Joker is perhaps one of the most famous villains, not only in comic books but also in pop culture. The much-loved character went through a lot of changes regarding his appearance and story of origin. These changes, or rather uncertain traits, make him unique.
He is not a trickster; he decides to take on a certain persona to mask the darkness that fills his psyche. His looks may fool many but he is far from being a mere clown, for his signature 'ear to ear' grin will send chills down the most courageous being.
He is not born a psychopath as he did not want to kill anyone only for the joy of killing. Rather, he wanted to have precise objectives before taking a move.
Difference from the comic books to movies
Nearly all the Jokers in the comic books would steal money for funding his criminal activities but in the movies, his priority always remained to burn Gotham to the ground. The anarchy of Joker makes him stand out from his contemporaries.
The comic book character gives instant reactions and is rather whimsical while the one in the movies seems to take every step after a lot of decision making. The only common thing between the two is their obsession with Batman. Batman takes justice too seriously and Joker likes to meddle with Batman in his every step.
"Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos", the quote from 2008's blockbuster The Dark Knight sums up the Joker and his menace.
Although carving out Joker's backstory has been a controversial move in the history of comics, several writers have explored this territory. However, here is one constant in all the comics, cartoons, and movies, which is that the Joker may remember the past differently at times, and might deliberately invent stories based on whom he is talking to, just so that he can manipulate them.
Origin stories of Joker
• In "The man behind the red hood", Joker is described as a criminal named "Red Hood" who stole from the Monarch playing card company wearing a red hood and by swimming under the surface of the pool of chemical wastes. Returning home, the criminal was horrified that the chemicals made his skin chalk white, his hair green, and his lips red. After that, he embraced his new look and became the Joker.
• In "Batman: the killing joke" the Joker is portrayed to be a nameless lab worker who left his job at the Chemicals plant to be a stand-up comedian. Desperate for money, he agrees to help a couple of criminals break into the chemical company. Immediately things go wrong and Batman shows up. Hoping to escape, the man jumps into the nearby lake, not realizing chemicals have been illegally dumped there. Emerging later to see that he now looks like a clown.
• Tim Burton's movie Batman put forth that the Joker was originally gangster Jack Napier, a vain sociopath with an interest in chemistry and art who also, as it turns out, killed Bruce Wayne's parents. An encounter with Batman at Ace Chemicals leads to his bleached skin, but it is a wound he suffers during a battle with the dark knight (along with back alley surgery) that results in him having a permanent smile. Viewing the experience as a rebirth, he decides to rebrand himself as a homicidal performance artist who will destroy Gotham across the board.
• In the "Lovers and Madman" Batman and an accomplished bank robber named Jack, confront each other and the fight quickly escalates. Jack attempts to flee, Batman throws a Batarang that winds up cutting across his face. After that, the mobsters take Jack to the Green Pharmaceutical plant and beat him up. In the chaos, the plant's machines are activated and a chemical mixture is poured down onto Jack.
• In "The House of Hush", a little boy named Sonny, gets abducted by a gangster team and being kept as an aide in his home. He is constantly abused and molested by Sallie Guzzo. Many years later, the Joker kills Sallie Guzzo, repeating words the mobster once told Sonny. When later asked on Twitter if Sonny was meant to be the Joker in this very dark tale, writer Paul Dini simply said, "Yes."
• In "Batman: Zero Year", a criminal called Red Hood leads a whole gang of red masked people on crime sprees across Gotham months before Bruce Wayne adopts the Batman identity. Red Hood feels a connection to Bruce Wayne, claiming he was affected by the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne, and his foster parents were murdered the night by their neighbours. According to Joker, all these events made him the king of Chaos over the years.
Actors who have the Joker
Only six actors have portrayed the Joker in TV and movies.
- Cesar Romero was the first actor to play the iconic villain in the original "Batman" series in 1966.
- Jack Nicholson played the first theatrical iteration of the clown prince in 1989's "Batman.
- Cameron Monaghan played Joker in Fox network's "Gotham"
- Heath Ledger became the first actor in almost 20 years to play the iconic character on screen in 2008's "The Dark Knight."
- Jared Leto played a cameo incarnation of the Joker in 2016's "Suicide Squad."
- Joaquin Phoenix is playing a tragic figure in "Joker" released in 2019.
Interesting facts about joker
- As long as there is Batman, there would be Joker.
Mosquitos shouldn't sip from the Joker because of the Joker Venom, his favorite weapon.
The origin story of his iconic smile differs but it is commonly known as Glasgow smile.
The Joker has an extraordinarily high pain threshold.
He is totally immune to fear gas.
The Joker was inspired by the character of Gwynplaine in a silent film called The Man Who Laughs.
In one version, he cut his own face off and stapled it back on to his now exposed and raw facial musculature.
Joker can heal himself at an accelerated rate.
Spectre is the Spirit of Vengeance and it took Joker as its host who was able to superpower it with its own mind.
Joker suffers from 'Super Sanity' which forces him to fit different personality on different situations.
Famous quotes of Joker
- "Why so serious?"
"Let's put a smile on that face!"
"The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules. And tonight, you're gonna break your one rule."
"I believe… whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you…stranger."
"Introduce a little anarchy, upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos, I'm an agent of chaos, and you know the thing about chaos? It's fair."
"All it takes is one bad day."
"I am different. Fuck your opinion."
"We stopped checking for monsters under our bed when we realized they were inside us."
Nobody panics when things go according to the plan". Even if the plan is horrifying
Give a man a mask and he will become his true self.
As you know madness is like gravity. All it takes is a little push.
They laugh at me because I'm different. I laugh at them because they're all the same.
All it takes is one bad day.
You can't sell dreams to someone who has walked through nightmares.
Smile because it confuses people. Smile, because it's easier than explaining what is killing you inside.
- Bold, devastating and utterly beautiful, Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix have not just reimagined one of the most iconic villains in cinema history, but reimagined the comic book movie itself.
-Terri White, Empire
- The comic-book villain as Method psycho, a troublemaker so intense in his cuckoo hostility that even as you're gawking at his violence, you still feel his pain.
-Owen Gleiberman, Variety
- Joker gives its infamous central character a chillingly plausible origin story that serves as a brilliant showcase for its star – and a dark evolution for comics-inspired cinema.
-Rotten tomatoes (7.64/10)
- 70 out of 100 based on 28 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews"
- Gloriously daring and explosive for creating an original story.
-Xan Brooks, The Guardian
- Joker is the boldest and most exciting superhero movie since The Dark Knight.
-David Ehlrich, Indiewire
Joker Movie Business
- Batman the movie (1966) – US$1.7 million
- Batman (1989) – US$411.5 million
- Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) – US$5.8 million
- The Dark Knight (2008) – US$1.005 billion
- Suicide Squad (2016)- US$746.8 million
- The Lego Batman Movie (2017) – US$312 million