Real Name: Jack Napier?
First Appearance: Batman 1 (April 25, 1940)
Affiliation: Injustice Gang, Injustice League
Love Interests: Harley Quinn
Did You Know: The Joker wasn’t meant to become Batman’s greatest foe.
A Little History
The Joker has been a mainstay in comics and a thorn in the side of Batman since 1940.
In truth, there isn’t a true origin for Joker. Instead, there are snippets and pieces that we have been able to put together over the years to create some semblance of where he came from. Even he, himself, has made it known that he will change his own history to suit the occasion.
Here’s what we know
Joker was once an engineer working for a chemical company. His wife was pregnant, and his desire to be employed by this company grew old. So, following his dreams, he quit his job to pursue his long-time dream of becoming a stand-up comedian.
Unable to cut it as a comedian, he turned to crime and helped two criminals break into his old workplace.
Learning that his wife had died, he attempted to get out of his commitment to the criminals. However, as he was easily influenced, he was pressured into moving forward.
Widely considered the most accurate of his origins, inside “The Killing Joke” storyline, the two criminals forced him to wear the Red Hood costume (something that he has been repeatedly tied to) as a way to set him up as the leader of the criminal activity.
Eventually, he is confronted by Batman and, while trying to escape, jumps into a vat of chemicals. As a result of the chemicals, his skin is changed to white, his smile is permanently red, and his hair green.
All the events (death of his wife, criminal association, and new look drive him insane, turning him into Batman’s greatest enemy.
Originally thought to be a one-off villain, Joker was slated to be killed off in the very first Batman issue. Thankfully, this was halted by then Editor Whitney Ellsworth, and he went on to appear in 9 of the first 12 issues.