Origin Story 1: The Joker

Hello everyone, this is the first of a series of myTakes where I will be briefly introducing the origin stories of popular, and few not so popular, comic book characters. The Joker is one of the few comic book villains that is loved as much as his respective hero, the perfect yin to Batman’s yang. The inspiration for the character came from the 1928 film, “The Man Who Laughs”.

Origin Story 1: The Joker

Actor Conrad Veidt as Gwynplaine in "The Man Who Laughs".

But how did the Clown Prince of Crime come into being?

In comic books, parts of the origin of the Joker have been revealed through short flashbacks. His insanity makes him an unreliable narrator. In his own words,

Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another ... if I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!

The most popular interpretation of the character’s past has been introduced in “The Killing Joke”. Previously a laboratory worker, Jack Napier quits his job to become a stand up comedian, in order to support his pregnant wife. However, he was unsuccessful. Struggling with poverty in a dog-eat-dog world, he agrees to take part in a robbery donning the alter-ego of “Red Hood”.

Jack Napier as The Red Hood

With Batman’s interference the heist takes an unexpected turn. Desperately trying to escape, Red Hood falls into a pool of chemical waste that bleaches his skin, colours his hair green and turns his lips red.

His disfigured physical appearance and the sudden death of his wife and unborn child push the comedian into insanity, creating the Joker, and marking the beginning of an endless struggle between good and evil.


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What Girls Said 9

  • Yeah I love The Killing Joke. It's easily one of the best of Modern Batman. If only The New 52 was half as good :(

    You also forgot to mention. The Man Who Laughs is not only the movie that the character was inspired from but also the name of the arc where Batman first encountered the Joker. I think it's from issues 784–786.

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  • I'm a big batman fan so I already knew this

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  • Cool take this is awesome:)

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  • Already knew this, but ok.

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  • I love this my take and can't wait to read more!

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  • Nice.
    Can't wait to see more.

    I'm not big into comics or comic history. But I love watching Batman/Joker comics.

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    • Damn, I can't type, haha. I meant cartoons/movies.

  • lol i like this alot! i can't wait to read more! i love comic book stories especially origin stories. It would have been extra nice if you included something about Harley Quinn or did one on her!
    Good read :)

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  • Oh hell yeah, cool take! I need to see that film now...

    The Joker is one of my favourite villain's ever, but The Penguin... he scares the crap out of me in Tim Burton's Batman Returns. He takes the first born children... I'm the first born, I hated him and his creepy wet flippers...

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    • Thank you :D oh I might do the Penguin next lol so that you see he's not that scary ;)

  • Love it! I had never looked into The Joker's origin, so this was a very interesting read. I look forward to reading your other Takes in this series. :)

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    • Thank you :D feel free to suggest a character that interests you for the next one

What Guys Said 8

  • If we're talking Post-Crisis, I've always preferred to think of the Joker as a early failed experiment by Hugo Strange.

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  • thanks for info, I like joker, didn't try to know his past

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  • Love the Joker as a villain, but don't like the joker.

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  • Awesome myTake. I'll be waiting for the next one!!

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  • Nope, totally wrong. I am the Joker. That's the origin story of me.

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  • You missed the bit where Arkham asylum was where the joker was once held, for his insanity...

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    • But here I am just talking about the origin. Every Batman vilain has been to Arkham asylum lol

    • I know, but the asylum was especially for criminally insane villians like Maddog and the joker,
      maddog being the first inmate, for killing amadeus arkham's wife

  • Nice Take, can't wait to read the rest! 👍🏾

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  • My cover is blown FUCKKKK but U READ COMICS 😃

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