|Alternative name(s):||Batjokes, John Doe/Bruce Wayne, Joker/Batman|
|Fandom:||Batman, BTAS, DCAU, Nolanverse, The LEGO Batman Movie, Batman: The Telltale Series, Batman: Arkham, DCU|
|Prevalence:||Popular, but controversial|
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This ship has been around a long time. It was viewed as a crack ship by many due to their antagonistic relationship and violent interactions in the source material.
The Dark Knight was a film that focused a lot on their relationship, without the added baggage of comics canon events such as the murder of Jason Todd. This film led to an influx of new shippers. Around this time the ship name, Batjokes, was coined by AshToSilver, who was looking for a suitable name for a Joker x Batman fansite. In August 2013, Batjokes.com was launched and became a community for fan creators.
In this batjokes fandom, we see people come and go. It’s natural. Perhaps, we came to this little fandom at 1st Wave (pre-New 52 DC comics), 2nd Wave (The Dark Knight), 3rd Wave (Arkham Game series), or 4th Wave (Batman from Snyder’s run). It’s not surprising if some of us come for the 5th Wave, marked by Suicide Squad movie. Our reason to stay in this fandom perhaps also different. Our view about Batman/Joker dynamic can be vastly different. It’s okay. Your Mileage May Vary, right?
The fandom continued to grow as new comics featuring these two were released. The Lego Batman Movie also inspired shippers, with a new fluffier and less violent Joker. Batman: The Telltale Series, a video game, also renewed interest in this pairing.
On the Gotham (TV Series), characters Jerome, and later Jeremiah Valeska, were viewed as early iterations of the Joker. They have both been paired with that universe's Bruce Wayne. These pairings are rare in the overall Gotham fandom.
Common Tropes & Storylines
- Unhealthy relationships: Fanworks don't shy away from the unhealthy aspects of their canon relationship.
- Identity Porn: A common trope in Batman source material and fanworks given Bruce's vigilante alter ego. Works often depict Bruce Wayne meeting the Joker while socializing with criminals, in an effort to gain information. Many of these works are Matchjokes fics, and pair the Joker with Bruce's criminal alter ego Matches Malone. In other works, Bruce Wayne may be taken hostage by the Joker.
- Kidnapping: The Joker kidnaps Bruce Wayne is a common trope, that overlaps with identity porn. In other works Batman, or Bruce Wayne, may be keeping Joker prisoner to protect Gotham. A popular variation on this is the Joker under house arrest at Wayne Manor.
- Sometimes AUs set after the Killing Joke depict the Joker taking Batman up on his offer to rehabilitate him. Attempts to rehabilitate the Joker are common in fanon. He often reverts to his former name in these works.
- Works where the two end up together in a romantic and sexual relationship, often involve one character sacrificing his alter ego for their relationship. Many fans consider these OOC characterizations and a small number are tagged OOC.
- Daily Grind by K_dAzrael, Bruce Wayne has a best friend who's also his most troublesome employee. An AU where Martha and Thomas Wayne don't die, consequently Bruce doesn't become Batman and the Joker can't exist without his straight man. (2010)
- Atrophy by TimmyJaybird, Bruce Wayne tries to rehabilitate the Joker. (2015)
- Somewhere Between Love And Abuse by Saremina, Bruce tries to date Joker and keep him from finding out he's Batman at the same time. (2017)
- More Batman/Joker Meta, Warnings: strong language, disturbing concepts, & lots of rambling by vibishan (2008)
- On Writing Joker / Batman slash by silvercat17 (2008)
- Meta in response to Batjokes been called a crackship by dracze, (2016)
- Batman & Joker Best Enemies - Batjokes a video essay by Shippers Guide to the Galaxy (2017)
Archives & Fannish Links
- Joker (DCU)/Bruce Wayne works on Ao3
- John Doe/Bruce Wayne works on Ao3
- Joker and Bruce Wayne works on ff.net
- Joker/Bruce Wayne works on ff.net
- Batjokes.com(Archived Link)
- When was the Batjokes renaissance? Response by ladyredlipclassic, on tumblr, May 2018.
- Why is it BatJokes and not Batjoke? Response by Ashtosilver
- Tumblr post by Tumblr user anybatmanjoker, Apr 2016.