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|Film||The Dark Knight|
Why so serious? He's only a mysterious and maniacal criminal mastermind who terrorizes Gotham City. With a taste for the overly theatrical and who seeks to plunge the entire city into chaos and anarchy. Just to see everything and everyone burn.
Who is he?
No one knows ... perhaps not even him. But everyone knows his leering mutilated grin. He is ... the Joker.
In the 2008 The Dark Knight film, he was portrayed by the late Heath Ledger in the role that won him a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Before Ledger's unexpected death, early drafts for the sequel movie intended for the Joker to return.
The Joker is a major supervillain in the DC Comics, first appearing in Batman #1 which was published on April 25, 1940. Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson are credited as being responsible for his creation. He has been considered to be THE principal arch-nemesis to the Dark Knight for decades and the most recognizable as well as being widely considered to be one of the greatest supervillains of all time as the Clown Prince of Crime.
Like his nemesis who uses bats, the Joker employs his own symbolism revolving around clowns, comedy, playing cards and his warped and sadistic sense of humor and mad genius have made him a potent adversary for the Dark Knight Detective along with his bleached white skin, shocking green hair, and macabre death head's grin make him one of the most visually distinctive.
The Joker has been a defining part of the mythology and history of the Batman for decades ever since his appearance. For the most part, he has never had a definitive origin story.
The Joker's identity is a mystery and at times, he has claimed various different versions which are contradictory. Some indicate that he was a failed comedian forced into a life of crime; others state that he was a former Gotham hoodlum turned crime boss who hid behind a veneer of respectability and high-priced lawyers; another history indicates that he was abused by his father with a runaway mother which turned him into a life of crime; while yet another origin proclaims that he was a brilliant but sadistic genius.
The Joker admits that even he doesn't know for sure which is real and which is false but typically all of his stories involve the Batman and the Ace Chemical Plant where he was being pursued by the Dark Knight only to to fall into a vat of chemicals. The strange mixture would turn his skin chalk white, dye his hair green, and cause his facial muscles to be pulled into a fixed rictus. Some stories have indicated that the shock of his new bizarre appearance caused him to lose his mind while others suggest that the Joker is actually sane but like his archnemesis who cultivates his reputation to make criminals superstitious and fearful of him; the Joker does the same by employing bizarre and convoluted campaigns to make himself appear to be insane but is actually a carefully cultivated mask of randomness and unpredictability.
Among his more memorable heinous acts have included murdering of Jason Todd, the second Robin; paralyzing Barbara Gordon by shooting her in the spine, ending her career as Batgirl; and murdering Commissioner Gordon's second wife Sarah Essen.
The Joker has made numerous frequent appearances in various films, animated cartoons, and television series starring the Batman over the decades.
Personality and Traits
The Joker has been described as a "psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy."
- Director Christopher Nolan seriously considered using various deleted scenes from The Dark Knight and CGI modeling to have the Joker return for the sequel film. However, he ultimately decided that it would be too disrespectful to Heath Ledger and decided to have a different villain and direction for the sequel film.
- I believe whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you...stranger.
- Do you wanna know how I got these scars? My father was a drinker, and a fiend. And one night, he goes off, crazier,than usual. Mommy gets the kitchen knife to defend herself. He doesn't like that. Not. One. Bit. So, me watching, he takes the knife to her, laughing while he does it. He turns to me, and he says, "Why so serious son?" He comes at me with the knife. "Why so serious son?!" He sticks the blade in my mouth—"Let's put a smile on that face!" And... Why so serious?
- Introduce a little anarchy. upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It's fair.
- "I don't, I don't want to kill you! What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off mob dealers? No, no ...NO! No, you ... you complete me." —Joker to Batman; The Dark Knight
- "To them, you're just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these ... these civilized people, they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve." —Joker to Batman; The Dark Knight
- Joker (Adventures of Batman)
- Joker (Batman: The Brave and the Bold)
- Jester (Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths)
- Joker (Legoverse)
- Joker (Batman: Assault on Arkham)