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Omar Karindu

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242
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Subj: Not necessarily; it's just not always shown on-panel.
Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 03:26:34 pm EST (Viewed 337 times)
Reply Subj: I Think That The Joker's Kill Count Is Greatly Exaggerated.
Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 01:58:30 pm EST (Viewed 356 times)

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I've been reading posts and the like where people state that the Joker is like the Hitler of the DC Universe, and his kill count is in the high hundreds, if not millions. I've been going over a lot of old Joker stories, and reading through them to see if this is really true, and I have to say that it's greatly exaggerated. We know that he killed Sarah Essen Gordon. It's really debatable whether he killed Jason Todd and his mother or not. Remember, he had his henchman rig the bomb, and he might not even have been the one to lock them in. Also, while we're at it, how the hell did Batman know that the Joker beat Jason with a crowbar anyway? I have to wonder about that. It's debatable whether or not he killed Alexander Luthor as well, because no body was ever found. I don't think so anyway, it was left open ended. And I believe that his shooting Robin in the arm was retconned out of continuity. And his near killing of Huntress at the end of No Man's Land is never mentioned.

We've seen him kill a few other nameless characters, sure. It appeared that he killed the Royal Flush Gang also. But there have been plenty of issues where the Joker didn't kill anyone.

#Impulse #50- Batman appeared in this as well.
#The first or second new Robin mini-series by Chuck Dixon and Tom Lyle
JLA Rock of Ages
#I don't think he kills anyone in the Knightfall/Knightquest issues that he appears in.
#From the Superman appearances that I read, he doesn't kill anyone. The worst that he does is poison Lois Lane, which she recovered from anyway. And that's never mentioned either.
#Hush and the Hush follow up(s) in Gotham Knights

I'm sure that there are more. But the Joker's body count is probably in the double digits and not the triple or quadrupple (spelling?) digits. I think that people are making the Joker to be worse then he really is. In my opinion, the worst thing that the Joker did was hold a gun to a babies head during the end of No Man's Land.

What say you?

Several of his Arkham escapes show him gassing literally dozens of guards to death, and Joker: Devil's Advocate and other stories repeatedly indicate that the Gotham legal system has records of triple-digit deaths attributed to the Joker.

And in Rock of Ages, his use of the Philosopher's Stone to raise a giant grin in South America kills thousands according tot he radio reports we hear in issue #15. The difference there is that the Stone is used to undo the murders by a temporarily-sane Joker, but the Joker would have killed quadruple digits if not for, of all people, Lex Luthor. In the Superman titles, we've seen him take over the universe with Mr. Myxyzptlk's 5-D powers and rain death ont eh populace. We also saw hims end a giant robot on a rampage through Metropolis to kill lots of people, all just to annoy Lex Luthor; those murders weren't magically undone. We saw him murder several dozen henchmen in the prose-only story during Morrison's run.

And this is without figuring in how many people were killed worldwide by Jokerized villains in the Last Laugh crossover, deaths the Joker was ultimately responsible for. (Hey, it's not like Hitler killed anyone with his own two hands either once he was Chancellor.)

All those dozen-plus murders we see puts him into triple digits when added to the five or six bodies he routinely drops in every story since Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams's "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge" had him kill four henchmen in a row way back in the 1970s. Consider that if he does that in nearly every appearance for 30 years of comics, plus the occasional slaughter of an even dozen or twenty here or there, and you've got a very high body count.

Thing is, we tend to hear about these massacres rather than see them, partly because when we see the Joker, it's usually as Batman stops his schemes. (The other reason is likely to avoid pushing the comic into M-rated territory entirely.) We don't see the schemes Batman isn't around to thwart. But look at those stories where he is thwarted, and at what he's trying to do in them: in Impulse, he's got a mass-murder scheme.

We've seen him blow up entire buildings, gas huge crowds of thousands of people (as in the recent Paul Dini story with the Joker impersonating a stage magician), and so forth. Dialogue confirms that off-panel, some of those plans have succeeded, apparently, and that'd be more than enough to push his body count into the high hundreds or low thousands.

None of that puts him near Hitler, of course, but it does put him an order of magnitude beyond the average serial or spree killer.

- Omar Karindu
"For your information, I don't have an ego. My Facebook photo is a landscape."