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WMG / The Joker

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Joker Immunity is actually Spring Time For Hitler meets Suicide by Cop, with a touch of Ironic Hell for good measure
The Joker's depressed about something, so he's decided to commit very vile crimes in hopes of getting shot by a police officer. The powers that be decided, however, that the best way to punish the Joker was to force him to fight a technical pacifist for eternity.

The Joker's Mind is Contained in his DNA due to the Chemicals
Please don't scroll down yet, this makes more sense that you think. The idea is that the chemical bath caused much more changes than simply bleached skin and green hair — it caused tremendous mutations, and now, rather than (or in addition to) thinking with his brain, the Joker now thinks through his mutated cells, which all act as neurons. The resulting mind is, of course, very chaotic, but this also explains the Joker's "supersanity", as this results in him having more processing power, so to speak. Part of the Joker's mind is therefore contained his blood cells: this is why being infected with Mr J's blood somehow caused a Joker-like shift in personality in Batman: Arkham Knight, and also why a DNA chip in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker could also contain his personality and memory on top of simple physical appearance.

The Joker is Nyarlathotep
  • Alternatively, the Joker's Multiple-Choice Past and insanity were caused by Nyarlathotep to create some one to torment Batman

The Joker is insane, after a fashion
He is, a lot of the time, using Obfuscating Insanity. However, it takes a completely different level of insane to keep up this charade 24 hours a day, including when it drives him to do impossibly risky things. He's not insane in the way he seems to be (he's not a delirious loonatic who has random weirdness pop up in his head all the time), but he's a kind of insane that drives him to pretend he's the former kind.

Think about it:
  • "I've spent my life behind these steel bars"/"These prison walls secure me" = Arkham Asylum's revolving door policy means that the Joker has somewhere he can rest and plan his next crime spree.
  • "Ask one who's known me if I'm really so bad" = I think we all know the answer to that.
  • "They tried to reform me, but I'm made of cold stone" = considering the Joker, it makes perfect sense.
  • "I stand accused before you, I have no tears to cry/and you will never break me 'til the day I DIE" = again, it just FITS.
  • "I'm numb to pain" = Now what does THAT remind anyone of, hmm?
  • "I have no guilt to haunt me, I feel no wrong intent"
  • I defy you to watch the video and tell me that Gowan was NOT inspired by the Joker.
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  • And now we have this little gem. Coincidence?

Joker's actions toward Harley in Death of the Family were his attempt at getting back at her
Think about it: he's dead for like 5 minutes and she f*cks Deadshot. Even a sociopath like Joker would be hurt. He felt like she replaced him. So he tries to give her a taste of her own medicine. But his twisted mind means he takes that Up to Eleven: telling her he never loved her and throwing her in with a bunch of dead bodies that he claimed were past Harley Quinns (he lied) to make her feel just as replaceable as he felt.

Really, the whole arc can be summed up as Joker seeing how well everyone had adjusted to life without him, and feeling a little offended by it.

Joker is the Bat Spirit of Arkham Asylum.
Apparently all of Jokers origins center around Batman and considering how Joker is clearly feigning insanity to avoid the Death Penalty and that he commits crimes out of a desire for fame and notoriety it's likely that he was the one who terrorized Amadeus Arkham and his mother into insanity. When Batman showed up and was treated as the supernatural Bat Spirit the Bat "Spirit" became furious and sought to become an enemy of Batman to reclaim notoriety and fame thus becoming Red Hood. After falling into chemicals and becoming the Joker the Bat "Spirit" saw a way to reclaim notoriety and fame while tying the legend he started to Batman who would in turn be tied to him.
  • Worse he's Darkseid's ultimate weapon the Hyper Adapter after being scattered throughout time following it's purge from Batman which as the comic has shown taken a batlike form upon being scattered through time...

Joker knows Green Arrow and Black Canary's secret identities
In issue #4 of his short-lives comic in the '70s, Joker sent out a fake distress signal which lured Ollie away. But how would Joker have known that would work unless he knew he was Green Arrow? And then, he traps Dinah Lance in what he himself calls a fishnet. Nobody knows Hoist by His Own Petard like a comedian, if even a homicidal one.

In relation to the "Joker is the Bat Spirit of Arkham Asylum" WMG Joker became the Joker deliberately.
The story of Jack Napier checks out except for one thing: There was a third leader of the group who Napier was betrayed to... What's more Joker showed fear over Batman knowing his true identity despite telling Batman the Jack Napier story. Therefore Joker wasen't Napier but the third leader of the group or should we say the real leader of the group... It's so convienient that the Bat of Arkham/Red Hood fell into a pool that turned him into a clown(basically the opposite of a bat). The Bat of Arkham experimented on chemicals until he got the formula to create permanent clowns(so that he couldn't be unmasked) than used the most usable factory chemical worker(namely Jack Napier) to create a vat of chemicals that would turn him into an clown. When the guy's job was done the Bat of Arkham would arrange for him to "have that one bad day" than kill him and dispose of the body when it was over in order to give himself a easily verifiable backstory and then don the Red Hood and lead his men into the factory where Batman would almost certainly show up and beat him leading to the Bat of Arkham Asylum falling into the vat and becoming the Joker.

Joker plans to have Batman kill him in order to restore the Bat of Arkham Asylum's reputation
As shown in the comics the Joker survived a bullet to the head so if Batman deals a fatal blow to the Joker it wouldn't be fatal yet would give Joker a means to fake his death then reappear in Wayne Manor in the form of the Bat of Arkham Asylum to kill Bruce Wayne. The reason the Bat of Arkham Asylum dosen't do that earlier is to publicly prove to Gotham that Batman is the Bat of Arkham Asylum and not an imposter cribbing off his style. If Batman kills someone the world will think he was the Bat of Arkham Asylum all along and just faking goodness. If Batman dies as an old man then Joker will be forced to face the publicity of having the Bat of Arkham Asylum's reputation ruined. What kind of reaction he would have from this is unknown.

Joker is Trigon the Terrible's father and thus Raven's grandfather.
Trigon is called the halfbreed son of one of a mystic cult's gods and a female of said cult yet they don't mention that god's name.... At one point in time Joker became Emperor Joker with Myxlplyx's powers which believe it or not include Time Travel which could easily help Emperor Joker become Trigon's divine father and be the source of Trigon's demonic nature.
  • Harley Quinn(one of them at least) is most likely the female member of the cult and Trigon's mother.

All the Joker's pasts are canon.
But with a twist: they're canon to different universes. Like Batman in Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?, whenever the Joker dies(and I mean dies for real), he reincarnates as a counterpart of his from another universe. When the Joker got his famous acid bath, something happened. Somehow, the Joker caught a glimpse of these incarnations before he died. As such, he remembers the origin of every Joker, but can't figure out which is his specifically.
  • Makes a shocking amount of sense. Could also be why the Joker is utterly insane yet also hyper competent. He's seen, for a few brief moments, literally everything that could ever possibly happen to him and while it broke his mind completely it also gave him amazing insight into the possibilities as well as a complete disregard for his own life and everyone else.

The Joker's completely ordinary and mundane.
And that's precisely what motivates him to do all the crazy stuff he does. Before becoming the Joker or even the Red Hood, the Joker was just some ordinary guy doing run-of-the-mill work. However he came to hate his mundane life, wanting something more exciting for his life, all the meanwhile suffering from depression due to the monotomy. But he never got the chance. Eventually, the Joker snapped and decided to join the Red Hood gang, wanting to get rid of the boredom. And then he fell into a vat of chemicals. With a completely new identity, the Joker was set free from the shackles of his boring life and able to do anything he wanted.

The Joker despises his old life, and everything he does is, on the most fundamental level, to escape it. The Multiple-Choice Past is an attempt to distance himself from his actual origin as much as possible, so nothing can hold him back. The reinvention of himself is to prevent his new life from becoming normal and repetitive. Every act of chaos, every moment of insanity, literally everything we know the Joker is exists as the ultimate rebellion to the past he hates and fears more than anything. There's a reason he refuses to even have his name known: because the only life worth living to him is the Joker.

The Joker actually has a superpower aside from Joker Immunity: Supernatural timing.
No one could pull off half the random crap Joker does unassisted. All the near deaths, convoluted plots and inevitable escape attempts... impossible without some other force at work. But really, it's his name that gives it away. He's got a power any comedian, class clown or joker would kill for.He has a supernaturally good sense of timing.That's why all his schemes can work and why the only times he gets caught are when he can safely get away later. Because even if he's unaware that he's doing it, he's always in the right place at the right time.Joker probably isn't aware he even has this power, but it's part of the reason he never gets over his insanity. Because everything always works out for him, he's never confronted with facing reality aside from the chaos he creates. Except... for... the Batman. Maybe he's immune or maybe he's just so organized he can cut through the chaos, but for whatever reason Batman's the only one who can overcome this subtle power. Joker may be aware of this subconsciously or just pick up that things go wrong whenever Batman's around, but he knows he NEEDS to kill him.

The Joker is a Body Surfing ghost/demon
Since the reveal that he is/has been three different people it's hard to believe that Batman, "the world's greatest detective", wouldn't notice something amiss. It's possible this being just has a body type it prefers or maybe it's tied into the "ALL of the Joker's pasts are Canon" WMG above — it finds the men (or women in alternate timeline Martha Wayne's case) who would have become the Joker and brings them into Batman's timeline/DC comics where they can do the most (or possibly least, seeing as fictional casualties are still fictional) amount of damage.
  • Tying into Watchmen becoming DC canon, maybe this being is the Comedian who's spirit went insane (or super-sane) and gave into the idea that life is a joke (Rorschach reincarnated into AU Britain and became V).
  • The reason this being doesn't want it's name known is because it operates on Doctor Who rules: If it's true name is discovered it can be sent away, sealed, or even destroyed, which could happen if Batman gets John Constantine's help. If what it's doing is actually beneficial, for instance causing the Joker to nuke fictional Metropolis instead of real-life New York City, this could cause problems for the multiverse. Alternately if it's someone Dr. Manhattan knows he's worried about being discovered and "deleted".

The Joker is a fanboy
Based in a theory I made for Suicide Squad (2016)'s Joker. Just as Batman in Batman: The Animated Series was inspired by a fictional hero so too were the Killing Joke and Death of the Family Jokers inspired by the "original" Joker. Batman doesn't notice anything's different because of really good method acting/Becoming the Mask, Joker-venom Botox, and a killer workout regimen to stay Lean and Mean (aside from that one time where he was buff).

Jack Napier is probably the Joker's real name.
Or at least it's close. All Batman villains have meaningful names; Edward Nigma, Harleen Quinzel, Victor Fries...really, it'd be surprising if he didn't have a Meaningful Name. While he says Jack Napier is an alias, it'd be right up his trolling alley to give the Greatest Detective evidence while thinking it's not his real name. Even if he's not Jack Napier, it's probably something obvious like Jesse Terrance.

The Joker's insanity is a superpower.
There's a simple reason why his crazy doesn't fit any real life mental disorders; instead of being a psychotic break or a defect in his brain it comes from his superhuman factor. The superpower is a type of mental barrier which protects him from Mind Rape of psychic or conventional means; that's why no psychologist can try to break him and no psychic can cure him or stand his mind (not even the Martian Manhunter, who's one of the greatest telepaths in the DCU). The craziness? For any of this to work, his mind has to be organized in a way no human can naturally have; you can't have a resistance to any form of probing and still have a normal human mind. No-one's figured the truth out because it's a unique situation. Whenever someone gets superpowers it's something physical and/or obvious to note. The Joker's kind of superpower alone would be almost impossible to discern from general madness, but with no-one else known to have it it's even harder to determine. The Joker himself probably doesn't even know the true nature of his insanity.

Under the bleached skin and with maybe a few extra pounds on him, Joker would be a dead ringer for Lex Luthor
We know LL and Joker both have green eyes, to start with, and they are Not So Different in other ways, so why not? Maybe Joker has even filled in for Luthor on occasions when he has to be in two places at once, just as Bats used to fill in for Supes back in the Silver Age.

There is only one true Joker.
The other two Jokers are decoys for the Joker, like there was three Black Masks in Arkham Origins, Black Mask (decoy), Black Mask (Roman Sionis), and Black Mask (Joker).

Jack Napier was a huge Prince fan, but hid it until he became The Joker
In the universe of Tim Burton's Batman, Jack Napier immediately starts dressing all in purple and committing crimes set to Prince songs after becoming The Joker. He also starts using his artistic and chemistry talents that had, to that point, been largely underutilized in his career as a mob goon. In the macho and straightforward world of organized crime, Jack was prevented by cultural convention from indulging in his enjoyment of Prince's music and the arts in general and by small-mindedness from getting scientifically creative. The Joker, meanwhile, had no such constraints.

The Joker is Batman's Enemy Without.
Unknown to himself, Batman has metahuman abilities. One such ability is the power to split off parts of his mind. Because of the stress of his parents' death and the criminal element, he had to splinter off his growing madness. This insanity gained a life of its own through infecting the first Red Hood, becoming the Joker. Joker's poor memory when it comes to his pre-Joker life is because he's not traditionally human, his body being a host to Batman's alter ego. His obsession and belief that Batman defines him is because that's literally true, since he's the part of Bruce's psyche expelled and abandoned to keep himself sane. Zur-En-Arrh wasn't rejected because unlike the Joker, he's not the embodiment of Batman's nihilistic, psychotic thoughts. The two are only aware of this on a subconscious level, though. The multiple Jokers is a sign Batman's instability requires more than one venting.

Joker was Joe Chill.
He doesn't remember killing Bruce's parents years ago. Before he became the clown prince of crime, he was Joe Chill, a loser who was down on his luck. After killing the Waynes, he changed his last name to Kerr. Maybe Joker is older than we think, probably in his 60s.

  • Jossed: Joe Chill has been locked in blackgate for years, while all the jokers are active.

Before becoming the Joker, he worked in the field of psychiatry and chemistry. More specifically, he used to work for Arkham Asylum.
There's two traits the Joker always seems to have. The first being he's an expert in the field of chemistry, given he developed things like Joker venom, the acid joke flower and the such. Second, which he's even more skilled, is psychology. Mainly, using it to manipulate and break others. Just how crazy he is varies, but is at least lucid enough to take advantage of it with astounding success. Before he was the Joker, he was Red Hood. And before he became the criminal Red Hood, he was a psychiatrist working for Arkham Asylum, who managed the medication. It's why he is better than anyone at breaking out-it used to his workplace. They either don't know because the Joker's able to hide it, suspect but don't want to think about it or do know and there's a conspiracy to hide their shame.

The Joker really just IS
When the Joker said he didn't know his past he really meant it all along. The Joker has no past he is an existence that lives outside the rules of reality. A living embodiment of Chaos. And all those Joker's running around are merely avatars that he can easily replace if he ever dies. Injustice universe Joker isn't really dead he can come back at any time he wants because Injustice Superman merely killed a shell that can merely be respawned at will.
  • Furthering that, he might be the eighth Endless and the little brother the other seven don't want to acknowledge, Discord (not relationship to that Discord). And his presence in Gotham is why crazy seems so common there.

The Joker is another universe's Discord... Because it makes as much sense as all the other guesses out there.

The Joker is who he is because he can break the fourth wall.
Somewhat of a common theory and not my own, but interesting nonetheless and usually what his "super-sanity" means. Whatever his backstory is, when the Joker fell into the chemicals it made him so lucid that he was able to perceive his world was fictional. This is what made him "crazy" in the first place. Lack of Empathy? Why would you care about anyone in the DC Universe if they're nothing but fictional characters? Obsession with Batman? He and the other members of Batman's rogues gallery exist to oppose him in the first place, so of course Batman is important to him. His Straw Nihilist views? The DC Universe has no meaning to him because its fictional. As for why other characters who can also break the fourth wall aren't affected, it's either because the Joker was never the most optimistic guy so doesn't take The Anti-Nihilist approach...or more likely because his Medium Awareness can't be switched off so he can't just shake it off as a gag. Or maybe there's different levels of super-sanity; the point where someone knows they're fictional but isn't aware enough for it to break Cognitive Dissonance (all the other fourth wall breakers), and the point where someone knows they're fictional but is aware enough to break Cognitive Dissonance, leaving them perceiving themselves as puppets who can see the strings.

This is why any attempt to cure his insanity fails-the Joker isn't actually crazy, but more lucid that anyone else. It's why even powerful telepaths like the Martian Manhunter can't fix his mind; not because he's just that nuts, but because they're at risk of being destroyed by the horrible reality they aren't even real and can't comprehend that-they're the lunatics relative to the Joker. He usually becomes sane whenever Batman is "dead" because since the comic can't exist without him, he rationalizes that it means he can't be in a comic and the DC Universe is real after all. Then Batman comes back and it disabuses him of that notion. It's why he goes sane when dunked in the Lazarus Pits or anything else that normally makes people go crazy-it does drive him insane, but from his perspective thinking you're not in a comic book and This Is Reality is insane. The Fear Toxin doesn't work since he's already facing the mother of all nihilistic terrors; from his perspective reality is a Cosmic Horror Story where people have no free will, no real sentience and exist to entertain higher beings who have total power over them. And he's aware of it, but can't do a damn thing about it. Superboy-Prime is the only one comparable, but has the opposite problem-he's from "reality" and stuck in a fictional setting, so from his perspective everyone he kills or tries to kill isn't even alive and he has an Omniscient Morality License. One could only imagine how he'd freak out if he learned his precious Earth-Prime was itself fiction and he wasn't even real in the first place.

Joker manipulated women into being Harley Quinn.
Harley Quinn is not one woman, but multiple women. When Joker gets bored with her, he kills her, and replaces her with another female. Each Harley has a different personality.

Why does the Joker hate Nazis? They aren't funny to him.
There has been some talk about the Joker suddenly and swiftly breaking off with Red Skull for being a Nazi and his whole comment on being an American criminal lunatic. However the specifics of why exactly he doesn't like Nazis has not been elaborated on. This troper suspects that it's because of how the Nazis did their dirty deeds that puts the Joker off. When the Nazis killed it was cold and impersonal, almost mechanical really which is part of what makes them so horrifying by conventional standards. For the Joker though this means no punchline, no emotional push, no breaking or bend of morality just apply a different standard which he can't abide since it's no different then the order he hates except that the standards are slightly different. Dressing up like a Nazi just to mess with peoples heads? Hilarious! It breaks the norms and challenges morality standards after all! Actually being a Nazi, just kind of a waste of time by his thinking.
  • It's also self-preservation. The Nazis murdered the mentally and physically handicapped even before they came up with The Final Solution.

The Joker does know his origin.
He claims he has a Multiple-Choice Past out of the philosophy that "if you explain the joke, there is no joke!". While the Joker knows where he comes from, he feels any explanation for why he's crazy would come off as hollow justification so doesn't bother. Also, he just likes messing with people so he makes up origin stories for that.

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