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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. For a complete list of all versions of this character, see our disambiguation page.|
- I didn't mean to.
- — Joe Chill src
Some years after the Waynes' deaths, Chill was living in squalor and was tracked down and confronted by an 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 an answer as to why Chill killed 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 Penitentiary, 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, so Joe would 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.
As an older man Joe had repented for his actions and attempted to send dozens of letters to Bruce Wayne accepting responsibility for the murder of the Wayne family and asking for forgiveness. The letters however where never sent because of Chill having a learning disability and thus being only barely literate with him only learning how to write while in prison. Batman only found said letters after an inspection of his cell after Chill was kidnapped by The Joker.
The 2 remaining Jokers, The Comedian and The Criminal kidnapped Chill, dressed him in the same fatigues he wore when the Wayne murders took place and brought him to the Monarch Theater in an attempt to turn him into the perfect Joker. In order to make sure Batman showed up to the event they hid a ticket in one of Chill's letters. During the ensuing fracas The Criminal accidentally dropped a lighter into the vat that Chill's chair was hanging over causing a fire and an explosion, destroying the structural integrity of the building. Losing the battle The Criminal in a last ditch attempt to Jokerize Chill cut the rope that his chair was hanging from forcing Batman to save Chill from Jokerization as well as knocking ou The Criminal. On the ground a remorseful Chill realized that Bruce Wayne was actually Batman and apologized, with the building crumbling around them Batman was forced to save Chill yet again from the falling debris.
Later whilst on his death bed, Chill was visited by solemn Bruce Wayne who held his hand until he died, proving he had forgiven him in the end.
- 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.
- 28 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)