"The Joker is the kind of guy who will come up with a plan to kidnap a scientist and have them create a super-pheromone that will attract little old ladies to a warehouse so Joker can feed them into a woodchipper and use the resulting paste to make counterfeit money so he can buy fuel for his ice rocket that will freeze the entire city which will cause everyone to flock to his beverage vendors who will sell them hot chocolate laced with a mutagen designed to drive everyone insane."
— Shamus Young, Stolen Pixels (who put it quite well, if I do say so myself...)
You're looking at the only super villain (and only comic book character in general) ever to snag that little golden fella, thanks to good ol' Heathy. Too bad I couldn't appear in the sequel...
But at least WB knows a classy role when they see it. Before Heathy, there was Jackie who won two golden boys before he became me! And then, another one after this! And now the Oscar winning actor, Jared Leto, is going to play me for the upcoming Suicide Squad movie! You know, there should be a universal rule that actors who are going to play me in the live-action movies must have an Oscar. Don't you agree?
Actually A Doom Bot: Or actually Clayface — the Joker you see for the majority of Batman: Arkham City, believe it or not, isn't me. The Titan formula I took at the end of Arkham Asylum poisoned me and left me too weak to run my gang, so I had Clayface disguised as me to keep anybody from noticing I was sick, and he was happy to take on "the role of a lifetime". And boy, did he work like a charm! Nobody could tell he was fake till he turned back to his normal form.
Actually Pretty Funny: Sometimes the Bats himself makes a punchline. Sometimes intentional, sometimes not. I do appreciate Irony, so sometimes I find an entire situation hilarious and invoke the Trope verbatim.
Always a Bigger Fish: The Creeper. Never get me near that guy! He's a lunatic! Dumber than a coffin nail, but a lunatic nonetheless! And considering who's telling you this, that's really saying something.
Over in the Injustice: Gods Among Us comic, Harl found she was pregnant thanks to me, so she had the kid on the down-low and then gave her up. Can't think why...
Attempted Rape: At one time in Last Laugh, while still convinced that I had terminal cancer, I thought I wanted to continue a legacy of my own. So I hired my mooks to kidnap my little Harl' and bring her to me, so that I could try and produce an heir by... you know... revving up my Harley before marriage. Unfortunately, Bat-Girl and her friends showed up and rescued her before I could get a chance. Oh well... them's the breaks, I guess.
All a part of my master plan in "The Joker Walks the Last Mile" (Detective Comics Issue #64, June 1942). My plan was simple: I turned myself in over to the police, pleaded guilty and confessed to all my crimes of murder and robbery, and got sent to the death chamber and fried by the electric chair! (Offscreen, actually.) Immediately after I got declared dead by a coroner, my mooks wasted no time in reclaiming my body from the prison morgue and carrying me to a nearby ambulance and forcing some life serum down my throat within 15 minutes to keep me from slipping off from "Only Mostly Dead" to "all dead". Once I revived, I was living a glorious life by walking away a free man, which meant that I couldn't be punished again for the same crimes! Of course, Batsy and Bird-Boy had to find another way to apprehend me by proof that I committed new robberies I never confessed to in life before my execution! So much for that! You know what they say: "Those who fight and run away will live to fight another day." HOOHOOHOOAHHAHAHAHA!
Badass Normal: Though some would argue that I'm anything but normal. Still, the fact that folk who go toe-to-toe with ol' Supes are scared of me? That's gotta be worth something.
Hell, I've got one of the highest bodycounts in the entire DCU, far outdoing almost any superpowered freaks out there, and generally only outdone by those with the power to destroy entire worlds.
Bad Boss: Good help is sooo hard to find these days.... Admittedly, I've had to terminate some of my underlings, but I made sure to send them away with smiles on their faces.
The Bad Guy Wins: Injusticewas a mainstream beep-boop game after all, so of course my insides got splattered merrily across the wall and the good guys triumphed over evil blah blah blah, but they never did manage to completely fix one teeeeeeny-tiny problem: I! BROKE! SUPERMAN! ...Well, one of me and one of him, but there's no denying it - that universe just plain went to hell and no matter which mode you play, Mr. Big Blue Boyscout does not get a happy ending. What's that you say? Redemption? Then I've got a guide to saving a certain Final Fantasy VII character I'd like to sell you...
Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: In one episode of The Batman, I actually saved Batsy's secret identity by taking care of Wrath and Scorn before they could spill the beans. What can I say? I didn't want anyone else being the Bat's end.
And as one Cameron Kaiser found out note See "Joker's Wild", one of my masterpieces , don't you dare try to cash in on my image! (That said, I do give him props for doing this just to trick me into destroying his casino for insurance)
Likewise, that nasty ol' Mr. G. Carl Francis found out the hard way what happens when you try to snub me of my legal cut of the profits! note See "The Laughing Fish" Granted, I always planned to expose him to my joker venom, even if the deal had gone through, but not letting me copyright my fish gave me a good excuse to do it anyway. In the original comic, I even sent him out with a smile.
How dare that bald megalomaniac found The Legion of Doom in Justiceand not invite ME?! (Geddit? It was a Mythology Gag 'cause I wasn't on Superfriends because of legal mumbo jumbo.) Mind, he learns fast - I'll give Lexy that. Never made that mistake again.
Big Bad: Usually in those adaptations, but not so much in the comics. After all, why let others have all the fun?
Big Badass Rig: If you want to make an impression on the streets of Gotham, size really does matter. It also has plenty of trailer space in case you need to bring along your bazooka. You may call it overkill, I call it defensive driving.
Big Stupid Doodoo Head: Okay, so some of my insults can be a bit juvenile, but that's only because it's funny to call Bat-Brain a big 'ol guano-head.
Body Snatcher: Yes. I've even managed to pull this off in my comeback appearance in Batman Beyond. I lost my old body thanks to Tim Drake turning against me. Ungrateful kids; you teach them everything you know and then they turn around and stab you in the back! Or in my case the chest. Fortunately, I had ensured my immortality long before this inconvenience thanks to a little genetics micro chip I had planted on Little J during his time in my care. Unfortunately, my comeback was thwarted thanks to that Bat-Fake old Brucey was grooming.
Bodyguard Babes: I've had a few of these everyone now and then, let's see...
Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: C'mon you didn't think I'd miss out on this comedy goldmine, did ya? Take for example this little exchange I had with one of those opera clowns in an issue of Stuporman & Batbrain magazine:
And here's one part of minewhen I thought Bat-Jerk broke his One Rule by killing the muscleman Bane with his bare hands (he didn't, of course, but only temporarily stopped his heart with the Shock Gloves, but still...):
Me: Well, I'd love to stay and celebrate your victory, but I've got stockings to stuff, mistletoe to hang - and about fifteen skyscrapers to blow up before sunrise. Ciao.
Captive Audience: What's the point of killing Batman or one of his sidekicks if nobody's there to see it?
Cardboard Prison: Arkham's a great place to kick back and relax for a while, and it's never too hard to get out and about when I feel like a stroll through the guts of Gotham's gentry. Then again, that time I took over the place, that was glorious.
Characterization Marches On: In my first appearances, the only real quirk I had was an association with a certain playing card — I was just a straight-forward, humorless murderer and thief who merely grinned alot, rather than the comedy-obsessed and always laughing maniac you all know and love today! And I gotta say, boy howdy have I come a long way! Heck, according to that bald Scot, my ever-changing personality is another facet of my being...ahem...differently sane.
Literally, too. You're looking at one of the only 2 people (the other being Bane) to ever beat Ra's al Ghul at a game of chess.note He said it was my ability to switch between different strategies so quickly. Like they always say, nobody can predict me.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: I was last seen busted by a SWAT team after my little "social experiment" failed at the end of The Dark Knight, and didn't even get mentioned in The Dark Knight Rises simply because that damn Heath Ledger punk bit the dust before TDK was even released! Maybe that also has something to do with the Dollmaker ripping my face off (see Put on a Bus for some more on that little incident, my pretties).
Civilian Villain: Every once in a blue moon, usually when the Bat manages to get himself killed, something inside me snaps and I won't be my usual, cheerful self. I might even pass off as being, gasp, almost sane! How lucky for me that Batsy never stays down for very long.
Clear Their Name: Wouldn't you know it? I'm on the "their" list, and The Joker: Devil's Advocate revolves around the whole plot: I was arrested, tried, and condemned to die for the poisoned stamps incident that I insisted that I wasn't involved with. I asked the Dork Knight to save my life, hoping that Bat-Head would find the real perpetrator for the poisoned stamps and clear my name. And surprisingly, it worked, just when I was mere seconds away from execution by the electric chair! What a lucky clown I was, just lucky to be alive... in jail again, knowing that at least my name was now in the clear. But still... LUCKY!!!
Combat Pragmatist: A few notable examples include beating unarmed enemies with a crowbar, setting hungry dogs on them, spraying various unhealthy substances in their faces, trying to kick the Dork Knight in the ribs with a knife that came out of my shoe — and who could forget the time when I hopped myself up on Titan?
Though I tried to get Batboy a chance there, but he refused.
Combat Sadomasochist: Now, don't look at me like that. You'd be surprised at how good a true expert in pain can make you feel.
The Corrupter: Because madness is like gravity, and as you know, all it takes is a little push.
CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable): One time (in Last Laugh) I got beaten to the point of death by Nightwing (because the rumors of little Birdbrain becoming lunch to Killer Croc had pushed Nighty's Berserk Button too far) until my heart stopped beating! Almost gave up the ghost, too! Fortunately, Batsy showed up just in time to resuscitate poor old moi by CPR in order to keep Nighty from stooping down to my level as a murderer. Within a few minutes, I returned to life again! Once again, LUCKY!!!
Crazy-Prepared: You think old Bats always has a contingency plan for each and every occasion? Trust me, I got him beat in that little competition.
Create Your Own Villain: In a few incarnations, old Batsy had a hand in my origin. Makes it more delicious wouldn't you say? Sometimes I invert the trope myself by being the one that made poor little Bruce an orphan, such as in my first movie appearance. Heck, I even lampshaded it!
I suppose I was also responsible for the birth of the Phantasm and the deaths of my old mob gang.
Cute Kitten: "Cute Kitten"?! How should I know? I don't remember Catwoman ever reproducing.
Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Are you kidding? Merely selling that flying saucer to NASA would have been so boring! And I wouldn't have sold it to the Soviets, in case you were thinking that. As I told that Red Skull fellow, I'm an American criminal lunatic.
Death Dealer: I'm always a card, but sometimes I like using them as throwing weapons too! What better way to show off some style than by slicing a man with razor-sharp metal playing cards? You can always be sure I have an extra one or two up my sleeves, too...
Death Is Cheap: So cheap that I'm fairly sure it's on sale whenever I come around.
Death Seeker: Played up moreso in my scene-stealing appearances in The Dark Knight and Batman: Arkham Origins. I'm a horrible, despicable person surrounded by horrible, despicable people I won't hesitate to murder for giggles. Or simply because they're in my way! Or maybe just because it's Tuesday! It's Guano-Man's absolute refusal to give sociopaths like me what we deserve that starts my fixation with him.
Depending on the Artist: Some artists, like Neal Adams and Jim Aparo, give me a long pointed chin, while others, such as Marshall Rogers, gave me a square one. I'm sometimes lean and mean, while other times I'm of average build. Some depict my lovely smile as being stuck on my face, while others have me capable of showing... other emotions. Gotta admit, having the grin cut into my mouth so I can make two expressions at once, that worked out decently enough.
Depending on the Writer: So tell me. Am I a harmless prankster, a homicidal maniac, a hostage to momentary whims, or a chessmaster capable of constructing elaborate plans? All these and more, at various times. (The current official theory is that I'm so mentally unstable my brain turns right over every now and again, and I become insane in a whole new way. That Grant Morrison, what a kidder.)
Disney Villain Death: Heck, I've probably subverted this one as many times as Ol' Walt's boys played it straight.
Disproportionate Retribution: People keep saying I go into this, but I don't know why. A henchman who refuses to fork over the money he owes me when he loses a twenty-dollar bet on the World Series should be clubbed to death with a bunch of bananas (Note to self: takes too long. Use plantains instead). Anyone who would dare deny me first prize in a comedy competition just because I never actually entered it deserve to be mind controlled into becoming D-List criminals. And all those people who claimed that I couldn't legally trademark the fish that I arranged to grin like me seriously had it coming. Honestly, what's so disproportionate about all that?
Does Not Like Shoes: My costume in The Batman? A straitjacket and bare feet. It was a legitimate fashion choice! Well, I did adopt a variation on my trademark purple suit in later appearances, but I still went barefoot. Hey, it was the turn of the millennium. We're all entitled to try new things with our image once in awhile.
Domestic Abuse: I resent the accusation. After all, Harl always comes back!
Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Imagine how boring a battle with Superman would be if I didn't let him know I kidnapped that Lois woman.
Due to the Dead: Seen a few ideas on what to do with my body when I die. One example is that after the little bird-brained brat offed me, I could watch from the afterlife how Jimmy's little girl and Batsy were at least kind enough to give my body a decent burial deep within Arkham Asylum... unaware that I had implanted a microchip on little Timmy beforehand so that I could continue wreaking havoc after 40 years... until Bat-Fake, that is! Ahhh, such a simple time.
Another example is that after I finally croaked from the Titan disease, I again watched from the afterlife as Commissioner Jimmy secretly kept watch over my corpse for two weeks, and then, after that Bat-Brain somehow survived my remaining traps, they showed me the kind favor of burning my body to get rid of it! Oh, well... it was fun while it lasted... Unless I somehow reincarnate in a different form. You never can tell when I may be coming back elsewhere, you know.
Edible Bludgeon: I tell you, death by bananas is an absolute riot! Unfortunately, beating someone to death with a bunch of bananas can also take all night. Plantains make a much better weapon. I also taught lil' Andie a thing or two about killer bologna!
Enemy Mine: I'm as shocked as you are! When my Batman: The Brave and the Bold incarnation made his first appearance, he actually joined forces with Batsy in order to take down Owlman, mainly because he just wasn't as much fun. In the end, he made a smart move and joined forces with the alternate double, but not before telling Bats that he tried to be good. That better not be signs of me decaying, otherwise I might need to have a little chitchat with those writers...
Oh, I should have trusted the writers more. I got to kill the Bat nine times! On a show for children!
Heck, if you thought my repeated comical, off-screen murders of the Dork Knight in the Lighter and SofterAnimated Adaptation of Emperor Joker were bad enough for kids, you should have read the original comic book (which was way worse) where I committed those murders in all their graphic, gory... uh, glory that put Mortal Kombat or even Brain Dead 13 to shame. I even got to traumatize him and send him crying... until old Supes saved the day!
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: I just don't get it!! I shout at her, I even give her a shiner and a love tap or ten, but that dame Harley just keeps coming back for more.... (sulks off to corner) I do love ya babe!! I just can't change who I am... (Wipes tear) Please forgive me..... Hahahahahaha!! I just don't get dames.
I may be a criminal lunatic, but I'm an AMERICAN criminal lunatic! When I found out◊ that Red Skull fellow was a Nazi, I turned on him, right then and there. And don't talk about that selling-nukes-to-Arabs thing. Fanon Discontinuity, plain and simple, got it?!
Funny thing — to other villains, I'm below their standards (perhaps that would make me the Spear Counterpart to ol' Jimmy, if I'm to believe that Dick Flass). Well, phooey! I didn't want their help, anyway...
Oh yes, and there was that one time I met that Warren White guy in the showers, pointing out that while I kill people, I don't steal their kids' college funds — but knowing me, I probably just said that to get under his skin.
And don't even get me started on those Aryan thugs in Blackgate — there's being a murderer, there's being an extravagant murderer, but those guys are just plain mean, not a funny bone in their body.
For some reason, killing Jimmy's wife during NML in front of all those babies wasn't as funny as I thought it would be.
Everything's Better with Penguins: Are you crazy? Me? Fond◊ of that old featherbrain? I don't know what◊ you've been reading, kiddo, but I only team up with him when the plan requires it. On the other hand, I gotta say, he runs a hell of a nightclub. And I'm not above just chilling with him and ol' Eddie Nygma.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Averted! I can damn well understand the good guys if I please. Even been one just a couple of times. It's just that it's out-of-your-skull boring.
Though, for the life of me, I can't understand why Batsy doesn't get the joke...
Eviler Than Thou: Carnage? Puh-leeze! The guy is an uninventive, style-less dunderhead! Like I told him that one time we met, "Any idiot, nothing personal of course, can go out and slaughter a few thousand people, but where's the laughter and tears? The handstands and histronics? In short, my dense and sanguine pal... where's the theater?"
Evil Versus Evil: I tussle with the competition all the time! The penultimate issue of my own magazine pit yours truly against ol' Jonathan Crane, for example. The bet, entitled "The Scarecrow's Fearsome Face-Off", is which of our fearsome weapons is the best, and my laughing gas won out. Ha, that'll teach him.
Facepalm: Batman has probably dodged thousands of bullets fired by my mooks over the years. My reaction is usually something like this◊.
Faking the Dead: And a pretty good one at that, too! As part of my backup plan in Batman: Arkham City, I stole one of those "magic feign-death potions" that ol' Sharpie had made, and then, while the Bat was fighting off Mr. Hammer, I pulled off a Juliet Capulet by drinking the bottle of it, and then drifted off into slumberland, with Clayface in hiding and dear ol' Harley right by my side. After a few minutes, the potion's effects wore off, and I woke up just in time to find the Dork Knight, knocked out cold by both Clayface and Harl', so I could infect him with my Titan blood. My plan worked like a charm! Bitter irony, though, as I was only hours away from death by Titan poisoning anyway.
Flanderization: Sometimes writers portray me as your average psycho serial killer, forgetting I'm supposed to be a FUNNY psycho serial killer. Of course as Characterization Marches On shows, I was originally lacking a sense of humor more or less to begin with so it isn't that jarring all things considered...
Foreshadowing/Prophecy Twist/Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: And a pretty bad one at that, too. I remember that one time when I set up the bombs all over the cathedral, then told Bat-butt the plan and urged him to get out. I then counted down the seconds from ten all the way down to zero... and for some odd reason the Caped Crusader just kinda stood there, as if he had no clue what to do. I tried coaxing him to get out, but he didn't seem to hear me. Then I got REAL ticked off and started making minor threats, but in doing so I blurted out a few hints that foreshadowed my own Downer Ending, probably breaking the whole "Do Not Spoil This Ending" rule, right before I made a major threat to blow this whole damn place sky-high, for real this time. And it's likely I would have blown him up along with it had he not somehow been intimidated by my major threats and hightailed it the hell out of here. Maybe I should have kept my big mouth shut and blown him up to bits sooner after my countdown to zero while I had the chance.
Fun With Palindromes: I once suggested going through Gotham's phone book and killing everyone whose name was a palindrome. It's as good a reason as any!
Gender Flip: Thrillkiller made me one Bianca Steeplechase, while Flashpoint turned me into ol' Batsy's mother! Over in that Tangent place, I'm Lori Lemaris, Madame Xanadu and Mary Marvel. Simultaneously.
Genre Savvy: I've been known to be this from time to time. Sometimes it even gets a little dangerous.
Glasgow Grin: Sometimes I opt to carve my trademark cheerful smile right into my face! Assuming, that is, it wasn't done for me; I can't quite remember anymore. If I don't have any of my happy gas on hand, maybe I'll give one to my victims as well!
Hidden Depths: In the first issue of my short-lived series in the 70's, I tell the guards how irritated I am that the thugs broke Two-Face out of Arkham because they thought he was a better criminal than I. (Preposterous!) The guards ask if I'm going to cry, and I respond with "That would be grotesque—tears trickling down..." They don't get it, so I explain "I was quoting Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, illiterate imbecile!"
High Voltage Death: Part of my plot to exploit my Joker Immunity via electric chair in exchange for my freedom from being arrested in one storyline ("The Joker Walks the Last Mile"). And I even did the same electric chair thing to Batsy as one of the Death Traps in The Brave and the Bold's take on Emperor Joker. Heck, some say I even died like this in the censored version of that Batman Beyond movie, though many objected that it was much, MUCH worse than getting shot at by that Bird-Brain in the uncensored version! Ow.
Homoerotic Subtext: It was kinda obvious in the Batman Arkham Series that I had this subtext for Batsy, albeit wholly one-sided. A lot of these—for example, my monologue to dear Harley about how I met someone special who had given my life meaning (though my romantic subtext accidentally seduced her into thinking it was about her), and my rendition of "Cold, Cold Heart" in Arkham Origins; so many of my voicemails on Bats' cellphone, and other subtext in the Post-Climax Confrontation from the Clayface-Me in Arkham City—have made me act as if I'm kinda gay for the Bat-Freak! Rocksteady and WB Montreal have been listening to way too many interviews with Grant Morrison lately. I'm defending myself, so let me tell you clearly that I'm not gay! Oh nonononono! Au contraire, the Bat and I are Heterosexual Life-Partners through and through, even 'til my death in Arkham City. Understaaaaand?
Humiliation Conga: Less-Than-A-Pennyworth once outfenced me and trapped me on a pole-elevator of some sort, zipping up and down, up and down, for five minutes. Never did quite see what the pole was for...
The Hyena: It's always a laugh-a-minute around me, especially when the punchline involves a bomb and a busload of orphans. So many happy memories. I do remember some sort of amalgamated version of me with that name, but who can keep track?
Identity Impersonator: A good one too! There was this one time when I had no knowledge of the Bat as of yet, but when I eavesdropped on this Roman Sionis wearing a black mask and taking control of the cops to capture someone who called himself the Bat, I figured that, hey, maybe I should take over Blackie's business. However, Roman knew he and his girlfriend, Tiffany Ambrose, were being watched, so she went to Lacey Towers to call for help, but I gave her the knockdown and tied her to the chandelier. And then a fake guy posing as Black Mask walked in while the real Black Mask was hiding. However, I saw through the trickery and wouldn't be fooled, so I killed the little impostor, then subdued the real Blackie and forced him to Mercy Kill his little bitch in exchange for freedom. But that wasn't enough! No. I knocked him out cold, then captured him, placed a frame-up for the murder on the fat Penguin, then posed as the real Blackie and tried to sound like him, but came off more like a mafia gangster. I could then hire eight assassins and send them out to kill the Bat on Christmas Eve so I could give them a Christmas bonus. However, the Bat-Freak soon found me out, and when he confronted me, I tried pretending I wasn't that clown while bringing out the real Blackie. I guess I should have gagged him with duct tape earlier, because the moment I took off his black mask, Blackie became quite a nasty tattle-tale, ratting me out before I had my fun and forcing me to give up the façade. Papa spank!
Idiot Ball: Hoo boy, there are some Idiot Balls out everywhere, even in the Arkhamverse, but the #1 Idiot Ball has to go to that one moment near the end of Batman: Arkham City, when, after that Bat-head ruined my chance at immortality by destroying the Lazarus Pit along with Clayface, I noticed that the Caped Crusader finally had the cure I was looking for (he had drunk up half of it and gotten cured of the Titan disease I had inflicted on him and saved the other half for later). I just thought: FINALLY! Now's my only chance that I can still be saved! I demanded that he give me the antidote for it, but Bat-Brain just hesitated a bit. I just didn't know that he was pondering on his thoughts and considering giving me the remaining cure; I mistakenly assumed that he wasn't doing it in fear that I may commit more crimes again. And then something snapped inside of me: I let my anger and impatience get the better of me by stabbing him in the arm with a knife for the cure, forcing him to drop it and let it shatter onto the floor, and resulting in my ultimate, fatal downfall. What an Idiot I was, just Too Dumb to Live! *sniff* ..well, them's the breaks! HAHAHAHA!!
Improbable Aiming Skills: My aim should be this good after all these years of using Gotham's people as practice. Need an example? Fine! Remember that one animated movie that's criminally underrated? In it, I unload an entire magazine from a Tommy Gun at those singing robots, all of them being headshots which blast off the heads of all 4 robots. The camera reveals me to be the shooter and my left hand was in my pocket the whole time.
In Love with Your Carnage: But he's sooo magnificent when he loses it... Especially when he loses it on me. Ahh, but dear Bats is in deep denial.
Not to mention that time when Harley and me made up after she proved that she was more than willing to pull the trigger on me. That's my girl...
Insanity Has Advantages: Let's face it, by all rights I should have gotten the death penalty a long time ago. Although I wonder which would be the best way to go... the electric chair would be an absolutely heavenly sensation, while dying by lethal injection would allow me to leave a beautiful corpse (and I do love the irony)...
Crane hates this. Can you believe the buffoon actually tried using his fear gas on me? HAHAHAHA!
Of course, little Acey-poo showed me that no matter how wacky you are, there's still new depths to plumb. What a trip that that was...
Want to know just how much of an advantage it is? In issue 7 of my self-titled comic, after a day where Lexy and I accidentally swap our main characteristics (madness and intelligence, respectively) Luthor is in his jail cell, remembering that when he was mad he had thought of "the ultimate theory", an explanation for the universe that he'd need to be crazy to come up with that would have made him world-renowned. Unfortunately, he was unable to remember it when his sanity was restored.
One time I tried to subvert my Joker Immunity in Batman: Vengeance, when I jumped off the exploding blimp and was free-falling to my death, for real this time. I even tried preventing the free-falling Bat-Freak from saving my life four times, but on the fourth and last time, he somehow finally succeeded in catching me in time and preventing a Non Standard Game Over. So much for that!
Throughout the Arkhamverse, I kept trying to subvert my Joker Immunity again and again in Batman: Arkham Origins, and Batsy kept on saving me! It was not until Arkham Asylum that I finally succeeded... by OD'ing myself on Titan while the Bat-Freak was too helpless to stop it. Of course, it would take yet another painful year for the Titan poisoning to settle in my bloodstream before taking it over completely, thus fulfilling my death wish (though unexpectedly) at the end of Arkham City. And even then, my public still couldn't get enough of me, so they made a new game about my first run-in with Bats so I could return to the spotlight.
Then there was that brat who shot me with my own gun. That wasn't funny. And don't get me started on that fake Batman who said I wasn't funny.
Joker Jury: Another one named after little ol' me.
Over on Earth 2, I got bumped off by Bats without even the chance for a joke. 'Course, that was old Tommy Wayne, filling in for his dead son, who'd gone and got himself killed saving the world. Tsk, no style, that man; it's obvious where my Batsie got it.
Kill Sat: In my comeback attempt, I tried to use one of these wonderful toys to mark New Gotham as Joker territory. Unfortunately, Bat Fake had to ruin the fun.
Kryptonite Ring: Sometimes I bump into Superman and have to remind him what dirt tastes like. Honestly, the only thing to be defeated by a rock more than Supes is those unfortunate pair of scissors. Maybe Supes should try carrying around paper.
Lack of Empathy: Oh, it's always about you, isn't it? What about me, huh? I nearly broke my arm swingin' that crowbar around!
Lame Pun Reaction: "The Joker's Wild?"Nah, that one wasn't funny. Still, if you think that one was corny, you should see the one at the end of the movie with Jack where I died by falling off a building due to a statue pulling my leg!
Latex Perfection: Every once in a while I've felt the need to cover up my ol' rubber face of comedy with a literal rubber face. And I'm good at it, too. I've even fooled Batbrain with this one once or twice.
Laughably Evil: Again, duh. I don't supply the trope image just because I'm so handsome, you know.
Light Is Not Good: I wear bright clothes, and my skin is bleach-white. Does that make me good? Batman certainly doesn't think so.
Love Makes You Evil: Maybe. Maybe I did all this because I lost my beloved wife as part of my One Bad Day. Maybe I didn't. Hey, wanna know how I got these scars? Then again, I've lied so much about my past. The way Batman tells it in Confidential, I never had a wife and it was the allure of Bats himself that drove me over the edge.
Luxury Prison Suite: Once upon a time, I used to maintain a minature version of my hide-out beneath my cell in Arkham. Ah, good times.
Man of Wealth and Taste: Though sometimes I skip the wealth part. The good things in life? Bombs, guns, all that? They're cheap. Though I do love my threads, I'll give you that much.
Masochism Tango: I like taking it as much (or more) than I like giving it — but only if it's Bats. He enjoys our little dances too, he just won't admit it.
Master of Disguise: Maybe not one of my more renowned talents, (I don't use it all that much because, hey, who'd want to cover up my gorgeous mug?) but from time to time I pull it off. I once even tricked Catwoman into thinking I was her boyfriend.
Once I believed I did that to little nobody Charlie Collins, but he was invoking this trope just to make me let him alone... What? Oh come on! Just read the list again! It was a perfect set up, I mean, I have this effect on a lot of people!
Mind Screw: I just looooooove messing with you people's heads. Did I mention I'm immune to fear gas & hypnotism?
Muggles Do It Better: I don't need to shoot magical lasers out of my ears to put Superman down faster than Darkseid usually does. Everyone gives poor Croc grief for his grand plan of "I threw a rock at him!" but it works so well against our favorite Kryptonian.
Multiple-Choice Past: If I'm going tohave a past, I prefer it to be that way. And well, between all the made-up sob stories I've fed those gullible good-for-nothing therapists over the years and the chemicals that ran through my system, I'm actually a bit confused about what happened on that fateful night and who I was before it myself. Not that it kills my buzz; mysteries are the spice of life!
They throw me out, and I had a wife and an unborn child… or it was two cows and a goat? Sometimes it's so confusing…
Maaan, you just don't know how annoying it is when the writers forget stuff like this. Why, a pal of mine apparently was an eyewitness to events that seemed to confirm Alan's version. And then they stopped caring. Still, as bothersome as it is, you have to admit having a specific origin confirmed would just ruin my dashing mystique. For the best, I guess.
My Card: Strangely, not everyone appreciates the pun.
No Fourth Wall: And lovin' it! I'll happily chat directly with readers, and I've been doing it for years before that Anonymous — in the "chan"sense of the phrase — over at Marvel made it "cool"! I do it so well, even you can't be sure if I am or not sometimes!
No Sense of Humor: No, really! In my very first first appearance, I was a smiling psychotic gangster with no sense of humor whatsoever — and during my fight with Bats, he's the one making puns while I'm just screaming "I am going to kill you!"...
Not Me This Time: If there's a drawback to the insanity stuff, it's that it's pretty hard to convince Gotham's finest that no, it doesn't matter how much it looks like I did it, no matter how damning the evidence is, no matter how funny I thought it would be, there are times when I just ain't responsible for the latest punchline.
Good ol' Paulie said I was this in Batman: Black And White - Case Study. Here, some docs find a file where a certain doctor said I was actually completely sane and that before I took that chemical bath, I was a mob boss who reveled in my anonymity. However, I then became the clown we all know and love so I could waltz in and out of Arkham whenever I please...
But the best part? They found that it was dear Harley who wrote it, before she began counseling me. That's right kids, I may have driven dear Harley insane as to invalidate her foundings once I caught wind. And who left that file? Yours truly. After all, I gave them the truth yet there's nothing they can do about it to stop me. It was priceless.
Older Than They Think: A lot of fans think that my famous Venom - poison that not only kills, but puts a grin on the victim's face - is relatively new, started in that Tim Burton movie. Actually, that can be traced back to my very first appearance. Yes, it was a brilliant plan... I publically announced that I would murder a millionaire at precisely midnight and steal a priceless diamond he owned; naturally, the police surrounded him with armed guards, but at midnight exactly, he collapsed, dead, with a gruesome smile on his face, even though I was nowhere to be seen, and when they checked his wall safe, they found the diamond had been replaced with a fake one. I guess it's safe to tell you how I did it now. (It's been what, almost eighty years??) I snuck into his house the previous midnight, stole the diamond, and gave him a dose of my Venom while he was asleep that would take exactly twenty-four hours to kick in. A lot of work, but worth it to give those cops the scare of their lives!
Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Anatomy, and of course good old Engineering, Psychology and Chemistry; all the stuff at boring old school that actually makes life fun for a prankster like me. The only subjects a genius like me has trouble with is that boring old inter-whatchyouaycallit-net, too much logic. Oh no, I wasn't a teacher's pet, it's quite the other way round actually. As a matter of fact Ms Crabtree over there has been licking water from her dish since I put her "facing your childhood fears" lecture to practice.... on a roller coaster showing the "movies" her daddy made with her back in sweet-16..... I wonder if it will work on Sheriff Gordy.....
And Jacky Boy likes to imply that I'm also a fella who is gifted in poetry, theatre, literature, and all that lovey dovey, boring pansy stuff..... Tell anyone I read that Shakespeare sonnet to my dear Harley and I'll tear your lungs out, buddy boy!!
The novelization of The Dark Knight has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment where I slipped an old lady a hundred-dollar bill. Of course, that may have been me practicing for my big confrontation with Bats down the line, to try to imitate his every move so as to confuse him, which would help to drive an ordinary person mad... wait a second, Bats is no ordinary person! That, or I got tired of waiting around for my henchmen to pick me up and had nothing better to do to pass the time.
And towards the end of Arkham City, after I breathed my last from Titan poisoning, the poor Bat-Jerk had to carry my body out of the Monarch Theatre and Arkham City in this manner◊. Oh, if I could have seen it while I was alive instead of viewing it from the afterlife...
Psycho for Hire: Even though I got into the super villain biz more for the fun of it than the money, I do take the occasional odd job from other villains. Even the best criminals have to keep bread on the table too, you know.
Psychopathic Manchild: In the end, I'm just somebody who enjoys a good joke or a game or two! I don't need a reason, it's just fun!
Put on a Bus: I appeared in the very first issue of Detective Comics published in our brave DCNuworld, only to let the Dollmaker cut off my face and hang it on a wall. Suppose I should get around to having that sucker stapled back on one of these days...
Room Full of Crazy: Oh, come on! Who hasn't indulged in a little defacement of city property from time to time? The boys at Arkham have pretty much given up entirely when it comes keeping my walls clean.
Sadist: Of course! From this comes my sense of humor!
Sadistic Choice: In Arkham Origins, I made a master plan in forcing Batsy to break his "one rule" by strapping myself to an electric chair that's wired to the heart of a Spanish muscleman, then taunted the Bat-Freak to try to force him to make a choice: either kill Bane or let him live, so that his heartbeat can charge up the chair until it's at its full power to kill me! I even added that if the Bat tried to remove the heart monitor from the muscleman, the bomb that I had planted within Blackgate Prison would explode and blow everyone up real good! And to make matters worse, when Gordy the Lieutenant tried barging in to save the day, I subdued him by grabbing him and transferring the shock crown from my head to his in the hopes of taking the old fart with me! After a while, when Batsy used the Shock Gloves left by the Electrocutioner on Bane, I thought for sure that the so-called Dork Knight would break his moral code after all. It was later revealed, though, that he Took a Third Option by temporarily stopping the muscleman's heart, then taking off the monitor from his Only Mostly Dead body and using the same Shock Gloves as Magical Defibrillators to restart his heart again, thus saving all three of us! Boy, was I shocked when I found out! And I knew that that wasn't even funny AT ALL!
Sanity Slippage: Depending on which story you believe, a slip is what caused my sanity slippage.
"All you care about is money. This town deserves a better class of criminal; and I'm gonna give it to 'em."
"It's not about money, it's about sending a message; everything burns."
Secret Identity Apathy: Yes, I've had the occasional opportunity to unmask Batsy, but why should I ruin his mystique? He's much more enjoyable a challenge as he is as his charmingly mysterioso self.
Secret Identity Identity: Averted by me that time (Going Sane) when I thought I really killed The Batman, And Then What?Bored With Insanity! I tried to be... Joseph Kerr... I met a woman... eh... What in the world am I talking about? That's funny, for a moment there I thought I remembered... Ah well, whatever it was... it's gone now.
Shut Up, Hannibal!: I've been on the receiving end. Most often from the Crazy Chiroptera, the Turd Migratorius, and the Cute Chiroptera; but more than once from a criminal! I just don't get it. How can anyone honestly believe good and evil exist when I've proven beyond reasonable doubt that they don't?
Sidekick: Mostly my cartoon incarnations — me, I stick with regular mooks. So much more convenient. (I'd prefer if you didn't mention Gaggy)
This guy started it all, with his very own "hench wench" Harley Quinn. Well, she was so fun I just had to get one of my own.
Monkey-Me, on the other hand, really went overboard. I mean, running around with two mute bruisers in clown-puppet get-up called Punch and Judy? Trying to get his own Harley Quinn (out of a radio pop-psychiatrist)? And then there was that wanna-be Kid Sidekick Prank!
Snuff Film: What, you think I wouldn't try my hand at something like this? My attempt at becoming a cinematic auteur was to be entitled The Man Who Killed Batman, although unfortunately I had a number of "creative differences" with my star. Old Batsy can be such a prima donna at times...
For some reason, Lexie didn't think the whole "booby-trap the coffins of your latest rampage's victims with springs to turn them into a wave of Jack-in-the-Boxes at their funerals" was funny at all. Can't imagine why.
Suicide by Cop: Case in point. During the Last Laugh storyline, Nightwing (Robin #1 for those keeping score) did me in. However, Batsy ruined the fun bringing me back because he didn't want his boyfri-I mean, ex-sidekick to be a murderer. Still, wished I'd filmed it though.
Supervillain Sobriquets: I've got so many I don't even know if I can remember them all! Let's see... The Clown Prince of Crime, the Thin White Duke of Death, the Harlequin of Hate, the Mountebank of Menace, the Lord of Laughs, the Ace of Knaves, and old Grant added a few special ones too, the Laughing Leper, the Dandy of Death and the Clown Prince of Pain. Almost makes "the Joker" seem a little passé nowadays. (Well, almost, that is.)
Utility Belt: I tried using one of these during a story in the Silver Age. (What? "The Joker's Utility Belt!"note Batman #73Duh!) I figured, if guys like Bats can use them, why can't guys like me? (Well, seems the reason was, guys like him can use them pretty well, no matter whose they are... I guess that's why he never tries using my stuff...)
Victory Is Boring: A lot of folks say that I could have killed Bats a long time ago, but I never have because this whole thing is fun. What can I say? IT IS!
There was this one time... I was holding the Philosopher's Stone... just waiting to remake the world in my glorious image... and then that damn green guy did something to me. Something 'orrible. Something I don't want to remember. Methinks he may have made me — gasp! SANE! Fortunately, it didn't last.
There was also Duela Dent, a would-be heroine who called herself Joker's Daughter. (No actual relation, by the way, although she claimed be my daughter, and Two-Face's daughter, and Doomsday's daughter, and... Well, she was crazy, okay? Guess maybe she at least had the right idea.... All right! She was the daughter of an alternate good version of me! Happy now!?!)
There's a guy way in the future where the folks from DC One Million came from too called the Laugher (kind of looked like a spitting image of myself but with a huge robotic set of toy teeth in place of legs); too bad we didn't see much of him...
And then there was the number I sang for that old fart Gordon in The Killing Joke. (That's right, I sang an original song in a comic.) Shame, really — if only Al had included, say, a piano, maybe you'd know what it sounded like!
With Friends Like These...: I... might enjoy the company of a certain aquatic, flightless bird more than I let on. Don't tell Pengers I said that.
Wolverine Publicity: My face was made for the spotlight! I can't help if I'm so marketable! They've even got my face on shoes for crying out loud!
Woman Scorned: Huh? Where'd you hear that? Harley would never hurt me! Even if I did try to... Uh... Replace her... And even if she did, she'd never get away with it... And... (Guh, I'm a lousy liar...)
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: One bad day. That's all it took. That's all that separates good people like you from monsters like me. Way I figure things, any world that lets a guy like me live deserves to die.
Worthy Opponent: How I view Ol' Batsy, in case you haven't figured it out by now (Seriously, we're in the W's. It really should be obvious by now). What can I say? He's the only human being who can keep up with me.
At one time in the 1989 film I, as a teen, came pretty damn close to killing little Brucie along with his parents before he could become the Bat... right before my childhood partner showed up! Lucky Bat-Jerk.
And in No Man's Land, I captured 36 cute, little babies and attempted to kill them in order to break Gotham's morale! However, Jimbo's wife Sarah offered to save the little brats at the cost of her own life, and so I wished her a "Merry Christmas" before giving her a Pretty Little Headshot. But when I saw those poor little babies gathered around her body, it kinda made me wanna cry for them. So I turned away with a frown, knowing that her death was not funny at all, not bringing myself to offing the little cuties. Oh well...
Xanatos Backfire: Maybe I should've checked whether or not my attempt to force Batman into his greatest boner was foolproof enough to not wind up becoming Out-Gambitted. For starters, I should've sent Bats and his sidekick into the Atlantic via plane, and not England like I wound up doing. But I certainly didn't count on Bats tracking the signal to my hideout!