Adaptations of the Joker in other media
Joker
Created byBill Finger
Bob Kane
Jerry Robinson
Original sourceComics published by DC Comics
First appearanceBatman #1 (April 25, 1940)
Films and television
Film(s)
Television
show(s)

The Joker, a supervillain in DC Comics and the archenemy of the superhero Batman, has appeared in various media. WorldCat (a catalog of libraries in 170 countries) records over 250 productions featuring the Joker as a subject, including films, television series, books, and video games.[1][2] Live-action films featuring the character are typically the most successful.[3]

The Joker has been portrayed by Cesar Romero in the 1966–1968 Batman television series and the 1966 Batman film; Jack Nicholson in the 1989 film Batman; Heath Ledger in the 2008 film The Dark Knight; Jared Leto in the 2016 film Suicide Squad and the 2021 director's cut Zack Snyder's Justice League; Cameron Monaghan in the FOX series Gotham; Joaquin Phoenix in the 2019 solo origin story film Joker, and Barry Keoghan in the 2022 film The Batman. Ledger won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor while Phoenix won the Academy Award for Best Actor, making the Joker one of the only three characters played by two actors to be awarded an Oscar for both portrayals (the others being Vito Corleone, and Anita from West Side Story).[4][5][6] Over the years, various actors have provided the character's voice in television, animation, and video game form. Mark Hamill is often credited as the most iconic voice of the Joker.[7][8]

Live-action

Television

Adventures of Superman

At the Daily Planet's news stand, the Joker's face could be seen on the cover of a Batman comic book in the Adventures of Superman episodes Mystery in Wax and Crime Wave.

Batman and Robin are also on the cover of that comic.

Batman (1966–1968 TV series)

Cesar Romero portrayed the Joker in the 1960s Batman television series. Romero refused to shave his distinctive moustache for the role, so it was partially visible beneath the white face makeup applied.[9] This version of the Joker is based on the character in the 1960s comics, who is more of an elaborate prankster who uses harmless weapons and Vaudeville-type humor to commit his crimes. Even though he did try to kill both Batman and Robin in various episodes, he wasn't homicidal like his comic book counterpart.[10]

Batman OnStar commercials (2000–2002)

The Joker was played by Curtis Armstrong in one of the six Batman OnStar commercials that ran from 2000 to 2002.[11]

Birds of Prey (2002–2003 TV series)

The Joker makes a cameo appearance in an episode of 2002–2003 series Birds of Prey (an alternate continuation of Batman Returns), portrayed by Roger Stoneburner and voiced by Mark Hamill (who has voiced the Joker in various DC projects). He and his men appear outside of Barbara Gordon's apartment where he shoots Barbara when she answers the door. Then he quotes "Knock knock, who's there? Batgirl, past tense!"[12]

Gotham (2014–2019)

Main article: Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska

The mythology of the Joker is explored throughout Gotham, a television series focusing on the beginnings of the Batman lore. Believing that the Joker should not precede Batman, showrunner Bruno Heller initially did not want to use the character,[13] but later decided to "scratch the surface" of his origin because "this is America — nobody wants to wait."[14] Jerome Valeska, the mentally unhinged son of a nymphomaniac circus performer, was introduced as an homage to the Joker in the first season, portrayed by Cameron Monaghan.[15] While Monaghan was not comfortable drawing from the previous live-action actors who had played the Joker, he did take influence from Mark Hamill in his performance, as well as various comic books featuring the supervillain.[16] The character returned at the start of the second season but was promptly killed off, after which various citizens begin imitating his actions and a voice-over proclaims that his legacy will be "death and madness." This was done to create a deep-rooted mythology for the Joker's backstory in Gotham City.[17] In the fourth season, Monaghan begins playing Jerome's twin brother, Jeremiah Valeska. The character was intended to represent different characteristics of the Joker absent from Jerome.[18][19] The series finale leaves it ambiguous as to whether or not Jeremiah becomes the Joker later in the show's continuity.[20] During the virtual DC FanDome event in 2020, a documentary titled The Joker: Put on a Happy Face was made to celebrate the character's 80th anniversary. This documentary includes Jeremiah Valeska from Gotham among the various iterations of the Joker adapted for film and television.[21]

Powerless (2017)

The Joker makes a cameo in the Powerless episode "Wayne or Lose".[22]

Titans (2018)

Main article: Titans (2018 TV series)

Joker makes a cameo in the Titans episode "Dick Grayson." He is shown as one of the several villains murdered by Batman in a dark future that Trigon subjected Dick Grayson to.[23] In the season 3 premiere episode "Barbara Gordon", Joker (portrayed by stuntman Mustafa Bulut) killed Jason, then got captured by the GCPD and sent back to Arkham. Later in the episode, it is revealed that Bruce killed the Joker. In the episode "Lazarus", his playing Joker cards are shown in Batman's trophy room in the Batcave. In the season 3 finale episode "Purple Rain", Beast Boy put in Joker's name in the security question which he got wrong.

Arrowverse

Joker was confirmed to be part of the Arrowverse in Batwoman, portrayed by Nathan Dashwood. In the pilot episode, his hijacking of a bus led to the accident that separated Kate Kane from Beth and their mother Gabi despite Batman's attempt to save them.[24] In the episode "I'll Be Judge, I'll Be Jury", it was revealed that his real name is Jack Napier and had been previously prosecuted by assistant district attorney Angus Stanton.[25] In "A Narrow Escape", it is revealed that Bruce had killed Joker at some point as Luke Fox revealed to Kate that "The Joker Is Not In Arkham". In season two, it was discovered that Jack Napier worked on a painting using intestinal blood from one of his victims as it is discovered that it contained the map to Coryana where Jacob Kane suspects that Kate is being held prisoner in. While the painting that Jacob took off a defeated Wolf Spider was a fake, the real one is in the possession of Safiyah Sohail's former minion Ocean. In "Kane, Kate", a brainwashed Kate stolen all of Batman's trophies belongs to his enemies from the Batcave which includes the Joker's acid flower. In the season 2 finale episode "Power", Alice used Joker's acid flower on Roman Sionis' face and having his mask welded into his face claiming that Joker is better than him. In the third season episode episode "A Lesson from Professor Pyg", Jada Jet revealed to Ryan Wilder that her son (and Ryan's half-brother) Marquis Jet (portrayed by Nick Creegan) was attacked by Joker during his bus hijacking by placing his electric joy buzzer on his head, rendering him psychopathic. Marquis ultimately carries on the Joker's legacy over the course of the season and takes over as CEO of Wayne Enterprises after a hostile takeover. He sports purple hair and an orange suit and acquires Joker inspired items. The episode "Broken Toys" revealed that Joker had a toymaker minion named Kiki Roulette (portrayed by Judy Reyes) who built Joker's joy buzzer as she allies with Marquis. In the episode "We're All Mad Here", Joker was finally seen when Marquis recaps his encounter with Joker and Alice recalls the hijacked bus running Gabi's car off the bridge. Marquis quoted to Alice that fate brought them together.

Film

Batman (1966)

Main article: Batman (1966 film)

Cesar Romero reprised his role in the 1966 film Batman, in which the Joker is a member of the United Underworld, alongside fellow Gotham City villains the Penguin (Burgess Meredith), the Riddler (Frank Gorshin), and Catwoman (Lee Meriwether).

Batman (1989)

Main article: Joker (Jack Napier)

Jack Nicholson played the Joker in Tim Burton's 1989 film Batman. The Newsweek review of the film stated that the best scenes are due to the surreal black comedy portrayed in the Joker.[26] In 2003, American Film Institute ranked Nicholson's performance #45 on their list of 50 greatest film villains.[27] Hugo Blick[28] and David U. Hodges play younger versions of the character in flashbacks in Batman and Batman Forever, respectively.

In the film, Jack Napier is the right-hand man of mob boss Carl Grissom (Jack Palance) prior to his transformation into the Joker. During a confrontation with the vigilante Batman (Michael Keaton) in a chemical factory, Napier's face is wounded by a ricocheting bullet and he falls into a vat of chemical waste, turning his skin white, his hair green and his lips red. A botched attempt at plastic surgery leaves him with a permanent rictus grin. Driven insane by his reflection, the Joker kills Grissom and takes over his syndicate, launching a crime wave designed to "outdo" Batman, who he thinks is getting too much press. The Joker describes himself as "the world's first fully functional homicidal artist" who makes avant-garde "art" by killing people with cosmetics laced with Smylex, which leaves its victims with a grotesque grin similar to his own.[29] Bruce Wayne later recognizes the Joker as the mugger who murdered his parents years before, leading him down the path of becoming a crime-fighter. The Joker nearly massacres Gotham City's bicentennial celebration and kidnaps reporter Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) to draw Batman out to a climactic battle atop a Gothic cathedral. After telling Batman that they "made each other", the Joker attempts to escape via helicopter, but Batman ties a grappling hook around his leg and attaches it to a stone gargoyle, causing the Joker to fall to his death when the statue breaks loose of its moorings.

Nicholson was to reprise his role in Batman Unchained, the fifth film planned for the series.[30][31] The Joker was to return as a hallucination in Batman's mind caused by the Scarecrow's fear toxin, and Harley Quinn was to appear as his daughter trying to get revenge on Batman for his death.[32] Due to the critical and commercial failure of Batman & Robin, however, this film was cancelled.

The Dark Knight (2008)

Main article: Joker (The Dark Knight)

Heath Ledger played The Joker in Christopher Nolan's 2008 film The Dark Knight. Ledger's interpretation of the character – that of a "psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy" – was specifically influenced by the graphic novels Batman: The Killing Joke and Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth. In the film, he wears the character's traditional color palette, while his facial appearance includes smeared clown makeup that covers facial scars of a Glasgow smile. This version of the Joker embodies themes of chaos, anarchy, and obsession; he expresses a desire to upset social order through crime and defines himself by his conflict with Batman (Christian Bale). The character explores techniques found in Ledger's previous performances, including his clown act in Terry Gilliam's fantasy film The Brothers Grimm. It also references paintings by artist Francis Bacon, Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange, and various punk rock musicians.

In the film, the Joker is hired by Gotham City's mob bosses to kill Batman and announces that he will kill people every day until Batman takes off his mask in public and surrenders himself to police. During his reign of terror, he kills several people in Gotham, including Bruce Wayne's childhood sweetheart Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and scars Gotham District Attorney Harvey Dent's (Aaron Eckhart) face, transforming him into the insane vigilante Two-Face. Batman ultimately defeats him, but the Joker gloats that he has won "the battle for Gotham's soul" by corrupting Dent, and tells Batman that "you and I are destined to do this forever" as he is taken to Arkham Asylum.

The Joker is considered to be Ledger's finest performance; he himself regarded it as his most enjoyable. When the film was released in July 2008, six months after the actor had died from an accidental prescription drug overdose, the performance caused a sensation and received universal acclaim; Ledger was posthumously awarded the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.[33][34]

DC Extended Universe (2016–present)

Main article: Joker (DC Extended Universe)

Jared Leto portrays the Joker in the DC Extended Universe.[35] Originally set to appear in Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the character was ultimately cut and only referenced in the film.[36][37]

Jared Leto debuts as the Joker in David Ayer's 2016 film Suicide Squad.[38] Although many scenes featuring the Joker were omitted from the theatrical release, some of this unused footage did make it into the extended cut.[39][40] Leto also appeared as the Joker in the music video "Purple Lamborghini", by Skrillex and Rick Ross, from the film's soundtrack.[41] Mark Hamill, the voice of the Joker in various DC projects, said that he "loved" Leto's take on the character.[42][43]

Despite not making an official appearance, the Joker's presence plays a pivotal part in the film Birds of Prey as the plot involves Harley trying to cope with life in Gotham City without his protection. The Joker appears in animated form in the film's prologue which details Harley's life and separation from him while a scene of Jared Leto from Suicide Squad is used in a flashback sequence. In addition, an uncredited Johnny Goth portrayed the character from the back in a similar flashback scene in which Harley and Joker tattoo a man's face. This was done in this way since as the director felt that the film didn't need Leto to return for the character to still have a presence.[44]

Leto reprised the role in Zack Snyder's Justice League, released in 2021 on HBO Max.[45] The Joker appears in a post-apocalyptic premonition of Bruce Wayne in a role similar to the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come from A Christmas Carol, portraying him as a character who motivates Batman through fear in order to prevent Darkseid's invasion.[46]

Joker (2019)

Main article: Joker (2019 film)

In 2016, Todd Phillips began working on a standalone Joker film,[47] with intent for it to launch a line of films unconnected to the DCEU called DC Black.[48][49] Development of the film was confirmed in August 2017; Phillips was attached to direct and co-write with Scott Silver, while Martin Scorsese was set to produce.[50] The film, Joker, was released in October 2019.[51]

In Joker, Joaquin Phoenix portrays Arthur Fleck, a party clown and aspiring stand-up comedian who suffers from a mental illness that causes pathological laughter. He lives with his abusive mother Penny (Frances Conroy) in Gotham City in 1981 and idolizes talk show host Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro). After losing his job for dropping a gun in a children's hospital, Arthur kills three Wayne Enterprises employees on a train in self defense, sparking city-wide protests. He slowly loses his sanity, killing his mother and the colleague (Glenn Fleshler) who gave him the gun. When he is invited on Franklin's show after being mocked on it, Arthur rants about society abandoning him and murders Franklin on live television. He is arrested, but is rescued by protesters in clown masks, and is celebrated by the protesters as a hero. His actions inspire a protester to kill the Waynes, making him indirectly responsible for Batman's existence.[52][53] Phoenix was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, making him the second actor to receive an Academy Award for playing the character, following Heath Ledger. In June 2022, Philips confirmed a sequel is in development with Phoenix reprising his role. It was also reported that the sequel will be a movie musical.

Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021)

Main article: Space Jam: A New Legacy

A Joker inspired by Jack Nicholson's 1989 Batman film appearance appears in Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021).[54][55]

The Batman (2022)

Main article: The Batman (film)

Barry Keoghan as the Joker, as he appears in a deleted scene from The Batman (2022).
Barry Keoghan as the Joker, as he appears in a deleted scene from The Batman (2022).

Barry Keoghan portrays the Joker in The Batman (2022), making a cameo appearance in the theatrical cut, where he befriends Edward Nashton (Paul Dano) from across his cell.[56] In an extended deleted scene, the Batman (Robert Pattinson) interrogates him as he reluctantly approaches Joker to profile Nashton following his first two murders.[57]

Joker's physical appearance in the film was designed with involvement from makeup artist Mike Marino, who similarly assisted in developing the fatsuit and prosthetics used for the film's iteration of Oswald "Oz" Cobblepot / Penguin (Colin Farrell). This incarnation of the character has a permanent smile as a result of an unknown biological condition, and physically appears to have peeling skin and burnt, green hair that is in the process of growing back on his head. Matt Reeves additionally cited Conrad Veldt's character Gwynplaine in the film The Man Who Laughs (1928) as the primary inspiration for his design, further remarking on its influence for the design of Joker's original appearance in the comics, as well as the parallels between Joker's inability to stop smiling, and that of Gwynplaine in his respective film. The deleted scene establishes a prior history between the film's respective iterations of Joker and Batman, implying that the former was a serial killer who Batman apprehended and placed in Arkham during his first active year as a vigilante.[58][57]

Animation

Television

Filmation

The Joker appears as a recurring villain in the 1968–1969 Filmation series The Adventures of Batman, voiced by Larry Storch.[59] He also appears in five episodes of Filmation's 1977 series The New Adventures of Batman, voiced by Lennie Weinrib.[60]

Hanna-Barbera

Storch reprised his role as the Joker in two crossover episodes of the 1972 series The New Scooby-Doo Movies, in which he teams up with the Penguin and runs afoul of Batman, Robin and the Mystery Inc. gang.

The Joker appears in The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (1985–1986) episode "The Wild Cards", voiced by Frank Welker.[61][62] He assists Darkseid by disguising himself as Ace, the leader of the Royal Flush Gang. Operating out of a giant house of cards, he recruits four thieves to be the rest of the Royal Flush Gang and leads them in capturing the heroes so that Darkseid's invasion force can attack Earth unimpeded. When Batman frees the captured heroes and they stop the invasion force, an enraged Darkseid hurls Joker through a portal that opens high in the sky. Wonder Woman catches him and he is arrested.

DC animated universe

Mark Hamill has voiced the Joker for various projects, beginning with the DC animated universe.
Mark Hamill has voiced the Joker for various projects, beginning with the DC animated universe.

The Joker appears in various series set within the DC animated universe, voiced by Mark Hamill, who is often credited as the iconic voice of the character because of his wide range of "joyful, gleeful, maniacal, [...] malevolent and evil laughs."[7][8] The character debuted in Batman: The Animated Series (1992–1995). The show is notable for introducing his sidekick and lover, Harley Quinn (voiced by Arleen Sorkin), to such popularity that she became a character in the comics. The Joker was also featured as a central antagonist in the spin-off film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993).[63]

The Joker returned in the follow-up series The New Batman Adventures (1997–1999) with a stylistic redesign. His white skin now had a bluish-grey tinge, while his eyes had their sclerae removed, and were replaced by cavernous black spaces with white pupils. His trademark red lips were omitted, focusing more attention on his teeth, and his green hair was darkened. His suit's colors were also changed from purple and orange to purple and green. In the Superman: The Animated Series (1996–2000) crossover episode "World's Finest", a bankrupt Joker travels to Metropolis and makes a deal with Lex Luthor to kill Superman in exchange for a billion dollars only to be foiled by the combined efforts of Batman and Superman, seemingly getting killed in an explosion. In the Justice League (2001–2006) episodes "Injustice For All" and "Wild Cards", the Joker joins Luthor's Injustice League, despite the latter's protests owing to their failed partnership in "World's Finest" and pits the Justice League against the Royal Flush Gang as part of an elaborate ruse, respectively. In "A Better World", a lobotomized Joker is briefly seen in an alternate universe ruled by the Justice Lords. The Joker was later featured in the Static Shock (2000–2004) episode "The Big Leagues", in which he starts a crime spree only to be foiled by Static, Batman and Robin.

The Joker made his final chronological appearance in the direct-to-video feature film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000), in which he mysteriously returns to Gotham City 40 years in the future. Flashbacks reveal that the Joker with Harley Quinn's assistance kidnapped and tortured Robin (Tim Drake) for three weeks, turning him into an insane, miniature version of himself dubbed 'Joker Junior', learning Batman's secret identity in the process, leading to a violent confrontation with Batman that ended with him getting killed by Joker Junior who managed to fight of the brainwashing. The Joker's death was edited and redubbed amid controversy surrounding the Columbine High School massacre; the original version sees Joker Junior shoot the Joker in the heart, whereas the edited version simply sees him push the Joker into damaged cables to be electrocuted out of sight. However, a microchip (later revealed to have been genetics technology from Project Cadmus in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue") implanted in Drake's neck was revealed to have possessed a copy of the Joker's consciousness and DNA, allowing him to take over his host in the future until he is defeated once and for all by the new Batman, Terry McGinnis (voiced by Will Friedle), who destroys the microchip and the Joker alongside it. The Joker was redesigned once again, the flashback depicts him in his original attire but his face is redesigned as a mix of both his appearance in Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures bringing back his red lips which are rendered in a darker tone and his yellow sclera with red eyes are brought back. His future version is the same but wears a purple jumpsuit and his hair is slicked back. The redesign depicted in the flashback was later used for his earlier chronological appearances in Static Shock and Justice League.

The Batman (2004–2008)

The Joker appears in The Batman, voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.[64] This version's trademark green hair is long and dreadlocked, although he maintains his recognizable white skin and red lips. He also sports red eyes, a more pointed chin, crooked yellow teeth, is barefoot, and the inside of his mouth is teal with a milky blue tongue. He initially wore a purple and yellow straitjacket with blue pants, before later adopting his signature purple suit and spats on his feet, alongside long black fingerless gloves. This incarnation of the Joker relies slightly less on his comical gadgets and weaponry and is shown to be adept at parkour, also making use of a Monkey Kung Fu-like martial arts style during combat, using his feet as dexterously as his hands to climb and hang from walls and ceilings. Most notably, this Joker was responsible for creating the first Clayface, accidentally infecting Detective Ethan Bennett with the fumes from his Joker putty, and as a result, he became the target of Ethan's revenge.

The Joker also appears in the direct-to-video spin-off film The Batman vs. Dracula (2005). At the start, he launches a riot at Arkham Asylum, allowing both himself and the Penguin to escape, but during a subsequent confrontation with Batman, he accidentally falls into a river while wearing his electrified joy buzzer and is presumed dead. However, he ultimately survives and attempts to steal the treasure that he believes Penguin found; but what he presumes to be a chest is actually Dracula's casket, and upon accidentally awakening him, Joker is attacked and turned into a vampire. Unlike Dracula's other victims, Joker retains his personality and free will in this form and raids a blood bank, where he is captured by Batman and used as a test subject for a cure for his infliction. After being cured, Joker is sent back to Arkham Asylum.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008–2011)

The Joker appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Jeff Bennett.[64] This version's appearance, personality and antagonism with Batman are similar to the Silver Age version drawn by Dick Sprang. His Earth-3 doppelganger is a vigilante known as the Red Hood, a capable fighter who can hold his own against Owlman and the Injustice Syndicate.

Young Justice (2010–2013, 2019-present)

The Joker appears in Young Justice, voiced by Brent Spiner.[65][64]

Teen Titans Go! (2013–present)

The Joker makes multiple unspoken appearances in Teen Titans Go!, before finally having a speaking role in the episode "Pig in a Poke", voiced again by Jason Spisak.

Justice League Action (2016–2018)

The Joker appears in Justice League Action, with Mark Hamill reprising his role.[66][64]

Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? (2019–present)

The Joker appears in the Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? episode "What a Night, For a Dark Knight!", voiced again by Hamill. He poses as Man-Bat while using harnesses to make him fly in order to kidnap Alfred Pennyworth and get access to Bruce Wayne's account. When Joker is defeated and unmasked, Daphne does give a positive compliment of his hair.

Harley Quinn (2019–present)

The Joker appears in the Harley Quinn animated series, voiced by Alan Tudyk.[67] While most of his appearances in animation depict the Joker with a purple tuxedo, this version of the character wears a purple suit. He is also depicted with a partially-shaved head and a strong dislike of raisins; the latter of which is a running gag throughout the series. Unlike most of his other incarnations, Joker appears a lot more sane than usual; while he still revels in murder and chaos, he also exhibits a wide variety of emotions and interests, and is oftentimes shown with a calm, if not bitter demeanor. Joker is also a member of the Legion of Doom, and constantly bullies the lesser members until Harley points out that they are more powerful than him and that nobody has to listen to him.

In the first episode, he abandons Harley after she is captured, and leaves her in Arkham Asylum for over a year, until she eventually escapes on her own, with Poison Ivy's help. While Harley initially returns to the Joker, she eventually leaves him after realizing he doesn't care about her, thanks to a scheme orchestrated by Ivy with the Riddler's help, in which the Joker chooses to rescue a captured Batman from certain death rather than Harley. After Harley decides to become an independent criminal and surpass the Joker, he makes constant attempts to get back at her, culminating in taking over Gotham, killing Ivy, and capturing Harley, her crew, and Batman in the first-season finale. He then admits that he still loves Harley, and decides to throw her in acid that will render her "normal" and eliminate any feelings Joker still has for her. However, a resurrected Ivy saves Harley at the last minute and drops Joker in the acid, though not before he destroys all of Gotham. Despite physically surviving, the acid renders him sane and causes his skin to return to normal.

In the second season, the Joker, cured of his insanity, leads a normal life as a bartender. When Harley and Ivy encounter him by chance, they confirm he has no memories of his past self by having Doctor Psycho read his mind. He is later hired to work at a luxury bar at Wayne Tower and encounters Harley again, who tries to avoid him, only to end up handcuffed together during a hostage situation organized by Psycho and the Riddler so they can steal a mind control helmet and enslave an army of Parademons Harley previously brought to Gotham. After the Joker and Harley escape, she concludes that only the Justice League, who had been previously trapped inside a book by the Queen of Fables on the Joker's orders, can stop them. The Joker then mentions having several dreams about his past life, including the book, but he struggles to remember where it is, causing Harley to reluctantly toss him into a vat of acid at Ace Chemicals to turn him back into his original self. His memories recovered, the Joker recalls entering a relationship with a nurse named Bethany, who found him among Gotham's ruins and nursed him back to health, and gifting the book to her, believing it to be an ordinary story book. Under the threat of an explosive device Harley put in his head, the Joker takes her to Bethany's house, but she tosses the book away after he enrages her, causing it to get grabbed by a passing Parademon. While retrieving the book, the Joker reflects on his relationship with Bethany and realizes he found true love. He later reconciles with her and chooses to maintain both his criminal lifestyle and relationship with Bethany.

DC Super Hero Girls (2019–present)

The Joker appears in DC Super Hero Girls, voiced by Jeremiah Watkins. He is shown to be a teenager along with his love interest, Harley Quinn. In "#NightmareInGotham", Joker has escaped from the Arkham Reformed School and had to come up with his plan on Halloween. He teams up with Solomon Grundy, Gentleman Ghost, and She-Bat. By the time Batgirl gagged and revealing herself to Harley Quinn, Joker flies away in his zeppelin.

Film

Troy Baker voiced the Joker in Batman: Assault on Arkham, reprising his role from the video game Batman: Arkham Origins.
Troy Baker voiced the Joker in Batman: Assault on Arkham, reprising his role from the video game Batman: Arkham Origins.

Video games

See also: List of Batman video games

As Batman's nemesis, the Joker has appeared in several Batman-related video games.

Early appearances (1988–2003)

The Joker's earliest video game appearance was in Batman: The Caped Crusader (1988) developed by Ocean Software for 8-bit home computers such as the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 and by Data East for other platforms such as the Apple II, Commodore Amiga, and PC.[77] The game contains two parts that can be played in any order—the Joker's story or the Penguin's story.[78] The Joker also appears in several games based on the 1989 film, released between 1989 and 1992, including Batman: The Movie for the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, and ZX Spectrum;[79] Batman: The Video Game for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy;[78] Batman for the Genesis;[78] and an arcade game, Batman.[80]

Two games were released based on Batman: The Animated Series. The first was the Konami-developed game Batman: The Animated Series (1993) for Game Boy.[81] The second, The Adventures of Batman & Robin, was released for the Super NES as an action adventure platform and for Genesis as a side-scrolling shooter.[78] The only game based on the Batman Beyond franchise, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, was released as a companion to the eponymous film for Game Boy Color, PlayStation and Nintendo 64.[78] Batman: Vengeance (2001) was released for several platforms, based on The New Batman Adventures and starring its voice cast, including Mark Hamill as the Joker.

The Joker is featured in the platform game Batman: Return of the Joker, released for the NES in 1991 and the Genesis in 1992.[78] Other games include Batman: Chaos in Gotham (2001) for Game Boy Color, Justice League: Injustice for All (2002) for Game Boy Advance, and Batman: Dark Tomorrow (2003) for GameCube and Xbox. The Joker also makes a cameo in Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (2003), released for several platforms.

Lego

Main article: Lego Batman

Batman: Arkham

Main article: Batman: Arkham

The Joker's character design in the main trilogy of the Batman: Arkham series was influenced by the graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke.[85]
The Joker's character design in the main trilogy of the Batman: Arkham series was influenced by the graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke.[85]

Mark Hamill reprises his role as the Joker in the main trilogy of the Batman: Arkham franchise, while Troy Baker voices a younger version of the character in the prequel Arkham Origins.[86][87][88] This depiction of the Joker has received widespread acclaim as critics have lauded the voice acting and the exploration of his rivalry with Batman.[89][90][91][92] The Joker won the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards' "Character of the Year" award for his appearance in Arkham City.[93]

Injustice

The Joker appears as a playable character in Injustice: Gods Among Us and its sequel, Injustice 2, developed by NetherRealm Studios, with Richard Epcar reprising the role from Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.[64]

Telltale's Batman

"John Doe" in a promotional image for Batman: The Enemy Within.
"John Doe" in a promotional image for Batman: The Enemy Within.

Anthony Ingruber voices the Joker, initially referred to as "John Doe," in Telltale Games' episodic point-and-click graphic adventure Batman video game series.[97]

Mortal Kombat

Other games

Theatre

The Joker appears in the 2011 theatrical production Batman Live, portrayed by Mark Frost. He masterminds a plot to defeat Batman by uniting several of the superhero's greatest foes, including Harley Quinn, Penguin, Two-Face, Riddler, Poison Ivy, and Scarecrow.[108][109] The show is an adaptation of the Batman property, drawing inspiration from the 1966 television series, Tim Burton's series of Batman films, and the 1992 animated series, among others.[108][110][111]

References

  1. ^ Weiner, Robert G. and Robert Moses Peaslee (2015). The Joker: A Serious Study of the Clown Prince of Crime. University Press of Mississippi. p. 19. ISBN 978-1-62846-238-8. Partially available on Google Books.
  2. ^ Weiner & Peaslee 2015, p. 19.
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