The Red Hood, Joseph Kerr, Trompe Mercury
Acid Flower Body: Incredible intensity acid
Electric Joy Buzzer: Amazing electrical generation (contact only)
Joker Venom Ring: Remarkable intensity Poison Touch
Tommy Gun: Remarkable shooting damage
Performer: Actor, Engineering, Martial Arts A and C, Chemistry
Arkham Asylum, Underworld, Neron’s Council, Injustice Gang, Harley Quinn
Sometimes the Joker will remember his past in pieces, yet even those pieces are said to be fabricated by his twisted psyche. The most popular version of his past portrays him as a poverty stricken ex-lab worker of Ace Chemicals, with a pregnant wife named Jeannie. This nameless ex-lab worker tried his hand at stand up comedy but miserably failed so he desperately looked into a payroll robbery to support his wife and soon to be born baby. While meeting with two thugs, who needed his knowledge of the Ace Chemical Company layout in order to break into the Monarch Playing Card Company next door, the failed comedian was informed by two police officers that his wife was killed in a freak electrocution accident. At this point he wanted out of the robbery, but his conspirators would not let him. They told him to meet them outside of the chemical plant later that night around eleven and to dress in a suit and bow tie. This type of dress was specifically needed to complete the guise of The Red Hood, a masked robber who had been plaguing Gotham City for weeks. When the nameless person who was to become the Joker showed up for the robbery just outside the Ace Chemical Plant, his two crooked cohorts gave him a red, faceless, metallic hood, with a red cape attached.
With the exception of the Red Hood costume, the previous details are unconfirmed to be the true backstory of the Joker. According to eyewitness accounts by Police and The Batman, the following is the only confirmed part of the Joker`s history before his career as Gotham City`s most infamous citizen. The Red Hood and his two men were cutting through the Ace Chemical Processing Plant to reach the Monarch Playing Card Company on the other side, when from on a high catwalk, a police officer told them to freeze. Ignoring his order, the Red Hood and his men made a run for it. The two accomplices of the Red Hood were shot and instantly killed, thus eliminating the only two people who might have ever known the true identity of the man who was to become the Joker. The police officers on the scene would have shot The Red Hood dead but then Batman intervened and ordered them to hold their fire. Even though he was fairly new in Gotham City, the police officers stopped shooting as Batman went after the then frantic Red Hood. During his brief confrontation with the Red Hood, Batman remarked that he had actually encountered the Red Hood before. Not wanting to risk capture, the Red Hood dived into the nearby river where chemical wastes from the plant were directly dumped out. With the Red Hood helmet`s breathing apparatus enabling him to breathe underwater, he swam away under the surface of the river, to safety on the nearby shore. When he next saw his reflection, he was driven insane by his altered appearance. It seemed that the chemical vapors from the river had turned his hair green, his lips red, and his skin chalk white. The Joker was born.
Soon after the Joker had debuted, terrorizing and killing some of Gotham`s wealthiest citizens. He constantly taunted police with recordings warning them of his crimes. Using a poison called Joker Venom, the Joker was able to make his victims laugh themselves to death and die with a permanent smile etched on their faces. He also used weapons disguised in the form of novelty items such as gas or acid squirting lapel flowers. Stymieing Lieutenant James Gordon and the rest of the GCPD, Gordon called in his new ally Batman to solve the problem. After a few encounters, the Dark Knight finally captured the Joker, officially starting an ongoing war with his greatest foe.
It was around Batman`s third official case involving the Joker, that the Clown Prince of Crime trapped his masked foe in an explosion in the middle of the freezing wilderness. Wandering off while thinking that he had finally accomplished the death of Batman, the Joker`s mind snapped and he was driven “sane”. The Joker blew up his current hideout and underwent cosmetic surgery to obtain a normal physical appearance. Assuming the name of Joseph Kerr, the Joker started living in Gotham as a quiet and good hearted citizen and even proposing marriage to a neighbor woman he had fallen in love with. The retirement was short lived when the Joker personality eventually bubbled back up to the surface and took over once again as the dominate personality and his ongoing conflict with the Dark Knight resumed without either Batman or even the Joker himself knowing or remembering Joseph Kerr.
Over the years the Harlequin of Hate would gain a reputation as Batman`s most frequent and dangerous foe. After every capture at Batman`s hands, the Joker would be imprisoned by the authorities in Arkham Asylum, home for the criminally insane. The Joker`s schemes would range from ordinary bank robberies, murder, extortion, kidnapping, or anything else to amuse himself. Usually they would revolve around a weird twist or theme, such as trying to copyright fish that he had used Joker Venom to put his own distinctive smile on.
Eventually the Joker would brave the world outside of Gotham City and match wits with other heroes or costumed characters just for the fun and challenge. Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Aztek, Deathstoke, and others have faced off with him. He even got to encounter the murderous Punisher when Frank Castle came for a visit to Gotham City in pursuit of his old foe, Jigsaw. The Joker has taken on teams too, having faced the JLI, and a few versions of the JLA. On one encounter with one of the earlier incarnations of the JLA, the ace of knaves fiendishly tricked the JLA`s then current handyman, Snapper Carr, into revealing the secret location of the JLA`s secret cavern headquarters and then the villain exposed this information to the world! While possessing no superhuman abilities, the Joker was still able to wreck major havoc for the premier superteam.
When facing his regular opponent back home in Gotham, the Joker has found many opportunities to unmask or even kill the Dark Knight Detective. However, the Joker sometimes passes up the chance to expose Batman`s true identity or permanently do away with him. The Joker has developed an obsession with Batman so great that the ongoing attention and challenge the Joker gets out of his scuffles with his old foe is much more satisfying to him than simply defeating Batman. In short, the Joker loves to let Batman survive with his secret identity intact to face the masked manhunter again and again.
While passing on many opportunities to kill Batman, the Joker sees his allies as expendable pawns. Dick Grayson`s career as the first Robin was abruptly halted when the Joker shot him through the shoulder during an attempted rooftop getaway. Grayson`s serious wounding prompted Batman to take him out of the role of Robin rather than expose him to danger any longer. About a year later, the Joker shot Barbara Gordon, A.K.A. Batgirl, through the spine, paralyzing her for life. After that, the madman stripped her and photographed her naked and bloody body. The Joker later on forced Commissioner James Gordon to view the pictures in an attempt to drive Gordon as insane as his very own self. After rescuing Gordon from Joker`s clutches, a brutal struggle occurred between the clown and the bat. When the fight reached an end Batman chose to talk to his adversary about helping him to rehabilitate, something that they had never discussed before. Calmly declining his offer of help, the Joker decided to tell Batman a joke and for a brief moment in their lives the two opponents laughed together like old friends, somehow sensing that this was the only time in their long war that they would ever be able to do something of that sort.
Just weeks later the Joker escaped Arkham Asylum and their bitter struggle resumed. This time, the maniacal madman fled straight to the middle east with a cruise missile that he had acquired from a foreign connection. Batman and the second Robin, Jason Todd, caught up with him as he attempted to sell his nuclear weapon to a group of terrorists. After the deal went sour, the Joker fled again, this time to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he was blackmailing Sheila Haywood, Jason Todd`s biological mother. When Jason found out about his mother`s situation he pursued the Joker and Haywood to an remote warehouse. Upon arrival Jason revealed his identity to Haywood, and as Robin, Haywood delivered him right into the clutches of the Joker and his henchmen. The Joker brutally beat Robin with a crowbar, tied up Haywood next to a ticking bomb, and then left the two to die. Batman, who was previously preoccupied elsewhere, arrived just in time to see the warehouse explode, killing Jason and Haywood.
Meanwhile the in the midst of selling the stolen medical supplies that he had blackmailed Sheila for, the Joker was approached by members of the Iranian Government, who asked the Joker to be their ambassador to the United Nations. With the position came diplomatic immunity, therefore Batman could not take action against him for the murder of Jason Todd or any other crime he had committed in the past. Superman was even assigned to watch over Batman and prevent him from taking any action against the Joker and causing an international incident. When the Joker attempted to kill the entire U.N. assembly line, Batman and Superman finally were able to make a legal move against him. After the World`s Finest team had prevented the mass slaughter, the Joker escaped to a nearby waiting helicopter, manned by his Iranian accomplices with Batman in hot pursuit. When the helicopter took off with the Joker and the Batman fighting, one of the armed accomplices went into a panicked wildfire, killing the pilot wounding Batman and chest wounding the Joker. Batman bailed, leaving all other inhabitants of the out of control vehicle to crash on a nearby pier. Not even Superman could find the Joker`s body in the fiery remains.
Of course, the Joker did survive. Surviving apparent deadly endings was something he had become known for in the past and this time was no exception. While recovering from his bullet wounds, the Joker secretly manipulated Two-Face out of retirement by broadcasting messages over Two-Face`s radio and claiming to be his inner voice. Persuading him to go after Batman provided the Joker with amusement from his hospital bed, even though Two-Face never completed his goal of killing Batman.
For a while, the Joker remained in hiding. His bullet wounds that he received from the U.N. confrontation had made the Joker become mild and timid. Every once in a while he managed to step out of the house and commit crimes as the Red Hood, but to use his Joker persona was, to him, out of the question. When wealthy Curtis Base began to commit crimes disguised as the Joker, the real Joker came out of retirement to reclaim his reputation. After a brief encounter with his impostor, the Joker, Curtis Base, Commissioner Gordon, and the Batman all met at the Ace Chemical Plant for a final showdown. Base wanted to be the one true Joker and jumped into a vat of chemicals to make his wish come true. Unfortunately, the acid he jumped into was more corrosive than the one the real Joker had fallen into many years before, and as a result the acid ate away at Base. Immediately after, the Joker surrendered to Gordon and Batman, and after a few weeks back in Arkham Asylum was back to his old psychotic self.
About a year after that, the Joker took on the third Robin, Tim Drake, for the first time. Kidnapping and brainwashing a computer genius, the Joker wrecked havoc on the city`s online systems even going so far as to hacking into the Batcomputer. After a few twists and turns Robin defeated the Joker just in time for when Batman returned from an out of town case.
Even later on down the line the Joker led the Arkham Asylum inmates to freedom when Bane set them loose in his quest to break the Batman. The Joker was on the still loose for many months after the Bane broke Batman`s back. After a lengthy adventure reclaiming his identity of Batman, from his replacement, Jean Paul Valley, the Bruce Wayne Batman faced the Joker a few more times before finally managing to capture his foe. This time the current Gotham City D.A. put Joker on trial and sent him away to Death Row in Blackgate Prison, not Arkham Asylum. The madman was finally ruled sane enough to die in the electric chair, but ironically the crime the Joker was convicted of was the one of the few crimes he hadn`t committed. When the Batman found the true culprit, the Joker was sent back to his regular home, Arkham Asylum.
During No Man`s Land the Joker acquired a henchwoman, who was his ex-therapist at Arkham, Dr. Harleen Quinzel, A.K.A. Harley Quinn. During the last days of the NML the Joker kidnapped all the babies born during the year that Gotham had been cut off from the rest of the U.S.. While hiding away with them in the basement of the empty GCPD headquarters, Sarah Essen Gordon, James Gordon`s wife, attempted to arrest the Joker. The madman instead shot and killed her. When the Batman arrived on the scene he simply surrendered, having done enough damage that dark day.
The Joker most recently tricked Superman`s foe from the 5th Dimension, Mr. Mxyzptlk, to give him omnipotent power, which he used to rule over all time, space, and dimension as Emperor Joker. It took all that Superman had to put the mad ruler`s nightmarish reign to an end with very few people remembering Joker`s time as ruler supreme.
The Joker will use any and all weapons to take down an opponent, which is usually whatever he can get his hands on at the time. He is poor in physical combat, but can sometimes maneuver out of tight spots with hidden weapons and trickery. He trusts absolutely nobody, and will kill people just for the fun of it. The Joker is such an enigma, that even a master sleuth like the Batman doesn`t even know who his most evil foe really was before he became the most dangerous and unpredictable psychopath on the planet.