The Joker is probably the only villain who has received more love and appreciation from the audience than ever received by a protagonist. He made his first appearance around 70 years ago in the comic books an has been an integral part of the Batman cartoons, TV shows, films and video games. Heath Ledger who played the dark role of the nutty villain is best remembered for it. We just can’t get enough of him, yet there are few facts we’ve never known about him. Here are 10 facts that will make you fall in more love with the Joker.
10. He’s Teamed Up With Carnage
Spider-Man/Batman is about as good as most inter-company superhero crossovers get (as in, it’s perfectly fine, but only just a step above fan fiction, despite the dream team of JM DeMatteis and Mark Bagley), and doesn’t even bother to explain how the two fictional universes have gotten mixed up. It’s just all of a sudden, Marvel’s New York and DC’s Gotham City exist in the same world, and both The Joker and psychotic symbiote Carnage are both guinea pigs in an experimental treatment where they have chips stuck in their heads to stop them being so crazy.
Which obviously doesn’t work, because then there wouldn’t be any reason for the two superheroes to team up and defeat their mortal enemies. Carnage deals with his chip pretty easily and then springs The Joker from his prison as well, with the two of them heading on a psychotic crime spree with their shared understanding that the world is chaotic and life is pointless. Then they start arguing, giving Spidey and Bats a chance to stop them.
9. And Fought Judge Dredd
The team-up made a lot less sense, but at least they bothered to explain it this time. Batman/Judge Dredd: Die Laughing centred on an accidental dimension jump which sees The Joker’s disembodied spirit transported from Gotham to the far-flung future dystopia of Mega City One, where he hangs out with similarly spooky Judge Dredd villains the Dark Judges. In fact they get on so much, that Dredd’s most iconic villain – Judge Death – decides to appoint him the fifth Dark Judge. It’s quite sweet really. Thankfully his body resides in Gotham still, so he can’t cause too much trouble.
At least until he figures out how to possess the bodies of the other Dark Judges, which results in a terrifying hybrid of those already pretty freaky villains and The Joker himself – so the big rictus smile spread over their face, the haunting laugh, all that business. Plus his laugh ends up being superpowered that he can make people’s heads explode, which is pretty badass. Again though, it all falls apart when Batman falls through the fame rip in space-time, teams up with Judge Dredd, and sorts everything out.
8. His Girlfriend Was Originally A Cartoon Character
Harley Quinn has done the unthinkable: she’s become almost as recognisable and beloved a member of Batman’s rogues gallery as her beau, probably thanks to her appearances in the Arkham series of video games. She’s since been spun off into her own series, is constantly rumoured to be appearing in the various live action films that have been made over the years, and has been paired up with Poison Ivy as much as she does The Joker. Despite being such an iconic character in the comic books, it’s not actually where she originated.
Dr Harleen Quinzel first made her debut as The Joker’s therapist-turned-girlfriend in the nineties Batman animated series (one of the best superhero cartoons of all time), with her ensuing popularity leading to an introduction in the comic book universe during the No Man’s Land crossover. Which involved Gotham being rocked by earthquakes, getting cut off from the rest of the country, and The Joker running an entire corner of the city. Worked out pretty well for him, since he got a sweetheart out of the deal. And killed Jim Gordon’s wife. Woops.
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