The Joker is an infamously extreme and formidable psychopathic crime lord from Gotham City, being at the very top of the city's criminal underworld, greatly feared by other crime bosses. Devoid of empathy or pity for anybody taking part in his wicked schemes either by intimidation or fraud, the Joker does, however, adore his girlfriend and partner in crime Harley Quinn, doing his utmost to rescue her from the Suicide Squad and clutches of Amanda Waller, with eventual success.
Nothing, including his real name, is known about the Joker's past prior to the start of his supervillain career, though it can be surmised that he was most likely born and grew up somewhere around Gotham City, New Jersey and was born before Batman.
It is known, however, that at one point, he fell into a boiling vat of toxic waste during a botched robbery at ACE Chemicals, permanently bleaching his hair and skin chalk-white. Seeing this disfigurement, the combination of chemical exposure and brain damage via oxygen deprivation drove him completely insane, into psychopathy. He dyed his hair emerald-green and began wearing lipstick and makeup to emulate a more theatrical, garish clown-like look. Thus was born the bombastic, psychopathic, fearsome, and murderous man who would shortly thereafter be nicknamed "The Joker".
Batman would come into conflict with the Joker on numerous occasions, leading him to becoming the vigilante's archnemesis. Upon repeated interactions, the Joker developed a sick and twisted love for the Batman, and their games together. Eventually, Batman would defeat and apprehend him, subsequently having the Joker imprisoned in Arkham Asylum for his numerous crimes.
Arkham and breakout
In Arkham, Joker would first meet psychiatric intern Dr. Harleen Quinzel when he was assigned as her patient, whom he psychologically sabotaged and manipulated. She gradually fell in love with him, and the Joker got Harleen to do him favors, which was giving him first a stuffed kitten, and then a machine gun. Shortly thereafter, Joker's bizarrely dressed goons (lead by Jonny Frost) broke into Arkham Asylum, and successfully aided their boss in escaping, tying Harleen down in the process. Before leaving however, Joker sadistically subjected Harleen to shock therapy (as a retaliation for her shock therapy leaving him "in a black hole of rage and confusion"), fracturing her psyche and causing intense psychological trauma. Thus resulting in her severe mental instability.
- "Do not say this oath thoughtlessly. Desire becomes surrender, surrender becomes power."
- ―Joker to Harleen Quinzel[src]
Harleen later chased him down on a motorcycle, and managed to get Joker to stop his Jokermobile car. She nearly killed him with a gun, even shooting a man who approached them. Joker took the gun and taunted her. Harleen claimed to love him, but Joker responds by saying that he is not someone who is loved, but rather "an idea, a state of mind, who executes [his] will according to [his] plan," with Harleen not being part of his plan. When Harleen still wanted to come with him, Joker took her to ACE Chemicals, where he had originally had his accident. While there, Harleen was told to say an oath, and was asked if she would die for him. When she told him she would, he decided dying was too easy and asked her if she would live for him instead. She responded in the affirmative, and allowed herself to fall into the vat of chemicals. Joker turned to walk away, leaving her to die, but was conflicted, changing his mind and jumping in after her, he pulled her up to the vat's surface. Joker then kissed her, and Harleen awakened. They kissed again and the Joker broke down into maniacal laughter.
From that point on, Harleen dubbed herself "Harley Quinn" (donning a red-and-black Harlequin costume), and the duo of psychopathic lovers would go on a number of crime sprees in Gotham City together, which would often result in the duo coming into conflict with Batman, becoming (as Amanda Waller would later claim) the criminal King and Queen of the city.
At some point prior to the Black Zero Event, the Joker, with help from Harley Quinn, managed to kill Batman's partner, Robin. In an act of fury Batman smashed Joker's teeth and locked him away in Arkham Asylum causing Joker to have replaced his teeth with a metallic version to substitute. To add injury to Batman's loss in hopes of driving his adversary insane, Joker spray-painted "HAHAHA JOKE'S ON YOU BATMAN" in yellow on the Robinsuit. A devastated Batman would later place the damaged and vandalized suit in an exhibit in the Batcave.
Murdering Monster T
In 2014, a year after the Black Zero Event, a lavish strip club owned by the Joker was visited by crime boss Monster T, whom Joker greeted, though he refused to shake his hand (as per usual, as Joker's right-hand man Jonny Frost revealed). Monster T, however, welcomed his fellow crime boss ally back, congratulating Joker on his escape. However, Monster T then took notice of the exceptionally beautiful Harley Quinn, and promptly made distasteful remarks about her, proceeding to stare with lustful desire, an act that greatly displeased the Joker. In response he called Harley over, intimidating Monster T, and making him somewhat uncomfortable by suggesting he sleep with Harley, as well as calling him a "handsome hunka hunka". Monster T, having picked up on Joker's displeasure, attempted to assure him that Harley was his girl, and that he wanted "no beef". The Joker, however, was unimpressed with the man, and promptly shot Monster T in the head.
Later that night, the Joker and Harley were driving down a street in Gotham, in the Jokermobile both maniacally laughing, while Batman pursued them in the Batmobile. Batman the put the Batmobile in auto drive and jumped onto the roof of Joker's car. Joker trying to shake Batman off, took a sharp turn, and despite Harley's protests that she "can't swim", drove the car into a river, forcing Batman to grapple off. Batman then put on a breathing mask and dove down into the river to arrest the two criminals. When he got to the car underwater, the Joker was gone and Harley was unconscious. Harley then attempted to fight off Batman with a knife before being knocked out by the latter. Batman then brought her to the Batmobile and drove her to prison.
Hunting for Harley Quinn
Eventually in 2016, after becoming increasingly bored and unhappy without Batman, who left Gotham City to begin establishing the Justice League, and, most of all, his beloved Harley Quinn, Joker, who by this point had taken to drawing an accented black smile around his mouth to keep up appearances, began deploying his numerous goons to track down her location. Eventually, Jonny Frost returned and revealed that she is imprisoned in Belle Reve supermax prison. Exuberant at the news, Joker ordered Frost to get his car, and proceeded to lie down on the floor of his chambers, amidst his collection of numerous bladed and firearm weaponry, roaring with gleeful psychopathic laughter (and washed off the black line shortly thereafter).
Interrogating Captain Griggs
In order to learn more details, Joker again deployed Jonny Frost, with the latter finding one of the Belle Reve guards, Captain Griggs, in a night club, and subsequently subduing him. Griggs was brought before Joker's goons, and while he remained relatively unfazed, he showed visible fear when the Joker himself entered. Joker circled Griggs, sadistically smiling at the terrified guard (in gleeful anticipation of the ruthless torture he was about to unleash upon him), implying Griggs kiss his ring, then straddling the man and suggesting he could "tell Griggs meant it." He told Griggs he was "Going to be Joker's friend.", before gleefully claiming that he couldn't wait to "show Griggs his toys."
Ultimately, Captain Griggs' torturous interrogation prove effective, as he revealed to Joker Amanda Waller's plan to use Harley Quinn as a member of the Suicide Squad (with an intended mission in Midway City), as well as the implantation of an ARGUS nano-bomb into Harley, as an emergency contingency. Griggs ultimately agreed to lead the Joker into the facility where ARGUS' nano-bombs are created. The Joker ultimately also forced him to return to Belle Reve and deliver a purple phone to Harley (through which he could communicate with her, via SMS) before she was deployed on the Squad's mission.
Interrogating Dr. Van Criss
While Joker, Jonny Frost, and some of his other goons drove towards the ARGUS facility, he had another faction of goons simultaneously kidnap the wife of Dr. Van Criss, the scientist that created the nano-bombs.
When the security guard was unwilling to let in the truck carrying Joker and his goons in, the goon driving the truck seemingly acquiesced, and gave the guard a package to deliver - claiming that it was a gift basket for Dr. Van Criss. However, the package turned out to be a concealed bomb, which promptly killed the guard, allowing Joker and his goons to climb out of the truck and enter.
Dr. Van Criss initially hid behind a wall of bulletproof glass, but much to his dismay and horror, Joker promptly showed Van Criss a live feed of the latter's kidnapped wife. He then unlocked the door and let Joker's gang in, agreeing to accompany them and to personally disable Harley Quinn's nano-bomb, allowing the Joker to rescue his girlfriend. In an act of sadism, Joker picked up the nearest bit of equipment, a nano-bomb implementation gun, and shot it into Van Criss' neck.
Satisfied with his progress, Joker sends Harley an SMS, letting her know that he's close.
Reuniting with Harley Quinn
Later, the welcoming helicopter arriving to the ARGUS headquarters (for extracting Amanda Waller from the hands of Enchantress) was revealed to have been hijacked by the Joker, Jonny Frost, and his goons, and they opened fire over the Suicide Squad, while Dr. Van Criss simultaneously disabled Harley Quinn's bomb, allowing her to climb aboard the chopper (after informing her of this by SMS).
The reunited Joker and Harley Quinn happily kissed and embraced, with Harley delighted that her boyfriend dressed up for the occasion. Joker lets Harley know that he'd do anything for her, and claims to have grape soda on ice and a bearskin rug waiting for them. However, their reunion is cut short, as Joker's helicopter is shot down by Waller's agents. While Harley manages to jump out and save herself just in time, the Joker is presumed dead (along with Frost, Van Criss, and the rest onboard) in the explosion of the aircraft, much to Harley's devastation.
Unknown to Harley however, the Joker had managed to jump from the helicopter just in time. As he recovered from the encounter, he found humor at the sight of burning cash from a nearby bank. He resolved once more to find Harley, having long ago come to peace with the idea that she would probably be the death of him, and that he would be likely the one to strangle the life out of her.
When Harley Quinn's mind was telepathically assaulted by Enchantress, the latter implanted a vision of Harley being married to Joker, with both of them being without their dyed hair, bleached skin or tattoos (and apparently also cured from their psychopathy), the two of them having two baby kids (a boy and a girl), and living a happy "Normal" life in a suburban home. However, with the help of the more mentally resistant El Diablo, Harley was able to snap out of it and continue her attack against the evil army.
After the Suicide Squad had managed to defeat and kill Enchantress, her brother Incubus, and her monstrous army, they were all re-imprisoned in Belle Reve, albeit with their sentences shortened by 10 years and their cells rendered more comfortable in gratitude (with Harley notably gaining an espresso coffee machine).
All of a sudden, the Joker, now revealed to be alive and unscathed, and his goons (this time disguised as a SWAT team, with Joker's uniform bearing his name on the chest) broke into the prison, and his goons quickly broke through the lock on Harley's cage with a buzzsaw. Joker then removes his mask to reveal himself and reunites with an overjoyed Harley. The reunited lovers finally embraced before fleeing from the prison together, heading "home" (most likely meaning Gotham City).
PersonalityThe Joker is an extremely malevolent and evil individual, being a complete psychopath (albeit on the highly functioning end of the spectrum) with seemingly no regard for human life, and a ruthless sadist whom takes sadistic pleasure in torturing others to achieve his goals, evidenced by when he (with help from Harley Quinn) brutally murdered Robin, and left a jocular spray-painted message for Batman on the damaged Robin suit, as well as when the Joker cruelly implanted a nano-bomb into Dr. Van Criss' neck, even after the latter had agreed to comply due to the Joker already having the man's wife hostage. His dark and twisted personality makes Joker find humor or sport in the suffering and fear of his enemies, and he himself is seemingly impossible to intimidate, due to his pathological fearlessness.
Joker is also remarkably manipulative, easily psychologically enthralling Dr. Harleen Quinzel and commanding the respect and loyalty from all of his henchmen (who don't hesitate to break him out of Arkham Asylum), in addition to being extremely intelligent and unpredictable, thus managing to torment his archnemesis for years, and catch Amanda Waller off-guard by sabotaging her ARGUS helicopter. In addition, Joker appears to be somewhat vain about his status as the king of Gotham City's criminal underworld, evidenced by him forcing the imprisoned Captain Griggs to kiss his hand, and proudly refusing to shake Monster T's hand upon meeting him. Joker also uses sexuality to intimidate and unnerve his victims, sitting on Griggs' lap and stroking him, as well as calling Monster T a "handsome hunka hunka" when he offered Harley to him. Joker also has a penchant for flamboyancy, lavishness and extravagance, evident in him complementing his bleached white skin with dyed green hair, red lipstick, and black eye-liner (giving himself the appearance of a fearsome clown); his bright and flashy Jokermobile (in stark contrast to his archnemesis' Batmobile), as well as the outrageous outfits that Joker sometimes has his goons wear: one of them sporting a goat's head mask, another wearing a mask of a giant eyeball, another in a full-body panda suit, and yet another dressed up in a mockery Batman outfit.Despite his psychopathic malevolence, on some level, Joker seems to reciprocate Harley Quinn's strong romantic love and infatuation in his own twisted way (possibly due to her being one of the extremely few people to rival his own psychopathy, with him thus feeling a kindred spirit in her), being exceptionally distressed after losing her (drawing a black smile around his mouth), being very possessive of her (promptly killing Monster T after the gangster made lustful remarks that she was a "bad bitch"), is desperate to rescue her from the clutches of Amanda Waller, is exuberant during their reunion, happily kissing and embracing his girlfriend, claiming that he would do anything for her, and willingly breaks into Belle Reve alongside his henchmen just to break her out. Despite these feelings he has still been known to physically abuse her and leave her for dead when backed into a corner (such as when he left her underwater to drown).
The only predictable aspect of the Joker's criminally insane psyche is his inherent unpredictability: Joker describes himself as "an idea, a state of mind, who executes [his] will according to [his] plan." Hence, given the chance, he will kill again and again, but the how, why, when, and whom he will kill cannot be anticipated, sometimes even by genius detectives like Batman and Commissioner Gordon. His reasons and methods are not necessarily random, but are so quixotic and impulsive they may very well be.
- Peak Human Condition: Joker, as a highly skilled and experienced supervillain, is in top physical condition (from frequent villainous escapades with his girlfriend Harley Quinn), with him, despite his relatively lean frame, being ripped like a mixed-martial-arts fighter, though he is not even near to Batman's level.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Joker is an extremely intelligent and formidable genius, able to go toe-to-toe with the tactical and detective genius Batman for years. Indeed, Joker also succeeds in catching Amanda Waller herself off-guard by unexpectedly sabotaging her helicopter (thus nearly succeeding in rescuing Harley Quinn), and later manages to break into Belle Reve supermax prison itself, finally freeing an exuberant Harley. Joker goes so far as to describe himself as "an idea, a state of mind, who executes [his] will according to [his] plan." Hence, his intellect extends itself to his tactical, strategic, deception, manipulative, escapology, leadership, and intimidation skills.
- Master Tactician: Joker, much like his archnemesis Batman, is an immensely formidable genius at planning and improvising criminal activities, despite his insanity being capable of sometimes impairing his higher thinking. While scheming, the Joker usually manages to stay one step ahead of the police, and sometimes even Batman himself, due to him being completely unpredictable. Hence, Joker was able to go toe-to-toe with and torment the tactical and detective genius Batman for years, and was ultimately able to somewhat gain the upper hand against his archnemesis by finally managing to trap and murder Batman's protegé Robin (though he notably had some assistance from Harley Quinn in this). Joker was also very nearly successful in his first attempt to rescue his girlfriend Harley Quinn, successfully learning how to disable her implanted ARGUS nano-bomb (by blackmailing Dr. Van Criss, who made them, via the kidnapping and torture of the latter's wife), after which he sabotaged Amanda Waller's helicopter (catching even the highly experienced government agent off-guard) and proceeded to attack her and the rest of the Suicide Squad, giving Harley the opening she needed to escape. Joker is also very skilled at coming up with effective contingency plans, notably seen when his Joker's gang goons successfully break into Arkham Asylum and release him (in a contingency attack planned and told to them by Joker himself beforehand), and when he swiftly comes up with an effective second way of freeing Harley Quinn (by personally breaking into Belle Reve supermax prison) after his first attempt is thwarted at the last second.
- Master Deceiver: Joker is a genius in the art of deception, which is what allowed him to easily trick the Van Criss Laboratories guard and enter the facility, as well as discreetly trick Monster T into saying the wrong thing to Joker's face about Harley, giving Joker an excuse to sadistically murder him.
- Master Manipulator: Joker is an expert at superbly getting into people's heads and manipulating them. He was able to slowly turn Dr. Harleen Quinzel, a young brilliant psychiatrist, into a homicidal maniac like himself, dubbed "Harley Quinn", and to swiftly make the lustful Monster T uncomfortable (by suggesting he sleep with Harley, after whom Monster T had been lusting), making him pathetically (and unsuccessfully) plead for his life after picking up on the Joker's angry sarcasm. This is one of the Joker's most effective weapons, as it especially aides him in gaining followers in his many loyal goons (who don't hesitate to break their leader out of Arkham Asylum), but is also useful for carrying out mental torture (notably forcing Dr. Van Criss to show him how to disable a nano-bomb).
- Master Escapologist: Joker is a genius at escaping unscathed in extremely dangerous situations, despite staggering odds, with him notably somehow escaping from his submerged Jokermobile before Batman dives underwater, and somehow surviving the explosion of the helicopter he was on, most likely due to somehow escaping from it just in time, without Harley Quinn or Amanda Waller noticing.
- Expert Leader: Joker, as a crime boss at the very top of Gotham City's criminal underworld (referred to as the criminal "King of Gotham City" by Amanda Waller), is a highly skilled and charismatic leader, inspiring fierce loyalty from all of his numerous Joker's gang goons, since even after he is imprisoned in Arkham Asylum, they organize an attack on the facility to break their leader out, and Joker tirelessly deploys them to discover the location of his girlfriend Harley Quinn, with great success.
- Expert Networker: Joker, as an exceptionally powerful and influential crime boss, superbly uses a dense network of professional and social contacts to further his criminal ambitions. As a result, Gotham City has a notably high level of corruption. He notably used these connections to discover the location of a secret black site prison (like Belle Reve), where Harley Quinn was being incarcerated.
- Expert Marksman: Joker is a highly skilled marksman, killing several Navy SEALs from the hijacked helicopter, when he and his his Joker's gang goons opened fire on the Suicide Squad, though he is far surpassed in accuracy and precision by Deadshot.
- Expert Intimidator: Joker, due to his exceptional capacity for heinous torture and murder, commands a very intimidating presence, enough to frighten low-level thugs (swiftly intimidating Monster T, forcing him to pathetically beg for his life after lusting after Harley Quinn) and make them work for him out of the sheer fear of what he would do to them if they refused. Joker effectively intimidates Captain Griggs (who instantly quiets down his outrageous rant in fear when Joker reveals himself) into telling him where Harley Quinn is, and easily intimidates Dr. Van Criss into telling him how to disable an implanted nano-bomb (by showing him a video feed of the latter's kidnapped and tortured wife). Indeed even some of his Joker's gang goons fear their leader, and maintains their fierce loyalty mainly out of a fear of what he would otherwise do to them. This the one quality that Joker and Batman have in common to an extent.
- Pathological Indomitable Will: Joker possesses an obliviousness to danger that makes him invulnerable to fear and intimidation, which are usually Batman's greatest weapons in combat. Hence, Joker does not fear death and will even threaten his own life to achieve his goal or make a point. This makes the Joker the Dark Knight's most formidable enemy. His beloved girlfriend Harley Quinn is the only known individual to rival Joker in this regard.
- Human Vulnerabilities: Joker's greatest weakness is that he is a human with no enhanced strength, speed, durability, or metahuman powers, therefore making him quite vulnerable to the physical attacks of stronger and more powerful opponents. However, this weakness of his is ultimately an insignificant one, since Joker always compensates for this extremely effectively with his brilliant and extremely unpredictable intellect, incredible escapology skills, pathological indomitable will and fearlessness, as well as the numerous Joker's gang goons at his disposal. Hence, Joker has been able to keep up with the stronger and more skilled combatant Batman for years, was able to somehow escape unscathed from his submerged Jokermobile without drowning, as well as from the exploded helicopter that Amanda Waller's forces destroyed (despite Jonny Frost, Dr. Van Criss, and all others aboard it perishing).
- Mental Illness: Joker's other great weakness is that his insanity occasionally impairs his higher thinking, though Joker almost always makes up for this with his tactical, strategic, and escapology skills.
- "I can't wait to show you my toys."
- Jokermobile: Joker utilizes an Infiniti G35 Vaydor is his personal stylized car, which reflects his flamboyant personality, as it is in stark contrast to the dark and armored Batmobile of his archnemesis.
- Purple phone: Joker's phone, given to Captain Griggs, who is forced to secretly deliver it to Harley Quinn, allowing Joker to communicate with his girlfriend via SMS.
- Colt Gold Cup Trophy: Joker sports a heavily customized Colt Gold Cup Trophy handgun. He carries it in a brown shoulder holster, and used it to kill Monster T.
- Norinco Type 56-1: Joker wielded a gold-plated rifle during his first attempt at rescuing Harley Quinn.
- Colt M4A1: Joker used a carbine when he successfully broke Harley Quinn out of Belle Reve.
- First live-action Joker to not receive any kind of disfigured smile or even an extended makeup smile and the the first-live action Joker to have tattoos on his body.
- There is a possible inconsistency with the death of Robin within the timeline. While it was confirmed Joker killed Robin in an interview with Zack Snyder, it was later revealed in Suicide Squad that Harley was also involved in Robin's murder. This, however, does not match up considering that at the time of Harley arriving at Arkham Asylum, the Joker already had his grill and "Damaged" tattoo, which according to David Ayer are the result of a brutal beat down Batman gave the Joker for the murder of Robin.
- This version of Joker appears to care about Harley Quinn more than his other iterations, appearing distressed without her, later attempting to save her from the clutches of Amanda Waller and being visibly upset when she falls out a helicopter.
- Unlike Romero's prankster, Nicholson's mobster and Ledger's anarchist, this version of the character is a contemporary gangster and a complete sadist.
- Director of Suicide Squad David Ayer admitted that he wished that he made the Joker the main villain of the movie.
- In promoting the film, this version of the Joker was added to the mobile version of DC's video game, Injustice: Gods Among Us, as two separate playable characters: "Suicide Squad The Joker Unhinged" based on his appearance in flashbacks while in Arkham, and "Suicide Squad The Joker" based on one of his present appearances in a suit.
- According to his bio, his favorite joke is Batman.
- On the ARGUS official website, he has his own file, however all his information is either unknown or redacted, except for his origin being Gotham City and aliases being "Clown Prince of Crime".
- Upon the film's release, despite that the film was panned by critics and audiences respectively, many praised Leto's performance, indicating that his performance as the Joker was "twisted, disturbing, frightening and colorful", however, the film received more negative criticism, criticizing the Joker's screen time.
- This is the first time that The Joker is not depicted as the main antagonist. In all of his cinematic incarnations, The Joker has appeared as the main antagonist.
Behind the Scenes
- According with Zack Snyder, the Joker was planned to appear in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, along with the Riddler. However, the idea was scrapped, and they were replaced by Anatoli Knyazev
- Jared Leto stayed in character even behind the scenes and sent his co-actors bizarre gifts, like a rat with a love letter for Margot Robbie, and bullets for Will Smith.
- Before Leto was cast as the Joker, many actors were speculated as possible Joker actors including Willem Dafoe, Ryan Gosling, Adrien Brody and Michael Fassbender. Ryan Gosling was reportedly offered the role, but turned it down.. Willem Dafoe was also considered as optional actor for the Joker back in 1989 for Tim Burton's Batman.
- In the preparation for the role process, Jared Leto met with imprisoned psychopaths, doctors and psychiatrists and explored gangster histories and his physical appearance was influenced by Mexican cartel bosses and Alejandro Jodorowsky. Like Heath Ledger, Leto spent his time alone but unlike Ledger, he listened to gospel music from the 20s and even read literature about shamanism.
- Joker in the DC Extended Universe is the sixth live-action incarnation of the character, following incarnations portrayed by Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Roger Stoneburner, Heath Ledger and Cameron Monaghan.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Suicide Squad Reveals Harley Quinn Was Involved In Robin's Murder
- ↑ Wolfman, Marv (2016). Suicide Squad: The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books.
- ↑ Suicide Squad: The Official Movie Novelization (9781785651670) - Amazon.com
- ↑ Zack Snyder Explains When Robin Died in the DC Extended Universe - io9
- ↑ Suicide Squad Director on Joker's 'Damaged' Tattoo & Robin Backstory - Screenrant
- ↑ Batman v Superman 'Came Close' to featuring The Riddler & The Joker - Screenrant
- ↑ http://www.denofgeek.us/movies/suicide-squad/241107/jared-leto-may-be-the-joker-in-the-suicide-squad
- ↑ http://screenrant.com/wtf-ways-joker-prepared-for-jared-leto/?view=all