My Joker Theory

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Aquaman he ain't. (Because people care about this character.)

(From Batman #38 - Snyder/Capullo)

 

Last week, writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo's Batman (vol 2) #38 came out, and much controversy is being made of a revelation made in the final pages concerning everybody's favorite killer clown, Joker. Apparently, the Joker is, it seems, immortal! Jim Gordon shot him several times in the previous issue, killing shots that he nevertheless shook off. But what really freaked Batman out was when he confronted D-list villain Crazy Quilt, who revealed that the Harlequinn of Hate had a special chemical in his spine similar to a substance in certain jellyfish that induces cell regeneration.

 

Nobody info dumps like Scott Snyder! 

(From Batman #38 - Snyder/Capullo)

 

Last week, writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo's Batman (vol 2) #38 came out, and much controversy is being made of a revelation made in the final pages concerning everybody's favorite killer clown, Joker. Apparently, the Joker is, it seems, immortal! Jim Gordon shot him several times in the previous issue, killing shots that he nevertheless shook off. But what really freaked Batman out was when he confronted D-list villain Crazy Quilt, who revealed that the Harlequinn of Hate had a special chemical in his spine similar to a substance in certain jellyfish that induces cell regeneration. What's more, Joker may have been appearing throughout history in different forms, being essentially a timeless, unstoppable force. Crazy Quilt tried to inject himself with the same material, but it killed him, and Batman was forced to seek the help of a group of bad guys Snyder introduced at the beginning of his run on the book.

 

But, wait, you're thinking. The Joker isn't supernatural. The Joker is just a really intelligent, wicked, crazy killer. He can't possibly be some immortal demon or something of that nature, because he was a guy who fell into some chemicals, had his skin bleached and his hair turned green, and decided to go with the clown theme!

 

Ah, but let's put things in perspective. Issue 38 of Snyder's Batman is part four of a larger storyline called "Endgame", wherein the following has already unfolded:

 

Joker, with his face back (see the "Death of the Family" storyline to see him wearing his face as a mask), decides he doesn't like Batman anymore. Since he dropped him off a cliff.
  (From Batman #36 - Snyder/Capullo)

 

Feeling betrayed by Batman, Joker has decided to know what he previously refused to.

(From Batman #37 - Snyder/Capullo)

 

Gordon shot Joker several times, foolishly turned his back.

  (From Batman #37 - Snyder/Capullo)

 

 

 Crazy Quilt calls the chemical in Joker's spine Dionesium.

(From Batman #38 - Snyder/Capullo)

 

And ultimately, Batman was forced to seek the assistance of an aristocratic cabal that's had a history in Gotham for centuries.

 

Batman speaks to the Court of Owls.

(From Batman #28 - Snyder/Capullo)

 

However, we know from Snyder's Zero Year storyline (and a tie-in) that the Red Hood that fell into the chemical vat at Ace Chemicals became our jolly, smiling Clown Prince of Crime.
 

 

The Red Hood Leader (?) falls.

(Batman #24 - Snyder/Capullo)

 

Post-chemical bath Red Hood Leader, but not quite Our Fair Jester just yet.

(Red Hood and the Outlaws #25 - Tynion/Huan)

 

So, what's the deal with Joker? Has he been around as long as Crazy Quilt believes he's been? As recent photographic and painted evidence suggests? Or is Joker just really great at Photoshop (which I can totally believe)?

 

Well, no.

 

He's not really immortal, just extremely resilient and with a healing factor.

 

Falling into the vat of chemicals that made him the Joker, Mistah J absorbed the element also found in the Lazarus Pits, allowing him to bounce back from catastrophic injuries.It also made him look like a clown, so he ran with the theme.

 

The history thing is just that the same chemicals were used in a compound that served as a precursor to the Court of Owls' regenerative fluid. They used to use that other compound but it produced crazed-looking clown people that had to be kept in the background. They eventually perfected the formula and freezing thing thanks to Mr. Freeze.(Recall the "Court of Owls" storyline from Batman [vol 2] #1-11 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo).

 

Joker is just playing up what the Court did to appear like he's long-lived.
 


Speaking of owl-themed villains... Batman Eternal, which takes place before "Endgame" probably has Lincoln March as its main villain.

(Pic is from Batman #11 - Snyder/Capullo)

 

This is just my theory based on observations made about Snyder's run on this book, and I'm thankful he's made a compelling enough mystery that I want to piece together the pieces as I read. However, if my theory turns out to be off, I won't be too disappointed. I just hope the real answers are interesting enough without being too outlandish for a Batman book, necessitating an immediately retcon by whoever takes over from Snyder.

 

- Penguin Truth

(2015)