The killer clown: Joker

Discover the mysteries, origins and stories behind one of the most well-known villains and haunting smiles of all time!

The Joker is the fictional psychopathic supervillain and archenemy of Batman, created in Spring 1940 by Bob Cane, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson, and appeared in DC comics' Batman #1 comic. Since then he has become one of the most intriguing and infamous characters in comic book and movie history.

In popular media, the Joker character has made an impact on most genres as one of the most iconic and recognized villains of all time. He has been ranked #1 in Wizard's list of the Greatest Villains of All Time, and listed on the AFI's list of top 50 film villains, including others. The Joker has been depicted by Cesar Romero in the 1960's Batman television series, Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton's Batman and Heath Ledger in Christopher Nolan's smash-hit The Dark Knight. Voices for the animated or cartoon versions of this twisted character include that of Mark Hamill, Larry Storch and Kevin Michael Richardson.

You can now take a journey into the twisted adventures of this notorious and ingenious mastermind...

We have the biggest collection of graphic novels featuring the Joker, all written and illustrated by the best graphic artists in the world! Any fan would agree that these are the best novels ever penned and inked about this devious criminal mastermind!

ORIGINS

Throughout the Joker's strange history, there have been different but unproved theories about his origin. Even his real name remains unknown, not only because of the many comic writers who have featured his character, but also to encourage the idea that he is not only a deceiver but doesn't really remember his own past.

The most widely believed and depicted story, which is also credited by DC Comics as the official account, is that he fell into a vat of chemicals which disfigured him. After quitting as an engineer at the Ace Chemical Processing plant, he fails at an attempt to become a stand-up comedian. Desperate to support his pregnant wife Jeannie, he starts looking for other options. He then agrees to help a couple of thugs sneak through the chemical plant he used to work for to break into a neighbouring playing card company. Just before the break-in, police informs him that his wife and unborn baby have died in a freak household accident. Grief-stricken, he tries to back out of the plan, but is forced to keep his promise.

As soon as they enter the plant, however, they are caught by security and confronted by Batman, who decides to investigate the disturbance. Terrified and trying to escape, the young man dives into a vat of chemical waste, only to emerge disfigured with his trademark bleached white skin, fluorescent green hair and bright red lips, stuck in a permanent manic grin. This mutilation of his face, together with the tragedy that befalls him earlier that day, causes him to go completely insane, and gives birth to the fiendish Joker!

The Joker has no special or superhuman powers or abilities, but his warped sense of humour and disordered killer-clown methods make him one of the greatest criminal masterminds in the world! His main weapon is Joker-venom, or Smilex, a fatal toxin that makes his victims laugh uncontrollably, kills them and leaves them with a gaping ghoulish grin. He also uses other comedic weapons like razor sharp playing cards, exploding cigars and electric toy-buzzers.

Since his first appearance, he has captivated, tormented and plagued not only the caped crusader, but many other fictional heroes and villain. He has been the cause of many tragedies in Batman's life, including being responsible for injuring and paralyzing Barbara Gordon, a.k.a Batgirl, murdering Jason Todd (Robin's successor) and the death of Jim Gordon' wife Sarah.

His violent jester and trickster-like ways, along with his disordered mind, have assured him a place as one of the scariest and deranged supervillains of them all!

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