Joker is among the most iconic villains ever made, and ever to grace the pages of DC comics. Much of his character has been debated over the decades and through great depths. One aspect of his nature, however, has always been elusive – Joker’s sexuality. It’s hard to decide what label to put on him due to his unstable nature and even more unstable relations with other characters. Due to that, let’s see whether Joker is gay, bisexual, or straight.
Joker is bisexual, and even that is a stretch. His sexuality has never been discussed in a canonical sense and most of his relationships have been extremely one-sided and self-serving- and with women. We can deduce that he is bisexual due to his relations with numerous female characters and obvious flirtatious intentions toward Batman and other characters.
Now, one might argue that Joker does not have sexuality at all due to being a pure murderous sociopath. Still, let’s account for all the evidence to the contrary, if you’re interested, stay with us and keep reading!
Joker origins & and his evolving character
Since the inception of the character in 1940, Joker has been depicted as many things. He was originally created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson. And while his original sociopathic streak has endured the test of time, his character was forced to take on a more tone-down version of his personality. He was depicted as a prankster and a general “harmless” nuisance, until returning to his darker roots.
The point of this is, Joker’s origin and canon have been changed numerous times over the course of the character’s existence depending on the author and storyline hence it’s hard to find a constant when it comes to the expression of his personality. The only exception is – his madness and chaos.
Was Joker ever canonically gay?
Joker was never explicitly referred to as “gay” but still mounting evidence shows that at one point in time he was envisioned to be gay. He is strangely fixated on Batman, at one point he claims to have had his heart broken by a former boyfriend (Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan’s Devil’s Advocate). He is also very flamboyant the obvious hints being his makeup routine and extravagant clothes. But does not necessarily make him gay, it’s more likely the outer manifestation of his madness.
The same goes for his weird fixation on Batman, it’s highly doubtful that Joker harbors any strong feelings toward Batman, except hatred. The pet names which he uses for Batman are most likely a try to unnerve Batman.
With everything said, to confirm the notion of Joker being gay we need to go to his roots Neal Adams in his Batman Files book claims that Joker was always gay. His sexuality apparently changed over time to fit the more acceptable narrative of heterosexuality hence why Harley Quinn was introduced.
Was Joker ever canonically in love with Batman?
While Joker was never explicitly shown as being in love with Batman there have been numerous hints and clues that he harbors some unresolved feelings for him.
However, canonically Joker has been in love with Thomas Wayne’s Batman but let us explain this.
Jokers & Batman’s origin was completely rewritten in Flashpoint: Batman – Knight Of Vengeance. In this alternate timeline, Joe Chill never killed Thomas and Martha Wayne, instead, he managed to kill Bruce himself resulting in our classic Batman never existing and numerous other tragic event’s that completely changed the course of history for Thomas and Martha Wayne.
The mantle of Batman was taken over by Thomas Wayne and well, the mantle of Joker went to Martha Wayne, crazed by the grief of losing her son. So yes, if you count this, Joker was canonically in love with Batman.
Who is Joker’s love interest?
Joker had many love interests over time, most, if not all of them being women, but one managed to stick and became almost as iconic as Joker himself we’re talking about Harley Quinn of course. Originally Harley Quinn appeared in Batman: The Animated Series. She eventually turned out to be quite popular so her character evolved into Joker’s side-kick and ultimately his most iconic love interest.
Harley Quinn and Joker though had a very rocky relationship that always seemed a bit one-sided, but what did you expect from a dysfunctional sociopath?
Harley Quinn has been recently replaced by Punchline, a new sidekick and partner in crime for the Joker. Punchline is described as being the polar opposite of Harley Quinn. She is sadistic and has more or less the same goals as Joker. She is also quite skilled with poisonous gasses and toxins, and above all else, she clearly worships Joker and everything he represents.
It seems like a decent pairing of sociopaths.
To sum everything up, most evidence goes towards Joker being bisexual. He’s been shown to flirt with men a lot of times and at the same time, all of his “official” romantic interests have been women. His most iconic love interest was Harley Quinn with whom he had a kid even. But in the end, none of the relationships ever seemed like Joker was truly invested in them, at least not romantically.
In the end, Joker probably cannot perceive and reciprocate love through normal means like a functional human being. As a sociopath he probably doesn’t have the same needs to be loved and cherished, he is a pure manifestation of chaos and any kind of engagement with him serves only him and furthers his evil agenda.