He may paint himself as a clown, but his deeds are no laughing matter. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the top ten worst things the Joker has done.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the most horrific and iconic crimes that Batman’s greatest enemy has committed in all forms of media, from the page to the big screen. As such, be warned that there will be plenty of spoilers down the line, also some rather mature content.
#10: Family Gathering
In Scott Synder’s Death of the Family, the Clown Prince of Crime shows just how psychotic he can be. After reclaiming his recently removed face, the Joker launches a crusade of his own in order to “help” Batman rid himself of the obstacles that keep him grounded – his allies. This leads to a deadly game of cat and mouse where the Joker has kidnapped the entirety of the Bat-Family…and cut off their faces. While this proves to be just another joke, knowing that he could’ve easily gone through with it is chilling to the bone.
#9: The Tunnel of Love
In Frank Miller’s acclaimed take on a much older and grittier Batman, the resurfacing of the Joker comes complete with a huge body count. After finding a new purpose in life when his beloved Batman comes out of retirement, the psychotic clown and the world’s detective end up coming to blows in an amusement park, where it becomes clear only one of them is going to be walking away. Despite getting a batarang to the face, the Joker appears to be having the time of his life, and gleefully starts a shooting spree as he makes his way through the tunnel of love, leaving an even bigger trail of young lover’s bodies for Batman to follow.
#8: An Agent of Chaos
Christopher Nolan’s vision of the Joker not only provided a fresh take on the character, but managed to horrify audiences while he was at it. His most disturbing attribute is just how easily he manages to manipulate the good guys like puppets on a string, even the Dark Knight. Kidnapping Gotham’s star lawyer Harvey Dent as well as Bruce Wayne’s love interest Rachel Dawes, trapping them each in separate rooms filled with explosives, leaving Batman with a deadly choice of who to save. Of course, it’s never that easy with the Joker, and the result leads to the death of Rachel and the birth of Two-Face.
#7: Joker Junior
The Joker’s return in the Batman Beyond movie didn’t only give fans the chance to see the Second Knight battle against his mentor’s greatest foe, but also gave us a flashback segment which in some way served as a conclusion to the originally animated series. After kidnapping Robin aka Tim Drake, the Joker goads Batman into a final confrontation in Arkham Asylum, where he reveals that not only has he tortured and brainwashed Robin into a psychotic, surrogate son, but that he now knows that Batman is Bruce Wayne. Even though the animated series wasn’t afraid to slip into some dark territory, this was on a different level entirely, made all the more deliciously evil by Mark Hamill’s performance.
#6: The Death of Sarah Essen
Jim Gordon has lost more to the Joker than anyone else, yet still refuses to step outside the law and kill him, though we have no idea how he resisted ending the clown’s life after this despicable act. Sarah Essen; a brilliant detective in her own right and Gordon’s second wife, manages to catch the Joker at gunpoint, except there’s a problem. He has dozens of infants as hostages. Using her goodhearted nature to his advantage, the Joker tosses on of the children her way and Sarah instinctively catches by baby. However, this leaves her unarmed, and the Joker takes advantage of the moment, gunning her down.
#5: Face Off
Nothing quite sums up the Joker’s insanity than when he allowed someone to carve his face off…just to leave an unclear message. While he’s the only one that technically gets hurt as a result of this bloody process, the loss, and eventual reclaiming, of his face marks a change in the Joker’s character. He becomes even more dangerous, deranged, obsessed with Batman, and also a hell of a lot scarier. Seriously, anyone who gets a near orgasmic reaction from having their mug peeled off is someone you don’t want to mess with.
#4: The Fall of Superman
The comic book/video game tie in series “Injustice: Gods Among Us” has done wonders for the fighting game genre by showing that you can indeed have an engrossing story in-between kicking the crap out of your favourite DC characters. Set in an alternate world, the Joker manages to trick the Man of Steel into killing Lois Lane, their unborn child aaaaaaand all of Metropolis. As you can imagine, Supes is not happy about this. Superman kills the Joker in reprisal and his loss of sanity leads to Superman becoming a dictator and enslaving the entire world. Even in death, the Joker always seems to have the last laugh.
#3: Mad Love
Probably the most constant reminder of the Joker’s cruelty is his treatment of one person who loves him above all else; Harley Quinn. After falling for the psychotic clown and breaking him out of Arkham, Harley has stuck by her puddin’ through thick and thin, always helping him commit crimes and try to kill the Batman on his behalf. Despite this unending devotion, the Joker does not treat her kindly. Whether it’s manipulating her by playing off her obvious infatuation, or via verbal, emotional and physical abuse, Harley’s suffering is legendary across the comic books and animated series. It’s made all the more painful by her refusal to leave his side.
#2: The Killing Joke
No other event has rippled across the Batman mythos more than the shooting of Barbara Gordon in Alan Moore’s critically acclaimed graphic novel “The Killing Joke”. With a single shot, the Joker leaves Barbara handicapped and traumatised, just one part of his insidious plan to drive Jim Gordon insane; just to prove that anyone can lose their mind after just one bad day. While this plan would ultimately fail with Jim keeping his sanity and Barbara trading in her mantle as Batgirl for that of Oracle, Joker’s twisted actions have cemented themselves in pop culture.
Before we reveal our number one pick, here are few honourable mentions.
The Laughing Fish
Poisoned Cotton Candy
#1: The Death of Jason Todd
Just like Barbara, the second Robin narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Joker, and will carry the trauma and scars of the encounter for his entire life. Todd’s senselessly violent and deeply tragic ‘death’ served as just another stepping stone in the Joker’s endless quest to break the Dark Knight. After capturing Jason Todd, the clown prince proceeds to beat him with a crowbar, before leaving him to bleed out. Just before Batman could arrive, a time bob goes off, seemingly killing Todd. It’s one of Batman’s darkest moments, all orchestrated by the man who finds it all to be one big joke.
Do you agree with our list? What do you think is the worst thing the Joker has ever done? With new top tens published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.