Everyone knows The Joker is Batman's most dangerous and volatile enemy. Beyond that though, it's difficult to get a sense for who The Joker really is behind all that makeup. In an attempt to defog some of the mystery surrounding this polarizing character, here are 14 facts that you probably didn't know about the clown prince of crime.
While not explicitly stated in the comic books or any other source material, it has been hinted at for years that The Joker actually knows that Batman is Bruce Wayne. For example, The Joker has a habit of targeting anyone close to Batman as well as anyone close to Bruce. He’s even cut off Alfred’s (Bruce Wayne’s butler) hand once! Many fans speculate that The Joker sees Bruce Wayne as a mask for Batman (as opposed to the other way around), and would simply be bored to death if either persona were ever harmed.
In Batman #186, Gagsworth A. Gagsworthy (Gaggy for short) made his debut as The Joker’s original sidekick long before Harley Quinn was ever conceived. Before he met The Joker, Gaggy was part of the circus and was eventually forced to become a clown after the crowd grew tired of his tightrope act. Filled with resentment, he joined The Joker in committing several serious crimes, all presumably just for laughs.
Not everyone is aware of Mark Hamill’s illustrious voice acting career (seriously, he does a LOT), but he officially holds the crown as the longest running Joker in the character’s history. Beginning with “Batman: The Animated Series,” Hamill brought new life to the character with his deep, raspy and slightly psychotic voice. He recently hung up the clown shoes though, announcing that the video game “Batman: Arkham Asylum” would be his last stand as the clown prince.
Surprised? We aren’t. After the late Heath Ledger gave such an inspired performance as The Joker in “The Dark Knight,” it would be difficult for Christopher Nolan to not include Ledger in the sequel. Of course, the actor tragically passed away before such an appearance could take place.
See also: 15 Entertainers Who Tragically Died Mid-Performance
Sounds like someone’s been playing a little too much “Mortal Kombat.” For years, Batman had been patient with the killer clown, vowing never to kill him (Batman had always hoped that The Joker could be cured of his insanity). Superman apparently has no such patience. In the “Injustice: Gods Among Us” comic series, The Joker tricks the Man Of Steel into thinking he had killed Lois Lane, so Superman does what any logical Kryptonian would do: He punches a hole right through his chest.
We’re totally on board with broadening our perspectives from time to time, but something about The Joker as the protagonist just doesn’t sit well with us. Apparently the rest of the world agrees since none of the attempts at a solo series for the world’s most infamous clown ever took off. Part of the reason was due to the strict regulations imposed by the Comics Code Authority, stating that all villains must be apprehended or otherwise brought to justice at the end of each issue (we can’t make this stuff up). Understandably, seeing The Joker sent to Arkham Asylum at the end of each book got really old really quick.
Instead of making a cameo appearance in Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman film, The Joker was completely absent due to Heath Ledger’s passing. At least Nolan had the decency to tie up any loose ends associated with the character (even if most fans totally missed it). In “The Dark Knight Rises” it is explained that all supervillains were moved from Arkham Asylum to Blackgate after the Dent Act was passed. Every villain was moved except for The Joker, who is presumably left to rot in Arkham Asylum alone. How’s that for closure?
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