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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 psychopathic criminal from Gotham City who terrorized the city for years and was responsible for countless attacks, including the Kane family car accident and Robin's death.[3]

Eventually, after years of Joker murdering civilians, Batman snapped and killed him, though most other individuals are unaware of this, instead believing that he was incarcerated in Arkham Asylum.[2]

Jack was considered to be Batman's greatest enemy. Being among the most notorious criminals ever, he left a huge mark on the world in general and Gotham City in particular; he was portrayed in pop culture by the actor Heath Ledger and even referenced by Cisco Ramon.

Biography

Original multiverse

Early life

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.[4][1]

Kane family car accident

The Joker chases the Kane family car.

In January 2003, 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]

Imprisonment

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]

New multiverse

Criminal activities

Joker's workshop.

The life of Jack Napier in the new multiverse is similar. He employed a woman named Kiki Roulette to design and construct his various twisted weapons such as the joy buzzer, the acid flower, smiley-face nerve gas and hid them in his workshop.[5] After an encounter with his archnemesis Batman, the acid flower was taken by the vigilante and stored in the Batcave along with his trophies from other defeated villains.[6]

On January 26, 2003,[7] the Joker hijacked a school bus by shooting the driver in the head. A young boy named Marquis Jet tried to stop him but the Joker simply laughed and told Marquis he was taking the children to Amusement Mile, where he was hiding a huge acid bomb that would cause it to rain chemicals and make everyone look like the Joker. He then placed his electric joy buzzer on Marquis’s head and sent an electrical charge through his brain, causing serious psychological damage.[3][8] Batman then started pursuing the Joker who fled in the bus, during the chase, Joker was caught behind a car containing a majority of the Kane family, he ended up ramming it off the road and it was caught balancing on the side of a bridge. This would result in Gabi Kane’s death and the presumed death of Beth Kane. Batman apprehended the Joker and took the joy buzzer to be stored in the Batcave.

The Joker, with the assistance of Kiki Roulette murdered Robin with a crowbar. He also began working with an accomplice called Harley Quinn.[3]

At some point, Jack Napier broke into the house of a man who owned a painting which held the location of the island Coryana. Napier killed the man and used the latter's intestines as materials to cover the painting with his own "work".[9]

Death

"I broke Batman's code."
"You think you're the only one? Ever wonder why the Joker hasn't reared his head in five years? He's not in Arkham, Kate. Both you and Bruce stared into the abyss. The question is... how long are you gonna let it stare back at you?"
Kate Kane and Luke Fox[src]

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

Legacy

"You know who was a great villain? The Joker!"
Alice to Black Mask[src]

The bus accident that Joker caused inspired Jacob Kane to create Crows Security.[10]

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".[11]

Joker's death (as described by Luke Fox) seemed to have had a profound impact on Batman, who apparently broke his moral code upon killing him; due to this experience, Batman disappeared into a possible retirement, remaining out of Gotham ever since.[2]

In 2020, after Beth Kane 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 was fixated on Batwoman the same way Jack had fixated on Batman.[12]

Jacob laughed in disbelief and said that he was the Joker when Alice told him that Kate was Batwoman; until he realized Alice was telling the truth when he turned on the Bat-Signal.[13]

Fake version of Jack Napier's painting.

Kate took a photo in her phone of a painting that Joker had made because it had a subliminal reference to Safiyah Sohail; while investigating Kate's phone, Jacob found the photo and asked Sophie Moore about it's significance.[14] Later, Jacob sent Agent Whelan to find the original painting.[15] Ocean burned away Joker's modifications to the painting in order to reveal the location of Coryana.[16]

Joker's acid flower was stolen from the Batcave, alongside other items belonging to Batman's enemies, by "Circe Sionis", on behalf of Roman Sionis and Safiyah Sohail.[6] When they talked about villains, Alice told Roman that Joker was a great villain and ​sprayed his acid on Roman's face, making his black skull mask welded to his face.[17]

When Joker electrocuted a young Marquis Jet on the forehead with his joy buzzer, the latter would grow up to become a sociopath.[8] Marquis also came to admire Jack for having fun with his life.[18] His workshop was later used by Marquis Jet and Kiki Roulette as a hideout.[3] Marquis followed the Joker's plan to blow up acid bombs in Gotham, but the acids landed in an isolated part of the city and Marquis was healed by Batwoman along the way.[19]

Abilities

  • Expert marksman: Napier was accurate enough to shoot a bus driver in the head with his sidearm.[3]
  • Gadgetry: Napier was proficient with the usage of several gadgets, including a fake flower that sprays acid and an electric joy buzzer.[3][5]

Equipment

Former equipment

  • Acid flower: On at least one occasion, Napier used a flower containing acid against Batman. It was later stored in the Batcave before being stolen by "Circe Sionis".[3]
  • Joy buzzer: Napier used this when he took got on a bus full of children.[8]
  • Gun: Napier used a gun to shoot a school bus driver in the head.[3]
  • BANG! Flag gun: Napier had a gag gun that only shoots out a small flag that says "BANG! It was later stored in his workshop.[5]
  • Boxing Glove gun: Napier had a boxing glove gun. It was later stored in his workshop.[5]
  • Smiley Face nerve gas bomb: Napier had a Smiley Face nerve gas bomb. It was later stored in his workshop.[5]
  • Crowbar: The crowbar he used to kill Robin with Kiki Roulette. It was later stored in his workshop.[5]
  • Laughing gas: Napier had a gas that infected his victims with a ghoulish rictus grin while laughing uncontrollably. It was later stored in his workshop.[3]
  • Razor-sharp playing cards: Napier had razor-sharp playing cards. They were later stored in his workshop.[5]

Appearances

Batwoman

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3


The Chronicles of Cisco

Behind the scenes

  • In the DC Comics, the Joker is the nemesis of Batman.
  • The Joker, portrayed 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).[20]
  • 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".
    • Jack Napier's paintings are a reference to his vandalism of various paintings in the 1989 Batman film.
  • The Joker hijacking a school bus is a reference to the events in The Dark Knight where the Joker hijacked a bus after robbing a bank.

References

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