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- Note: This page is mainly for the Joker from "The Killing Joke" animated film, while the Joker from original comic event of "The Killing Joke" belongs to the mainstream version.
|“||Let me ask you something, what does it matter if you send me back to the asylum if it doesn't matter to me? I've proved my point. Gordon's been driven mad. I've demonstrated there's no difference between me and everyone else. All it takes is one bad day. That's how far the world is from where I am, just one bad day. You had a bad day once, am I right? Oh, I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed. Dressing up like a flying rat doesn't hide it, it screams it. You had a bad day and it drove you as crazy as everybody else, only you won't admit it. You have to keep pretending that life makes sense, that there's some point to all this struggling. You make me want to puke. I mean, what is it with you? What made you what you are? Girlfriend killed by the mob, maybe? Brother carved up by some mugger? Something like that, I know. Because something like that happened to me. Sometimes, I remember it one way, sometimes another. If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice. My point is I went crazy. And I'm smart enough to admit it. Why can't you? By clinging to reality, you're denying the reality of the situation. I mean, do you ever think about how many times we've come close to World War llI over a flock of geese on a computer screen? Silly goose, it's all a joke, everything anybody's ever valued of struggled for, it's monstrous. Why can't you see the funny side? Why aren't you laughing?||„|
|~ Joker, talking to Batman.|
Supposedly, he had initially been an unknown engineer for Ace Chemicals that had been married and an expecting father before he quit his stable job, both due to his being creeped out by the location, and to do a dream job of being a comedian due to wanting to make people laugh and feel good. However, he ended up struggling regarding his job, and was forced to contend with a landlady who hated him. Upon returning from his job where he was uncertain that he did a good job (the people in charge of the club indicated that they may call him back, but he was certain he blew a punchline for one of his jokes). He eventually lashed out at Jeannie, his wife, when the latter gave an "oh" response, before profusely apologizing for his behavior. He then vowed to make sure they find a nice neighborhood for them rather than a cheap apartment.
Eventually, he became desperate enough to turn to two crooks for help regarding aiding them in a heist toward a card shop next to Ace Chemicals. The men then offered a means to conceal his identity: The infamous Red Hood, which the man recognized from papers as being the same guy who raided an ice company the month before. Despite his hesitance in doing it, he ultimately decided to do so, in the hopes of getting his wife and himself a better future.
On the day of the heist that weekend, he was prepared to go through with it, even making sure to claim he was going out to a gala to ease Jeannie's concern. Unfortunately, just before he could go through with it, the police arrived at the bar he was at, and proceeded to escort him outside. He then learned from the police that Jeannie had died from a baby bottle heater accident that electrocuted her, his child dying with her. He then tried to call it off, realizing there's no longer a point to go through with the operation. Despite this, the crooks strongarmed him into committing the heist by heavily implying that they'll kill him if he doesn't cooperate, thus leaving himself with little to no options of backing out.
The man eventually arrived with the goons at the Ace Chemicals premises. The man then briefly reminisced about his walking to work. When noted that he had a funny-shaped head, in ominous foreshadowing of his future, he mentioned that he may become a clown over a comedian next time. The already bad events of that night got even worse when he discovered that the Ace Chemicals had managed to include security after his departure (he had earlier told them that there was no security). With the men strongarming him eventually killed by the security personnel, he then tried to flee. He then ended up cornered by Batman just as the former pondered out loud what he did to deserve it. The man then tried to bargain for his life, but then tripped and fell over the railing, falling into one of the drainage vats below. After his trip through the drainage vat, he removed his red hood, wondering why he's feeling itchy only to discover his face, and most likely his entire body, had been discolored due to the chemicals he was exposed to in the drainage vat, his hair being turned green, his face becoming chalk-white, and his lips becoming red, giving him the appearance of a clown. This, as well as the traumatic events of the overall night and what happened before, proceed to drive the man completely insane, causing him to laugh hysterically in anguish at the revelation, thus giving birth to the Joker. Whether this was actually true or not is unknown, as Joker later admitted that even he isn't sure exactly what transpired on his day since his memories tended to change every time.
He then spent time fighting Batman various times, and being locked up in Arkham Asylum, with his frequent escape attempts having him see prostitutes. Some time later, he ended up trapping people and gassing them with Joker venom.
Three years later, his earlier action attracted the investigation of Batman after they uncovered the gruesome crime. Batman, who was planning on seeing the Joker anyways due to being troubled by their bleak future of ending their feud by killing one or the other and hoping to avert such a future, then proceeded to visit Arkham Asylum. Unfortunately, by the time they had arrived, Joker had not only escaped from the Asylum, but even went as far as to leave behind a body double in his cell, which Batman realized when talking with "him" due to his white "skin" coming off. He then went over to an abandoned amusement park, and after conning the carny into giving him control, poisoned him with Joker venom after gaining control of the park. He then arrived at Commissioner Gordon's place, proceeding to shoot Barbara Gordon in the gut in a way to ensure paralysis, and made sure to do it right in front of her father. Gordon angrily attempts to stab Joker with a pair of scissors for this, but the Joker's thugs stop him by beating him up. Telling his goons to take Gordon away, Joker proceeded to sexually violate Barbara and take pictures of her in various states of undress, although assuring to her that he's only doing this specifically to prove a point to her father.
Afterwards, he then had his goons strip Gordon naked and, after giving a philosophical speech about how Gordon is to be an experiment in regards to how even the most common man can be driven insane, then proceeds to psychologically torture the commissioner with a song about going insane and showing a slideshow of Barbara Gordon in various states of undress with the implication that he raped her. Afterwards, he then caged him up and showed him off as an exhibit just as Batman arrived. He then briefly fought Batman before fleeing, dousing him with acid. Confident in his victory, Joker then proceeded to tell Batman that even if he arrests Joker, he's already too late as Gordon's now insane (or so he believes), and proceeded to deduce that Batman had a bad day just like he did. He then ambushed him and gave him a beatdown in the upside down room of the funhouse, and proceeded to rant about how monstrous and pointless the world and morality is before demanding to know why Batman not only doesn't see the funny side, but isn't even laughing. Batman then turned the tables on his nemesis literally by flipping him right on the upside down table, before telling him that it's because he had heard the joke before and it wasn't funny the first time. Batman then told Joker that Gordon had told Batman to bring him in by the book, making it clear that despite Joker's actions, he actually failed to drive Gordon insane, with Batman then theorizing that maybe not everyone cracked and maybe Joker is alone in his madness. Joker widened his eyes briefly at this possibility, but then denied it before trying to shoot Batman, who tackled him out of the funhouse.
Outside of the funhouse, Joker retrieved his gun, but it ended up being a flag gun. Frustrated by the failures and possibly affected by the revelation that maybe he is alone in his insanity, Joker concedes defeat and tells Batman to finish him off. However, Batman refused to do so, saying that if what Joker said about having a bad day is what drove him to insanity was indeed true, he can help him recover from his insanity. Batman offers to help him get rehabilitated, but although Joker seriously considered the possibility for redemption, he sadly declined, saying it's far too late for him because of his actions. Joker then chuckled due to it resembling a joke he heard about inmates in an asylum, and explains the joke to Batman. The joke ended up being so funny that even Batman bursts into laughter with Joker, who is delighted that he actually made Batman laugh.
It's completely unknown what happened with Joker afterwards, though it may be likely that he was taken into custody for his crimes or that he was killed by Batman (like many people said).
- This version of Joker is one of the few versions that was portrayed as a truly sympathetic character.
- The Joker's origin featured in this film was originated from The Killing Joke comic and it is the most popular theory of the comic Joker's past. This so-called origin story is even regarded as the true origin of the Joker among many fans, since the Joker's past is always shrouded in mystery and this story has been told by Joker himself, even though it might be highly unreliable.
- On a related note, this also makes this version of the Joker arguably one of the few Joker incarnations to have a definitive backstory beyond his being disfigured by falling into a chemical vat and encountering Batman during this time, with others including the version from the DC universe, the version from the 1989 film, Martha Wayne during the Flashpoint arc, the version from Arkhamverse, and arguably the version from Batman: Under the Red Hood.
- Mark Hamill, Joker's voice actor, had earlier expressed interest in doing an adaptation of The Killing Joke, and even offering to do it for free. DC Animation remembered this after the success of The Force Awakens.
- It's said that The Killing Joke would be the final Batman-related media for Mark Hamill to voice the Joker. He once stated that he would not return for the role after his amazing portrayal in Batman: Arkham City before the announcement of The Killing Joke movie and his unexpected return in Batman: Arkham Knight. However, Hamill later changed his mind, because he will return to voice the character in Justice League Action and has teased along with Kevin Conroy to make animated adaptations of Batman: Hush and Batman: A Death in the Family.
- During most of the flashback portions, the man who would become the Joker sounded relatively normal sounding, yet after his trip through the drainage duct, he possessed the Joker's trademark high-pitched voice in the brief moment of sanity he had before seeing his disfigurement. This implied that his exposure to the chemicals not only altered his physical appearance, but also his vocal cords.
- Many fans believe that Batman kills Joker at the end of the film due to Joker's laugh eventually being silenced by Batman as well as Batman putting his hands very close to Joker's neck.
- This is probably because The Killing Joke graphic comic novel was originally meant to be set outside the DC mainstream continuity (in the comics).
- In the original comic, the Joker had deliberately jumped into the vat instead of tripping over his cape and falling in by accident. The latter was most likely done to reference the version from Batman: Under the Red Hood.
- Though never addressed as Joker, his name was only shown on a wanted poster.