Batman has many enemies but has only one nemesis in the truest sense. All the criminals that Batman has ever faced in his lifetime are some of the worst enemies that any superhero gets to face. But the only nemesis of Batman is the Joker. He is one of the sharpest and ruthless villains that any superhero has ever faced. And takes Batman to his limits and teases him to break his one rule of not killing. And when Batman refuses to play by the rules of his nemesis and somehow subdues him. Joker comes back even more potent.
This article will look at the fundamental difference between enemy and nemesis. As well as look briefly into the Joker and justify how Joker is the only nemesis of Batman while all other villains that he faces can only be called his enemies.
Difference Between Enemy and Nemesis
The primary difference between an enemy and a nemesis is that an enemy can be hostile towards the main protagonist and is eventually defeated. But a nemesis is one that can not be beaten and is a regular part of the protagonist’s life. For example, the Riddler, Penguin, and even Court of Owls are all Batman’s enemies because they are hostile towards him. Not because they have some personal vendetta against him but because Batman’s actions are against their interests.
But the Joker is another story altogether. He is not a typical villain that wants money or fame. But he considers Batman a necessity for his survival and is the only villain that Batman can never truly defeat as he won’t stop until his death.
Joker as the Nemesis of Batman
Only Joker can be called as the true nemesis of Batman. He simply exists to restore the imbalance that Batman has rectified. He feeds on the energy that he derives from his encounters with Batman. Joker does not exist because of reasons that drive other villains. He purely exists because Batman exists.
And his only motive are to make Batman go insane and break his rule of not killing anybody. It would not be wrong to say that Joker will happily die at the hands of Batman if the Caped Crusader ever chooses to take this decision. And Joker will never stop until he achieves this.
And that is the reason Batman can never truly defeat Joker because to defeat him; Batman would need to break his rule and kill the Joker. In Batman’s own words, if he ever kills the Joker, he won’t be able to stop. Meaning that Batman will go insane as Joker intends him to be. Hence, making Joker the only nemesis of Batman in the truest sense.
Joker’s Origin Story
Now that we have established that the Joker is the only nemesis of Batman. Let us explain why we have stated that he exists only because of Batman. There is no definite story on how Joker became the Joker or even his proper name. But according to the most famous origin story, “The Killing Joke,” of the clown prince of crime, he is just an ordinary man who wants to be a stand-up comedian. And has quit his job to pursue his dream. But to support his pregnant girlfriend, he agrees to become the Red Hood criminal in a robbery.
Before the robbery, he receives news of the death of his girlfriend and his unborn child, after which he wants to quit the theft. But is forced by other members to continue with the plan. While doing the robbery, the group is confronted by Batman and ends up in ACE chemicals. At the chemical factory, Red Hood falls into a vat of acid when he tries to run from Batman, who even tries to save him but to no avail.
He then escapes the vat of acid and crawls out of a drainpipe. And when he sees his face after coming out of the pipe. He notices that his skin has changed into pale white and his face is disfigured to give an evil grin, and his hair changed into green color. At the sight of his face coupled with the emotional trauma of the death of his girlfriend and the unborn child, he loses it and becomes mad, becoming the Joker.
And according to this origin story, Joker’s only mission now is to make Batman go insane and break his rule of not killing, making him the only nemesis of Batman. The 2019 live-action film “Joker” was also loosely based on this origin story.
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