Joker (Batman character)

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Name: Joker
Red Hood
Occupation: Criminal
Relationships: Harley Quinn (ex-girlfriend)
Fandom: DC Comics, Batman, Batman: The Animated Series
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Joker is a DC Comics character and one of Batman's most iconic supervillains.



Joker made his first appearing in Batman #1. (1940).

The Joker is a serial killer and a super-villain, a dangerous madman who dresses like a clown and commits violent crimes. He is often recognized as Batman's greatest enemy, living in and terrorizing Gotham City, although he spends most of his time in Arkham Asylum. In addition to being a deadly and unpredictable physical combatant, he is a brilliant and ruthless criminal mastermind. His crimes require no motivation other than his sadistic desire to show people the meaninglessness of life through pain and death, and the narcissism to see the world remade in his own image. He is constantly adapting his personality and his psychosis to respond to the world around him, sometimes a harmless trickster and at others a brutal mass-murderer. Batman is his only worthy opponent, and although he has passed up multiple opportunities to murder the dark knight, he has no such problems with killing Robin or crippling Batgirl. Although his origins remain unclear and shrouded in mystery, it is also known that prior to the chemical accident that scarred his mind and body he was the small-time criminal Red Hood. He has also been a member of the Injustice Gang and the Injustice League.

--Joker at DC Comics Database

Other Media

  • In the three-season TV series and 1966 spin-off feature film, Batman, the Joker was portrayed by Cesar Romero. He famously refused to shave his iconic mustache for the role, instead covering it with the white clown makeup.
  • In 1989, Jack Nicholson portrayed the Joker in the live-action Batman movie.
  • In 1992, the Joker appeared in Batman: The Animated Series voiced by Mark Hamill. He is considered by many to be the definitive voice of the Joker, returning to voice the character in several cartoon and video games over the next 25 years. BTAS also introduced the Joker's henchwoman, Harley Quinn.
  • In 2008, the Joker was the main antagonist in The Dark Knight, portrayed by Heath Ledger.
  • In 2009, Hamill returned to voice the character in the Batman:Arkham Asylum series of video games.
  • In 2016, the Joker was portrayed by Jared Leto in the film, Suicide Squad.
  • In 2016, the Joker appeared in Batman: The Telltale Series video games.
  • In 2017, The Lego Batman Movie featured a more sensitive iteration of the Joker.
  • In 2019, Joker was released. Joaquin Phoenix portrayed the Joker's backstory and won an academy award for the part.
  • In 2022, The Joker appeared in a brief cameo in the last scene of The Batman, conversing with the now-captured Riddler.


Joker's Sexuality

There has often been debate in fandom about Joker's sexuality. Some fans prefer not to know or discuss Joker's possible sexuality, believing the character is more interesting if this and other elements of his character remain a mystery.

Others believe that conventional ideas of sexuality don't apply to the criminally insane clown. These fans don't assume the Joker is straight because he'd had heterosexual relationships in canon. Instead they view him as a character who's attracted to people who entertain him, or serve a purpose.

Some fans believe the Joker was originally created as a gay man, but all references to his sexuality were subtext rather than text, and there is evidence that this was the case. These fans are unhappy with the Joker's canon heterosexual relationships as a result, believing his sexuality has been retconned.[1]

Others are happy that the Joker was no longer presented as a LGBT character.

With all due respect, the joker's gaycoding through the years has been written by straight men and used as a device to show how strange and weird and deranged he is by associating him with typically effeminate or gay qualities. As a gay person myself, I’m extremely glad everything you mentioned has been erased, and that dc decided to give us better representation via poison ivy, catwoman, and harley quinn, and if they wished to expand their lgbt characters list I’d rather they go with literally anyone but the joker.[2]

Joker and Mental Illness

The Joker is often said to be mentally ill in various Batman source materials, and has been committed to Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane on many occasions. In fanworks examining Joker's mental illness, he is often portrayed as a character who defies diagnosis, possibly due to his high level of intelligence and unwillingness to cooperate with the diagnostic process.

In fanworks set in Arkham Asylum, there is often a criticism of mental health treatment, with the asylum under resourced and patients sometimes mistreated by staff. This mistreatment can include the use of shock therapy, medical experimentation, and over medicating the Joker to keep him docile. These works can be extremely dark and may include non-con and other forms of physical abuse. The Joker often views the time he spends in Arkham Asylum as a relaxing break between his escapes, and criticism of the Arkham Asylum is often presented through the use of another characters POV.

Different authors approach Joker's (apparent) mental illness in different ways, but they rarely shy away from the darker elements of his untreated mental health difficulties. In fanfiction, Joker may suffer from withdrawal or other symptoms related to no longer taking medication after escaping from Arkham. He may also self-medicate when he is not committed.

Common Tropes & Storylines





  • Measured Out in Coffee Spoons by David Hines, An Arkham patient finds that getting better poses its own set of problems. (Reformed Joker, 2004)
  • Rewrite by Silver Pard, "If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice." The Joker shuffles the deck and makes himself anew with every card.(2008)
  • Joker's Wild (crossover with Teen Titans) "Out of the goodness of his heart, the Joker comes to Jump City! And nothing will ever be the same once the Clown Prince Of Crime is done with our heroes..."




Fan Film



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