in Arkham Asylum, Gotham's local psychiatric institution, where he would most commonly find himself imprisoned. Despite the asylum's efforts to contain him, he viewed it as sort of a revolving door, and even a place to simply rest up between his plans. He often committed crime for the sheer enjoyment of it, or specifically to cause pain to others, which he sees as part of "the big joke." Although not all of his criminal endeavors earned him money, he must have had a significant bank roll, and has had possessions as outrageous as a full truck-mounted heat-seeking warhead.
The Joker had a substantial list of significant crimes. His most consistent theme was been personal attacks against Batman, often through loved ones and members of the Batman Family, but he had shown complete indifference as to who his victims were, as it didn't really matter to him. Though many feared to form an alliance with the Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime was recruited into a gang of super-villains led by Two-Face to battle Carmine Falcone's criminal empire. As one of his tasks, the Joker had to eliminate Mario Falcone, but the hit was unsuccessful. The group was also responsible for the Columbus Day Massacre of Gotham's mob bosses, including Bobby "The Don" Gazzo. The team disbanded after a battle with the Hangman and a battle in the Batcave with the newly-formed Dynamic Duo, Batman and Robin.
Killing the Family
Joker had a habit of escaping from Arkham on various occasions, but two of these occasions are most notable as a result of his criminal activities after his escapes.
On the first occasion, Joker set out to show Batman how easy it was for even the sanest of people to lose their minds and he attempted to drive Commissioner Gordon insane. He arrived at Gordon's house, and before kidnapping him, shot his niece in the spine, then took pictures of her naked, bleeding, and in pain on the floor; later forcing the Commissioner to behold the attrocity in a slideshow. Although the Joker did not know this when he shot her, James Gordon's niece was actually the retired Batgirl. Joker was eventually stopped by Batman and his plan to drive Gordon insane had failed, but Barbara was left wheelchair-bound, but revived her vigilante career as Oracle.
Joker was locked away in Arkham, but it wasn't too long before he escaped once again. This time, he set out to sell nuclear weapons to terrorists. This plan was foiled by Batman and the new Robin, Jason Todd. After this failure, Joker reached Dr. Sheila Haywood and blackmailed her with her dark past. Haywood was Jason's missing mother, coerced into betraying him, and the Joker tied the two of them up together in a warehouse set to blow up after viciously beat Jason with a crowbar. Batman was unable to rescue the two of them before the bomb's detonation, and they were both killed in the explosion.
Afterwards Joker became the new Ambassador of Iran, which gave him diplomatic immunity. Considering his new political position allowed him to avoid justice, the Joker tried to commit genocide at the United Nations Building, but he was stopped by Superman and Batman, although they couldn't find his body after his apparent demise on his escape attempt.
In reality, Joker had sustained serious injuries and was taken to hospital. Still driven by the desire to destroy Batman, Joker manipulated Two-Face from afar, talking to him through a radio and making him believe he was Dent's own subconscious speaking. Following Joker's instructions, Two-Face organized a series of crimes to kill Batman, but he failed and was eventually captured by Batman, Nightwing and a new Robin, a development that Joker found amusing.
However, Joker's injuries were very serious and he was out of action longer than expected. During this time, he was filled with self-doubt and went through a mid-life crisis in which he started to lose his insanity. When a fake Joker appeared in Gotham, Joker decided to return, despite his diminished condition, in order to set things right. His lack of confidence in his own criminal genius prevented Joker from being himself again and the fake Joker was only defeated thanks to Batman and Gordon. Joker was subsequently captured and taken back to Arkham, where his madness returned. Back to his old self, Joker escaped from Arkham and used Lex Luthor's influence to starts a criminal spree in Metropolis. Eventually, both criminals double-crossed each other and were stopped by Batman and Superman.
KnightfallCornelius Stirk and used him in a plan to kidnap Commissioner Gordon in order to control the GCPD. His plan was foiled when Stirk tried to kill Gordon instead of kidnap him and Joker left Stirk to be captured by Batman. As soon as he was leaving, Joker was approached by Scarecrow and together they teamed up and invaded the house of Mayor Krol. They dosed him with Scarecrow's Fear Toxin and forced Krol to do their will. Knowing that Firefly was creating fires all around Gotham, Joker and Scarecrow made Krol cause a strike on the union of firefighters in the most dire of times. Using Krol, Joker lured the GCPD into a trap, which caused the death of the entire SWAT Team. Finally, Joker and Scarecow used Krol as bait to lure Batman into a trap in the Gotham River Tunnel. Batman arrived at the place and confronted the villains, but he was dosed with a great amount of Fear Gas, which made him recall Jason's death at the hands of Joker and thus, he furiously beat Joker to a pulp. Joker was barely rescued by Scarecrow, who caused the water from the river to fill the tunnel, forcing Batman to rescue Krol and allowed the defeated villains to escape.
After their failed attempt to kill Krol and Batman, Joker and Scarecrow learned of Batman's defeat at Bane's hands. Scarecrow was furious for their failure and used his fear toxin on Joker. The gas had no effect and in return, Joker attacked Scarecrow and beat him with a chair, leaving him unconscious and ending their partnership.
Not long after this, Joker set in motion his next scheme by pitching an "autobiographical film" to a movie studio. Joker pitched the movie as the "Death of Batman", but when he started his scheme, he realized that Batman was different. After Bane's defeat he had become ruthless, violent and started using a body armor. Joker lured Batman into a filmmaking studio, where he planned to eliminate Batman with help from several hired killers. As Batman knocked down Joker's henchmen, the madman realized that this new Batman was a different person and not his long-time enemy. Joker was eventually defeated by the new Batman, who broke Joker's arm and started to brutalize him until the police arrived and restrained the vigilante. Joker was placed in an ambulance headed for Blackgate Penitentiary, but he managed to escape during the transfer and remained on the loose.
No Man's Land
When Gotham City was classed as a No Man's Land, abandoned by the United States and crime ran rampant across town, the Joker was absent for quite a while. Batman also left Gotham for some time, and while he was away the Joker just simply didn't think it worth the bother of being active in Gotham. However, when he did appear amidst the already burgeoning chaos, his impact was shocking. A large number of GCPD officers were murdered when he dressed them up in costumes and makeup similar to his own so they would all be killed by a lone police sniper who had a vendetta against the Joker. A large number of innocent police officers were shot by their comrade.
Later, he took an entire hospital ward full of newborn infants hostage. When Detective Sarah Essen, Jim Gordon's wife, arrived on the scene, he pointed a gun at her and told her not to move, before throwing a baby at her. Sarah instinctively went to catch the child, and the Joker shot her in the head. Oddly, he seemed to take no pleasure in this act. When Gordon found out, his anger led him to the verge of murdering the Joker, only shooting Joker in the knee instead. The Joker was immediately concerned about the damage to his leg, worrying that he might never walk again, but quickly cracked up laughing, realizing there was a joke. The Commissioner had just gotten him back for the damage to his niece.
At one point the Joker stole Mister Mxyzptlk's reality-altering power, remaking the entire world into a twisted caricature, with everyone stuck in a loop. The Joker entertained himself with various forms of murder, such as killing Lex Luthor over and over, and devouring the entire population of China. Ever obsessed with Batman, the Joker tortured and killed his adversary every day, only to bring him back to life and do it over again. Superman's powerful will allowed him to fight off the Joker's influence enough to make contact with the weakened Mxyzptlk, who along with a less-powerful Spectre, encouraged Superman to work out the Joker's weakness before reality was destroyed by the Joker's misuse of Mxyzptlk's power. As time ran out, Superman realized that the Joker still could not erase Batman from existence, as the Joker totally defined himself by his opposition to the Dark Knight; by this logic, the Joker would be incapable of destroying the entire universe, since he was incapable of doing so to Batman. This broke the Joker's control, and Mxyzptlk and the Spectre reconstructed reality from the moment the Joker disrupted everything. However, Batman was left broken from experiencing multiple deaths and Superman had to erase Batman's memories of these events so that he could go on.
Joker's Last Laugh
In an attempt to get him to come to terms with his mortality and have some sort of moral realization, a prison doctor informed the Joker he was going to die of a malignant tumor. Instead, the Joker decided he wanted to leave his mark on the world indelibly, and began a chain of chaotic events. He used a variant compound of the Joker Venom to actually Jokerize all metahuman inhabitants of Slabside Penitentiary, driving them virtually into the same condition he was in, but with the added benefit of having every single one of them completely loyal to him. The Joker's army ravaged the planet, combating all of earth's heroes, but Batman was eventually able to thwart the attacks using an antidote he obtained from Harley Quinn. Harley was angry at the Joker for attempting to impregnate her without marrying her. Nightwing, falsely believing that Robin had been eaten in the ensuing madness by Killer Croc, caught up with the Joker and actually beat him to death. Batman, not wanting Nightwing to have blood on his hands, resuscitated the Joker and saved his life.
Hush and the Riddler convinced and manipulated several other villains into helping in their attempt to destroy Batman. Part of this included fooling Bruce into believing that his childhood friend Tommy Elliott was the latest victim of the Joker. That brought Batman to the brink of murdering the Joker, and he only stopped when former GCPD commissioner Jim Gordon talked him down, reminding him that by killing the Joker, Batman would become just another killer, and Gordon refused to let the Joker ruin Batman's life in that way.
Joker began a shooting spree with a high powered sniper rifle murdering Mayor Dickerson and the Superintendent in order to force the inhabitants of Gotham City to stay inside during the Christmas holiday. He then turned himself in to Gotham's Major Crimes unit, before revealing he'd planted bombs throughout the city, as a "Christmas present" for Batman. This caused the M.C.U. to rush to save countless Christmas shoppers from death. Joker then began a shooting spree within the Major Crimes Unit, where he killed several detectives, only to be shot multiple times by Maggie Sawyer, as his bomb went off, leveling a now evacuated toy store. Joker recovered from his wounds in the hospital laughing at the carnage he had caused.
Under the Hood
After Jason Todd was resurrected, he sought revenge against Joker. Todd took over the Red Hood identity and found Joker in an abandoned carnival, beating him with a crowbar in reciprocation of his own assault.
After his recovery, Joker learned of Black Mask's latest scheme and confronted the crime lord who was disguised as Batman. The real Batman arrived shortly after and knocked the Joker down before chasing Black Mask. However, during his fight with the crime lord, Joker managed to get away. Some time later, Joker got a second chance to take down Black Mask and he shot the crime lord on the leg. Joker's vendetta against Black Mask was due to the killing of Robin at the hands of Black Mask, as the crime lord was blamed for Stephanie Brown's death. Joker was mad at Black Mask for taking away from him the chance to kill another Robin. Batman arrived at the scene and stopped the fight, delivering both criminals to the police and Joker was sent back to Arkham Asylum.
A few days later, Red Hood abducted the Joker and held him hostage at Crime Alley, beating him without mercy until Batman arrived. Jason tried to force Batman to kill Joker and then he threatened to do it himself. However, Batman defeated Jason and Joker seized the chance to create havoc by taking a gun and shooting a box of explosives, blowing up the entire building.
The Joker was one of extremely few villains not drafted into Alexander Luthor's Secret Society of Super-Villains. Unlike many of the other villains, such as Catman, the Joker actually wanted to be a member of the Society, but the higher level members wouldn't let him join, which enraged him. While slaughtering a branch of the Royal Flush Gang on his warpath, the Joker was actually laughed at by the King who said "Don't you get it? The Joker's too wild!" He then electrocuted him with his joy buzzer, before walking away and saying to himself, "That's not funny". After the Society had been defeated, while Alex Luthor was planning what to do next, he was ambushed by the real Lex Luthor and the Joker. Before allowing his brutal murder, Lex simply told his counterpart "You should've let the Joker play."
For a period, the majority of Earth's villains were deported to the Hell Planet, where the Joker became responsible for one of the factions. They were largely non-constructive, and attempted to steal food and supplies from Lex Luthor's group, who were trying to find a way to escape. The conflict ended in one-on-one fisticuffs between Luthor and the Joker. Although the match was nearly even, the Joker ultimately overcame Lex, just before the entire villain community was forced to unite against an oncoming Parademon attack.. Joker eventually escaped the planet along with most of the other villains .
Jimmy Olsen interviewed an incarcerated Joker about the murder of Duela Dent, who had called herself "The Joker's Daughter." The Joker stated that he never had a daughter, but expressed awareness of the Multiverse and shifts in reality.
The Clown at Midnight
A deranged police officer impersonating Batman, named Josef Muller, shot the Joker in the face, leaving him physically scarred and disabled. After having undergone extensive plastic surgery and physical therapy, The Joker reappeared with a drastic new appearance, with scars running from the corners of his mouth high onto his cheeks, and affliction sometimes referred to as a "Glasgow smile." While in intensive care at Arkham, the Joker had developed a new, more lethal variant of Joker Venom, and instructed Harley Quinn to use it to kill his former henchmen to signal his spiritual "rebirth." He went on a rampage through Arkham, attempting to murder Harley (her death being the final "punchline" of his rebirth) before being stopped by Batman.
Joker was locked in his cell in Arkham when Batman showed up and attacked the Scarecrow in front of Joker's cell. Batman opened the cell, cuffed Joker to a pipe and proceeded to torture Crane on the Joker's toilet, much to the madman's delight. After Crane confessed his crime, Batman left the place and Joker was thankful with him for letting him witness such a great performance.Not long after this, Joker was offered a position on Doctor Hurt's conspiracy "the Black Glove" and murdered several people in Arkham as part of the plan. Joker joined Black Glove on the condition that they let him have Robin, and not long after this, Guy Dax freed Joker from his cell. Joker attacked Dax and mutilated his face after going for his henchmen, and after a while, he attacked El Sombrero, apparently killing him. Joker went to Hurt, and shortly after he faced Batman who had been lured to Arkham. During the fight, Joker cut his tongue and caused Batman to have a mental breakdown.
After the Black Glove buried Batman alive, Joker warned them that the Dark Knight would rise again and eliminate them all. Then, Joker hijacked an ambulance and escaped Arkham, but was pushed off a bridge by the Batmobile driven by Damian Wayne.
Joker soon resurfaced under the guise of British journalist/detective Oberon Sexton. At the same time however, he operated as the Domino Killer, killing members of the Black Glove one by one. Dick Grayson, who had taken up the Batman mantle, confronted Oberon about all the Domino killings actually being a set routine of jokes. Oberon removed his mask to reveal the Joker grinning at his old foe, the bullet wound to the head seemingly healed.
After the Joker was arrested once more, he underestimated the newest Robin, Damian Wayne, by trying to win the Boy Wonder's pity. He received a beating with a crowbar from Robin who he realized was the son of his old foe after noting the resemblance between the child and the original Batman. The officers at GCPD ignored the Joker's pleas for help after they concluded that Robin could handle the villain easily.
However, the Joker's apparent helplessness was yet another ruse. Feigning injuries from Robin's assault, he scratched Robin with a paralyzing toxin painted onto his fingernails, and revealed that he had once again manipulated events toward his own ends, mocking Robin for going so far as to provide his own crowbar. Appropriating Robin's utility belt, the Joker escaped to execute his attack on the Black Glove, unleashing his signature venom on an audience gathered under Professor Pyg (via tainted popcorn) and guiding Batman and his allies to a climactic confrontation. The Joker had Robin bound and gagged, and possessed a nuclear weapon. Help arrived in the form of the original Batman who aided his successor and his son in their battle against the Black Glove and the Clown Prince of Crime at Wayne Manor and the Batcave. The Joker infected Dr. Hurt with Joker Toxin and buried him alive. The second Batman pursued and captured the Joker, while the original Dark Knight, Robin, and Alfred Pennyworth disarmed the Clown Prince of Crime's weapon and defeated the remaining Black Glove members.
The Black Mirror
Eventually the Joker escaped from Arkham again by ingesting a mixture of venom and alcohol which secreted through his pores, making him poisonous to the touch. Gordon's ex-wife Barbara was attacked with more toxin and Batman hunted the Joker down to an underground lair. They fought while Joker refused to acknowledge Dick Grayson as a worthy successor to "his" Batman, but in defeat, he insisted he never touched Gordon's wife. It was James Gordon, Jr. who broke the Joker out of Arkham and attacked his own mother with toxin, using her as a diversion while he kidnapped his sister, Oracle.
This section of the history takes place during Convergence, a massive crossover event revisiting characters from past eras and realities. The villains Brainiac and Telos plucked them from their own timeline and stored them together, causing them to cross over into each others' reality. Its precise chronological placement and canonicity may be unclear.
After Earth 2's Batman sacrificed himself to kill a large number of the New Earth Batman's villains, Joker approached Dick Grayson of Earth 2 and shot him, paralyzing him in a manner much like that of Barbara Gordon. Shortly after, he was executed by Telos by breaking his neck, Telos believing him to be repulsive no matter which universe he came from.
- Unique Physiology: Due to his chemical submergence, Joker gained beyond average advantages over normal humans as well as further exposure tainting his physiology.
- Pain Resistance: It was speculated that the Joker's exposure to chemicals may have heightened his resistance to pain. It was also implied that he was masochistic in nature, and thus enjoyed any pain received, making it an ineffective way of dealing with him.
- Tainted Blood: Joker's blood was tainted. It was said that "being an avid consumer of his products, Joker's immunity to poisons has been built up over years of dedicated abuse." When a mosquito sucked the Joker's blood, it "writhes and whines, choking on tainted blood".
- Toxic Immunity: The Joker was immune to his own venom as well as various similar toxins.
- Cheating Death: The Joker cheated death numerous times, even in seemingly inescapable and lethal situations. He has been, among other things, caught in explosions, electrocuted, shot repeatedly, and dropped from great heights, but he always returns to once again wreak havoc.
- Cosmic Awareness: The Joker has, at times, shown to be fully aware of being a comic book character, even directly talking to the reader. However, most other characters ignore this, believing it to be a manifestation of his insanity.
- Omnipotence (Formerly)
- Indomitable Will: The Joker's insanity, or his frame of mind, made him immune to the Spectre's judgement, though warranted. Batman once explained that the Joker doesn't actually know what was right and wrong, a crucial understanding the Spectre needed to judge. In a way, one had to know one's deeds are evil or wrong for the Spectre to judge, and the Joker doesn't. Also, both Jim Corrigan and Hal Jordan's Spectre have had major problems with navigating the Joker's mind, Corrigan even managed to get lost in it and Jordan literally was blasted out of his boots to the moon when he tried.
- Genius Level Intellect: The Joker was highly intelligent and skilled in the fields of chemistry and engineering, as well an expert with explosives. He was capable of hijacking television and radio broadcasts.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Basic): The Joker was moderately skilled in hand to hand combat. Although Batman was stronger, the Joker was faster and more agile, and his fighting style was chaotic and difficult to predict. The Joker had been known to be able to hold his own in hand-to-hand combat against Batman, however every time he was subdued it was through physical force. However, the Joker has proven to be very skilled in the area of martial arts as well, this being proven when beating the Batman once in a fight without "cheating". Joker even managed to murder 12 League of Assassins ninjas, after temporarily escaping from Ra's al Ghul.
- Intimidation: Joker was adept at torturing his victims endlessly, including shooting Batgirl, torturing Robin to death and beating Damian into submission.
- Joker Venom: A deadly poison that infected his victims with a ghoulish rictus grin as they died while laughing uncontrollably. This venom came in many forms, from gas to darts to liquid poison, and was his primary calling card.
- Joker Teeth: A common weapon and theme for equipment for the Joker were "Joker Teeth." Clacking, wind-up gag teeth were commonly used to mock the Dark Knight and his allies. They were one of the Joker's signature items.
- Various Joker Gadgets: Razor-sharp playing cards, acid flower, various guns and other weaponry. The Joker was unpredictable in that he would use any kind of weapon afforded him.
- Joker's Joy Buzzer: The Joker often used a modified novelty joy buzzer strapped to the palm of his hand. The buzzer administered a lethal dose of electricity into anyone who came into contact with it.
- Explosives: Joker was an expert at bomb making and even bought nuclear weapons. He loved using time bombs and used grenades in battle, though they may be disguised as harmless objects like toys, dolls, balls or marbles.
- The Joker's real name is a matter of mystery. Virtually nothing is known about Joker's past life, including his real name. This is not aided by his tendency to give multiple, conflicting origin stories.
- Rumors that his name is Jack Napier (a play on "jackanape") are taken from the 1989 movie and the subsequent animated series, where it was one of many aliases. It was never explicitly used in comics.
- Two sources suggest his name may be Jack, namely the Batman Confidential arc Lovers and Madmen and The Brave and the Bold (Volume 3) #13.
- In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #50, the Joker's first name was revealed by his cousin Melvin Reipan as beginning "Ja--". ("Reipan" is, of course, "Napier" spelled backwards.)
- In "The Origin of the Joker" in Countdown #31, one of the Joker's perceived possible origins is that of "a mob killer named Napier".
- In "A Special Dark Angry Flappy Toy" in Trinity #37 in addition to mob hitman Jack Napier, Red Robinson (a WWII allied spy experimented on and tortured by the Soviets) and Wilhelm Veidt (who failure as a husband and father drove him over the edge) are suggested as possible identities of the Joker. It is unknown if these possible identities are valid in the normal New Earth timeline and even in the Justice Society International reality it was speculated that they may be urban legends fueled by the Joker himself.
- In Batman: Dead to Rights (Batman Confidential #22-25, 29, 30), the Joker has his fingerprints taken, but the prints are just solid black blobs with no patterns, due to his exposure to acid.
- The Joker has one of the most extensive individual body counts of any human level DC villain (notwithstanding incidents where entire planets are destroyed).
- In Grant Morrison's Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, it was suggested the Joker's mental state is a previously unprecedented form of "super-sanity," a form of ultra-sensory perception. It also suggests that he has no true personality of his own, that on any given day he can be a harmless clown or a vicious killer, depending on which would benefit him the most.
- In the mini-series Underworld Unleashed, the Trickster remarked, "When super-villains want to scare each other, they tell Joker stories". As far as truth about Joker's personality, one word sums him up… unpredictable. One day The Joker may be a harmless clown, on others he can become a crazed super-killer.
- With the conclusion of Infinite Crisis, the Joker cruelly murdered the once-hero now villain of the comic, Alexander Luthor, Jr. who was a mirror opposite of Lex Luthor. Alexander Luthor set up a Secret Society of Super-Villains aimed at taking down Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, however he made the deadly mistake of not inviting the Joker. One night Alexander Luthor was trapped by Lex Luthor and the Joker in an alley. The Joker attacked Alexander with an over-powered joy buzzer, which horribly burnt one side of his face. Lex Luthor watched on as the Joker shot Alexander from point blank range with a shotgun, killing him instantly.
- In addition to this The Joker is one of the few villains attributed with killing one of Batman's sidekicks, the other being Black Mask. The Joker beat Jason Todd to death in the comic "A Death in the Family". For any Batman villain, killing a Robin is almost the peak of villainy. Only two Robin's and one Batgirl have ever been maimed or killed at the hands of super-villains.
- The Joker's insanity appeared to be a strange mixture of violently aggressive psychopathy, nihilism, and fixated narcissism. He was frequently shown to have no regard for human life, and treated the pain and suffering of others as personal sport.
- While frequent attempts had been made to diagnose the Joker's 'insanity', none were consistently proven successful. Every attempt to cure him had proven completely fruitless, as the Joker actively and energetically resisted separation from his madness. He spent the majority of his time in Arkham Asylum, a somewhat inadequate facility which he and other inmates came to view as sort of a home. The Joker was able to escape from the Asylum almost at will, and did so disturbingly frequently. He treated it like a resting place between his criminal exploits.
- During the events of "Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth", it was hypothesized by Arkham psychologists that the Joker actually existed in a state of almost "super-sanity". It was speculated that he redefined his own personality every day. This explained why he sometimes acted as a horribly sadistic lunatic one day, while being a simple mischievous clown the next.
- One person who still saw some humanity in the Joker was the Martian Manhunter. When the Joker gained the Philosopher's Stone and tried to create chaos on Earth, J'onn was able to order the Joker's mind and cause temporary sanity, where the Joker expressed regret and remorse for his actions, and became desperate for a means to make up for them.
- In his transformation after his deformity, Joker adopted a much more sinister personality, no longer telling jokes the way he formerly did. However due to the Joker's nature of altering his personality, he abandoned this new personality from time to time.
- Day of Judgment featured Martian Manhunter taking the Spectre into the Joker's mind, along with the rest of the Justice League. He was attempting to show the Spirit of Vengeance that there was decency and humanity even in the most corrupted and evil of souls. Although most of Joker's mind was a horrible twisted hellish place full of demons, deep down, at its heart, there is a kindly couple living in a small domicile separate from all of the anger and torment. This revelation proved that there is some good to be found in all people.
- Nicknames for the character include The Clown Prince of Crime, The Thin White Duke of Death, The Harlequin of Hate, The Ace of Knaves, The Mirthful Menace and The Jester of Genocide.
- Joker was so "insane" that Deadman was barely able to possess him for even a few seconds.
- Joker Recommended Reading
- Joker (Volume 1)
- Batman: The Killing Joke
- Batman: The Man Who Laughs
- "Batman: Lovers and Madmen"
- "Batman: A Death in the Family"
- Joker: Devil's Advocate
- Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth
- "The Joker's Last Laugh"
- "Superman: Emperor Joker"
- "Superman/Batman: With a Vengeance!"
- The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told
- Joker (graphic novel)
- 635 Appearances of Joker (New Earth)
- 402 Images featuring Joker (New Earth)
- 79 Quotations by or about Joker (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Joker (New Earth)
- ↑ Anarky (Volume 2) #8
- ↑ Batman #428
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Batman: The Killing Joke
- ↑ Batman: The Man Who Laughs
- ↑ Batman #426
- ↑ Batman #426-427
- ↑ Batman #428-429
- ↑ Batman #442
- ↑ Batman #450
- ↑ Batman #451
- ↑ World's Finest (Volume 2)
- ↑ Batman #491
- ↑ Batman #494
- ↑ Detective Comics #661
- ↑ Batman #495
- ↑ Batman #496
- ↑ Detective Comics #664
- ↑ Detective Comics #668
- ↑ Detective Comics #671
- ↑ Detective Comics #672
- ↑ Detective Comics #673
- ↑ Detective Comics #741
- ↑ Joker: Last Laugh #1
- ↑ Joker: Last Laugh #6
- ↑ Batman #638
- ↑ Detective Comics #809
- ↑ Batman #643
- ↑ Detective Comics #810
- ↑ Batman #644
- ↑ Batman #649
- ↑ Batman #650
- ↑ Infinite Crisis #7
- ↑ Salvation Run #6
- ↑ Salvation Run #7
- ↑ Detective Comics #849
- ↑ Batman #676
- ↑ Batman #679
- ↑ Batman #680
- ↑ Batman #681
- ↑ Detective Comics #879
- ↑ Detective Comics #880
- ↑ Detective Comics #881
- ↑ Convergence #3
- ↑ Batman #663
- ↑ Emperor Joker #1
- ↑ Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #142
- ↑ JLA #35
- ↑ Deadman: Dead Again #2
This character is or was primarily an enemy of the Justice League, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Justice League Villains."
Injustice League member
|Justice League member|
This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.