10 Things DC Comics Want You To Forget About The Joker‏

No laughing matter.

The Joker Photograph
DC Comics

The only character in comics to have as varied and convoluted history as Batman himself is his arch nemesis, the Clown Prince of Crime, the Harlequin of Hate, the Jester of Genocide himself, The Joker. Besides that cavalcade of bombastic nom de plumes, over the years this iconic member of the Dark Knight's rogues gallery has collected a wide variety of costumes, characterisations, foibles and origin stories (or lack thereof, when it comes to the latter). Of those, there are a few that DC would much rather we all just forgot about.

Nowadays we know The Joker as the psychopathic supervillain without a past, nor a rhyme or reason to go around doing all the bad stuff he does. We know him as the purple-suited nemesis whose name seems to be meant ironically, unless you have a sense of humour blacker than the Gotham skyline. We know him as one of comic's most enduring characters, destined to do battle against his equal and opposite number Batman until their dying day. And that dying day will never, ever come.

There is an alternate version of The Joker out there, hiding between the gutters, lost amongst retcons and reprints and remakes. And no, we're not talking about Bizarro-Joker, the doppelganger who has a permanent grimace affixed to his ghostly white face. We're talking about all the bits of his character and history that DC have tried to wipe off the map, sweep under the rug, or otherwise demolish with some comically large dynamite only for a flag with "BANG!" written on it to pop out the detonator.

The Joker has existed for over 60 years. No spring chicken, and with no shortage of strange, strange twists and turns in his career as Clown Prince of Crime...

Here are just ten of them!


Tom Baker is the Comics Editor at WhatCulture! He's heard all the Doctor Who jokes, but not many about Randall and Hopkirk. He also blogs at http://communibearsilostate.wordpress.com/