- I may be insane... but I'm not crazy!
- -- Joker src
The Joker's was once the criminal Red Hood and after an accident involving chemicals, his skin turned white, his hair green and his lips red, contorting his facial muscles into a perpetual malignant grin. The incident also drove the man irrevocably insane and he dubbed himself the Joker, becoming the most dangerous criminal of Gotham City and one of Batman's most notorious adversaries.
Initially, the Joker appeared to be little more than a colorful crook with a penchant for gimmicks, but as the years passed, his crimes became ever more gruesome, a possible reflection of his own increasingly downward spiral into insanity. Although the Joker preferred working alone (a ubiquitous horde of henchmen not withstanding), he occasionally teamed up with criminal mastermind Lex Luthor, and together they matched wits against the "World's Finest" team of Batman, Robin and Superman.
Gotham City was Joker's favourite location for his criminal activities. For this reason, he was confronted by Batman on several instances. When Joker impersonated a filmmaker and performed crimes posing as iconic comedians, his ultimate goal was to steal from a wealthy film fanatic, but his plans were foiled by Batman and Robin. Joker tried several more harmless criminal schemes, but the outcome was always the same.
After his last caper, Joker was captured and sent to a Mental Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Joker's mental condition worsened and when he learned that one of his thugs had double-crossed him, Joker broke out of the hospital and went on a murdering rampage, killing his former henchmen using his trademark Joker Venom, among other methods. With this new criminal mindset, Joker was able to knock Batman unconscious and had the chance to kill him once and for all, but he refused to do so and in the end, it allowed Batman to capture the Joker and bring him back to the authorities.
Somehow, Joker escaped and murdered a whole family, making the crime look like a frame-up from other criminal. Batman fell for Joker's gag and he tried to help Joker capture the real culprit. Joker used Batman and led him to a trap, but Batman managed to survive and captured Joker as he tried to escape using the Batmobile. Not long after this, Joker escaped from Arkham, even though Batman tried to stop him. Joker managed to dose Batman with a special variation of Joker venom, which could kill the Dark Knight from laughter in 72 hours. Joker murdered one of the scientist capable of creating a cure, but Batman reached the second doctor and captured the Joker by overcoming the urge to laugh. In the end Batman was cured and the Joker locked up. However, the Joker escaped and he poisoned an entire prison as a result of his plan to poison a former henchmen. Joker then got hold of the antidote and forced Batman to fight against Wildcat. The heroes managed to retrieve the antidote and captured the Joker.
Fiend or Foe
The Joker started having conflicts with the rest of Batman’s enemies and he always proved to be superior or equal to them. When Two-Face escaped from Arkham leaving the Joker behind, the criminal clown broke out and thwarted Two-Face’s criminal plot, resulting in both of them taken back to Arkham. After this, Joker was sprung out again by Willy the Weeper, who wanted Joker’s assistance on a crime. Joker tried to double-cross Willy and they both were captured by the authorities. Later, Joker started a series of robberies and The Creeper was blamed for them. This led to a confrontation between them in which Creeper lost his memory. Joker tried to capitalize on this amnesia, but when Creeper recovered, Joker was defeated and captured once again.
Later on, Joker tried to start a crime spree at Star City, where he also tried to get Dinah Lance to marry him. He was promptly stopped by Green Arrow, but this time Joker was not captured by the authorities. Eventually, Joker reappeared in Wisconsin, where he started another caper and caused the capture of the Royal Flush Gang after they became enemies on their quest to steal valuable art pieces. Later, Joker replicated crimes from the Sherlock Holmes stories, but his plans were eventually thwarted by a real life Sherlock Holmes.
After this, Joker caused an accident during one of Lex Luthor’s experiments, which caused them to switch personalities, but the change was soon reverted. It was around this time that Joker created a secret passageway between his cell in Arkham Asylum and his secret Ha-Hacienda hideout. Using this means of escape, Joker stole a fear gas developed by S.T.A.R. Labs, which caused the master criminal of fear, the Scarecrow to confront him. Joker outsmarted Scarecrow and then he returned to his cell in Arkham to throw off the police’s suspicions. Joker then tampered with a famous actor’s film to include himself, but during the crime he was confronted by Catwoman, who wanted to steal the actor’s valuable cat. Joker was defeated and locked back in Arkham, but he got the last laugh.
Learning from past mistakes, Joker and Two-Face teamed-up to steal a valuable item from Oliver Queen and this attracted attention from Green Arrow, Batman and the Atom. Although the heroes managed to retrieve the item, Joker and Two-Face weren’t captured.
Later, Joker escaped from Arkham again and the final confrontation between him and Batman took place in a house of mirrors, where Joker was recaptured. Eventually during one of his regular crimes, Joker came across a man disguised as Batman and he killed the innocent, believing he was the real Batman. When word about Batman’s death spread, Joker was summoned to a trial among criminals and told the story of his victory over Batman. However, the whole trial turned out to be one of Batman’s plans in order to find the killer of the innocent man and after Joker confessed his crime, he was captured by the Dark Knight and returned to Arkham.
The Laughing Fish
Joker eventually escaped and attended an auction organized by Hugo Strange to reveal Batman’s identity. Joker wanted to prevent that from happening, but when he learned that Strange had mysteriously disappeared, he assumed some of the other criminals must have eliminated him; namely Rupert Thorne. Once that was taken care of, Joker set his next plan in motion and he used a chemical across the shores of Gotham that contaminated the waters, transforming the fish to grotesque creatures with Joker’s face on them. Joker’s goal was to secure trademark for the “Joker Fish”, but when he was denied, because of the law, Joker started a killing spree against public servants, announcing their deaths and killing them with his trademark Joker Venom.
Joker managed to claim two victims thanks to his careful planning, but during his third murder attempt, he was stopped by Batman. Joker tried to escape, but Batman chased him through the rooftops of Gotham until they reached a construction site, where Joker was shocked by lightning and fell to the river below. Joker didn’t come up after that last blow, but this was not his demise.
Return of Madness
True to form, Joker returned soon and started a loan shark business, killing his clients when they refused to pay his fees. This new crimes caught the eye of Batman, who teamed-up with Black Canary, Joker’s past crush, and managed to put an end to Joker’s crime spree with some vital help from Bruce Wayne’s butler, Alfred.
- Mental Illness: Joker has been locked away in Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane on several occasions.
- Joker Venom, and any number of weapons disguised as props, such as exploding fish or lapel flowers that spray acid. Famously, in Batman #321, he uses a gag gun that at first only shoots out a small flag that says "BANG! YOU'RE DEAD!", lulling his victim into a false sense of security, but on the trigger's second pull fires the sharp-tipped flag out like a spear and kills the man.
- Joker Fish: The Joker used his Joker Venom to turn all of the fish in Gotham Bay into maniacally, grinning Joker-Fish. Consuming a Joker Fish had the same effect as one who had been subjected to the Joker Venom directly. In one instance, a house cat ate a Joker Fish, was Jokerized, then attacked its master, transmitting the venom, ultimately killing him.
- The Earth-One Joker shares many similarities with his Earth-Two and New Earth counterparts. Their origins, career history, personalities and physical appearance are nearly identical to one another. The establishment of the Earth-One Joker is the result of retroactive alteration to the character’s established published history (colloquially known as a Retcon). The Joker’s actual first appearance as an Earth-One character is a matter of interpretation as there has never been an actual distinction between when the Golden Age Earth-Two Joker ceased making regular published appearances and when the Silver Age Joker was introduced. It is commonly accepted that most appearances made by the Joker from the early-mid 1950s until 1986 are attributed to the Earth-One Joker. The Red Hood origin was revisited for the Modern era Joker in Alan Moore's 1988 one-shot special Batman: The Killing Joke. It is also unknown how much of the Joker’s Pre-Crisis history survived into his Post-Crisis chronology. While many of his earlier appearances from the 1950s and 60s are likely apocryphal, it is reasonable to assume that many of the Joker stories presented in the 1970s-80s are still considered canon as per current continuity.
- In June of 1985, the dimension-spanning catastrophe known as the Crisis on Infinite Earths resulted in the collapse of the Multiverse. Earth-One and all of its denizens, including the Joker, ceased to exist and were merged into the restructured Post-Crisis continuity commonly known as New Earth.
- See also: Joker (New Earth)
- The Joker is the first DC Comics super-villain to receive his own ongoing comic book series.
- 116 Appearances of Joker (Earth-One)
- 36 Images featuring Joker (Earth-One)
- 12 Quotations by or about Joker (Earth-One)
- Character Gallery: Joker (Earth-One)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Joker #4
- ↑ Untold Legend of the Batman #2
- ↑ World's Finest #88
- ↑ World's Finest #177
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Detective Comics #341
- ↑ Detective Comics #322
- ↑ Detective Comics #365
- ↑ Detective Comics #388
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Batman #251
- ↑ Brave and the Bold #111}
- ↑ Batman #260
- ↑ Brave and the Bold #118
- ↑ Joker #1
- ↑ Joker #2
- ↑ Joker #3
- ↑ Joker #5
- ↑ Joker #6
- ↑ Joker #7
- ↑ Joker #8
- ↑ Joker #9
- ↑ Brave and the Bold #129
- ↑ Brave and the Bold #130
- ↑ Batman #286
- ↑ Batman #294
- ↑ Detective Comics #472
- ↑ Detective Comics #475
- ↑ Detective Comics #476
- ↑ Brave and the Bold #141
- ↑ Detective Comics #475
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