Jeremy enjoys gaming when not helping manage the college he graduated from.
You probably already know about the dastardly, absurd, dangerous menace that is The Joker, Batman's greatest nemesis. He's delighted fans with his malicious schemes from comic book to blockbuster film, and always seems to have the last laugh.
For a guy so willing to risk his life for his plans (he allows Harvey Dent the chance to kill him and wants Batman to), Joker often ends up escaping with not only his life but his freedom intact. So, read on to learn about Joker's five most heinous crimes! Of course, we're getting into some really dark stuff here, and spoilers for various Batman media ahead, so read with caution.
5. Joker Beats and Kills Jason Todd
For the uninitiated, Jason Todd is the second Robin, following in the footsteps of predecessor Dick Grayson. Like all the Robins, Jason worked alongside Batman to counter crime throughout Gotham. That is, until Joker kidnapped him, brutally beat him with a crowbar, and let him die in an exploding building.
The worst part? Fans wanted this. DC held a poll after Joker first kidnapped Todd to determine whether Joker should kill him or not, and the majority offed poor Jason.
The one silver lining is that Ra's Al Ghul revives Jason through the use of the life-resurrecting Lazarus Pit, and even then, Jason's trauma and instability convince many fans he was better off dead.
4. Joker Skins His Own Henchman
Let's get one thing straight. Joker is not a good partner for the lovestruck Harley Quinn, who only seeks his praise and adoration despite his constant abuse of her. That said, in 2008's graphic novel, simply called Joker, he (freshly released from prison after somehow convincing the doctors of his sanity) gets peeved after hearing a henchman of his, Monty, has hired Harley to work at a strip club.
Monty's punishment? Joker skins the poor man, then lets his mutilated and naked body die onstage for others to see—a slow and cruel death, even for a criminal.
3. Joker Literally Throws a Baby to Distract and Kill Sarah Gordon
Long story short, Sarah was Commissioner Gordon's second wife, and a skilled detective (she successfully deduced Batman's identity as Bruce Wayne). Sadly, she meets her untimely end when she confronts the Joker in a warehouse after he kidnapped dozens of babies.
Sarah and Joker both thought to bring guns to their little playdate. So what does Joker do? Toss an infant at her, causing her to instinctively drop her weapon and catch the baby, leaving Joker free to shoot and murder her. The panel you see above is Joker leaving the scene as the kids crawl around a dark warehouse with a bleeding corpse.
Joker doesn't even seem to respect Sarah, as he's not offering one of his trademark laughs as he departs. Not only did he murder her, but he also writes her off as unworthy of his attention. How much more twisted can you get?
2. Joker Rapes His Own Henchman's Wife
Again, 2008's Joker graphic novel showcases another psychotic side of Joker. Early on in the story, Joker takes a liking to henchman Jonny Frost, especially after the man saves Joker's life in a skirmish.
However, Harvey Dent (at the time, an enemy of Joker) meets with Frost and warns him Joker is not to be trusted and will kill him. When Joker later learns of this, rage consumes him, and he reasons that Jonny "cheated" on him by not revealing his meeting with Dent. So to "make us even", Joker rapes Frost's wife.
We've all known Joker as a thief, torturer, and murderer, but many fans are surprised to learn he's also a rapist.
Want to hear more of the twisted things Joker did in this comic?
- Skinned Monty
- Slashed Harvey Dent's wrist using glass embedded in his finger
- Held his own henchman (Jonny) hostage and shot him
- Murdered one of Killer Croc's minions for absolutely no reason other than feeling like it
Yea, this was one heck of a messed up story.
1. Joker Paralyzes Barbara Gordon and Tortures Jim Gordon
One of the most famous graphic novels (and now animated films) of all time, The Killing Joke also features a Joker fresh out of prison. His first move? Find Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), shoot and paralyze her, then kidnap and torture her father with the intention of driving him insane.
Though Joker's plan ultimately fails (the Commissioner retains his sanity), Batgirl became permanently paralyzed from the waist down. Additionally, fans debate the meaning of certain panels of the comic, as after Joker shoots Barbara, he takes off her clothes, and photographs her in various states of pain and undress. He uses these photos to psychologically torture Commissioner Gordon, and some take the pictures as evidence Joker sexually assaulted Barbara (beyond taking off her clothes).
Whether he did or didn't, this was truly a monstrous act, one that possibly stirs Batman to kill Joker in the purposefully ambiguous ending of the novel.
Future of The Joker
While fans have had mixed reception to Joker's reimagining in movie Suicide Squad, Gotham's Clown Prince remains one of the most popular villains of all time, and DC will no doubt release more delightfully, dark and twisted Joker content for fans to enjoy.
In the meantime, cast your vote for Joker's most heinous act, and I'll see you at our next DC countdown!
© 2017 Jeremy Gill
Daiana Gauna on July 13, 2018:
I was going to vote but couldn't decide which act was more horrendous! Great hub!
hitmonsam on June 02, 2017:
Dang, harder to root for the bad guy when you know all the messed up stuff he's done. Good job!