10 Things You Need To Know About The Joker


10) He’s Inspired By A Classic Movie… And/Or A Playing Card

As with the controversy over whether writer Bob Kane or artist Bill Finger is more responsible for creating Batman, the Joker likewise has just as murky an origins story in real life as he does in the comics.

Originally, Kane and Finger claimed that the character came straight from 1928 German Expressionist movie The Man Who Laughs, which stars Conrad Veidt as a disfigured man with a permanent grin. However, inker Jerry Robinson later claimed that he had provided the initial spark for the Joker, when he showed the pair a playing card he had drawn. According to Robinson, it was the card that reminded them of Veidt, and the Joker was born.

I guess it’s like the character says in The Killing Joke: if he’s got to have a past, it has to be multiple choice.

9) He Was Almost A One-Off


Appearing in Batman #1 all the way back in 1940, the Joker was immediately positioned as the Dark Knight’s nemesis, appearing in nine of the first twelve issues. However, the original plan was for him to only appear the once.

Though the character was a hit with the creators, Bill Finger thought that keeping Joker as a recurring foe would make Batman look inept. However, editor Whitney Ellsworth realized what they had one their hands and ordered that he was kept alive. As a result, a new final panel to the Joker’s debut was hurriedly inserted, explaining that the knife wound he had suffered to the chest was not as fatal as first thought.

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