What motivates the Joker? Well, it sure isn’t cherry pies, kittens, and cotton candy. This villain, who is known for his insane schemes and bewildering scenarios, never really seems to have that great of a motive — besides being absolutely bonkers.
It truly makes you wonder why he puts so much thought and effort into forcing the people of Gotham to make such difficult decisions. It’s almost as if he toys with people’s emotions, simply because he wants them to feel like he does: conflicted.
“You see, in their last moments, people show you who they really are,” says the Joker, hinting that all he really wants is the truth. Sure, he looks like a clown that spent one too many nights on the streets, but when it comes to who he is — he doesn’t hide it. Unlike everyone else in the world, who seems normal from the outside, but on the inside — they have a little devil of their own. So yes, the Joker is one messed up individual, but aren’t we all?
The Joker is an amazing character because despite his lunacy, he speaks the truth. He is educated and well spoken, and has the ability to make you doubt your own mind. Some other villains can control space and time, fly, swallow whole universes, and make the sky rain fire, but it is the Joker who is the scariest. He can get inside a person’s head so easily without any majestic powers to aid him in his pursuit to drive everyone else just as insane.
15. He’s Been Cured Of His Insanity…Twice
Martian Manhunter is a superhero from planet Mars who had temporarily cured the Joker from his insanity. He achieved this by using his innate telepathic abilities to inhabit the Joker’s mind and purify it of evil doings. Despite Martian Manhunter’s thoughtful operation, the Joker quickly regressed to his original state.
In the comic Batman: Endgame, there is a scene where the Joker and Batman have collapsed inside of a cave from exhaustion. They have been fighting for quite some time, and are clearly weakened. Suddenly, the cave implodes and both characters meet their death.
Later on, they are reborn through a strain of a chemical called “dionesium” and the Joker awakens without a single recollection of his past-life as a madman. The Joker becomes a normal man, who works an average job and goes through the motions of everyday life. However, a great depression begins to loom over him and he starts to contemplate committing suicide.
14. The Joker Murdered Robin
Batman: A Death in the Family is the sad story of how Batman lost Robin. It all begins when Batman relieves Robin of his duty as his sidekick —deeming it too dangerous a task for him. Robin, who is vexed at the idea, finds himself walking through the town his parents use to live in before they died. This is where he meets Mrs. Walker, an old family friend, who gives him a box filled with family documents. Upon examining this box, Robin concedes that his birth mother is in fact, very much alive, and takes off to Ethiopia to find her.
Meanwhile, The Joker escapes from Arkham and gets his hands on a nuclear weapon, and ironically also ends up in Ethiopia. Robin finds his mother, and despite it being an emotional reunion, she ends up betraying him to the Joker.
Robin and his mother end up getting tied up in a warehouse with a ticking time-bomb. The bomb goes off, and they both succumb to their injuries. Batman arrives at the scene of the explosion, seconds later, and walks out carrying the limp body of his mate.
13. The Joker Holds The Record For The Most Casualties
The Joker has killed so many people that it is nearly impossible for us to estimate the exact number of casualties that owe their deaths to this psychotic man. The Joker was created over 75 years ago, and has since then, caused grave yards to overflow with laughing, lost souls. Unfortunately for the civilians of Gotham, this villain never tires of killing innocent people and so the body-count is always on the rise. He has also been known to do business outside of Gotham, so in truth, no fictional character is safe.
A dedicated fan, that goes by the name of Mr. Sunday Movies, has spent quite some time trying to piece together the numerous deaths caused by The Joker. In his research, he has concluded that over 1,028 people have been killed by the green-haired villain. However, this count does not include the comics, and so you can imagine how this number could easily be doubled.
12. All Villains Fear The Joker
Most villains are stronger than the Joker, yet they refuse to do business with him because it’s rather pointless. All the Joker wants to do is put on a show. Even though he can’t control your mind or kill you with his laser-beam eyeballs, he will always find a way to get you where it hurts.
Villains fear the Joker simply because he is unpredictable in every single way. They can try to work alongside him, but this will most likely result in their death, and also, the Joker has a tendency to work without motive unlike most villains. While the vast majority of villains dream of ruling the world, the Joker dreams of watching it burn.
Also, he is known for overstepping boundaries. No measure is too drastic for this psychotic clown, he will gladly kill your family, just to torture you with their pictures, and laugh in the face of your grief.
11. His Real Name Is Not Jack Napier
Contrary to what many people believe, the Joker’s real name is not Jack Napier. Although it has been shown in some movies or comics, the name Napier was actually given to him as a tribute to Alan Napier, who played Alfred from 1966 to 1968 in the Batman TV series and movie. The name Jack itself has been manifested from thin air, much like the Joker’s origins. There has been instances when the Joker was referred to as Jack, and others as Napier, but never together.
Many people feel the need to find out the Joker’s real name, but in the end, it does not matter. He is simply the Joker, and his origins were lost alongside his name when he fell into that vat of chemicals. Maybe this is why he pays no interests to Batman’s real name — it makes no difference. Who he is is not defined by who he was.
10. Harley Quinn Was Not Always In The Picture
Although Harley Quinn and the Joker usually go hand-in-hand, the Joker has spent more of his life alone than with his psycho girlfriend. Harley Quinn was originally created as part of the Batman cartoon. Like the Joker, she was only intended to stick around for one episode, but the two characters meshed too well together.
Harleen Quinzel first came into contact with the Joker while she was working at the Arkham Asylum. There are many different versions of how they fell in love, but the most common one is this: While attempting the heal the Joker of his insanity, Dr. Quinzel became infatuated by the villain. Soon, she could no longer contain herself and decided to help him escape the Asylum. Eventually the Joker asked her to take the plunge, and she willingly dived into the same vat of chemicals he mistakenly fell into all those years ago. She resurfaced with similar powers and a bubbling insanity.
9. His Origins Are Unknown
There has been much speculation over the Joker’s origins. Who was he before? What was his childhood like? Who were his parents? Well, these are questions you will never get the answer to. The Joker, himself, appears to have no recollection of his past-life. “I’m not exactly sure what happened. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another. If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!” says the Joker.
It appears the Joker even uses his lack of memory as a tool to toy with his victims. When looking into their eyes, he gives them a soap story about how he got his scars, but the story always changes. This often keeps his victims guess. Plus, many believe that he does this, in a calculated manner, to cause fear in the hearts of his prisoners. Each story is meant to target different emotions in different people.
8. He Was Supposed To Be A One-Time Character
The Joker was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger in 1939, and has since then become one of the most renown villains of all time. Now imagine a world without the Joker. Weird, right? Well that’s how it was supposed to be.
The Joker was never supposed to make it past his debut. The creators had intended for him to be introduced, killed off, and then forgotten about, but clearly, he proved to be too good of a character, and besides, who would have given Batman a run for his money for the last 80 years or so?
Who do we have to thank for convincing the Kane and Finger to keep the Joker around? We have Whitney Ellsworth to thank. As the old editor for the comics, she used her powers to veto the Joker out of the garbage. If it hadn’t been for this particular veto — the world as we know it would be missing a maniacal laugh.
7. The Joker Is A Genius
The Joker is infamous for his insanity, but what else can we say about him? Underneath all that craziness, is a man who is still capable of escaping any situation and plotting calculated attacks. Despite his brains being put in a blender and then returned to his skull — the Joker still has his wits about him. He can devise master plans, and carry them out, and when it comes to torturing his victims — he sure does his homework! The Joker has a knack for finding his victim’s invisible wounds and then sticking his dirty fingers in it.
One of the Joker’s biggest attributes is his senseless ability to control and manipulate. In any given moment, he can formulate a speech that will make you question if you’ve been hiding a monster within you all along. It truly makes you wonder if the Joker is actually as crazy as people say. Sometimes, being too smart can have downfalls of its own.
6. The Joker Was Inspired By “The Man Who Laughs”
The Man Who Laughs is an American silent film that came out back in 1928. This movie is usually categorized as a horror film because of the main character’s freak-like grin. The main character, Gwyynplaine, projects a smile that often makes people feel a little uncomfortable, even though it was not meant to. This movie was supposed to have been viewed as a melodrama, however, the gloomy and pivotal surroundings and events made it out to be a horror film.
“Bill Finger and I created the Joker. Bill was the writer. Jerry Robinson came to me with a playing card of the Joker. That’s the way I sum it up. But he looks like Conrad Veidt – you know, the actor in The Man Who Laughs. So Bill Finger had a book with a photograph of Conrad Veidt and showed it to me and said, “Here’s the Joker,” said Bob Kane, the creator of Batman, in an 1994 interview.
5. He Didn’t Always Work Alone
Gaggy Gagsworthy was the Joker’s sidekick before Harley Quinn came along. He was crazy, resourceful, and most of all completely dedicated to the Joker.
Gaggy belonged to a circus before he joined forces with the Joker and his main act was tightrope walking. However, Gaggy was left feeling resentful and angry, when the circus hired a new act and made him dress as a clown in their freak-show. One day, the Joker visited the circus and caught sight of Gaggy lashing out at one of his fellow clowns and it wasn’t long before the two teamed up together.
Gaggy was the perfect solution for the Joker’s ”Robin problem,” and so the two committed gruesome murders and many crimes together until they were caught and sent to prison.While in jail, the Joker ended up murdering 6 inmates and was sent to the Arkham Asylum instead — where he met Harley Quinn.
4. The Joker Wants Batman To Kill Him
Batman refuses to kill, and by refusing to kill, he allows the Joker to murder hundreds of innocent people. It just doesn’t make that much sense now does it? Batman could have easily ended the Joker’s life on many different accounts, but he contents himself with sending him to the Arkham Asylum — a facility the Joker is notorious for escaping from. It’s almost as if Batman is as obsessed with the Joker, as the Joker is with him.
The Joker enjoys fighting Batman because he has made it painfully clear this is the case. But why then go to such extreme lengths to sprout violent anger in Batman’s heart? It looks very much like the Joker wants Batman to lose it and kill him once and for all, but why? Why does he want to die at the hands of Batman?
Batman has made it clear that he is incorruptible and this comes off as a challenge to the Joker. The Joker, who truly believes that humans are more chaotic than pure of heart, wants to show Batman that even the hero can be dark and sinful. Provoking Batman to kill him is his only goal…he lives for it.
3. He Considers Himself An Artist
The Joker might be a psychopath, but at least he takes pride in his work. Unlike some villains, who usually only kill people because they get in their way, threaten their goal or disobey commands, the Joker simply kills because he thinks it’s hilarious.
Not only does he kill for sheer enjoyment, but he never hides a body or a crime. He wants people to know it was him, some could even say it gets him off. Like an artist, he signs every canvas he has ever painted, but in his own special way. His victims will get their cheeks sliced into a smile, and his crimes will be signed with a special card.
The Joker’s work evokes fear in all that view it. Some artists aim to bring out love and awe, and other’s well, they chose the opposite. When it comes to crime and murder, he is compassionate to say the least.
2. He Knows Who Batman Is And Doesn’t Care
The Joker is not an idiot and so he has made it quite obvious that he is aware of the man behind the mask. He has no interest, however, in that man. His main focus is with Batman himself.
To prove this theory, there is a passage in Batman: Vol 663, when the Joker says, “Both of us trying to find meaning in a meaningless world! Why be a disfigured outcast when I can be a notorious Crime God? Why be an orphaned boy when you can be a superhero? You can’t kill me without becoming like me. I can’t kill you without losing the only human being who can keep up with me. Isn’t it ironic?”
If that isn’t proof enough, then I don’t know what is. Truth is, the Joker simply does not care that Bruce Wayne is Batman —to him, there is no man behind the mask.
1. He Used To Have A Family
Although it is rumoured that the Joker has no origins, there has been speculation that his story was indeed told in Batman: The Killing Joke. The Joker, who wasn’t always a bad man, was once married to a woman named Jeannie. Jeannie and himself were expecting a child together, when suddenly, life turned a sour green.
The Joker, who has been told to have a background in science, was once an engineer at Ace Chemical Processing Inc. However, he soon quit his job to pursue a career in stand-up comedy, but sadly the only person who ever laughed at his jokes was his wife. This resulted in the Joker being unable to support his growing family, and so he agreed to help two crooks break into his old place of work.
The Joker gets informed by police, mid robbery, that his wife and un-born child have fallen victims to a household fire. He tries to back out of the plan but the criminals force him into sticking with it. As soon as they enter the facility, they are caught red-handed. The comedian attempts to escape but is stopped by Batman himself. Horror-struck, the widower jumps over the railing to escape the bat-like creature and falls into a vat of chemicals.