We all know The Joker as the arch-nemesis of our favorite Superhero “The Dark Knight”. But does someone actually know the Joker’s real name? To answer the question there has been no official mention of Joker’s name in any of the comics till Batman: White Knight.
Even there is no fixed origin story of The Joker. There have been certain stories or movie iterations where we see the Joker’s backstory but the name is still shrouded in secrecy. And these stories might be the most popular ones, are still not part of the official DC canon.
And these backstories are often in contradiction with each other. In this article, our team will try to cover these origin stories. And also cover the iterations of the Clown Prince of Crime that reveal The Joker’s real name.
Joker’s Origin Story
The first origin story of The Joker came out in a 1951 issue of Detective Comics in which Joker’s true identity was revealed as an unnamed lab worker. He wears the Red Hood helmet to carry out a robbery but during the robbery he is confronted by Batman. As a result of this encounter, he tries to run but ends up falling in a vat of chemicals. The chemical bleach his skin and turn his hair green which makes him lose his mind.
Batman: The Killing Joke
Alan Moore further elaborated on this origin story in his critically acclaimed Batman: The Killing Joke. In this story, Alan Moore portrayed Joker as a failed comedian who becomes the Red Hood to carry out a robbery. He agrees to the robbery only to support his pregnant wife and upcoming child.
But just before the robbery, he receives the news of his wife’s murder. He tries to back out of the robbery but is blackmailed by other members and is forced to go ahead with the crime. But the robbers are confronted by Batman, and in the chaos that followed, the Red Hood falls into a vat of chemicals.
The disfigurement due to falling in the vat of chemicals and the death of his wife make him go insane, and he believes that “all it takes for a good man to go mad is just one bad day.”
Even in this critically acclaimed story the Joker’s real name is still not revealed. And the lead character that goes on to become the Clown Prince of Crime remains unnamed. The Killing Joke is the most widely accepted origin story of The Joker.
The Joker’s Real Name
In this section, we have compiled a list of iterations both in movies and comics where The Joker’s real name is revealed.
1. The Joker’s Real Name in Comics
Lovers And Madmen
The name of The Joker is revealed in the 2007 “Lovers and Madmen” storyline of the comic book Batman Confidential. In this comic book, we see that The Joker is a former mob hitman with the name, Jack. But the last name of The Joker’s true identity is still not revealed.
The House of Hush
We see another take on The Joker’s real name in “The House of Hush” storyline. In this take, we see that the true name of The Joker is Sonny. Sonny had a very troubled childhood during which he was kidnapped while he was very young. HE is kidnapped by a mobster named Sallie Guzzo.
And the mobster is a sadistic pedophile who had repeatedly abused Sonny both physically and sexually for many years. And Sonny later kills Sallie, when he becomes The Joker.
Batman: White Knight
In the recently released comic book the Batman: White Knight limited series The Joker’s true name is revealed as Jack Napier. This name was also portrayed in the 1989 movie Batman.
The Joker’s Real Name In Movies
Batman (1989) Film
In this movie, the Joker’s real name is revealed as Jack Napier. He is a mob Hitman and falls into a vat of chemicals after a confrontation with the Joker. As a result of the exposure to the chemicals, his skin is bleached and his hair turned green.
He tries to get his appearance fixed by getting plastic surgery. But the surgery leaves him with a permanent grin on his face. Failing to accept the new appearance he descends into madness and becomes The Joker.
The role of The Joker was portrayed by Jack Nicholson in the movie and was very well-received by critics and audiences alike.
This latest Joker movie directed by Todd Phillips is an alternate origin story on The Joker. In this story, his actual name is Arthur Fleck. And Arthur is portrayed as a person with a medical disorder that makes him laugh uncontrollably. We see Arthur become the Joker in this movie and embrace his medical disorder of uncontrollable laughter and change it into his iconic Joker laughter.