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"Batman brought out all the crazies in Gotham. If it weren't for him, there wouldn't have been a Joker!"
Jacob Kane[src]

Jack Napier[1] (died 2015[2]), better known as the Joker, was an infamous criminal from Gotham City who terrorized the city for years and was responsible for countless attacks, including the Kane family car accident. Being one of Batman’s greatest enemies, the Joker racked up a massive kill count, ultimately resulting in Batman snapping and killing him. Due to his notorious criminal record, he was portrayed in pop culture by the actor Heath Ledger and even referenced by Cisco Ramon.

Biography

Jack Napier was a mysterious criminal who was, for some time, best known by his alias, "the Joker". He was an enemy to the similarly half-mythical Gotham City protector, Batman. On January 26, 2003,[3] Joker hijacked a bus with 34 schoolchildren and ended up ramming the Kane family's car, leaving it dangling on the edge of the bridge. He was pursued by Batman, who secured the car with his grappling hooks. Batman then saved the schoolchildren and defeated Joker. However, the Kanes' car loosened from the hooks due to an engineering mishap and fell into the river, leading to the deaths of Gabi and apparently Beth Kane. Joker was captured and tried the following month.[4]

Joker was later brought to justice, prosecuted by assistant district attorney Angus Stanton, and sent to Arkham Asylum. His identity was revealed to be Jack Napier.[1]

In 2015, the Joker was killed by Batman, although it is widely believed that he remains locked up in Arkham Asylum.[2]

Legacy

Joker is remembered as one of the worst criminals to have plagued Gotham, as well as one of Batman’s most noteworthy unhinged adversaries. He was at some point portrayed by Heath Ledger in a fictionalized form of some sort. Cisco Ramon compared Heath Ledger's Joker to Zoom, claiming that the maniacal speedster made Ledger’s Joker "look like Santa Claus".[5]

Joker's death had a profound impact on Batman, who killed him and thus broke his moral code. Due to this experience, Batman retired and disappeared, remaining out of sight for the next 5+ years.[2]

In 2020, after Alice released all the inmates from Arkham and sent them to wreak chaos and havoc across Gotham, Jacob Kane, began to compare his daughter to Joker, as she had fixated on Batwoman the same way Joker was fixated on Batman.[6]

Appearances

Batwoman

Season 1

The Chronicles of Cisco

Behind the scenes

  • In the DC Comics, the Joker is the nemesis of Batman.
  • The Joker, played by Heath Ledger, was indeed a character in The Dark Knight, a film adaptation of DC's Batman mythos.
    • Considering the Joker's later appearance in Batwoman, it can be assumed that Ledger portrayed the character in a documentary, or as a fictionalized version of him in a movie based on real events (considering that Batman himself is thought to be a myth by a number of characters in-universe; Oliver Queen being a one-such individual).[7]
  • The name "Jack Napier" was used as both the real name or simply an alias for the Joker in many Batman projects, including the 1989 Batman film and Batman: The Animated Series.
    • The name "Jack Napier" was intended to sound like the word "jackanapes".

References


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