The Joker is undoubtedly one of the greatest super villains of all time. The Joker ranked #1 on Wizard’s list of the 100 Greatest Villains of All Time and was named #2 on IGN’s list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time List.
Batman’s archenemy was first seen in Batman#1 (Spring 1940) and has remained a vital character since then. The Joker is a vicious, calculating, psychotic killer who murders for his own amusement.
The Joker has been played by Cesar Romero in the 1960 in the television series. The character was also portrayed by Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger in Batman (1989) and The Dark Knight (2008) respectively. And others such as Mark Hamill, Brent Spiner and Michael Emerson have voiced the character in animation.
Even though having had chances to kill Batman, he chooses not to, the Joker describes himself by his struggle with his nemesis. Rather the Joker is known for being able to toy with Batman’s mind and challenge him psychologically; the dilemma for Batman being that if he kills him, Batman too would be classified “a killer like yourself!” The Joker is however responsible for the paralysis of Batgirl, and the murder of Jason Todd, the second Robin.
Joker’s origin still remains a mystery, he is known for lying about his past and has confused himself and doesn’t know the truth. As he says in The Killing Joke: “Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another… if I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!”
However many of his origins revolve around the story that he fell into a chemical vat that disfigures his skin, and highly disturbed by the trauma of his wife’s death turns insane.
Joker is known to be very skilled in the fields of chemistry, genetics, and nuclear engineering. His arsenal of weapons includes razor-cards, acid-spewing flowers, and laughing-gas.
“All you care about is money. This town deserves a better class of criminal, and I’m gonna give it to ’em.”
―The Joker to The Chechen
What really separates the Joker from most other villains is the disregard he has for his own life. At the verge of dying, he is never found begging for life. At the same time he doesn’t want Batman’s life, cause according to him, it wouldn’t be fun anymore. “I don’t want to kill you! What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off mob dealers? No, no…no you complete me.”
The Joker remains a multifaceted character, who doesn’t seem to have a goal or mission, which in a way is what define him as the ultimate villain.
No one puts it better than Alfred when he says -“Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”