Joaquin Phoenix in 'Joker' (Courtesy Warner Bros.)

The Joker is the archnemesis of the superhero Batman within the DC Comics universe. The Joker, also known as the Clown Prince of Crime, doesn’t have superpowers but uses his chemical engineering knowledge to poisonous concoctions and weapons. DC Comics describes the fictional character as “a homicidal artist and an agent of chaos.”

The most common origin story of the Joker involves him falling into chemical waste, which in turn bleaches his skin and turns his hair green. Though, the 2019 film Joker (starring Joaquin Phoenix) depicts the supervillain as a failed clown and comedian who was driven to insanity. The film received 11 Academy Award nominations.

The Joker can be found in Batman comic books, TV shows, and movies.


  • Universe: DC Comics
  • City of origin: Gotham City
  • Notable actors: Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, Joaquin Phoenix
  • Creators: Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson

Visit the Joker’s page on the DC Comics website.

Learn about the DC Comics universe, see what happened behind the scenes on the movie Joker, and stay up to date on the prominent actors who portrayed the Joker in various movies.

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