|Name:||Jack Napier (presumably)|
The Clown Prince of Crime
|Portrayed by:||Mark Hamill|
|First appearance:||Joker's Favor|
|Last appearance:||Make 'Em Laugh|
|Appears in:||18 Episodes, 1 Film|
- "Without Batman, crime has no punchline."
- ―The Joker[src]
The Joker was Batman's deadliest arch-enemy who was merciless, shrewd, and extremely dangerous. He exasperated every wicked trick to take over Gotham City, make a profit and ruin Batman's life both emotionally and physically. The “Clown Prince of Crime” had no pity for anybody he forced to take part in his wicked schemes either by intimidation or fraud, and was particularly unkind to his sidekick and love interest Harley Quinn, such as manipulating her to amuse himself. He also escaped death several times after his defeats with Batman.
Early Days and OriginsEdit
As an unknown crook, Jack Napier started out as a young enforcer working for the mob triad of Sal Valestra, Buzz Bronski, and Chuckie Sol. At one point early on, before his forthcoming mishap, he and Bruce Wayne caught a glimpse of each other. One of his last jobs took place in Europe on the Mediterranean Coast. His target was Carl Beaumont, a businessman who had fled the states after the mob bosses discovered he'd embezzled a fortune.
Year later, he was disfigured and his skin turned white and his lips red, giving birth to Joker, the clown prince of crime.
After becoming the criminal known as Joker, he started perpetrating crimes with the sole purpose of creating chaos.This is clearly evident during Christmas' Eve, when Joker escaped from Arkham Asylum on a rocket Christmas Tree and hijacked the TV signal of the entire city. Joker kidnapped Commissioner Gordon, Summer Gleeson and Harvey Bullock, forcing Batman to overcome several challenges such as saving a train from running into a collapsed bridge and destroying a cannon installed in the Gotham Observatory; all this while he aired the events on TV. Batman located the source of the broadcast at Laffco Toy Factory, where Joker was prepared with several weapon toys and henchmen armed and ready to attack Batman. Joker almost dropped his hostages to death, but they were saved by Batman and Joker was returned to Arkham, where he spent Christmas, locked in his cell.
However, some of his crimes seem to have a logical goal. On another occasion, Joker planned to gain major profits by spreading his laughing gas across Gotham. In order to achieve this, Joker used a load of garbage that was transported through the river and he sprayed the garbage with his laughing toxin. As a result, almost the entire population was infected and couldn't stop laughing; allowing the Joker to roam the city and steal from them at will. Batman went looking for Joker and after destroying Joker's robot named Captain Clown, Joker led Batman on a wild goose chase across an abandoned waste treatment plant. Joker almost suceeded on his intent of eliminating Batman, but the Dark Knight stopped him once again.
The Joker's strategies have little bias. Although he has shown particular enjoyment in playing his jokes on the most commonplace, innocent victims, like mild-mannered salary man Charlie Collins, he is just as dangerous to Gotham's highest level officials, Commissioner Gordon or Mayor Hill. But the Joker has had his share of provocations. The Joker, along with Two-Face and The Penguin travel to Yucca Springs on an invite from Hugo Strange, who claimed to know the identity of Batman. Ex-businessman Cameron Kaiser deliberately made his newly built casino resemble the Joker's look to draw the villain out, much to the Joker’s disdain.
Subject to the joke, his plans can range from small-scale to global. On one occasion, the Joker tried to con his way to a local comedy trophy by using the Mad Hatter's mind control chips on the event's judges. Another time, the Joker stole a nuclear warhead and almost successfully set it off on the residence of Mayor Hill.
As a recurrent patient of Arkham Asylum, the Joker was often psycho-analyzed, at one point by Dr. Harleen Quinzel. After one session, the Joker fooled Dr. Quinzel as he painted himself as a misunderstood soul crying out for the world to accept him. Quinzel soon found herself in love with the Joker, and broke him out of Arkham. However, a combination of Joker's ego and Quinn's obssesive love and affection towards him tends to push the Joker's buttons. More often than not, the Joker abuses and throws Harley onto the streets until he decides he wants her again.
Sometime later, the Joker was hunted by The Phantasm due to his past ties to the Valestra Mob group. He also ended up disposing of Sal Valestra after the latter unwisely demanded his help in stopping the Phantasm. He later injected Arthur Reeves with Joker Toxin, and finally confronted both Batman and the Phantasm, actually Andrea Beaumont, the daughter of the man whom he murdered a long time ago, at the World of Tomorrow. When overcome and at the mercy of Andrea while the theme park was burning to the ground, the Joker couldn't help but laugh, which ultimately made Andrea let him go after realising that he simply was not sane any longer.
Abilities and EquipmentEdit
Over the years, the Joker used a wide variety of gadgets to exact his comedic murders. His equipment included:
- Bladed playing cards
- Joy buzzers
- Laughing gas
Most famously, the Joker had an Acid Flower attached to his suit. This flower emitted a wide variety of chemicals, depending on the situation and the Joker's mood. Laughing gas and acid were popular variants.
Regardless of the state of his seriously twisted mind, The Joker was a brilliant planner, and never appeared to run out of schemes. Often, The Joker's plans were connected to humour, though at the same time, were extremely perilous which resulted in him being dreaded wherever his schemes took him. The Joker could lie effortlessly, and was remarkably accomplished at making up heart-rending stories that were capable of deceiving people into believing that he was simply misinterpreted, or in Harley Quinn's case, essentially taking pity on him and making her determined to help him in any way possible. His stories were well-known to have no limits, varying from a cruel and forceful father, to a runaway mother.
The Joker owns two pet laughing hyenas, named Bud and Lou, which Harley takes care of.
Background Information Edit
Although none of the identities revealed in the comics for the The Joker ever gave him a full name, "Jack Napier" was used in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman and later utilized in the DCAU as well. In Dreams in Darkness, Dr. Bartholomew refers to him by that name, and in Joker's Wild, his name can be seen in a file about him. Either they or the Joker himself could have altered his file to show that he had operated under a variety of aliases. It is also possible that the Joker did indeed use a number of aliases, and that Jack Napier is simply his most commonly agreed-upon name.
- Joker's Favor
- Be a Clown
- The Last Laugh
- Fear of Victory (cameo)
- The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne
- Dreams in Darkness (hallucination)
- Almost Got 'Im
- Christmas with the Joker
- Joker's Wild
- The Laughing Fish
- The Man Who Killed Batman
- Harley and Ivy
- Birds of a Feather (mentioned only)
- Fire from Olympus (no lines)
- Riddler's Reform (no lines)
- Make 'Em Laugh
- Batman: The Animated Series (Game Boy)
- The Adventures of Batman & Robin (Mega Drive/Genesis)
- The Adventures of Batman & Robin (SNES)
- The Adventures of Batman & Robin (Game Gear)
- The Adventures of Batman & Robin (Sega CD)