Joker Just Proved His Most Iconic Nickname Is a Lie
The Joker has a lot of mental issues, one of which is probably low self-esteem. He doesn’t like people laughing at him, which is strange for a clown.
Warning: SPOILERS for Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #2One of the Joker’s most well-known nicknames is the Clown Prince of Crime, but as it turns out, that title isn’t exactly accurate.
Of all the characters in comics, the Joker might have the most amount of versions and re-imaginings. He has been seen as everyone from a goofy bank robber to a sadistic psychopathic killer. This wide range of characterization was highlighted in the Three Jokers storyline that sought to distinguish the different iterations of the Joker between the comedian, the criminal, and the clown.
A backup story in Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #2 by Matthew Rosenberg and Francesco Francavilla focuses on a rather amusing event in Joker’s life. Joker fakes his death and holds a funeral where many villains attend and give speeches about him. Joker does this so that he can know what all of these villains truly think about him. This all stemmed from when Joker was hit by the Batmobile and flipped head over heels. He wasn’t happy when people laughed at him for it. His henchman pointed out that it was his job to make people laugh, to which Joker responds that he wants people to laugh with him, not at him.
The Clown Prince Of Crime Isn’t A Clown
This might seem like it makes sense at first. With all of Joker’s emotional and mental hangups, of course he wouldn’t want people laughing at him. But on closer inspection, fans will realize that this mentality flies directly in the face of Joker’s identity. He’s supposed to be a clown, and clowns are supposed to make people laugh. In fact, making people laugh at them is the very core of what a clown is supposed to do. A clown dresses silly and acts silly so that people laugh at them.
The very fact that Joker doesn’t want people to laugh at him means he can’t be a clown. He wants people to laugh, but just on his terms and under his control, which is pretty controlling and sociopathic. If anything, he’s probably closer to a comedian. Comedians want people to laugh with them, which is what Joker stated, and it just so happens that the comedian is one of the three Joker forms featured in Three Jokers. Also, in one of many Joker origin stories, he’s actually revealed to be a stand-up comedian. So while his nickname as the Clown Prince of Crime is fairly cool and great branding, the Joker is as far from being a clown as one could possibly be.
Next: DC Admits a Shocking Hero Is the Good Version of Joker
Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #2 is now available from DC Comics.