When DC announced its plans to reveal The Joker’s true identity, the news divided fans. Here’s who we think The Joker is…

Some fans were ecstatic to discover who the man behind the smile really is, while others lambasted the decision saying it’s unnecessary. Naturally, the rumour mill turned into Hate City as fans fought over the legitimacy of theories.

A popular opinion is the Joker being revealed as Joe Chill, but to be honest that’s the lazy and too obvious route. Another theory is that the Joker is Batman who’s travelled back in time – possible, but more Flash than Batman. The correct answer, however, might be even closer to Batman (no, not Alfred) than we think.

The Joker

Who’s the Joker?

Don’t be surprised if Justice League #50 reveals the Joker to be none other than Willis Todd, Jason Todd’s father. In the New Earth origin, Jason’s an orphan whose father, Willis, was a petty crook supposedly murdered by Two-Face. Through the different variations and multiple Batman storylines over the years, it’s possible that Harvey Dent’s transformation took place before the Joker was birthed, making it highly probable that Willis did work for him at some point. But we don’t know for certain if Two-Face did actually kill Willis – this is never shown.

So how does this story tie in with what we know about the Joker? If you look at the Joker’s origin in The Killing Joke, he’s an unsuccessful stand-up comedian who’s desperate to support his wife and unborn child (Jason?). As a result, he agrees to help two criminals (hired by Two-Face?) break into a chemical plant where he formerly worked. His wife finds out and convinces him to back out of the plan. However, just as he’s about to inform the criminals he wasn’t going through with it, he finds out that his wife and unborn child died in an accident (but did they really die?). Stricken with grief and strong-armed by the criminals, he dresses as the Red Hood and goes into the ACE Chemicals plant to pull off the heist. It’s there that he encounters Batman and falls into a vat of chemicals, becoming the Clown Prince of Crime.

The Joker


The theory is plausible and there’s a certain symmetry to three key Batman themes:

  1. The passing of the mantle from father to son. The point of Robin was always to become the Batman at some point. Yet, Jason Todd never got the opportunity nor was he seen as the true chosen one to inherit the cowl. In terms of the Joker though, he did inherit something: his costume and original persona. He became his father.
  2. Tragedy created them. Tragedy created Batman, who created the Joker, who created Jason Todd/Red Hood. If none of these tragedies had occurred, none of these men would become who they were. They’re brought together by fate and a series of interconnected events.
  3. Jason’s life has been one big mystery. He never really knew his father, then found out his mother wasn’t his real mother either. His history is a bit of blur and not quite certain. Remind you of someone?

The biggest hint

Possibly the biggest clue of the Joker’s identity lies in Red Hood/Arsenal #11 where Joker’s Daughter speaks to Red Hood about “their father”, implying that the Joker created them. While it’s more of a symbolic reference than anything else, it did raise the question: Did DC just drop the biggest hint of the Joker’s origin yet? I guess we’ll have to wait until Justice League #50 to be absolutely sure.

Do you think you know who the Joker is? Let us know in the comments section.

Jared-Leto-The Joker

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  1. This is a bit confusing as they have revealed his identity quite a few times, the one animated movie Batman – Mark of the Phantasm he was one of the henchmen and then in another arc he was the original red hood and was one of Bruce Waynes best friends, so i have no clue why fans would be upset.

  2. James Tucker

    Turns out their Joker is Thomas Wayne Jr, Bruce’s older , criminally insane brother, who was committed when Bruce was a toddler. They Wayne’s murders never gave them their chance to tell Bruce about him.

  3. But Smuroh,
    Mask of the Phantasm is not in comic continuity so that is invalidated.

    The Red Hood angle has been there since the 1940s as elaborated upon in The Killing Joke but that was retconned into Joker being the head of the Red Hood Gang (see Batman: Zero Year) in the New 52.

    Now where have you heard the “childhood friend” theory?
    As the only childhood friend I know of is Hush but he’s still Hush – so who is this previously hereto unknown “best friend”?

  4. This has been bugging me so badly.. I really must know who the Joker REALLY is! One theory suggests him being Batman’s long lost brother, and son of Alfred pennyworth.. sounds interesting, but I’m glad DC will finally release the true identity of Joker.

  5. @Spencer I’m sure it was in Batman: Under the Red Hood but hey i could be wrong its been a while, and if movies are invalidated then there is no point in it, why would they create a movie and then say nope that’s not a valid joker. There are so many story arcs that are in and then out of circulation and they will most probably do it to this arc too.

    I have a feeling I’m wrong though.

  6. Kevin Lodge

    I have a theory. In Flashpoint, it was Bruce that was killed and Thomas Wayne became Batman and his mom became Joker. What if, in the normal timeline, Thomas Wayne survived the gunshot but was driven crazy and became the Joker?

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