The Joker is sadistic, twisted and straight up evil. The Joker is widely regarded as Batman’s greatest enemy. In fact, Joker is possibly the most iconic villain in comic book history. Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson created the Joker and he first appeared in 1940. The Joker has been portrayed as a simple eccentric prankster and as a sick, sadistic psychopath. There have been several different origin stories to how he became the Joker. The most common origin story first appeared in 1951. He was a lab assistant that became the criminal, The Red Hood. After committing a crime he attempted to escape Batman by jumping in a vat of chemicals. This gave him his green hair, white skin and permanent smile. However, Joker has given various different origin stories and even once said, “Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another… if I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice.” He does not have super human abilities or powers. He usually uses a variety of weapons and really enjoys blowing things up and chemical weapons. He’s also known for his razor tip playing cards.
The Joker has appeared in several comic books, merchandise, TV and movies. Cesar Romero played the Joker in the 1960s television series, Batman. Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Jared Leto, all portrayed the Joker at different times in the films Tim Burton’s Batman, The Dark Knight and Suicide Squad, respectively. The Joker has committed several atrocious and violent crimes. The Joker has been a constant thorn in Batman’s side. The Joker has killed several characters since his debut and usually does it in an epic way. Here is a look at 15 characters who were killed by the Joker.
15 Jerry Randall
The Testimony of the Joker revolved around Joker killing Batman and testifying in front of the other villains. Actually, it’s more like he’s bragging about achieving a life long goal. Joker was out and about causing mischief, mayhem and chaos when he stumbles upon Batman. Batman was in the middle of stopping a crime so Joker decided to reload on ammo and return later to surprise Batman. When Joker returns he is able to kill Batman and even takes off his mask. However, Joker is unaware that he didn’t actually kill Batman/Bruce Wayne. He actually killed a Gotham City resident named Jerry Randall. Jerry Randall was a bookstore owner who was a huge fan of Batman. Often he would dress up as his idol Batman, and reenact Batman stopping a crime. Usually, Jerry would show up after Batman had stopped a crime and reenact the crime at the very same location. Joker mistook Jerry for Batman and killed him. Joker finds out the truth from none other than Batman himself.
14 Alexander Luthor Jr.
Lex Luthor is one of DC’s most iconic and well-known villains. He’s Superman’s greatest enemy. To a certain extent, Lex is to Superman what Joker is to Batman. Alexander Luthor Jr. is the son of Alexander Luthor (Lex Luthor) from an alternate timeline. Alexander Luthor Jr. can actually be a good guy in his timeline. However, Luthor Jr. enters this timeline and disguises himself as Lex Luthor. He then attempts to create a Society of Villains to bring all the universes together. Luthor Jr. brings all of the most diabolic, evil and sadistic villains together but he leaves one particular villain out. This turns out to be a big mistake. Luthor Jr. fails and is able to escape from Superman. However, Joker and this earth’s Lex Luthor find him hiding in an ally. Joker first disfigures Luthor Jr. and then shoots him in the head, killing him. The reason for Joker to commit this murder is because Luthor Jr. didn’t include him in the Society of Villains.
13 Joker’s Gang
The Joker seemed to commit crimes and murder without any real reason. It always seemed to be about causing chaos, mayhem and getting Batman’s attention. However, there was a method to his madness. When the character was first created he was violent and ruthless, however the introduction of the Comic Code Authority forced writers to tone Joker down. That all changed again in the 70s and the Joker returned to his extremely violent and sadistic ways. In the 1973 Batman #225: The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge, the Joker we all love and knew returned. He is released from Arkham Asylum and decides to get revenge on his own gang. It turns out that one of his former gang members betrayed him and gave him up to the police. One by one, Joker takes out each of his gang members proving that Joker is truly a loner. The scene is mirrored in the opening of The Dark Knight, where Joker (Heath Ledger) kills his own gang members after committing a bank robbery.
12 Joker Jr. Kills Joker
Batman Beyond: The Return of Joker is a direct-to-video film that is set in a futuristic Gotham City. It revolves around High School student Terry McGinnis, who takes over the mantle of Batman. An elderly Bruce Wayne serves as an advisor to the new Batman. Tim Drake becomes the third incarnation of Robin. The film was related to the TV series, Batman Beyond. The plot of the film revolved around Joker and Harley Quinn kidnapping Tim Drake. They disfigure Tim Drake and torture him till he has a breakdown and tells them all of Batman’s secrets. Joker brainwashes Tim Drake and Drake becomes Joker Jr. while Batman frantically looks for Drake. Batman is able to track them down and is shocked by his discovery. Joker then orders Joker Jr. to kill Batman but Drake is able to break free of Joker’s brainwashing. Instead of killing Batman, Joker Jr. kills the Joker in a hilarious twist of irony.
11 Mr. Freeze
Mr. Freeze is another of Batman’s enemies that was first introduced in 1959. He was first named Mr. Zero but the name then changed to Mr. Freeze. When first introduced, he gained his powers when trying to design an “ice gun”, which backfired and gave him his powers. He was one of Batman’s toughest enemies but he also crossed Joker. Joker’s own henchmen left him to work for Mr. Freeze, betraying Joker. Joker decides to get a bit of revenge by killing Mr. Freeze. However, the critically acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series re-introduced Mr. Freeze and made some minor changes to his backstory. Victor Fries (Mr. Freeze) is a scientist experimenting on the love of his life, Nora. An accident occurs killing Nora and giving Mr. Freeze his powers. The character was such a huge success that it carried over to the comic books and the Joker killing him was largely forgotten.
10 The Entire Country Of China
Joker is a homicidal psychopath that enjoys creating chaos, mayhem and blowing things up. However, it turns out that he also enjoys eating Chinese food. Okay, that joke might be in bad taste but we are talking about 'The Joker' here. In the Emperor Joker Storyline, he is able to trick Mister Mxyzptlk into giving him all of his powers. With these powers Joker recreates the universe in his image while at the same time, tries to tear the universe apart. This includes making Bizzaro the leader of the Justice League, institutionalizing Superman in Arkham Asylum and killing Batman over and over again. Well, in that same storyline he commits one of the most insane and devastating acts. Joker eats the entire country of China. He eats over a billion people and obviously kills them all in the process. Before he causes all that other chaos and mayhem, he first eats the country of China, which sets the bar pretty high for the rest of the storyline...
However, Joker certainly passes that bar in the story.
9 Rachel Dawes
In Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Rachel Dawes is Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend and the woman he’s deeply in love with. She is first introduced in Batman Begins and appears again in The Dark Knight. Batman (Christian Bale) is conflicted between his life as Batman and the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. However, The Joker (Heath Ledger) has other plans for Rachel and Batman. Joker kidnaps both Rachel and district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). He ties both up in two separate warehouses soaked in gasoline. Explosives are connected to several drums of oil. Batman interrogates Joker who gives him two addresses with Batman going to Rachel’s location and Commissioner Gordon to Dent’s. However, when Batman arrives he realizes that Joker had switched the addresses and Batman ends up at Dent’s location. Both Batman and Harvey hear Rachel’s final words interrupted by an explosion. Rachel’s death torments Batman and turns Harvey Dent into Two-Face. Katie Holmes portrayed Rachel Dawes in Batman Begins and Maggie Gyllenhaal took over the role in The Dark Knight.
Joker is ruthless, twisted and a homicidal psychopath who feels no emotions. However, there is one person who has a special place in his heart and she’s just as ruthless, twisted and psychotic. Harley Quinn is Joker’s main squeeze and lover. She was a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum and fell madly in love with Joker. Later, she helps him escape and becomes his sidekick. Paul Dini and Bruce Timm created Harley for Batman: The Animated Series and she debuted in 1992. It’s pretty safe to say that anyone who looks at Harley is doing so at his or her own risk. Monty only appeared once but his death at the hands of the Joker is one of the most violent and gruesome. Monty appeared in the 2008 graphic novel Joker, by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo. Monty is high-ranking member of Gotham’s criminal empire and owns a strip club. Monty makes one very big mistake that upsets the Joker. He hires Joker’s main squeeze, Harley Quinn, at his strip club. As Harley performs, he stares at her just a little bit too long and Joker doesn’t like this. Joker proceeds to skin Monty alive from the neck down and then parades him on stage.
Sometimes in the DC Universe, everything is not as it seems. The Joker has no superpowers, yet is powerful and destructive without them. Many have wondered how devastating Joker could be if he had powers. Well, The Emperor Joker storyline explored that very issue.
The plot revolves around Joker who gains powers that allow him to alter events in his image while tearing the entire universes apart. He has a lot of fun in the process. He turns Superman into a criminal and has him institutionalized in Arkham. He also has Bizzaro take over the Justice League and become their leader. However, the thing he must have enjoyed the most is killing Batman… over and over. Batman is tortured, killed and resurrected in an infinite time loop. Eventually, Superman begins to suspect that something isn’t right and figures out what Joker is doing. He’s able to save Batman from the never-ending deaths.
6 Joker Kills Himself
Joker had killed and hurt many of Gotham’s residents in an attempt to get Batman’s attention. He committed many atrocities but he had one last “prank” to pull on Batman. Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns was released in 1986. The graphic novel is critically and commercially acclaimed. The novel has been praised for its story, writing and artwork. The plot revolves around an older Bruce Wayne/Batman who comes out of retirement to fight crime. With his return Joker awakens from his depression and the catatonic state he had been in. This was because with Batman gone, Joker felt he had no purpose. Joker goes on a talk show to talk about how he’s cured of his mental state but it's all a trick and kills everyone on the talk show and the audience.
Batman tracks down Joker and after a battle to end all battles, Joker has one more trick. Joker snaps his own neck and frames Batman for his murder. Joker killed himself as one final “prank” to truly get Batman’s attention.
5 Henry Claridge
The Joker was first introduced in the very first issue of Batman, released on April 25, 1940. Initially, the plan was to kill the Joker in his first appearance but it was changed at the last minute. Presumably, Joker had been killing for years before his debut but this was the first time we got to see the Joker commit a murder. In the issue, Joker promises to kill three Gotham City residents. His first public victim is the wealthy Henry Claridge. Joker promises to kill Claridge at the stroke of midnight. The Gotham City Police take several precautions to protect Claridge. However, they’re unaware that Joker had already poisoned Claridge. At the stroke of midnight, Claridge dies just like Joker predicted.
This was the first public victim of The Joker's and was just a hint of what he was capable of. However, he wouldn’t be the last victim. Joker would find more evil and fun ways to torture Batman and get his attention.
4 Lois Lane
Lois Lane is most often connected to one of DC’s most iconic superheroes, Superman. Injustice: Gods Among Us is a video game that takes place in an alternate DC Universe. The game was critically and commercially acclaimed. In the game, Joker kidnaps Lois Lane and Superman frantically searches for her. He finds Joker and Harley Quinn apparently performing surgery on Lois. As Superman attacks Joker he sprays him with a fear toxin. Suddenly, Doomsday appears in front of Superman and he quickly kills him. It turns out that it wasn’t Doomsday but actually Lois. Not only did Joker trick Superman into killing Lois but he also connected a warhead to her heartbeat. Once she dies the warhead denotes destroying Metropolis. Superman goes crazy and kills Joker by punching right through his stomach. Superman takes over the world and creates a totalitarian regime. It’s up to Batman and the other superheroes from different DC Universes to stop this evil Superman. Joker didn’t actually do the killing, but he was responsible.
3 The Crippling Of Batgirl
This next one is technically a death, but at the same time it isn’t. Batman: The Killing Joke was written by Alan Moore and released in March, 1988. The graphic novel is universally praised and critically acclaimed. The story takes place in two timelines. The novel gives another possible origin story for Joker. In this case, he is a family man who is a failed comedian that is forced to help criminals rob his former employer. He finds out that his wife died and during the robbery is confronted by Batman. He jumps into a vat of chemicals and the Joker is born. Later, Joker wants to show Batman that anybody can be like him. Barbara Gordon is the daughter of Commissioner James Gordon, and is also the vigilante Batgirl. Joker arrives at Barbara’s and shoots her when she answers the door. He doesn’t kill her but instead leaves her paralyzed. He then strips her naked and takes pictures which he forces James Gordon to look at.
Barbara Gordon doesn’t die but in a way, Batgirl does. Later, Barbara Gordon becomes the wise and powerful Oracle.
2 Robin – Jason Todd
The Boy Wonder Robin was Batman’s trusty sidekick. Initially, Dick Grayson was Robin until he left to become Nightwing. Jason Todd then took over the role of Robin in the comic book series. Jason Todd was introduced in 1983. However, DC released a four issue series, A Death in the Family between 1988 and 1989. In the series, Joker tricks Robin to a warehouse where Todd’s mother is being held. Turns out that Joker had blackmailed her in an attempt to get to Robin. Joker proceeds to beat Jason Todd within an inch of his life with a crowbar. He leaves Todd and his mother locked in a room and kills both with a bomb. This is probably the most devastating and heartbreaking death in the comic book series. Batman is haunted and tortured by Todd’s death through the rest of the series. However, Jason Todd is later resurrected and becomes the new Red Hood. When Jason Todd was first introduced he was very popular but that soon wore off.
Fans were actually given the power to save the character in a telephone poll but fans overwhelmingly voted to kill Jason Todd.
1 Sarah Essen
Joker enjoyed tormenting Batman more than anything else in his life. It brought him joy to be a thorn in Batman’s side. They only thing that could compare to tormenting Batman is tormenting James Gordon. Sarah Essen is the second wife of Commissioner Gordon. She also worked at the Gotham City Police Department with Gordon. Joker had done a lot to James Gordon, such as paralyzing his only daughter. However, Joker is always looking for new ways to torture Gordon and Batman. In the No Man’s Land storyline, Joker kidnaps a group of infants and hides them in the Gotham Police Department basement. Sarah arrives and gets the better of Joker. She holds him at gunpoint but Joker throws a baby at Sarah. She drops her gun to save the baby, which gives Joker the chance to shoot and kill her.