Off My Mind: What Has Joker Been Up To & What Does He Really Know?

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Posted by G-Man (34325 posts) - - Show Bio

In case you haven't heard, Joker's back. We got a glimpse as to what he's been up to in last week's Batman And Robin #12. Even though that book's been out for a week, normally I still wouldn't talk specifics about it. But yesterday DC's blog site posted the final page so we can say the 'secret' is out there. Plus I'm sure you can find it floating around Comic Vine as well.
 
Another thing DC did yesterday was post the Frank Quitely cover to issue #13 (seen to the right). Seeing him is issue #12 was pretty crazy. We haven't really seen the Joker since Batman R.I.P. My questions are, what has he been up to and how much does he really know about Batman?
 
We can only hope there's an explanation as to why he recently took on another costumed identity. While it was a bit of a shocker, I'd hate for that to be the only reason, to shock us. I have to trust that Grant Morrison has a huge master plan in regards to Batman (and the Joker). The Joker's actions don't usually make sense but in his recent appearances, he seemed almost...sane. That's a real scary thought. I'm on the edge of my seat wanting to know what his motivation was to take on this identity. We've been seeing bits and pieces to the backstory of this "character" and it now feels like it's being thrown out the window. Again, I have to have faith that this was the original plan all along. I really have to hope that we will get clarification on this character's personal life and the recent troubles he found himself in.
== TEASER ==
The other question is does the Joker know that Bruce Wayne is Batman? This is a question that has been on my mind since R.I.P. If you recall or check out the image to the right, when Batman was trying to "save" Jezebel Jet, he had his cowl off. Even if the lighting wasn't good and Joker couldn't clearly see his face, she was yelling out "Bruce!" over and over. Everyone knows that being Batman costs a lot of money and how many rich young guys are there in Gotham named Bruce?
 
Also if you'll recall, shortly after this, Bruce passed out after getting a dose of Joker's poison and was buried alive by the Black Glove. We can assume that Joker stuck around for at least a bit of that before handing out his threats to the members, stealing an ambulance and being forced off a bridge by the Batmobile (being driven by Damian). In his recent guise, Damian even brought up Bruce Wayne to him. Maybe it's just Damian doesn't understand the concept of a secret identity but "Robin" shouldn't be openly talking about Bruce. 
 
On a side note, when Commissioner Gordon was in Wayne Manor and first ran into Damian, Talia was sure to tell him that "Damian is the son of The Batman." Since Damian has publicly talked to the board of Wayen Enterprises, we have to assume the world knows he's Bruce's son. So will Gordon be able to put two and two together?
 
What would it mean if Joker knew Batman's secret identity? Would it even matter to him? If anyone, Joker's the one to realize that Batman is the main identity. Who he was before he was transformed is irrelevant, just like who Joker was before doesn't matter. Joker wants and needs Batman as his nemesis. Batman is the only one he considers worthy to stand against him. Joker would never kill Batman because then his fun would be over. But would Joker use his knowledge of Batman's other life to strike at those he cares for? We'll have to hope that Grant Morrison gives us some of these answers soon.
 
What do you think? Does Joker know Batman is Bruce Wayne? Do you think he really cares who Batman is under his mask? Is the Joker's mind so messed up that it just won't register or make a difference?
Staff
#1 Edited by skaarason (683 posts) - - Show Bio

i wish gm could write batman comics forever !!!!

#2 Posted by doordoor123 (3721 posts) - - Show Bio

i dont know but im really excited to see what happens.

#3 Edited by KRYPTON (1891 posts) - - Show Bio

Well Damian did drive off the ambulance he was driving into Gotham Bay, In Batman R.I.P. If anyone remembers. He probably was knocked unconscious and then returned after some time. I think it will be explained in Batman #701. Now Damian is giving Jason Todd Justice. Killing Joker with a crow bar. 

#4 Edited by Croaker (296 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm still sticking to him becoming somewhat lucid because he thinks the real Batman is dead.

Also, Joker has been hinted strongly of knowing Batman's identity for years. Gordon definitely knew already, but wants to keep the charade of plausable deniability.

#5 Posted by Gylan Thomas (2727 posts) - - Show Bio

I wish GM would stop writing Batman comics.
"Metalek Xenoformer"?

#6 Posted by Joey Ravn (385 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Joker has known who Bats was for a VERY long time. But he doesn't care. As long as Batman plays Batman, he's happy. The same goes for the Commish: he knows Batman is Bruce Wayne, but he doesn't want to get things too "personal". They been through hell and back together, he's basically the only person Batman trusts (outside the Bat-Family, I mean). IIRC, it was during Cataclysm that Batman took off his cowl, but Gordon refused to look. He surely knows, but he wants to keep "the status quo", if you ask me. 
 
Anyway, Grant Morrison is one of those few writers that can drive you mad trying to figure out what is happening. I know many people think this is something bad, but I totally, utterly, sheerly LOVE IT. I hope Grant keeps writing comics for another 50 years, or more :D

#7 Posted by AmazingSpiderMike (144 posts) - - Show Bio

You'd think after 70 years, they would know each other pretty well. Maybe they shared a cappuccino and a danish at the local coffee shop or couples therapy to really get down to the nitty gritty of their relationship.  

#8 Edited by Croaker (296 posts) - - Show Bio

All in all, I think Batman's secret identity has been under serious attacks recently. Just think of all those who now know who is. Black Glove, their henchmen etc.

Hmm..maybe that was a strong motivation for the Joker to eliminate them.

#9 Posted by johnny_spam (2035 posts) - - Show Bio
@Croaker: @Croaker said:
"

All in all, I think Batman's secret identity has been under serious attacks recently. Just think of all those who now know who is. Black Glove, their henchmen etc.

Hmm..maybe that was a strong motivation for the Joker to eliminate them.

"
It makes sense that's why Joker is killing the Black Glove.
#10 Posted by Gylan Thomas (2727 posts) - - Show Bio

This is just a little too left field for me. Like it really was just because it was the last thing any one was expecting.
The whole thing seems way out of character for Joker.

#11 Posted by johnny_spam (2035 posts) - - Show Bio
@Gylan Thomas: @Gylan Thomas said:
" This is just a little too left field for me. Like it really was just because it was the last thing any one was expecting. The whole thing seems way out of character for Joker. "
Back in RIP Joker did not like the Black Glove and killed a member we then saw Oberon Sexton travel the world hunting for a "Domino Killer" who had been killing the Black Glove members. The reveal Joker is Oberon makes sense because it meant he was not hunting the killer he was the killer.
#12 Posted by Gylan Thomas (2727 posts) - - Show Bio
@johnny spam said:
" @Gylan Thomas: @Gylan Thomas said:
" This is just a little too left field for me. Like it really was just because it was the last thing any one was expecting. The whole thing seems way out of character for Joker. "
Back in RIP Joker did not like the Black Glove and killed a member we then saw Oberon Sexton travel the world hunting for a "Domino Killer" who had been killing the Black Glove members. The reveal Joker is Oberon makes sense because it meant he was not hunting the killer he was the killer. "
We gonna do the pro and anti Morrison thing again? :D
It stil seems out of character.
Establishing a new identity to go and kill also seems out of character for Joker. Seems to me he's never felt the need before.
You're gonna have to fill me in on the issues Oberon/ Joker was hunting and killing black gloves types. I've been put off bat stuff lately.
#13 Posted by johnny_spam (2035 posts) - - Show Bio
@Gylan Thomas: @Gylan Thomas said:
" @johnny spam said:
" @Gylan Thomas: @Gylan Thomas said:
" This is just a little too left field for me. Like it really was just because it was the last thing any one was expecting. The whole thing seems way out of character for Joker. "
Back in RIP Joker did not like the Black Glove and killed a member we then saw Oberon Sexton travel the world hunting for a "Domino Killer" who had been killing the Black Glove members. The reveal Joker is Oberon makes sense because it meant he was not hunting the killer he was the killer. "
We gonna do the pro and anti Morrison thing again? :D It stil seems out of character. Establishing a new identity to go and kill also seems out of character for Joker. Seems to me he's never felt the need before. You're gonna have to fill me in on the issues Oberon/ Joker was hunting and killing black gloves types. I've been put off bat stuff lately. "
Okay when "Oberon" was introduced it was said he was hunting a killer down and tracking him all over the world later he was called by Hurt saying he knew who Oberon was, Joker and Hurt had a little encounter in RIP where Joker said he respected him but was never going to be his servant. It must have come to Hurt's attention that Oberon was the Joker and was killing the Black Glove members so he sent those demon named assassins to kill him.     
 
It would be perfectly in character for Joker to act like someone else and even in a Paul Dini book he did a similar thing and the Joker was established in Arkham Asylum to rearrange his personality.
#14 Posted by jlat89 (317 posts) - - Show Bio

I thought he was aware of the identity since A Death in The Family.  It was never really said but it was implied in the last chapter when Joker saw Bruce at the UN and stopped and looked at him and Bruce's thoughts were along the lines of"does he know who I am?" 

#15 Posted by Gylan Thomas (2727 posts) - - Show Bio
@johnny spam said:
" @Gylan Thomas: @Gylan Thomas said:
" @johnny spam said:
" @Gylan Thomas: @Gylan Thomas said:
" This is just a little too left field for me. Like it really was just because it was the last thing any one was expecting. The whole thing seems way out of character for Joker. "
Back in RIP Joker did not like the Black Glove and killed a member we then saw Oberon Sexton travel the world hunting for a "Domino Killer" who had been killing the Black Glove members. The reveal Joker is Oberon makes sense because it meant he was not hunting the killer he was the killer. "
We gonna do the pro and anti Morrison thing again? :D It stil seems out of character. Establishing a new identity to go and kill also seems out of character for Joker. Seems to me he's never felt the need before. You're gonna have to fill me in on the issues Oberon/ Joker was hunting and killing black gloves types. I've been put off bat stuff lately. "
Okay when "Oberon" was introduced it was said he was hunting a killer down and tracking him all over the world later he was called by Hurt saying he knew who Oberon was, Joker and Hurt had a little encounter in RIP where Joker said he respected him but was never going to be his servant. It must have come to Hurt's attention that Oberon was the Joker and was killing the Black Glove members so he sent those demon named assassins to kill him.     
 
It would be perfectly in character for Joker to act like someone else and even in a Paul Dini book he did a similar thing and the Joker was established in Arkham Asylum to rearrange his personality. "
I still stand by what I said about it being out of character for him to flat out set himself up a whole different persona.
Arkham Asylum was more Morrison. Most other writers I remember have wrote him as fairly consistanty crazy with in that era's continuity. Of course now Morrison's written the silver age nonsense back in to continuity so maybe all the different ways the Joker's been written now stand.
I would like to know what the Dini stroy was though.
#16 Posted by johnny_spam (2035 posts) - - Show Bio
@Gylan Thomas: It's a generational thing older writers like Morrison, Steve Englehart and even Alex Ross or Jim Kruegger have maintained that Joker is not all crazy and is something else making him more evil than damaged. Dini's issues of Detective 833-834 use the same thing in the Death and the City graphic novel, but honestly it's not that great a reveal or strong because it is more focused on the Batman Zatanna friendship.
#17 Edited by Dr. Maxwell (661 posts) - - Show Bio

I still go with Morriosns's Theory that the Joker isnt insane but in fact hasa form of super sanity that he uses to cope with everyday living, it changes from day to day, trickster clown from the camp years, to Homicidal Maniac of the 80s and 90s, to the genocidal whirlwind of death of the 00s. 
 
Also I love that cover, I love that cover so much
#18 Posted by GT-Man (4054 posts) - - Show Bio

huh
#19 Posted by goldenkey (2927 posts) - - Show Bio

Come on now people.  You knew Dick was gonna have to face the Joker sooner or later without Bruce.  It's the final exam to see if he passes.  Why are so many people saying the Joker is acting out of text, he's the Joker.  He's always out of text.  To do the unexpected is the true thing to expect  from the Joker.  If he does know Bruce is Batman then it's going to be a knew thing.  The Joker knowing Bruce's identity is way to big a thing to have been played with before.  It would be massive that's Morrisons intention tho.  The Joker wouldn't tell anyone else who Batman is, but he would torment him by going after those close to him.  Hopefully the Joker will kill Damian, then there can be a Joker vs Ras war.  Interesting.  And what great emotional ending it would be for Dick to go thru when giving the mantle back to Bruce.  His own Robin is killed by the Joker.  I don't see where Damian is going, and he acts a lot like Jason Todd did.  I don't think he fits in the books.
#20 Posted by danhimself (22553 posts) - - Show Bio

all of this talk of it being out of character for the Joker to do something like this is null and void....The Joker is one of the most insane characters in comics there is no "in character" for him...plus this wouldn't be the first time that Joker has gone through a personality change and Morrison even addressed that early in R.I.P. , talking about how the Joker acted during the Silver age then back to homicidal with the Killing Joke...this guy can do whatever floats through that crazy head of his...it may not make sense to you but then again you're not clinically insane either
 
I really think that it doesn't matter if the Joker knows Bruce was Batman because I feel like he would have been able to look at Dick as Batman and immediately know that isn't "his" Batman and I think he's doing whatever it takes to get "his" Batman back even if it means working with the current Batman

#21 Posted by Gylan Thomas (2727 posts) - - Show Bio
@Dr. Maxwell said:
" I still go with Morriosns's Theory that the Joker isnt insane but in fact hasa form of super sanity that he uses to cope with everyday living, it changes from day to day, trickster clown from the camp years, to Homicidal Maniac of the 80s and 90s, to the genocidal whirlwind of death of the 00s.  Also I love that cover, I love that cover so much "
Sounds like crazy to me. Changin' from day to day sounds kinda scitzo in fact.
With all the retcons over the years it was only Morrison who brought then all together. Along with all the contracicitons it brings. 
 
@goldenkey said:
" Come on now people.  You knew Dick was gonna have to face the Joker sooner or later without Bruce.  It's the final exam to see if he passes.  Why are so many people saying the Joker is acting out of text, he's the Joker.  He's always out of text.  To do the unexpected is the true thing to expect  from the Joker.  If he does know Bruce is Batman then it's going to be a knew thing.  The Joker knowing Bruce's identity is way to big a thing to have been played with before.  It would be massive that's Morrisons intention tho.  The Joker wouldn't tell anyone else who Batman is, but he would torment him by going after those close to him.  Hopefully the Joker will kill Damian, then there can be a Joker vs Ras war.  Interesting.  And what great emotional ending it would be for Dick to go thru when giving the mantle back to Bruce.  His own Robin is killed by the Joker.  I don't see where Damian is going, and he acts a lot like Jason Todd did.  I don't think he fits in the books. "
My worry would be that now Joker knows the big secret it'll just be retconned out again when the next crisis comes up.
#22 Posted by DEGRAAF (7881 posts) - - Show Bio

I would think he would know by know that Bruce and Batman were the same person. Didnt he (as Oberon Sexton) ask about how Bruce Wayne felt about all the things going on on his property tho? and Dick (as Batman) states that Bruce was not home at the time. So it sounds as if Joker still doesnt know. After reading what Gordon has heard you would think that he could put those together but who says Gordon knows about Damien talking to the board. Unfortunately i think atleast half of this evidence that should out the bat will be ignored

#23 Posted by Moomin123 (2205 posts) - - Show Bio

 

I thought that it's been a while since we've heard from the Joker.

In the word's of Heath Ledger, I hope he "puts a smile on our faces"!

#24 Posted by jloneblackheart (5519 posts) - - Show Bio

I think we'll have a better idea next issue. Then we can see if he knows that the Batman in front of him is not the real Batman (which I think he does). I also think he'll even know that it is the original Robin, or NIghtwing, acting as Batman. 
 
I think he is just trying to get close so he can find out what's happened to the real Batman. Or even help get him back.

Moderator
#25 Posted by rlmay3 (256 posts) - - Show Bio

I was under the impression that the Joker was aware of his identity long ago, as well. But like someone said earlier, it really doesn't matter because the Joke only cares about Batman. And for this being out of character, I agree and disagree.
 
I agree that the Joker seems a lot more calculating and coherent in this new identity, which seems out of character, But the idea of assuming a new identity is entirely in his character, just as some said before. The Joker is always putting on disguises and donning fake identities to achieve his goals, but the only reason this seems far out is because he has maintained this persona for so long and so convincingly, without a hint of the Joker coming to the surface.
 
While I really like this as a twist, I really hope it's going somewhere and not just put there as shock value. This has the potential reshape the direction of the Batman mythos.

#26 Posted by Jim Halpert (58 posts) - - Show Bio

The part about Joker knowing the Batman as Bruce may either not be mentioned again, or simply just retconned by DC as never happening.
#27 Edited by Croaker (296 posts) - - Show Bio

Killing Damian would drive Bruce over the edge. He was ready to kill him after Jason's death. He nearly beat him to death when he thought he had killed Tommy Elliot. So I have no doubt he would finish Joker once and for all if he killed his own flesh and blood. And this time he would actually do it.

The "I don't kill" rule would simply ruin his character in that situation. So I think Damian is way too important to die, at least by one of Bruce's enemies. It would be way too sensational and problematic for writers, IMO.

Besides, I don't think they want to duplicate Jason's story. Damian may be a reckless, arrogant little asshole, but he isn't like Jason. He isn't a street punk who grew up in poverty.

#28 Edited by Croaker (296 posts) - - Show Bio
@Jim Halpert said:

" The part about Joker knowing the Batman as Bruce may either not be mentioned again, or simply just retconned by DC as never happening. "

But that would mean that they would have to retcon Bruce arriving as Batman of Zur-En-Arrh and watching Jezebel "die".
#29 Posted by Pez85 (205 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it'd be a cool twist if Joker ended up HELPING Dick and Damien try and find Bruce. Sure, he's already started to do it as Sexton, but why not continue? He's already killed off most of the Black Glove (either because they used him, or they were responsible for Bruce's demise), so how about a Dick/Damien/Joker team up to take on Dr Hurt and his cronies?

#30 Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir (19714 posts) - - Show Bio

It all part of the plan

#31 Posted by BestChanceThor (97 posts) - - Show Bio
@goldenkey:
I can see it now. Joker kills Damien whilst Bruce is fighting his way back to the present. Bruce makes it back to the present in time to realize what the Joker had done and finds out what Dick is about to do. Maybe Dick gets so crazily mad that he beats the crap out of the joker or maybe tries to kill him but Bruce gets there just in time. They dispose of Joker properly and Dick finally realizes why Bruce is so tough sometimes andmaybe Dick is becoming the man he didn't want to become. 
Damn, I should write comics
#32 Posted by wordchallenge (151 posts) - - Show Bio

I think the Joker has known that Bruce is Batman for a long time, but hasn't cared because he thinks that Batman is the true identity. However, now that Bruce has been gone for some time, Joker is addressing where he might be. More than anything, the Joker needs his Batman.

#33 Posted by Dracade102 (8167 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm Sure Joker's Gonna off Damian too eventually, with less Robins to steal batman's limelight the more fun The Joker can have...
#34 Posted by Theodore (3445 posts) - - Show Bio

I think he knows Bruce is Bats but doesn't care because Bats is the one he wants to play with.

#35 Posted by DEGRAAF (7881 posts) - - Show Bio
@goldenkey:
THey already plnned on killing of Damien but they decided against it and said they are very happy they didnt bc they have alot to tell about him and the readers seem to like him alot so they arent going to kill him off. I would like to see how a war between Joker and Ra's play out tho. Joker is revealed, and from the looks of the Black Glove, Jaon Todd is back so that is the scenerio im waitingfor, to se Jason, Joker and batman and robin all together at one time. That would be an interesting turn for dick tho if his robin gets killed by the joker. So why did Joker attack Barbara in the Killing Joke if he doesnt know who batman is?
#36 Posted by darkxman123 (198 posts) - - Show Bio

well i dont relley know what may happen the funny thing is i kept thinking if  oberon sexton was real hed have a voice a bit like jokers in brave and the bold 

#37 Posted by yo_yo_fun (643 posts) - - Show Bio

It must be a trick!

#38 Posted by G-Man (34325 posts) - - Show Bio
@DEGRAAF: I'd have to re-read Killing Joke but I thought it was to mess/torture Jim Gordon. She just happened to be the one to answer the door.
Staff
#39 Posted by NightFang (10068 posts) - - Show Bio

The "J"-man is back in town. 

#40 Posted by THEBlaqueBasterd (384 posts) - - Show Bio
@danhimself: Dude you just hit a thousand nails on the head!!!
#41 Posted by jakob187 (998 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll have to go back and point out that Oberon says in one of the issues of Batman & Robin that he is not in fact Bruce Wayne, so this led me to assume upon the reveal of Sexton's real identity that The Joker DOES know that Batman is Bruce Wayne. 
 
However, your point from R.I.P. now has me curious if we can dig back even further than that for any kind of possible  clues. 
 
Also, I feel the need to point this out:  if it seriously took Dick this long to deduce that THE JOKER was Oberon Sexton - a villain he has seen and fought against plenty of times - then we REALLY have to question his abilities as Batman.  Mind you, a lot of us didn't figure it out either...but we also aren't in that world, capable of hearing their voices.

#42 Posted by carnivalofsins00 (938 posts) - - Show Bio

is this cover a varient or the regular cover? and if it is a variant, will it cost hundreds of dollars more? cause i saw another cover for # 13 on tfaw.com and i definetly like this one better.

#43 Posted by DEGRAAF (7881 posts) - - Show Bio
@G-Man:
ah, yea thats one HC i would like to pick up that i just havent had the money for yet
#44 Posted by KNIGHT SAVIOR (824 posts) - - Show Bio

This is JOKER we're talking here , he doesn't care who BATMAN is as long as he have fun toying with him
#45 Posted by kareem (281 posts) - - Show Bio

it has been shown before (cant remember the story line) that once batman has died Joker becomes sane. So maybe now that the original Batman is dead but another has taken over the cowl the joker either has become lucid enough to not want to kill, is simply testing this new batman to see if he is worthy, or is just bored and wants to mix things up.

#46 Posted by growup (525 posts) - - Show Bio
@Gylan Thomas: Does the joker really have a character? Or is he just out their to mess with Batman in any way possible?
#47 Edited by likalaruku (759 posts) - - Show Bio

Morrison already established his "supersane" view on the Joker. That doesn;t mean he's not insane at all, it just means that he's insane, incredibly smart, & really good at acting like he's crazier than he rreally is.

Despite the lazy background, I'm loving this cover. Is joker trying to grab Damien's balls?
 
I've actually suspected that the Joker knew Bruce was the Bat since A Death in the Family. I believe he sees Bruce as a sad joke not worth his time interfearing with. Bruce would be the false personality. 
 
Oberon Sexton...He's too muscular to be the Joker. Where are the scars? I'd like that explained. If it really is him, then he must be desperate to find the real Batman, He never did like Nightwing & he's already well used to him. Joker hates imposter Batmen & sidekicks.
 
My question is HOW clingy is he to Batman. If he were truely dead, would the Joker's world shatter, or would he pick on his second favorite; Lex Luthor?

#48 Posted by likalaruku (759 posts) - - Show Bio
@wordchallenge said:

" I think the Joker has known that Bruce is Batman for a long time, but hasn't cared because he thinks that Batman is the true identity. However, now that Bruce has been gone for some time, Joker is addressing where he might be. More than anything, the Joker needs his Batman. "

 
 When you say it like that, I can picture the Joker sleeping with a Batman plushie tucked under his arm. lol.  
#49 Posted by xxSadisticSmilexx (61 posts) - - Show Bio

There is all this talk about if the Joker knows Batman's real identity.  Yet the biggest question for me isn't that at all.  In the end of issue #12 the Joker's face looked to be changed back to normal.  Yet in the cover of 13#  he looks like that craptastic version again.  Which one is DC going to stick with?  Please dear god say they are going to get rid of GM's design.

#50 Posted by dan1509 (183 posts) - - Show Bio

HMmmm im interested in:
 1) jokers reaction to Dick as Batman
2) Damiens reaction to joker
3)Joker's reaction as to the no bruce situation

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