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|As a result of the New 52 in 2011, the entire line of DC characters was relaunched, incorporating properties belonging to the company's imprints: Wildstorm, Milestone, and Vertigo. As such, elements of this character's history have been altered in some way from the previous incarnation's. For a complete list of all versions of this character, see our disambiguation page.|
- I didn't mean to.
- — Joe Chill src
The DC Universe heavily changed its continuity into the DCnU following the events of Flashpoint in 2011. This was part of an effort to make storylines more accessible to newer readers, beginning with the New 52. This new timeline combines elements from the DCU, Vertigo Universe and Wildstorm Universe while drastically changing the origins and histories of characters.
Joe Chill was a criminal who was the murderer of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Some years after the Wayne's deaths, Chill was living in squalor and was eventually tracked down and confronted by 18-year-old Bruce Wayne, who thought that Chill had been an assassin sent by the Court of Owls. Being held at gunpoint by Bruce, who demanded Chill for his reasons for killing his parents, Chill pleaded that he didn't mean to kill the Wayne's as he never realized who the Wayne's were and originally intended on stealing the pearl necklace Martha Wayne was wearing so he could buy alcohol. Chill's explanation greatly angered Bruce, who was preparing to kill him but relented at the last minute.
Years later, Joe Chill was revealed to have become a career gunman, allegedly responsible for forty deaths. He was caught and sent to Blackgate, where he was a model inmate, but although he never admitted responsibility for the Wayne murders, official suspicion and unofficial pressure kept preventing him getting paroled. One night, Batman took advantage of the Mobius Chair to spirit Joe Chill away and get his story on the Wayne murders. During the night, Batman revealed his identity to Joe, but then used the powers of the chair to erase the memory, and impose a mental block, meaning Joe will never know Batman's secret identity.
Having discovered Batman's real identity, the Joker later found Joe Chill in a hospital where he was known as patient zero, jokerized him and then placed him in a prop Crime Alley where Chill was forced to re-enact the murder of the Waynes by shooting the parents of Duke Thomas, who were also brought into the fake Crime Ally by the Joker. Batman, who had come for patient zero, unaware of his identity, in hopes of getting an antidote for the Joker's virus that plagued Gotham, was able to save Duke's parents by jumping into the bullet's path and being hit into his Kevlar chest plate. However, this didn't save Duke' parents as they got infected by the virus when more infected patients came into the room, leaving Batman only enough time to save Duke and himself.
- Joe Chill was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, first appearing in Detective Comics #33. However, in the Prime Earth continuity Joe Chill first appeared as part of the New 52 DC Universe in Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 2) #0 by Gregg Hurwitz, Mico Suayan, and Juan José Ryp.
- 22 Appearances of Joseph Chilton (Prime Earth)
- 1 Images featuring Joseph Chilton (Prime Earth)
- 1 Quotations by or about Joseph Chilton (Prime Earth)
- Character Gallery: Joseph Chilton (Prime Earth)