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The Origin of The Joker (Well, one of them).

The Joker is one of the most popular, not just villains, but overall characters in the whole of the comic book universe. The Comic Corner look into the most recognised origin of "Mistah J".

The Joker was created by J Robertson, Bob Kane and Bill Finger, but the true creator is still a mystery… but that’s a story for another time. His first appearance in the DC universe was in Batman #1 Spring Edition. The Joker was originally inspired by Conrad Veidt’s character from The Man Who Laughs, which is shown by the very popular graphic novel, The Man Who Laughs.

Conrad Veidt in "The Man Who Laughs"

His origin is one of the haziest and uncertain of all comic book characters. This is detailed specifically in The Killing Joke, where The Joker says “Something like that happened to me you know. I’m not exactly sure what it was. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another. If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice. Ha ha ha!”. This shows that even The Joker himself is unsure about how he came to be, but I guess it’s more fun not knowing exactly what we are dealing with.

In The Killing Joke “The Joker” is pressured into committing a crime as Red Hood, which he begrudgingly accepts. During the heist, Batman shows up and causes him to fall into a vat of acid which disfigures his face. That, couple with the accidental death of his pregnant wife, was enough to set him bat shit crazy. The Joker was born.

Nobody really knows The Joker’s real name, but a widely accepted name is Jack Napier. This is the name he is referred to in the 1989 Batman film, and Batman: The Animated Series. The Joker was originally intended to be killed off after the first issue, but Whitney Ellsworth declared that he wished the character to be spared. And what a fantastic decision that was!

The Joker is easily one of my favourite ever comic book characters. The complexity of his persona is commendable and whoever truly did think up the idea for this iconic villain, should be celebrated for creating the worlds most popular super villain.

If you would like us to cover some alternative versions of The Joker’s origins, let us know in the comment section!

Thank you for reading.