In the recent Joker/Daffy Duck comic (Side Note: The latest batch of DC/WB crossovers are neither especially good or especially bad), there's a scene in which the Joker kills the patrons of a comedy club and has his gang take their stuff (Another Side Note: Who in the Blue Hell would go to a comedy club in Gotham City? That's just asking for trouble!), and this scene inspired in me a sudden realization.

Now, I'll say up front that I'm sure I'm not the first person to have this realization (or the tenth, or the hundredth, or the thousandth...), it's just something that I never really thought about all that much before.

Anyway, the great realization was this:  

There's no (expletive gerund omitted) way that someone wouldn't have killed the Joker by now.  Victim's grieving relative, vigilante, fed-up cop, "accident in the cells", a villain who's sick of the Joker's crap - someone would have wasted him by now.   I can no longer sustain my suspension of disbelief as regards this character.


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I tend to agree. When The Joker kidnapped a number of babies and murdered Commissioner Gordon's wife (Sarah Essen) none of the cops saw him "going for his waistband" and took him out. Gordon, being perfect*, shot him in I believe the kneecap when given a pass by Batman and all of the cops. The Joker whines that he'll never walk again. The next time we see The Joker he was walking just fine. That was the last Joker story I could stomach.  

* Gotham has the most perfect police in the world.

I have a pet theory about this, but it's pretty out there.


Randy Jackson said:

I have a pet theory about this, but it's pretty out there.

Well, the Joker is the guy who Batman protects more than anyone, so that really helps, I'm sure.

*Real talk, I completely agree with you. It's past the point of credibility. The more often the Joker appears (which is really often), the less and less credible it becomes.

Any appearance where the Joker commits mass murder bothers me for these reasons. I think it diminishes Batman that he can't or won't stop this guy. I ignore those appearances so I can enjoy the stories where he does other things (up to and including attempted mass murder). 

I like this batch of DC/ Looney Tunes crossovers more than you, I think, Baron. My top one so far is Catwoman/Sylvester, with Harley & Gossamer also giving me a lot of laughs (basically, if you liked the Connor/Palmiotti Harley Quinn, you'll like it, and if you don't, you won't). The Daffy/Joker one is by far the weakest of the bunch. (I haven't read the lead story in the Luthor/Porky issue yet, but I always expect good things from Mark Russell.)

I agree wholeheartedly, Baron, because I've felt the same way for years. It's not just that Batman continually acts to save Joker from his own mistakes, but that he's made so many other enemies -- including police, supervillains, Arkham residents and hundreds of thousands of civilians -- that it's preposterous he could survive one day under arrest.

And no one, and I mean no one, would ever be a Joker henchman. One story I read featured a henchman mulling over that very thing, because he was desperate and Joker paid the best. But what good is money if you're too dead to spend it?

Further, how does Joker perform the physical feats that he does? Comics writers love to pull out that old saw about a woman who can lift a bus off her child because of adrenaline, but Joker couldn't possibly maintain that level of adrenaline all the time, nor would that explain his gymnastic and combat abilities, which seem to be almost magic. How many human beings can hold their own with Batman in close combat? Somehow Joker does it every time -- even managed to stab Batman to death in their last encounter. (Obvs Batman got better. Joker too.)

At this point, Joker would make more sense as the evil spirit from Star Trek's "Wolf in the Fold" than an actual human being. Perhaps going forward all will be explained by the aforementioned battle, where Batman was exposed to one of the heavy metals (Promethium?), and so was Joker. So maybe both are metahumans now.

Then there is the matter of the Joker's insanity which is the foundation for his "protection", that is that he's not responsible for his actions and he doesn't know the difference between right and wrong. Given all the meticulous planning and scheming, the creation and maintenance of very specific weaponry and an almost religious devotion to his particular motif, it would to convince any jury that he's NOT fully aware of what he's doing. And that he brags about it!

Well, just remember, you asked for it...

The Joker didn't exist until Bruce Wayne decided to become Batman. There was no life before he began his career as the Red Hood.  He was created by the Lords of Chaos specifically to oppose Batman, and Batman is the only one who can kill him. Many have tried and failed, with the Joker either healing miraculously, or evading the attempt and exacting retribution on whomever has made the attempt.

So that's my personal headcanno for why no one else has killed the Joker--it's not from lack of trying.

The Baron said:


Randy Jackson said:

I have a pet theory about this, but it's pretty out there.

After that Batman and Joker in the church story right before the wedding, if you follow the logic of that story, the Joker could just walk around stabbing people with Batman in the room, and any time Batman makes a move to stop him, Joker could just hold the knife to his own throat or wrist and say, "Ah, ah, ah, Batman!"

Batman would immediately put his hands up and say, "Sorry, sorry. I wish you'd stop, though."

Joker: "And I wish you would leave me alone or I'm going to stab myself!"

Batman runs out of the room and people continue being stabbed.

Exactly, Jeff. I complained about the same thing over in the "comics you have read lately" thread. The Joker threatening to shoot himself is the very definition of the situation where Batman says "go ahead." Any other course of action leads to the situation you describe. Utterly preposterous scene.

Randy, I don't find your Joker theory outlandish. As we've established in this thread, Joker doesn't work as a human being any more. The only explanation that would be plausible to longtime readers would for Joker to continually regenerate each time he got killed -- maybe with a slightly different personality each time, to explain the different ways he's been presented over the decades. I was kinda hoping that's where DC was going when the Mobius Chair told Batman there was more than one Joker. Unfortunately, it appears to be literally true that there's more than one currently.

I don't know what could account for a continually regenerating Joker, but Chaos Gods isn't the worst idea.

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