Jack Nicholson as the Joker
In Tim Burton’s Batman, the Joker is played by Jack Nicholson. In this version he a character named Jack Napier, who is revealed to be the person who shot Thomas and Martha Wayne, thus creating the Batman. Ironically it would be the Batman who creates the Joker in a way, as when he arrives at a crime scene he spots Napier, who flees and falls over an edge while Batman tries to save him from inevitably falling into the vat of chemicals. The Joker is born and as starts a killing spree and draws an obsession with Vicky Vale. When he announces on TV that he intends to have the Gotham Parade, he throws out millions of dollars, hoping to draw the masses out to release his Joker Gas. Batman intervenes and stops the deaths of many of Gotham’s citizens. In the climatic battle, the Joker falls to his death and his body is found with a device that continuously laughs.
Batman: The Animated Series / The Adventures of Batman & Robin (1992-1995)
Mark Hamill voices Joker in Batman: the Animated Series
Much like in the comics the Joker originally burst as a crook who falls into a vat of chemicals upon the sight of the Batman. After this he becomes the Clown Prince of Crime, The Joker has many battles against both Batman and Robin, Dick Grayson. His appearance was much like the comics and was voiced by Mark Hamill.
Batman: The Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
the first animated movie spin-off of the award winning series, but the Joker’s is as well. The Joker was originally a thug in the Sal Valestra gang. His transition from a thug to the Joker is not shown, but is revealed he killed Bruce’s then fiancee’s father, who did not make Valestra happy. The Joker is a mad killer in the film, when his old boss comes to him for aid, he asks for him to smile. When the Phantasm arrives to kill Valestra, he is dead with a large smile on his face from Joker gas. He also injects his toxin into the Gotham Counselor, who also had a mob background, which the Joker knew him from. The Joker escapes to somewhere we do not know at the end of the movie where he destroys the old Gotham circus. Mark Hamill reprises his role as Joker.
The Batman/Superman Movie: World’s Finest (1996)
In a three part story called World’s Finest in the show, Superman: the Animated Series, Joker is low on cash so he and Harley Quinn steal a dragon statue that is rumored to be made of jade but is actually made of Kryptonite. They go to Metropolis and ask Lex Luthor to pay them to kill Superman for him. Batman comes to Metropolis and teams with Superman to defeat the team of Joker, Lex Luthor, Harley Quinn, and Mercy Graves. The 3 episodes were later edited and released as an animated movie. Mark Hamill reprises his role as Joker.
The New Batman Adventures (1997-1999
Taking its cue from Superman: the Animated Series in animation, the New Batman Adventures had redesigned the look of the characters. The story is set 2 years after the events of Batman: the Animated Series (aka The Adventures of Batman & Robin). Dick Grayson has taken on the role of Nightwing, Tim Drake is the new Robin, and Batgirl has a more prominent member of the team. All the voice actors returned to their roles in the original version of the show, including Mark Hamill as the Joker.
Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker (2000)
Joker in Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker
Set 40 years in the future, the Joker has not been seen in many decades. There is a gang who apparently idolize him, named the Jokerz. A skeleton wearing the Joker’s trademark suit is seen in a cave used for Jokerz initiation. In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, we learn that the Joker was killed decades ago and that Batman was there to witness it. The Joker kidnapped Tim Drake, who eventually revealed all the Batman’s secrets and was brought to a psychotic break, the Joker tried to get Tim to to kill Batman, but at the last moment shoots the Joker instead. In the Batman Beyond present it is revealed that the Joker had one last trick up his sleeve, in the form of a DNA overwrite, which he implanted in Tim Drake so the Joker could make a return appearance. Mark Hamill reprises his role as the Joker.
Justice League / Justice League Unlimited (2001-2006)
Joker in Justice League
The Joker appears in the episode “Injustice For All.” The Joker is viewed as a senior adviser because of his experience in the Criminal Field. He is also the last member to be caught, ironically because he was the only one who did not have any superpowers. Mark Hamill reprises his role as the Joker in this series.
The Batman vs. Dracula (2005)
Joker and Penguin escape from Arkham at the same time and race to find a stash of stolen money and as they fight over it in Gotham Cemetery, Penguin accidentally cuts his own hand and the blood spills over a corpse that ends up being Dracula that made it come back to life. Batman then has to take down Dracula. Kevin Michael Richardson reprises his role as Joker as the movie is set in the universe of the TV series that he is included in.
The Batman (2004-2008)
In the re-imagining of the Batman’s early years he is referred to simply as “Joker.” He has wild green hair, yellow and red eyes, deep red lips and a blue tongue. He is often barefooted, and uses a monkey fighting style. His trademark Joker Gas is used as well as Razor Sharp Joker Cards. He is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.
The Dark Knight (2008
Heath Ledger as the Joker
In The Dark Knight, the Joker arrives on the scene much like the way he did in the comics, with a bang. Throughout the movie, The Joker is a force to be reckoned with. He first steals from the mob and then tells them he can easily fix the problem they have been having with the interference of Batman, but he wants half of their money (he says that “if you’re good at something, never do it for free”). Eventually the mob gives in and the Joker wastes no time, killing Commissioner Loeb and a judge, who was trying a case against many of the city’s most notorious mobsters. He tries to kill Harvey Dent in person but Batman intervenes, seeing as how the Joker tried to kill Dent at one of Bruce Wayne’s parties. He later announces that he intends to kill the Mayor. When that plan fails as well, he gets another shot at Dent, who is trying to draw the Joker out by being arrested, claiming that he is the Batman. The Joker makes another attempt at Dent’s life during his transfer but Batman intervenes once again, after stopping Joker’s truck, Joker challenges him as he stands in the street taunting Batman to run him down with his Batpod, but Batman veers off at the last second, crashing. Joker gains the upper hand but is stopped by Gordon. Later when Dent and Rachel Dawes are taken he gets interrogated by the newly appointed Commissioner Gordon and Batman.
He warns Batman that eventually Gotham will cast him out because he’s a freak like him. Batman’s violent approach to the interrogation does not have much affect on Joker, who laughs for the better part of it, and he reveals his game to Batman, who realizes Joker has arranged the kidnapping of Rachel and Harvey, and then Joker tells Batman the punch line, Batman only has time to save one of them. Once Batman and Gordon leave to save the two who were kidnapped he makes his escape from the police by setting off a bomb, in the form of a cellphone, that was surgically implanted into one of his henchmen at a previous time. Batman races to find Rachel and instead finds Dent. Gordon races to get to Rachel in time, but the building she is in explodes along with Dent’s building, which leaves Rachel dead and Harvey with half his face burned beyond recognition. Joker threatens to blow up a hospital if a Wayne Enterprises accountant who is about to reveal Batman’s identity is not dead in one hour, creating chaos in Gotham as citizens try to kill the accountant in order to save loved ones. He meets Harvey Dent and convinces him to go for revenge, and sets him loose on Gotham before blowing up Gotham General hospital with no one inside.
The Joker threatens that the city will be taken over by his rules and says the only way to safely leave the city is by boat. Joker then gives a test to the citizens on two ferries (one of them filled with incarcerated criminals) he has rigged with bombs, but each ferry is given a detonator to the other vessel, giving the the choice to either blow up the other vessel or spare them, but if neither makes a choice, both will be destroyed. Joker is eventually stopped by the Batman who throws him over the edge of a building, Joker while hanging upside down over the edge states to Batman that they are destined to do this forever and tells him about the location of Dent, saying he brought Dent “down to our level” as Batman goes to find Dent, the police arrest the Joker as he laughed in victory. This Joker was played by the late Heath Ledger, who died at age 28 on January 22, 2008, by way of cardiac arrest brought on by prescription drug intoxication.
Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)
Joker in Batman: Under the Red Hood
In Under the Red Hood, Joker was the cause of Jason Todd’s death by a crowbar much like in Death in the Family. The Joker spent most of the time in Arkham Asylum, until he was broken out by the Black Mask. The Black Mask wanted a partnership with the Joker in order to kill the Red Hood. The Joker agreed, but later betrays Black Mask. The Joker then tied up Black Mask, Mask’s assistant, and eight other men to kill them all by gas fire on a bridge. The Red Hood shows up as the Joker or as the Hood intended, but Hood does not stop Joker from dropping a lighter on the Mask and his gang. Batman stops the fire by dropping foam on bridge with the Batplane. Next, Batman in the Batplane takes the Joker and the Red Hood around Gotham, until the Red Hood cuts the line in a river. The Red Hood kidnaps the Joker in order to torture him much as he did earlier in the movie with a crowbar.
The Joker laughs it off by saying “Do I know you? Did we blow up a school bus together?” In the final scene, Jason Todd, the Red Hood, tells Batman to either kill him or the Joker or he will kill the Joker himself. Batman does neither and stops Jason from killing the Joker, but in one last move the Joker proclaims that he would “be the only one to get what he wants” that night by holding the Batman until the bomb goes off. Jason helps Batman and they both leave the apartment building before it blows up leaving the Joker still alive underneath a remains of the building. Joker then returns to Arkham Asylum at the end of the movie. This Joker was played by Voice Actor, John Di Maggio.
Young Justice (2010-2013)
Joker appeared in Young Justice as a member of the Injustice League along with Count Vertigo, Black Adam, Atomic Skull, Poison Ivy, Ultra-Humanite, and Wotan. They used a combination of Kobra Venom and Joker Venom on mystically and radioactively enhanced plants to attack major world cities. Joker was given the job of controlling the plants when the Justice League were fighting them. Jason Todd is dead after the 5 year break it is unknown whether Joker was the killer. He was voiced by Brent Spiner.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 & 2
10 years after the retirement of Batman, Harvey Dent is seemed to have finally rehabilitated himself in Arkham with therapy and plastic surgery but actually let the entire persona of Two-Face take over and was planning on destroying Gotham. At the same time, Gotham has been overrun by mutant gangs. Bruce Wayne comes out of retirement to take down both threats. While all this is happening, Joker is seen in Arkham in a catatonic state and pretty much oblivious to the world around him. After surges of news reports about Batman’s return and the eclipse it takes over all other news, Joker seems to come out of his catatonic state with a “B-B-B-Batman, darling!” and begins laughing at the end of the movie, setting up for his return in Part 2. Joker was voiced by Michael Emerson.
Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)
Batman rescues Riddler from being assassinated by a black ops team ordered by Amanda Waller and returns him to Arkham Asylum. Waller then gathers a group of notorious criminal such as Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang and a few others to retrieve a key piece of evidence hidden within Riddler’s cane inside of the asylum. She captured Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Black Spider, KGBeast, Killer Frost, and King Shark forming the Suicide Squad. KGBeast, however, did not work on the mission with the squad, as he was killed by Amanda Waller for not believing her when she told them all that she implanted chips into their heads. The rest of the members went on the mission where Harley Quinn and Deadshot crossed paths with a locked up Joker, who eventually escaped due to Harley Quinn’s help. She deceived the rest of the squad by making them believe she was trying to kill him but she really granted him a way of escape by shooting the wall in his cell and giving him access to the cell door’s wiring. In this film, the Joker has planted a bomb somewhere in Gotham City, which Batman tries to find, but first must handle the Suicide Squad and then disarm the bomb. Joker is played by Troy Baker in this film.
Suicide Squad (2016)
Jared Leto as the Joker
Joker is set to appear in Suicide Squad and is to be portrayed by Jared Leto.
“If the police expect to play against the Joker, they had best be prepared to be dealt from the bottom of the deck!”- Batman #1 (1940)
“Batman! I accuse you of interfering with the right of criminals to commit crimes!” – Batman #163
“Zip-a-dee-do-da, zip-a-de-oom, my-o-my, what a wonderful boom …” – Joker #3
“Where does he get all of those wonderful toys” – Tim Burton’s “Batman”, 1989
“This town needs an enema!” – Tim Burton’s “Batman”, 1989
“Never rub another man’s rhubarb.” –Tim Burton’s “Batman”, 1989
“Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moon light?” – Tim Burton’s “Batman”, 1989
“All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day.” – Batman: The Killing Joke, 1988
“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!” – Batman: The Killing Joke, 1988
“It’s all a joke! Everything anybody ever valued or struggled for… it’s all a monstrous , demented gag! So why can’t you find the funny side?” – Batman: The Killing Joke, 1988
“A bat in the hand is worth two in the belfry.” – “Mad Love”, The New Batman Adventures, 1999
“I did it! I finally killed Batman! In front of a bunch of vulnerable, disabled, kids!!!! Now get me Santa Claus!” – Batman #655
“I believe that whatever doesn’t kill you simply makes you…stranger.” – Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”, 2008
“Wanna know how I got theses scars?” – Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”, 2008
“Why so serious?” – Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”, 2008
“Let’s put a smile on that face.” – Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”, 2008
“I’m not a monster…I’m just ahead of the curve.” – Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”, 2008
“Y’know what I noticed ? Nobody panics when things go ‘according to plan’. Even if the plan is horrifying! If tomorrow I told the press that, like, a gangbanger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics… because it’s ‘all part of the plan’. But if I say one, little old mayor will die… well then, everyone LOSES THEIR MINDS!” – Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”, 2008
“If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” – Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”, 2008
“Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it. You know, I just… do things.” – Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”, 2008
“You wouldn’t hit a guy with glasses on would ya? Huh?” – Tim Burton’s “Batman”, 1989
“Kid… I’m the Joker. I don’t just randomly kill people. I kill people when it’s funny. What would be conceivably funny about killing you?” – Batman #686
“Don’t talk like you’re one of them! You’re not… even if you’d like to be. To them you’re just a freak, like me. They need you right now, but when they don’t, they’ll cast you out. Like a leper. See, their morals, their “code”… it’s a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. I’ll show you. When the chips are down, these uh, these “civilized people” -they’ll eat each other.” – Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”, 2008
“C’mon Bats, get crazy. It’s the only way to beat me!”- Batman: Arkham Asylum, 2009
For more games, please visit the Joker’s profile at GiantBomb.
A video game based on the movie of the same name by Tim Burton. The Joker acts as the last boss and is considered to be one of the hardest bosses to beat.
Batman: Return of The Joker (1991)
A sequel to the Batman game without any ties with the movie, it involved finding the Joker in various exotic locations.
Batman: Vengeance (2001)
In Batman: Vengeance, Joker acts as the mastermind behind a crime-conspiracy in Gotham City. Using Gotham’s villains as pawns in his scheme, he formulates a set of multiple crimes throughout the city that tie into a single conspiracy. He underlines Gotham with flammable toys and plans to flood the city with his Joker Venom mixed with Promethium, igniting the toys and annihilating Gotham.
Batman: Dark Tomorrow (2003)
In Dark Tomorrow, the Joker acts as one of the bosses but rather than fighting Batman face to face, the Joker instead gets his henchmen to do all the work. This game is considered to be one of the worst Batman games of all time due to its poor controls, awkward camera angles and repetitive gameplay.