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I can feel someone… a few layers deep. Pacing, like an animal in a cage. Just looking for something to start it…
~ John hints at the monster within himself.

John Doe is a major character in the Telltale Batman games and the villainous/anti-heroic main antagonist of the second season. He is an interpretation of the Joker, but unlike most other depictions, "John" is shown to be a sympathetic and insecure man who is looking for direction in his life, and has not yet turned into the homicidal madman the Joker is generally portrayed as. By the end of the second season's 4th episode, John will either fully embrace his inner demons and become a supervillain, or he will decide to become a vigilante and battle who he perceives as villains in Gotham City. 

He is voiced by Anthony Ingruber.

History

Batman: The Telltale Series

John is first introduced to the audience (and Bruce Wayne) in Episode 4 of the first season, being an inmate of Arkham Asylum who does not remember his past or who he is, and not even any of the doctors know the truth.

He appears an outwardly friendly and laid-back man, but one who also possesses a violent and savage side as well, as shown when he viciously beats down two inmates threatening Bruce Wayne. The two connect whilst both being imprisoned at Arkham, John revealing some facts about Vicki Vale's past that Bruce previously did not know (such as her having been born Victoria Arkham).

John agrees to help Bruce escape from Arkham in exchange for a favor, which Bruce can choose to promise to grant or not. Either way, John helps Bruce get out of Arkham. However, to do this he makes fellow inmate Zsasz try and murder another patient. Bruce can either save the patient or use a phone to ensure his release. Regardless of the choice, John still assists Bruce in finding Vicki by informing him to locate her parents.

He later shows up in Episode 5 gleefully witnessing the battle between Batman and the Children of Arkham's forces before then appearing in the very last scene in the fifth episode, now out of Arkham.

Batman: The Enemy Within

Come Season 2, it is revealed that John has been released from Arkham and listed Bruce as his emergency contact. He later meets with Bruce at Lucius Fox's funeral and tries to call in the favor Bruce owes him. He also reveals that he's fallen in with some "interesting people" who turn out to be the group of criminals Bruce is after called "The Pact".

Using his "friendship" with John, Bruce tries to get into the Pact, with John being Bruce's primary supporter (especially if Bruce continues to treat him well). In Episode 3 of Season 2, John helps Bruce and Catwoman break into Riddler's now abandoned lair looking for information on how to get into his laptop (which Harley has possession of and wants to decrypt).

During this adventure, John shows a willingness to beat officer Harvey Bullock with a crowbar if Bruce does not intervene, and later, when Bruce and John have drinks together outside a coffee shop, John admits that he can feel "someone" inside him that is trying to get out. The words John uses in describing this "someone" makes it clear that it is a darker and more violent side of him, one that Bruce can urge him to suppress (or not). As Batman, he can also meet with John Doe and teach him how to throw a Batarang (but only if John has gotten Harley's laptop for him and not Catwoman).

Later, when both Bruce and Catwoman are in hot water with The Pact, John urges Bruce to give up Catwoman to save himself, which Bruce can choose to do or not do. Afterward, John alongside the other Pact members storms Bodhi Spa. John will assist Bruce/Batman against Bane and Mr. Freeze during the battle (and, if Batman earlier taught him how to throw a Batarang, will do so). However, during the chaos, Harley Quinn flees, leaving John Doe behind.

Heartbroken by this, John escapes himself, returning the Pact's hideout to drown his sorrows. However, when Harley Quinn returns and discovers that the Agency was there without John knowing, she punches him in the face and leaves in disgust. Bruce and Agent Avesta then stumble upon the distraught John Doe, who lashes out at Bruce for his advice and despairing over how he's lost everything: The Pact, his dreams, and Harley. However, Bruce (whether forcefully or with genuine empathy), convinces John that they have a common enemy in Harley and that they need to stop her together. John then goes to find Harley on his own.

Later, John tells Bruce his location, and Bruce goes to see him. Once at the abandoned carnival funhouse, he discovers dead Agency members; John killed them, and his story of killing them in self-defense has numerous holes in it. Should Bruce choose to believe him anyway, John happily embraces him, reaffirming their friendship. They then go off to stop Harley together.

On the other hand, if Bruce doesn't believe him, a heartbroken John vows revenge and runs off, intending to help Harley and now hostile to Bruce.

If John and Bruce leave together, he helps stop Harley Quinn on the bridge by pretending to be there to help her, only to disarm her of the bomb trigger and Lotus Virus vial. Harley angrily condemns him and vows revenge, but John has at last seen that Harley does not truly love him. Amanda Waller congratulates John Doe for his efforts and then demands that he hand over the Lotus Virus. John refuses, believing that no one should have it. Waller then coldly pulls a gun on John and tries to kill him. This sends John into a rage, and he detonates the bombs on the bridge, stabs Amanda Waller, and vows that he and Batman together will bring the corrupt Agency to justice and that it will be "so much fun".

Three weeks later, John Doe emerges as a Batman-inspired wannabe vigilante calling himself "Joker". At first still friendly to Batman and actively helping him against Waller and her flunkies, when Batman and Amanda Waller blackmail each-other into an impasse, an enraged Joker goes berserk and attacks. The situation escalates into a chaotic rooftop battle with Joker on one side, Batman on another, and Amanda Waller's forces (including a coerced Bane, Harley, and Catwoman), trying to take down both. Joker ultimately detonates more bombs, and in the chaos escapes with Amanda Waller as a hostage.

Taking her to Ace Chemicals, Joker tries to get Amanda Waller to confess to murdering Riddler (a crime she had herself tried to pin on him), but she's innocent; it's actually Tiffany Fox who is responsible. But now out of control and lost in a vigilante-minded fervor, Joker snaps completely and tries to kill Waller anyway alongside Tiffany Fox, Batman intervening to stop him. Feeling betrayed and declaring himself a fool for having believed in Batman and his way of doing things, Joker savagely murders multiple Agency members and engages Batman in a brutal fight that ends with Joker defeated and Batman too injured to get up. Joker asks Batman if he ever considered himself Joker's friend and if he enjoyed what they had together; Batman can either say yes or no.

(If John rushes off to get to Harley, Bruce goes to the bridge alone as Batman. John then shows up in a truck and intercepts him and Harley, saving the latter and retreating with her into the waters below the bridge after blowing it up with homicidal relish. / If John and Bruce leave together, John ask's Bruce if he can help out with taking down Harley, if Bruce says no John takes the detonator off Harley and blows up the bridge)

Weeks later, John resurfaces, now calling himself "The Joker" and sporting a more colorful appearance. He cuts open policeman Harvey Bullock and stuffs an explosive into his belly, and then later interrupts a board meeting at Wayne Enterprises. He and Harley unleash a toxic gas made from the Lotus Virus that kills everyone in Wayne Enterprises except for Bruce Wayne (including Regina Zellerbach, who Harley personally murders with her hammer). From there, Joker and Harley detonate yet more bombs, and reveal that they have several more hidden throughout Gotham that will be detonated unless their demands are met.

However, all of this was merely a ploy on Joker's part; he cares about Bruce Wayne and paradoxically seeks to destroy him but also be his constant nemesis as a means of having his friend in his life. He cares not for Harley's agenda, and in fact cuts a secret deal with Gordon to tell him where the remaining bombs are if Gordon will give him Batman. Gordon agrees to it, and Batman is brought down by Joker and his men when trying to rescue Gordon.

Stripping Batman of his armor and utility belt and throwing him in the same funhouse where Bruce first lost John's trust, he forces Bruce and those of his other friends and loved ones who Joker has kidnapped (Selina Kyle, Alfred Pennyworth, Tiffany Fox), into a sadistic game of cat-and-mouse where he needles all of them over their past mistakes and the things they are most guilty of. However, Bruce turns the tables by exposing Joker's treachery to Harley, which sends her into a rage. In the chaos, Bruce frees himself and Selina, and a fight breaks out. Harley is defeated and Joker flees, with Bruce in pursuit. Whether Bruce tries to reason with Joker or not, the latter attacks him in a deranged fury, but ultimately loses the battle. Seemingly dead, Joker is given CPR by Bruce, and then asks Bruce why he saved them, and Bruce may answer from a few different choices. Joker then asks Batman if he ever considered himself Joker's friend and if he enjoyed what they had together; Batman can either say yes or no. If yes, Joker will stab him and say that he hopes that, whenever Bruce sees that scar, he will remember their "good times".

After the endgame credits, John is seen back in Arkham Asylum. What he does inside his cell depends on Bruce's final choices with Joker and Alfred.

  • Villain Joker: John sits on a bed and played with a doll of Bruce.
    • Consider John as a Friend: John draws a smile on the doll Bruce's face.
    • Consider John as an Enemy: John burns the doll.
  • Vigilante Joker:
    • Consider John as a Friend: Bruce visits John after the latter's imprisonment, much to John's delight.
    • Consider John as an Enemy: John stays beside the window and waits for Batman to present.
      • Keep the mantle of Batman: John sees the Batman from far away and laughs.
      • Give up the mantle of Batman: John becomes angry that the Batman never appears.

Quotes

You got to be more careful, Bruce… some of these guys bite.
~ John Doe.
You got some real nerve, you know that, buddy? Remember the café? "Just be yourself, John!" Then I stuck my neck out for you. Way out! Bane nearly ripped by head out! And for what? She flew the coop! And I have nothing! You steered me wrong and every turn! Every bad piece of advice… Everything blew up in my face!
~ John gets angry at Bruce Wayne.
*Laughing* I know you can fight better than that! Or do you need your Batsuit, to really get you in the mood? You forget I know you Bruce, the real you, always hiding behind some kinda mask. Playboy, businessman, criminal… Bat!
~ John revealing his knowledge of Bruce Wayne's secret identity.
We're two threads in the same stitch, remember? Bound together, even under strain.
~ John talking about his relationship with Bruce.
You could have prevented everything. Instead, you made me into this!
~ John becomes a villain.
You and me. You and me, we're gonna hunt them down together. You're all going to pay for your crimes! Batman and I, we're going to bring you ALL to justice! It's going to be so much fun!
~ John becomes a vigilante.
Bruce!! Buddy! What's it been? A week? Two weeks? Sorry I didn't call sooner. I've had to stay low. Real low. Like, underground. Every time I pop up Waller's idiots are there, and they don't seem to care whether they bring me in alive. I gave her Harley--the girl of my DREAMS--on that bridge, and what did I get for thanks? Waller tried to shoot me! The only thing she cares about is getting this virus back, and that ain't happening. Well, I'm sick of keeping out of sight. I put together a little crew. It's time to get things moving again. Our plan. To bring them all to justice. I want you to be there to see it! Today, I'm gonna make Waller and the Agency wish they never messed with us. Our fight starts now, Batman!
~ Vigilante Joker's voice message.
One thing I've learned from watching you. Violence solves.. a lot of problems!
~ Vigilante Joker talking with Batman.
I guess that's it. I really wanted to be a hero, you know? But, I-I-I just…can't.
~ Vigilante Joker after his fight with Batman.
I know you used me. I know I should hate you. But I don't because I had such a great time with you, Bruce. Did you ever…? Did you ever think of me as your friend? Like a true friend? Someone you actually care about?
~ Vigilante Joker questioning Batman about their friendship after their brutal fight.
You can’t beat me, Bruce. You…need me. I’m the villain of your dreams. The shadow within your shadow. The tumor lurking in your soul.
~ Villain Joker to Bruce Wayne.
Remember that night? Drinking frappes under the stars. You dishing out advice about the ladies. Me finding out you were the Bat. It was… perfect.
~ Villain Joker to Bruce Wayne about their friendship.

Trivia

  • The character has received critical acclaim, with many critics noting how this is one of the first truly sympathetic portrayals of the Joker to ever come along and praising the player's ability to shape John's decisions and affect what kind of a villain he will become. 
  • As a friend of Bruce Wayne's with a dark side that the player can try to help him fight against or else mistreat him to bring it out faster, he is in some ways similar to Harvey Dent/Two-Face. However, he differs from Harvey in that his particular mental illness is clearly different, as is his general excitable and humorous personality. His backstory, goals, and connection to Catwoman are all likewise different.  
  • Unlike most depictions, where Joker is the abusive manipulator and Harley the more sympathetic villain pining for love, in this version the roles are reversed; John Doe craves in vain Harley's approval, while Harley is an unloving psychopath who is only using him.
    • Ironically, John's personality here, that of a lonely and insecure person who just wants to make people laugh and desires friendship and love, is strongly in-line with how most versions of Harley view their versions of the Joker. The difference is that here that interpretation would actually be correct, instead of merely delusional.
  • His willingness to hit Harvey Bullock over the head with a crowbar references Joker's crowbar beating of Jason Todd in the comics and the animated movie adaptation, Under the Red Hood.
  • John has admitted that he has a hard time taking rejection and his outbursts are a result of being antisocial. This shows John Doe may have antisocial personality disorder.
  • John seems to believe that his green hair is natural since he doesn't remember a time when it was ever green.

Navigation

           Batman Villains (Telltale)]]

Children of Arkham
Lady Arkham | Oswald Cobblepot | Blockbuster

Gotham Criminal Triumvirate
Carmine Falcone | Mayor Hamilton Hill | Thomas Wayne

The Pact
Riddler | Harley Quinn | John Doe | Bane | Mr. Freeze

The Agency
Amanda Waller | Agent Harrison

Others
Catwoman | Harvey Dent | Deadshot | Black Spider | Rumi Mori | Eli Knable | S.A.N.C.T.U.S.