An unknown crook started out as a young enforcer working for the mob triad of Sal Valestra, Buzz Bronski, and Chuckie Sol. At one point early on, before his future accident, he and Bruce Wayne caught a glimpse of each other. One of his last jobs took place in Europe on the Mediterranean Coast. His target was Carl Beaumont, a businessman who had fled the states after the mob bosses discovered he had embezzled a fortune.
Years later, the man formed his own gang and staged their first robbery at the Ace Chemical Plant. It was during this heist that he first encountered Batman. It is unknown whether the crook was pushed or simply fell, but he did fall off a catwalk and into a drainage vat of chemical waste that washed him out into the river. The chemicals had an adverse effect on him: it dyed his hair green, bleached his skin white, and his lips were permanently stained red. All this snapped the crook's already twisted mind and sadistic nature, giving birth to the Joker. Vowing to show the world the triumph of his comic genius, the career of one of history's most dangerous and intelligent psychopaths began.
Transformed into the criminal known as Joker, he planned small-scale crimes to global dangerous schemes. During Christmas' Eve, Joker escaped from Arkham Asylum, kidnapped Commissioner Gordon, Summer Gleeson and Harvey Bullock. As an April Fool's celebration, Joker spread his trademark laughing gas across Gotham, incapacitating and stealing from the entire city.
Some time later, Joker infiltrated Mayor Hill's home and created chaos. Hill's son followed Joker to his hideout, and Joker used the kid to lure Batman into a trap. However, on the last battle, Joker fell in the river and disappeared from the place.
On one occasion, Joker tried to con his way to a local comedy trophy by using the Mad Hatter's mind control chips on the event's judges. Later, he stole a nuclear warhead and almost successfully set it off on the residence of Mayor Hill and he also set out to destroy a casino that was built by ripping off his image. On most of these occasions, he was stopped by Batman.
A frequent inmate of Arkham Asylum, the Joker was often psycho-analyzed by Dr. Harleen Quinzel. After a few sessions, the Joker charmed Dr. Quinzel, whom he had nicknamed Harley Quinn, as he painted himself as a misunderstood soul crying out for the world to accept him. Quinzel soon found herself in love with the Joker, and broke him out of Arkham. However, more often than not, the Joker abused and mistreated Quinn.
The first crime they pulled together as a team was the attempt on Commissioner Gordon's life during an event on his honor. This plan however, was foiled by Batman who captured them both. Afterwards, Joker attempted to copyright fish with his face and tried to murder the people who denied his wish, but he was stopped by Batman. Joker chose to drop to the sea, where he was pressumed dead.
Joker resurfaced when he learned that somehow, Batman had been killed by a small time crook called Sid the Squid. Joker used his influences and gathered his gang to capture Sid and learn if Batman was truly dead. Batman was simply hiding and Joker assumed Sid was guilty, so he tried to kill the man, but fortunately, he was saved by Batman, who allowed Joker and Harley to remain free. Afterwards, Joker and Harley attemtped to steal a valuable diamond from the Gotham Museum, but their plan was foiled by Batman. In a fit of anger, Joker threw Harley to the streets, which forced her to start an alliance with Poison Ivy. Joker learned of Harley and Ivy's success in crime and tried to put an end to it, only to end up captured by Batman and returned to Arkham.
Schemes Outside of Gotham & Attacking the Justice League
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The Joker occasionally operated outside of Gotham City. One such instance caused him to travel to Metropolis, where he briefly allied himself with Lex Luthor to kill Superman for one billion dollars. The Joker planned to use the Laughing Dragon, a statue actually made of Kryptonite. The Joker's plans fell apart when Batman deduced what the antique was made of and headed to Metropolis. Consolidating his losses, the Ace of Knaves kidnapped Luthor and hijacked his experimental LexWing assault vehicle. The Joker returned to Gotham a month later, still bankrupt.
Another plan involved the Joker heading to Dakota City. The Joker planned on forming a metahuman gang. Batman, Robin, and Dakota's own resident hero Static, teamed up and escaped the Joker's death trap, arresting the Clown Prince of Crime in the process. Months later, the Joker wound up in Metropolis. He was just in time to meet Lex Luthor's Injustice Gang, which he conned his way into staying by providing his expertise on Batman. His one condition was this: after the Justice League was successfully destroyed, the Joker was promised Batman. However, the League survived and went after the Gang. The Joker cut his losses and attempted to kill Batman, but it seemed Batman had manipulated the situation throughout the endeavor.
The Joker made use of a team of metahumans called the Royal Flush Gang to run as interference while the Justice League attempted to defuse his bombs set up all over Las Vegas. However, while the Joker was televising this event by pirating the airwaves, he was using the Royal Flush Gang member Ace, who by her unyielding catatonic stare can manipulate people's minds to the point of driving them insane, to make viewers lose their minds. Joker told the viewers that he was immune to Ace's influence because he was already insane, but Batman revealed that he had a neural-blocker headband in case Ace decided to turn on him. Upset, Ace then exposed Joker to her mind-manipulating powers in order to incapacitate him.
Years later, Joker kidnapped Batman's partner Tim Drake with the help of Harley Quinn and used shock treatments and serums stolen from Project Cadmus to extract secrets about Batman from him. He also used genetics technology to remake Tim Drake into "J.J.", a child sized replica of Joker as his and Harley's son. In the resulting battle where Joker revealed he knew everything about Bruce now, and had bested Batman in combat. J.J. arrived and was and almost had him shoot Batman when the Joker had him on the ropes. Tim Drake instead killed the Joker. How depends upon which version of the movie Return of the Joker. In the censored version meant for television, Tim threw the gun, which is filled with Joker Gas in the censored version, to the side and fought the Joker pushing him into a portion of the lab. Here Joker crashes into several canisters of chemicals and is wrapped up in wires. He slips on some of the chemicals and falls, pulling a switch, therefore electrocuting himself. In the uncensored version, Joker subdues Batman with a knife to the stomach and gives Tim a gun armed with a rocket propelled Bang Flag. Using the last of his will, Tim shot the Joker, who's dying words were: "That's not funny." Tim finally broke down and cried, comforted by Batgirl. According to Barbara, who was telling Terry the story, the only other people who knew what happened were her father and Leslie Thompkins, who worked for a year to restore Tim. After Tim's recovery he was forced to retire his role as Robin. Tim as an adult later in life worked for a communications company, though he was still under the influence of the chip Joker had installed on him that changed him from Tim Drake into the Joker. Terry McGinnis as Batman destroyed the chip with the Joker's electronic joy buzzer, restoring Tim Drake to normal.
- Genius Level Intellect
- Chemistry: Able to make a wide variety of laughing gases and his Joker Venom.
- This version of the character is exclusive to the continuity of the DC Animated Universe and is an adaptation of Joker. The original character was created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson and first appeared in Batman #1.
- The Joker was voiced by Mark Hamill.
- Operated the phony corporation of Gwynplaine Entertainment in the Justice League episode "Wild Cards", the name of which is based on the Conrad Veidt character from the Victor Hugo story/movie "The Man Who Laughs", which the Joker character is based on.
- During the flashback in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, the Joker revealed that he knew Bruce Wayne was Batman, noting that he would find it kind of funny "if it weren't so pathetic".
- 128 Appearances of Joker (DCAU)
- 47 Images featuring Joker (DCAU)
- 18 Quotations by or about Joker (DCAU)
- Character Gallery: Joker (DCAU)
This character is or was primarily an enemy of the Justice League, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Justice League Villains."