And who is this pure fool? Lo, In the sagas of old time, legend of scald, of bard, of druid...Cometh he not in green like spring? O thou water that art air, In whom all complex is resolved! OH YES...fill the churches with dirty thoughts! Introduce honesty to the white house! Write letters in dead languages to people you've never met! Paint filthy words on the foreheads of children! Burn your credit cards and wear high heels! Asylum doors, stand open! Fill the suburbs with murder and rape! DIVINE MADNESS! Let there be ECSTACY, ECSTACY in the streets!! Laugh, and the world laughs with you.
~ The Joker, Arkham Asylum : A Serious House on Serious Earth.
A (mis) interpretation:
Alias: The Joker / John Doe.
Abilities: Extreme cunningness; fearlessness; unpredictability; psychological manipulation; mania induced heightened physical strength, dexterity, endurance; master escapologist; resourcefulness; improvisation; weapons expert.
Std. armaments: Assortments of handheld weapons; explosives; chemical weapons; traps.
Current status: Deceased.
The Joker is a maniacal criminal mastermind whom terrorises Gotham City for a period of time. He is responsible for the Second Gotham City Crisis. His sole objective is to plunge the entire city into total anarchy. He is described by GCPD Commissioner James "Jim" Gordon as a "psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy."
No one knows who the Joker really is. There is absolute zero background information on him. Nothing can be confirmed regarding his early life before his capture and subsequent death. Non of his fingerprints, dental records, or DNA matches against the GCPD's databases. Attempt to obtain clues about him from his clothing and weapons also lead to a dead end. The Joker's own testimony during his incarceration at the Elizabeth Arkham Institution, while normally quite true when it came to carrying out threats, was highly contradictory, and was known to lie at times when describing past events in his life, more specifically how he got the scars of his characteristic Glasgow smile. One of his anecdotes told of an extremely abusive and alcoholic father, stating that after attacking his mother with a knife, the blade was next turned on the young man, creating his mutilated smile. The fact that the Joker later referenced his father and his hatred of him implies that at the very least, he did have an extremely poor relationship with his father. Another story he told stated that he once had a wife who had her face cut by enforcers of loan sharks. In a desperate effort to assure his wife that he did not care about the damage to her appearance, he took a razor to his cheeks to produce his Glasgow smile. But the disturbing image instead caused his wife to leave him, damaging his psyche. It is not revealed to what degree these stories hold truth, if any. It is possible that the Joker himself is unaware of his true origins. Some psychological profiles of The Joker indicates that he is insane to such an extent that he literally reinvents both his own psyche and history on a daily basis. It is possible that, while neither of the stories are true, he genuinely believed them both as and when he told them. It is also suggested that he has no true personality of his own, that on any given day he can be a harmless clown or a murderous maniac.
In a report filed by the GCPD, there are three theories presented for the Joker's origin and identity. The first is that the Joker was an escaped patient from the Arkham Institution. However, this theory is debunked on the basis that his identity has no basis within any records. The second theory is that the Joker was a former employee of the Haley Brothers Circus, which was documented to have connections with the Falcone mafia family. It is reasonable to theorize that the Joker is a disgruntled former employee that had bad business with the mob. The third theory presented is that the Joker is a former soldier from the Corto Maltese War, suffering from acute PTSD, explaining his cool demeanour and familiarity with weapons, as well as his devastating effectiveness in various forms of combat. Psychologists at the Arkham Institution once suggested that the Joker's mental state was in fact a previously unprecedented form of "super-sanity," a form of ultra-sensory perception in order to cope with the chaotic barrages of information overload of modern times.
The Joker is a genius at planning and improvising criminal activities. He is incredibly intelligent and calculating, always staying one step ahead of everyone else. During trials upon his capture, the Joker claimed to not be insane, but rather just "ahead of the curve". This may have been legitimately true, in the sense that he seems to subscribe to a more morally nihilistic mind set, yet he still exhibited many symptoms of various failings of mental health. He further adds, 'These people. When the chips are down; when everything has gone completely to hell, they'll eat each other.' Alfred Pennyworth, the loyal butler of Bruce Wayne, once remarked that, 'Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.' During an interrogation by the police, they throw the Joker around the room and attacking him, he takes the assault with pleasure as he laughed while being beaten. One explanation for the Joker's fighting skills might have to do with his psychotic personality. The Joker doesn't really fear physical damage to himself like a normal person would, and even when brutally injured, he would still laughs at his own pain and asks for more. His casual insensitivity to pain, and his extreme fearlessness, lets him take risks that a normal person wouldn't even attempt, and so most people just don't see his attacks coming. The Joker appears to hold his philosophy of chaos higher than himself. He describes himself as merely an "agent" of chaos. Having no connections, friends, former identities or family to be traced back to makes him very difficult to predict, track down, or even understand. The Joker is a fearless, and unpredictable fighter, taking on mob henchmen and cops with ease, and showing how he can be lethal with many forms of weaponry; and was even capable of holding his own against the Batman at the height of his maniacal madness. The Joker's obliviousness to danger and recklessness make him invulnerable to what is usually Batman's greatest weapon in combat, that is his ability to frighten and instil fear in criminals. While the authorities and doctors attempt to understand the psychopath, the Dark Knight approach to the Joker's psyche is simple and straightforward - the maniac is a mass murderer who must be stopped at all costs and bring to justice. Bruce doesn't see the point in understanding a madman who is beyond redemption or cure.
Physically tall and lanky, the Joker appears scruffy and grungy, often dressed only in a custom tailored suit consisting of an elegant, purple coat with matching pin-stripe pants, kept up by suspenders rather than a belt. Underneath it, he wears a light blue jacket, green vest, and a light purple patterned shirt. He is always seen wearing a messy, white make-up with blackened eyes, blood red lipstick smeared over the already gruesome scars, with the greasy, green-dyed, unkempt hair on his head, which only further implies his unstable psyche. The Joker indeed cares little for just about anything. The Joker's victims have included men, women, children, and even his own henchmen. He is recognised as one of the most infamous murderers in modern history, the number of victims caused directly or otherwise by his acts are said to be officially six to seven hundred.
The Joker first came into the attention of authorities and the Batman nine months after the terrorist assault made on the city by the League of Shadows led by Henri Ducard (known unofficially as the First Gotham City Crisis), the newly promoted Lieutenant Gordon revealed that a criminal with "a taste for theatrics" recently committed a double homicide and an armed robbery, leaving behind a Joker playing card as a "calling-card". Gordon also warned that just as escalation occurs in terms of the police force against crime, so might the scale and style of criminality change in reaction to Batman's appearance. The Joker frequently attends the various heists and crimes his gang commits while disguised as one of the accomplices, which is believed to be at least partially where he got his name from (another being that he wears clown makeup to scare people). Several months later a group of bank robbers, under the direction of the Joker, robbed Gotham National Bank which was used as a money-laundering front for the Falcone crime family. After each clown mask wearing robbers whittled down their own numbers within minutes in a series of calculated betrayals, the only remaining robber revealed himself as the Joker to the manager of Gotham National Bank, who had earlier confronted the robbers with a shotgun. In addition, largely because he couldn't resist appearing on-camera, he also deliberately unmasked himself in front of a surveillance camera and posed before escaping. Shortly following the bank robbery, the major crime families of Gotham City hold a meeting and discuss about the recent issues with the Batman as well as the heist on the bank. The Joker arrives unannounced at the meeting while faking a laugh, as he saw their "so called plan" as a bad joke. He proposed that it was Batman's interference that had resulted in idealistic leaders like Harvey Dent rising in popularity, and offered his services to kill him for half of all the money that the mafia families still has stored away from Gotham City for safekeeping. The ailing and aging godfather of the crime empire, Carmine "The Roman" Falcone is not impressed. More importantly, Carmine sees in the Joker as an unstable individual which no one would be able to control. When one of the gang leaders attempt to kill the Joker, he reveals his coat which is wired with explosives, having anticipated the possibility that he'd be gunned down during the meeting. The wizened crime lord leaves the meeting in disgust, but Salvatore "Sal" Maroni, an up and coming violent gang leader and competitor against the Roman's successor, his eldest son, Alberto "The Prince" Falcone, is interested in the Joker's proposition and secretly hired him to kill the Batman.
The Joker first kidnapped a Batman impersonator, filmed his murder and hung the body, complete with white make-up and a Glasgow smile, outside the mayor's office. The Joker proceed to give Gotham an ultimatum. The Batman must take off his mask and turn himself to the authorities and every day the Batman refuses to do so, the Joker will murder innocent people day after day. As a result of the Batman not turning himself in, the first victims were Janet Surillo, the judge presiding over Harvey Dent's indictments, and then GCPD Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb. Later, the Joker widened his murderous acts over the entire Gotham City. The killings continue with random public bombings, cyanide gas attack on subway trains, poisoning of the water reservoir, and numerous indiscriminate acts of murder. Attempts on Mayor Garcia's life at a memorial for the murdered police commissioner as well as on District Attorney Harvey Dent are foiled by Gordon, his team and the Batman. Gordon is shot in the back after wilfully leaping in front of Mayor Garcia and died at the scene. Succumbing to public pressure as well as the inability to track down and stop the Joker, the Batman told Dent to call a press conference so he could reveal his identity and stop the killings. In a surprise move, Dent instead claims to be the Batman himself and is subsequently arrested.
While Dent is being transported, the Joker and his gang attack the caravan of police vehicles with an assortment of heavy weaponries in order to kill Dent. The Batman arrives in the Tumbler and engage the Joker and his henchmen in battle. After disposing off the psychopath henchmen with the Tumbler destroyed in the process, the Batman successfully causes the Joker's truck to stop by flipping it over with cables. But as the Joker stands in the middle of the road and shooting randomly at the fast approaching Batpod, prodding the Batman to ram into him, the Dark Knight is forced to swerve and crash in order to avoid killing the Joker at the very last minute, holding tightly to his no kill policy. As the Batman lays wounded on the ground, the Joker prepares to unmask the Batman when suddenly, Gordon, whom fakes his death and has been driving Dent's transportation van, sneaks up behind the Joker and arrests him with the rest of the GCPD officers and remaining SWAT teams surrounding and cordon off the entire area. Gordon is then promoted by Mayor Garcia as the new GCPD Commissioner.
With the Joker in custody, everything seems to be safe. However, the Joker provokes a police-officer to attack him and manages to overwhelm him. Holding the police officer as a hostage, the Joker walks out of the room and into the main lobby. Then, with the help of a pre-planted phone bomb surgically implanted inside the stomach of one of his insane henchmen, the Joker shoots his hostage and escapes as the bomb detonates, killing two third of the police officers, prisoners and the GCPD headquarter is half destroyed in the explosion. Upon his escape, the Joker later publicly states that he no longer cares about killing the Batman because he is ‘too much fun’ and that if one of the Wayne Enterprises employee, Coleman Reese, who supposedly knows who Batman really is, is not killed to prevent the secret from slipping, then he will blow up a hospital. All hospitals begin immediate evacuation. At the Gotham General Hospital, Joker arrives disguised as a nurse and blows up the hospital while kidnapping a bus of hospital patients as well as a TV reported and his crew. Majority of the public begins to target Reese in an attempt to kill him. Gordon successfully gets Reese into protective custody after the National Guards are called in to maintain public order.
The Joker then declares on T.V that he will rule the streets and that anyone left in Gotham at nightfall will be subject to his rule. Citizens of the city attempts to leave, choking all road ways and bridges due to the Joker's threat, leading to mass panic and rioting, causing the city to descend into chaos. In the mad scramble for safety on the mainland, vehicles are overturned, some of the people are pushed into the sea and drown, while some are crushed or trampled upon. After broadcasting the new threat, The Joker kill the reporter and his crew. He later met Sal Maroni in a container ship and is given his reward of half the mobs smuggled money, which he casually burns, as Sal looks on with horror. The Joker then reveals the entire Maroni immediate family he has captured, and along with Sal, burns all of them alive on the top pile of the money. He then took control of Sal's men. He declares that Gotham deserves a new breed of criminal - one unmotivated by money or power but who commits crime purely for fun.
At the Wayne Enterprises, Fox discovers that Bruce has expanded on the sonar technology and developed an advanced surveillance system that can listen in and track the movement of anyone from the thousands of cell phones in the city; Fox agrees to help by monitoring the sonar, but says he will resign if the machine is not destroyed after the Joker is gone since this essentially contradicts what Bruce believes in. The Batman discovers not only the Joker's location at an unfinished skyscraper, but that the majority of his "gang" were actually hostages from the hospital, wearing clown-masks with unloaded guns taped to their hands and that the people dressed as hostages were the actual criminals. The Batman is forced to fight not only the Joker's men but the SWAT teams as well in order to save the hostages. He finally confronts the Joker, which leads to a hand to hand battle between them. The entire place are rigged with traps and bombs. Assisted by four vicious Rottweilers, the Joker overwhelms and brutally beats the Batman with a crowbar, and stabs him with knives. He then pins the injured Batman under a scaffolding. The Joker then pulls out a detonator preparing to blow up both of them. However, he is caught off guard when the Batman hits the Joker with his shooting wrist-blades and throws the psychopath over the edge of the building. The Joker starts to laugh as he falls to die, but the Batman, refuse to allow him to die, and caught him with his grapple gun. The Batman then angrily left the Joker to dangle helplessly as he starts laughing manically. The SWAT team moves in and arrests the Joker as the Batman takes off into the night. Lucius then destroys the 'sonar vision' using a self-destruct code as told by Bruce.
The Joker is incarcerated at the Elizabeth Arkham Institution after being found guilty of his crimes due to insanity. Within the confinement of the asylum, he begins to instigate an elaborate plot involving majority of the most dangerous patients there whom had been captured by the Batman and his own escape. The plan is implemented to coincide with April's Fool Day. He succeed in psychologically manipulating his assigned psychologist, Dr. Charles Cavendish. The Joker first apologizes to the doctor, maintaining that he is not responsible for the hundreds of death as he lacks any idea for the repercussions of his actions. He systematically corrupts him throughout their therapy sessions with passages from the diary of the asylum's founder, Amadeus Arkham whose mentally ill mother, Elizabeth, suffered delusions of being tormented by a supernatural bat. It is said that the Joker found the diary after being incarcerated in the same cell of the founder of the facility, whose own mental illness led him to kill his mother to end her suffering, and vowed to bind the evil spirit of "The Bat" with sorcery after seeing the creature himself. Arkham continues his mission even after he is incarcerated in his own asylum; using his fingernails, he scratches the words of a binding spell all over his cell until his death. The Joker leads Dr. Cavendish to believe that he is destined to continue Arkham's work. Cavendish releases the Joker and other patients, in order to lures the Batman to the asylum, believing him to be the bat Arkham spoke of. After failing to hold back the patients by the security guards, the chief administrator of the institution, Dr. Jeremiah Arkham, sends out a distress signal to the GCPD. After killing most of the security guards and staff, the inmates lead by the Joker successfully take over the facility and hold the survivors as hostages. He then broadcasts a message to the GCPD that they will murder all the remaining guards and staff unless the Batman agrees to meet with them inside. Among the hostages is a young woman named Pearl, who works in the kitchens, Dr. Jeremiah Arkham and Dr. Ruth Adams, a therapist. Over the communication line, the Joker viciously tease the Batman and Gordon, before stabbing her in the eyes with a pencil, laughing maniacally. The Batman screams in anguish and frustration, and immediately embarks to the asylum. Entering the place, the Joker kills a guard to spur the Batman to obey his wishes. Gordon informs the Batman earlier that the SWAT teams will storm the facility in an hour. Knowing a SWAT assault would results in more casualties, the Batman agrees to the Joker's demand and is forced into a game of hide and seek. The psychopath told the vigilante that he has one hour to make his way through the maze-like corridors and find a way out before the inmates are sent to find and kill him. On his journey through the darkened Arkham Institution, the Batman sees the corridors are strewn with mutilate bodies of guards, staff and bullet ridden, bludgeoned inmates. The Batman recognises some of the deceased inmates - Victor Zsas, Pamela "The Poison Ivy" Avery, Professor Milo and Deacon "Mr. Freeze" Frost. All whom had committed atrocities which defy humanistic values. He also becomes aware of the horrors and unconventional treatments of which the inmates are subject to. He first encounters the serial rapist and necrophilia, Mathew "the Clayface" Hagen, whom is wasting away horrifically from an unspecified sexually transmitted skin disease. He tries to infect the Batman by injecting him with his own diseased blood. Batman avoids it and breaks Mathew's leg in the process, leaving him in a state of painful agony. As he ventures further into the depth of Arkham, he also encounters Dr. Jonathan "The Scarecrow" Crane, still insane from his own designer hallucinogen drugs. The Batman stealthily ambushed him and pushes him down a flight of stairs, crippling him. He later meets Jarvis "The Hatter" Trent, a serial paedophile and child murderer. The Batman breaks Trent's jaw and ribs with punches, putting him into unconsciousness. He then stumbles upon Maximillian "Maxie Zeus" Reyes, reduce to an emaciated figure with messianic delusion addicted to electroconvulsive therapy and coprophagia. Applying the electrical shocks to his own body while consuming his own faeces, Max tries to electrocute the vigilante but the Batman swiftly turns and wraps Maxie's neck tightly with the cable cords, choking him until he faints. Finally Batman comes face to face with the physically deformed, cannibalistic serial murderer, Killer Croc, whom is engorging himself on the flesh and entrails of a dead guard. Killer Croc blocks the Batman and grapples with him before throwing him out of a window. The Batman lands on a roof, where he grabs onto the statue of an angel clasping a bronze spear, which he tears loose. Clutching the spear, Batman climbs back through the window and impales Croc. The deformed monster of a man staggers, roaring from the pain of the injury before crashing out of a window and suffered from concussion of the brain upon impact. Based on a trail of salts, the Batman confronts Cavendish. The doctor accuses the vigilante of feeding the evil of the asylum by bringing it more insane souls before committing suicide. The Batman makes it in time but the Joker reneged on his term and proceeds to instruct the remaining inmates to attack him. The Dark Knight subdues them all but the Joker has by then escaped. Gordon and the SWAT teams then storm the facility with all the remaining patients re-confined back into their cells while the Batman goes after the Joker.
The Joker evades capture and a massive manhunt is launched to recapture the homicidal maniac. He shows up at Gordon's house, shoots and paralyzes his wife Barbara. He then kidnaps Gordon and imprisons him in a run-down amusement park. The Joker strips Gordon naked and chains Gordon to one of the park's rides, cruelly forces him to view blown up pictures of his wounded wife in various states of undress. Once Gordon completes the maddening gauntlet, the Joker ridicules him as an example of "the average man", a naïve weakling doomed to insanity. The Batman arrives to save Gordon, and the Joker retreats into the funhouse. Gordon's sanity is intact despite the ordeal and he insists that Batman capture the Joker "by the book" in order to "show him that our way works." After evading various anti-intruder devices and traps, eventually, the Batman confronts the Joker. The Batman is splashed with acid, and then swiftly stabs by the psychopath. The Joker attempts to shoot the Batman in the face but the revolver jammed. The Batman retaliates by giving the Joker a beating so severe, he is left in a state within an inch of his life before Gordon appears and stops him. The Dark Knight ignores Gordon, whom is finally forced to pick up the revolver and points it at the Batman. The vigilante stares furiously at Gordon and walks off from the scene but not before delivering a hard kick in between the Joker's legs.
Incarcerated once more and recovered from his injuries, The Joker swiftly succumbs into a catatonic state, but is awakened when he sees a news coverage on the Batman. The Joker successfully convinces Dr. Jeremiah Arkham, that he has been cured. Seeking to discredit the Batman, whom he has crusaded against in the media (as well as to make up for the facility's negative reputation), Dr. Jeremiah appears with the Joker on a late-night show. While the police led by the anti-vigilante Deputy Police Commissioner Ellen Yindel, attacks the Batman who is attempting to stop the psychopath after discovering his plan, the Joker murders everyone in the television studio, including Jeremiah, with bio-toxin gas and escapes. The Batman tracks the Joker to a county fair, where he has indiscriminately and randomly shoots at anyone in sight. The Batman is emotionally pushed to the brink once more at the sight of the Joker's victims and uncontrollable madness. He confronts the Joker in a violent showdown within the Tunnel of Love after engaging him at the House of Mirrors. The psychopath manages to shoot and injures the Batman despite being physically assaulted by the vigilante like before. Akin to an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object, both attacks one another, inflicting serious injuries. The Batman aims and shoots one of the wrist-blade into the Joker's right eye, blinding him. The Joker laughs it off. He keeps stabbing the Batman at the bullet entry wound, causing grievous injury and massive blood lost. Starting to loose consciousness and focus, the Batman, in split second and consumes by white, fiery anger as his mind reflects back on the number of people died, maimed or emotionally scarred for letting the Joker lives, twists the psychopath's neck, effectively paralysing him. He stops short of killing the Joker. As the sound of the police sirens approach, the Joker gloated that he has finally managed to break the Batman code of honour, and that the police will now hunt him down like a dog for murdering him. Then with a devil's strength, the Joker twists his own broken neck further, laughing maniacally before dying with a snapping sound. The Batman rigs the Joker's body with incendiary and burns it. He escapes, but not before another confrontation with the Gotham police. The Dark Knight is now officially implicated with the Joker's murder and a citywide manhunt is mounted for the masked vigilante. Emotionally exhausted and mentally drained, Bruce decides to self impose an exile from the public and retire the Batman for the next ten years until the event of the Third Gotham City Crisis perpetrated by the League of Shadows' affiliated terrorist Bane forces him to take up the mantle once more for the final time.
The Joker finally arrives. Received a call from XL and immediately "flew" downtown to get it, irregardless of the darn city traffic jam. Also plonk down some serious cash for another down payment for the MMS DX 02 The Batman. A little late but then again, I wanna complete the collective of The Joker, Bats and maybe later but surely, Two Face. My first "run in" with the Joker was the old mid 60s Batman And Robin TV series rerun back in the 80s. He was portrayed by the late Cesar Romero then. I did not take his character seriously until The Dark Knight Returns of course. Then there is the Gothic infused The Batman movie in 1989 starring Jack Nicholson as a rather portly and dandy looking mid age Joker. But, of course, the latest and probably the most definitive version presented on the silver screen is last year's Dark Knight, the sequel to Batman Begins, whereby the late Heath Ledger, whom deservedly won an Oscar posthumously, portrayed a Joker which blew away his previous two incarnations. The Joker is created by Jerry Robinson, Bill Finger and Bob Kane and debut in The Batman #1 way back in 1940. Created as the arch enemy of the caped crusader, The Joker foremost appearance is based on Conrad Veidt as he appeared in the 1928 movie, The Man Who Laughs. Initial appearance characterised The Joker as a homicidal maniac but this changed drastically throughout the 50s and 60s when, due to the Comics Code Authority censorship, the character was toned down tremendously and became a nonsensical clown. He almost disappeared from the storyline when in the early 1970s, the character is revived and returned to his former maniacal roots. Throughout the 80s and 90s, The Joker continues to play prominent roles in The Batman's storyline, including crippling Batgirl Barbara Gordon in The Killing Joke and killing the second Robin, Jason Todd in A Death In The Family. And here it is, a sort of recognition from Hot Toys to Ledger on his excellent portrayal of one of the most memorable comic dom villians of all time.