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.
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.
Who is the Joker?
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 theory is plausible and there’s a certain symmetry to three key Batman themes:
- The passing of the mantle from father to son. The point of Robin was always to become 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.
- Tragedy created them. The 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.
- 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 about who Joker is
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.