Real Name: Jack Napier?
First Appearance: Batman 1 (April 25, 1940)
Affiliation: Injustice Gang, Injustice League
Love Interests: Harley Quinn
Did You Know: The Joker wasn’t meant to become THE Supervillain in Batman comics.
A Little History
The Joker has been a mainstay in comic books since 1940. If you can’t do the math, that makes him over 75 years old. He has been a thorn in the side of Batman for over 75 years! If you have watched any of the Dark Knight Trilogy by Christopher Nolan, then you can understand why Batman sounds like he has a pain in his ass.
You should know that there is no true origin story for The Joker. He has made it known that he, himself tends to change his own history to suit the occasion.
The Joker was once an engineer working for a chemical company. His wife, who would eventually die, was pregnant and he had grown tired of working for the company.
At this moment, he quit his job to pursue his longtime dream of becoming a stand-up comedian.
How’s that for foreshadowing?
Unable to cut it as a comedian, he turned to crime and decided that he would help two criminals break into his old workplace.
Learning, as mentioned, that his wife had died, he made an attempt to get out of his commitment to the criminals. Unfortunately, at this time in his life, he was easily influenced and thus pressured into completing the mission.
Inside “The Killing Joke” storyline (which is widely considered the most accurate of his origins), the two criminals forced him to wear the Red Hood costume (something that he has been repeatedly tied to) as a way to set him up as the leader of the criminal activity.
Eventually, he is confronted by Batman and while trying to escape, jumps into a vat of chemicals. As a result of the chemicals, he realizes that his skin has been changed to white, his smile is permanently red and his hair had turned green.
All the events, coupled with his new look, drive him insane, turning him into Batman’s greatest enemy.
Originally thought to be a one-off villain, The Joker was slated to be killed off in the very first Batman issue. Thankfully, this was halted by then Editor, Whitney Ellsworth and he went on to appear in 9 of the first 12 issues.
The Joker has been involved in some of the BEST story arcs in comics. These include: The Killing Joke, The Dark Knight Returns and A Death in the Family, in which the readers decided that Jason Todd (Robin) would be killed off.
- Engineer working at a chemical plant
- Quits to become stand-up comedian
- Fails miserably
- With a pregnant wife at home, turns to crime
- Wife dies and he tries to get out of criminal commitment
- Persuaded into completing crime
- Wears Red Hood
- Attempts to escape from Batman by jumping in a vat of chemicals
- Chemicals turn skin white, lips red and hair green
- Becomes The Joker
- A part of some of the best story arcs…EVER
- In a relationship with Harley Quinn