|First Appearance:||Batman: Arkham Asylum (Batman #1 Spring 1940)|
|Created by:|| Jerry Robinson (concept)|
|Affiliations:|| Harley Quinn|
Talia al Ghul
|Abilities:|| High intelligence|
Experience in hand to hand combat
|Portrayed by:||Mark Hamill (voice)|
One of Batman's oldest enemies and arch-nemesis throughout his crime-fighting career, The Joker is responsible for some of the most horrendous and tragic moments in Batman's life, culminating in an extremely long and brutal battle where there seems to be no end in sight. An insanely homicidal super-villain with no powers beyond his capacity for incredible violence and creating deadly mayhem, the Joker's white skin, green hair, blood-red lips, and purple suit belie the chaotic nature underlying his colorful appearance.
Leaving a trail of death and destruction wherever he goes, Joker's only motive in life is to create as much mindless violence and chaos as possible and enjoy in a game of cat and mouse with his nemesis, Batman, whom he disturbingly views as both his greatest enemy and friend, and create situations that nearly force the Dark Knight to give up his moral code. He frequently concocts complex and elaborate plans to entrap Batman and break his morale and destroy Gotham City, often resulting in the deaths of hundreds and thousands of innocent individuals.
The self-styled Clown Prince of Crime has no superpowers, beyond a capacity for incredible violence and a skill at creating deadly mayhem with toy related gags.
Since his last encounter with the Dark Knight, the Joker has been transferred to Arkham City. Eyewitnesses claim he is stricken with a serious disease, possibly caused by his Titan overdose on Arkham Island.
He has been lying low, delivering orders through Harley Quinn, so no one can confirm if the Joker is actually in poor health or playing another sick joke.
- Unrepentant homicidal maniac, albeit without a precise psychological diagnosis
- Surprisingly strong hand-to-hand combatant
- His past is unknown; conflicting, unconfirmed reports state that he was a failed comedian, a petty thief, and a broken family man
- Employs various deadly weapons, often based on party-gag items
- Frequently uses a toxin that stretches victim's face into a Joker-like grin and causes death
Batman: Arkham Origins
Batman: Assault on Arkham
Batman: Arkham Asylum
After being brought back to Arkham Asylum by Batman after escaping several months prior, Joker seizes complete control of the facility through an elaborate plan and traps Batman on the island with the aid of Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, Victor Zsasz, and several inside agents. With hundreds of his men patrolling the island, having been transferred there from Blackgate after Joker staged a massive fire at the facility, and a large portion of the guards and orderlies dead, Joker seeks to obtain a chemical compound known as Titan.
Titan was a unique steroid serum that was being developed at the asylum for experimental purposes by Dr. Penelope Young, using venom she drained from Bane as the main ingredient. The compound was initially intended to be used to bolster a patient's immune system and strength in order to cope with the more intense psychological and physical therapy techniques offered at the asylum. However, Dr. Young became absorbed with her own ambitions and saw Titan as an asset that could be used to breed stronger individuals and then inteneded to sell her creation to external parties throughout the globe for seemingly noble purposes. She then began to experiment on countless patients at the asylum, costing many of them the last shreds of sanity and reason that they might have had left.
Having funded and manipulated the entire operation under the alias "Jack White" and pulled the strings to have Bane released from Blackgate Penitentiary and transferred to Arkham Asylum, Joker planned to use the formula to create a massive and twisted force to destroy Gotham. However, Dr. Young refused to cooperate with his plans once she learned of his involvement, enticing Joker to escape from the Asylum to plan an elaborate scheme and, when the time was right, instigate a chain of events to ultimately get himself recaptured and brought back to Arkham Asylum by Batman to create his army himself and entrap the Dark Knight.
Joker eventually brutally murders Dr. Young after he succeeds in using Zsasz to torture her to reveal the Titan formula and creates massive amounts of the substance, upgrades dozens of his men with the chemical, dumps the waste product into the asylum sewers to poison Gotham's waters, and gives Poison Ivy some Titan to allow her plants to grow and take control of the island. Despite all this, Batman overcomes all the obstacles that were placed before him, creates an antidote to Titan, purifies the poisoned water, defeats Ivy and her plants, and reaches Joker in the Penitentiary. However, Joker is able to ship over a dozen massive containers of Titan into Gotham as a failsafe and shoots Batman and himself with Titan darts to finish their battle as equals on the Asylum roof; "two freaks in a fight till the death."
While torturing Commissioner Gordon and holding him hostage, Joker is turned into a hulking monster and attempts to force Batman to give into the Titan and become a monster just like him for all of Gotham to see through the news choppers covering their showdown. Batman refuses to give into his plans, however, and uses the antidote on himself, eventually ending the battle by using explosive gel to brutally defeat Joker and knock him out. With the GCPD retaking control of the asylum, Joker is arrested and taken back to his cell while he undergoes the extremely painful regression back to his original state.
As Joker is brought back to his cell, the Clown Prince of Crime would be left humiliated, angry, and thirsty for revenge and wasted no time in concocting new plans and schemes for Batman and Gotham City. Joker's attack on the Asylum would leave close to two-hundred individuals dead and would serve as one of the major reasons why Arkham City, a mega prison built in the very heart of Gotham, was approved by City Hall.
The Titan Disease and War for Arkham City
- "Just not fair it ends up this way...though it is a pretty good joke on me. (laughs)"
- ―The Joker's thoughts to himself as he sits in extreme isloation
Over the following months after Joker and Batman's showdown on top of Arkham, Joker immediately notices that his body was not healing well at all after his brutal fight with Batman. After the asylum doctors diagnose Joker's condition at his request, they reveal that the chemicals from the Titan dose that Joker took were so large in quantity and taken at such a fast rate at once that large portions of the formula did not leave his body even after his regression, but became assimilated into his blood particles, making it impossible to isolate completely from his body and poisoning his blood stream.
This causes Joker to develop a fatal and incurable illness that soon begins to ravage his face and body and gives the villain an estimated eighteen months left to live before Titan poisons his blood stream completely. Several surviving Arkham guards however, have vowed on the graves of their friends that were murdered by Joker that he will meet a much more painful demise.
Realizing that this illness will make him appear weak in front of his allies and adversaries, Joker knows he needs to make new plans to ensure that his enemies do not know of his weakness, especially with Arkham City nearly complete. To keep a low profile from the other super-criminals, Joker uses a spoon to dig out the eyes of another inmate during lunch time, knowing that this would give him solitary confinement and allow him the peace and quiet he needed to make his plans.
While imprisoned, Joker escapes from his cell and wanders around the patient belongings room and starts becoming attached to the dummy Scarface, who he found in a locker along with Riddler and Two-Face's suits. Having used the puppet previously during the Arkham riots, Joker uses it to keep himself entertained and focused on his plans to ensure that his mind does not break completely from months of isolation.
With Arkham City soon to be his new settings, Joker sees great new opportunities and prospects to make fresh, new plans to destroy Gotham and get revenge on Batman and all his other enemies and rivals. Within Arkham City, the Joker knew that he could build up a massive army with almost unlimited numbers and stage a massive breakout. With Gotham City right next door to the massive prison, Arkham City would prove to be the perfect area to commence one last, twisted assault on Gotham to wipe out its entire populace. Joker began to modify his plans to this crucial area in order to effectively take over his new stamping grounds and plan a historic cat and mouse game with Batman that would also outline his greatest and sickest joke against Gotham and the entire world as well.
Six months within solitary, Joker finally completes his plans and devises the perfect means to stay one step ahead of Batman and everyone else in Arkham City. However, Joker's sickness has taken quite a toll on him by this time and needed to be seated in a wheelchair to be moved around. Joker knows that he couldn't be transferred to Arkham City or else all his enemies would know of his sickness and weakness and planned to sneak into the city instead; all he needs now is an escape plan and on the night of his transfer to Arkham City, Harley Quinn would provide him with one.
Joker is eventually scheduled to be the first inmate of the recently completed Arkham City, but instead of being brought to the transfer buses to take him there, his escort guard has other plans in mind; plans of vengeance. Joker is brought to a medical lab so that the guards can exact their torturous revenge slowly in retaliation for the deaths of all their friends caused by Joker's plans in the Arkham riots.
Unfortunately for them, the ever loyal Harley overheard their conspiracy, escaped confinement, murdered a female guard, took her place, brutally murders the rest of the guards, and finally rescues the Joker and brings him to her prepared escape boat. Joker and Harley escape the island, leaving Scarface behind, but are intercepted by Batman who was immediately alerted of their escape by his newly installed sensors on Arkham Island. Batman manages to destroy the psychotic couple's boat, but Joker and Harley are able to escape amongst the wreckage and proceeded to sneak into Arkham City using the sewer system network that connects to the Gotham Bay.
Being the first inmate in the city undetected, Joker plots to become the ruling elite in the Arkham City underworld and to use the facility for his own malicious designs and purposes and establishes his main base of operations in the Sionis Steel Mill, one of Black Mask's former company properties. Over the next several months, Joker begins renovating the factory into his classical image, complete with a roller-coaster death trap meant as a sadistic recruiting method to weed out the inmates with the best reflexes (those that jump from the coaster before the death plunge).
With Harley at his side, Joker begins to brutally recruit inmates once again for his new army, both old and new associates alike, and soon becomes one of the leading powers of Arkham City, rivaling that of The Penguin and his gang. With Harley nursing him, Joker would soon gain some of his health back and would be well enough to walk without the use of a wheelchair, allowing him to embark on some of his plans himself.
Having firmly situated himself in the city, Joker begins to look to form several connections and partnerships to aid in his plans. He starts by paying a visit to Mr. Cobblepot, a.k.a, The Penguin, who was also one of the first inmates in the prison as he refused to move when the perimeter wall was built, believing that their bitter rivalry that started years ago was ancient history.
However, Penguin still remembers all the trouble Joker caused him over the years and refuses to even let him enter the Iceberg Lounge, shutting the door just before Joker squirts acid towards his face. With Penguin now back on his hit list, Joker makes it one of his goals to topple Penguin's power in Arkham City and slaughter him and his entire army. With both Joker and Penguin the first inmates in Arkham, they are seen as the major power-bases by other inmates to join in order to survive in the hellish domain.As Joker continues to build up his forces, a new Arkham inmate, Lester Kurtz, arrives looking for a job and easily escapes the Joker's death traps and dispatches his goons. Joker, impressed, takes a liking to Lester and welcomes him into his gang, but also instructs his men to keep a close eye on him. Realizing that the Joker is a poor choice of employer, Lester bails out on the gang and goes looking for a job with Penguin. Joker is unsurprisingly furious to the point that he puts a bounty on Lester's head unaware of the fact that he's actually the latest alias of his hated enemy Batman.
Joker and his gang soon become embroiled in violent turf wars for control over Arkham City with other fractions and gangs. In order to ensure that no one could either confirm nor deny the rumor of his illness, Joker relays his orders through Harley while he remains in the shadows, cooking up his plans and operations in preparation of Batman's inevitable arrival in Arkham City. Joker also uses Harley to lead some of his men into making frequent raids on other inmates' supply of drugs in order to aid in his condition.
In addition to this, it seems that Joker has also been taking every precaution to prolong his fate, including abducting his doctor and forcing him to give him a diagnosis and isolate some of the Titan compound from his blood stream. The doctor, after informing Joker of his deteriorating condition and giving him the isolated Titan formula, is sent into the factory's old incinerator on Joker's roller-coaster.
At the same time, Joker begins to obtain several shipments of the Titan formula he sent off Arkham Island into Gotham prior to Batman spoiling his plans. However, he also knew that others such as the Penguin were likely to have obtained some of the shipments as well and uses the Titan he salvaged from his blood stream as a failsafe supply should the other shipments get stolen or destroyed. To this end, Joker uses the Titan in his possession to mass-produce large quantities of the chemicals once again and upgrade some of his gang, sending them out to kill anyone he sees as an obstacle in his plans for control over Arkham City.
Among them was Bane, who has been running a makeshift fighting ring in Arkham City, and is soon attacked by one of Joker's men, who is pumped up on Titan. Bane is defeated and nearly killed until Joker's thug's heart goes into cardiac arrest from the overuse of Titan and is mercy killed by Bane, who decides to locate and claim all the sources of Titan for himself once and for all, knowing just how dangerous it is, especially if used against him.
Joker would also target many of the political prisoners within the city, most of them having been incarcerated simply because they knew too much about Arkham City, and have his gang use them as little more than slaves to do his bidding. Some of this would entail these individuals actually completing several tasks that would aid Joker in his ambitions for the war over control of Arkham City, but for the most part, they were used simply as another outlet for the Clown Prince of Crime to let his madness loose and torture and murder more innocents even within the confines of the country's most massive prison complex.
While Joker continues to be embroiled in the turf wars for control of the prison complex, Mugsy, an old time associate of the Ventriloquist, brings Scarface back to Joker as a favor to get back into Joker's gang, who is delighted to get his buddy back. Joker starts spending more time with Scarface than anyone else, making Harley jealous. Harley tosses Scarface into a boiler when Joker was not around, consoling Joker by saying that she slipped, but he tells her not to worry and brings out a new Scarface that Mugsy made for him.
While Joker hugs the dummy, it motions to his eyes with his fingers to Harley, implying that it's watching her and hinting that Joker may be intentionally using Scareface to mess with Harley's love for him for his own amusement and to make Harley more vicious and erratic in leading his plans and operations. Scareface is also the perfect means of abuse that Joker needs, with Mugsy creating a new one every time Joker gets bored with one, freeing him to mutilate, torture, and destroy any puppet that failed to entertain him.
With multiple unseen connections and pawns in place, Joker is prepared to launch his latest plans for the death and destruction of all of Gotham City and beyond. With his pending illness, Joker takes precautions to ensure that he is still seen as one of the leading powers in Arkham City and eventually conquer the new compound for himself. With his plaything of a manipulation, Harley Quinn, Joker issues orders that would eventually come to fruition to reveal a heinous plan that would be unleashed in Arkham City and violently erupt onto the unsuspecting citizens of Gotham City.
None know of the full extent of the Joker's plans, not even Hugo Strange himself, who assumes he has everyone in Arkham City under his control. Joker's plans would not only light up all of Gotham City with death and destruction, but would give him everything he has desired for the past year; power, revenge against Batman, a cure for his illness, incredible and unlimited numbers to command, and even immortality itself to continue wreaking death, chaos, and destruction for decades with no end in sight.
The Set Up For His Last Laugh
- "So here's the thing. If you want to make sure that no one else finds out about your past, you should stop poking your nose into mine."
- ―Joker reveals his extensive knowledge of Strange's background to the mad professor.[src]
With Joker regarded as one of the most violent and historic criminals of all time, it wasn't long before Hugo Strange has him brought into his office in order to study and understand him, seeing Joker as the ultimate challenge for his psychological tactics. After having Joker brought in to start taped interview sessions, Hugo Strange reminds the Clown Prince of Crime that his remaining time left before his impending death is short, something even Joker admitted. Strange then offered to make a deal with the villain; if Joker allowed the doctor to study him, Strange would make Joker's last days more 'comfortable' in return, starting their alliance.
Throughout his alliance with Strange, Joker has the mad doctor round up dozens of medical doctors and physicians for him to help cure his illness. Regardless of how many doctors Strange abducts and brings into Arkham City, Joker seems more concerned and happy with torturing, mutilating, and murdering them rather than developing a cure.
Unknown to Strange however, Joker has been using the doctors to drain large quantities of his poisoned blood and ship it off to emergency rooms all over Gotham City, infecting thousands of people with his illness. In return, Joker would tell Strange what it is that drove him over the edge of sanity, though all the stories he tells are nothing more than mere fabrications to hide the truth about his condition, which Strange later concludes after reading a dozen different origin stories Joker has told over the years.
While Strange believed he knew everything the Joker could be planning, the Clown Prince of Crime shocked him when he revealed that he knew everything about Strange, including his experiments, his control over Quincy Sharp, and his insidious plans for Arkham City, threatening Strange that he would have all this information leaked to the authorities and public if he doesn't stop trying to uncover his past. Using his knowledge of this information further to blackmail Strange, Joker was able to obtain weapons from him (though Strange had his own designs for this course of action), had all the prison's food drops to be delivered right outside his territory, and gain inside information on the occurrences within Arkham City.
Joker eventually finds out that Strange had Mr. Freeze brought into Arkham City and is having him prepare countless medical drugs, chemicals, and serums for his plans by holding his wife, Nora Fries, hostage. Wanting Freeze's genius for himself to develop a cure, Joker has Strange bring Nora to him to use as collateral to make Freeze develop a cure. Leaving Nora in one of his warehouses and at the mercy of his henchmen, many of whom wish to unfreeze and rape her, Joker blackmailed Freeze to develop a cure, threatening to murder Nora if he fails to do so, though Joker planned to kill her regardless if Freeze succeeded or not.
However, Strange, fearing Joker's potential to ruin his plans, forms a pack with Penguin and helps him capture Freeze, lock him up in his Museum, and gain control of his weapons. Strange would still remain in contact with Joker, who was initially unaware of this betrayal, and continue to supply him with weapons as part of his plans to initiate Protocol 10, a military operation that Strange believes will make him famous and serve as a monument to Batman's failure and defeat.
Joker also begins to suspect Strange's ambitions to use Arkham City as a coverup to actually plan an exploitation of the situation to wipe out every single individual within the prison. To this end, Joker makes use of the construction equipment at the Steel Mill to build massive tunnels that connect to Gotham's sewers and subway system as a shelter for whatever Strange has planned to ensure that his army survives while the rest of his enemies are slaughtered.
These tunnels would also prove to be the perfect entry points into the other villains' territory in order to conquer their turfs and claim them as his own. Joker also saw Strange's true designs as a great way to wipe out his most hated enemies and in which, by the end of the conflict, his army would be the only force left standing, ready to tear down the walls of the prison and completely destroy Gotham City once and for all.
At some point, Two-Face kidnapped the Joker and prepared for a "trial" to be held against Joker, who he blamed to be the reason there ever was an Arkham City. Inviting the Penguin, Bane, Ratcatcher, Poison Ivy, Sickle, Zsasz, the Riddler, Mad Hatter, the Carpenter, The Ventriloquist, Black Mask and Deadshot to be apart of the jury and Harley Quinn as Joker's lawyer, nearly every inmate in Arkham attended the court, leaving the streets abandoned and Batman suspicious of the inactivity in the facility. After Joker was proclaimed guilty and sentenced to death, Batman arrived and the entire court turned to chaos, allowing Joker and Quinn to escape with their gang.
Eventually, one of Joker's trump cards arrives as Basil Karlo, also known as Clayface, enters Arkham City completely undetected under Joker's orders. Assuming the guise of numerous inmates and security personnel alike, the monstrous mudpack eventually meets with his cryptic employer.
Having formed an alliance with the dying clown during his imprisonment in Arkham Asylum, Clayface is quickly convinced to aid the Joker and embroils himself in the Clown Prince of Crime’s last megalomaniac master plan. Despite not actually being imprisoned in Arkham City, Clayface has sided with the Joker for one key reason; to play “the role of a lifetime”. At the request of the Joker, Karlo poses as the healthy crazed Clown Prince of Crime and willingly carries out the vast amounts of chaos the actual Joker would if he was capable.
With Clayface’s vast and nearly unstoppable abilities under his command, the Joker knew he would all but conquer Arkham City with everyone fooled by his double, including Hugo Strange. Next to doubling as him, the Joker used the feat of clay as a puppet of power to carry out his most extreme tasks; having the shape-shifter overlook all operations outside the Steel Mill alongside Harley, recruiting and building up his army into massive numbers, and ultimately convince a cold tempered Mr. Freeze to develop a cure for the clown’s growing illness (although Hugo Strange had already taken Fries’s wife, Nora, hostage by that point).
The Joker was almost sure he was clearing a pathway straight to his victory and with the spotlight focused on his doppelganger he knew that he could easily stay hidden in the shadows long enough to see through his countless plans; which coincidentally would also play into what would be Clayface’s final “performance” as well.
Joker would eventually use Clayface to disguise himself as various TYGER personnel to infiltrate their loactions and obtain their equipment and even the card keys and codes needed to access structures right outside Arkham City's perimeter walls. With these items in his possession, Joker gains access to the Sionis Boat House, just next to his base, where he stores his most valuable weaponry, equipment, and plans; away from the prying eyes of Hugo Strange and his TYGER operatives who remain completely ignorant and blissful of the true magnitude of Joker's own operations.
Joker lastly used Clayface to infiltrate Arkham Island, now TYEGR's main base of operations, to place dozens of explosives deep within the bowels of the Asylum as part of his alternative plans for Batman and Gotham, as well as to take out TYGER when the time was right. With everything in place and his plans completely unnoticed by even Hugo Strange and TYGER, Joker waits for Batman's inevitable arrival in Arkham City, where their most brutal and psychological battle will play out.
Batman: Arkham City
By the time Arkham City officially opens, Joker has turned the Sionis Steel Mill into a complete slaughter house, having murdered hundreds of inmates, political prisoners, his own associates, and doctors alike within the torturous confines of the mill. Having built up a huge army of over a thousand men, a large portion of the city under his complete control, and even creating vast amounts of the Titan chemicals to serve as an asset to his army, Joker was easily one of the most powerful figures in Arkham City, though Penguin was a worthy rival and Two-Face was on the move to becoming a major powerhouse as well.
Each and every day, the war for control over Arkham City would escalate and become more chaotic and violent as Joker relished in the mass amounts of chaos, destruction, torture, murder, and mutilation he brought to the streets. In love with the very madness he creates, Joker is not concerned in the slightest about his opponents in the turf wars as he has already begun to lay the foundations of his megalomaniac plans and implement his numerous trump cards that only he and a select few know about. Before long, Joker would obtain everything he needed to conquer Arkham City and find the means to obtain complete power and control to destroy Gotham.
As Bruce Wayne is abducted and brought into Arkham City under Hugo Strange's orders, Joker's crew have seized control of the Arkham City Medical Facility, built inside the Gotham Cathedral, and have captured all the medical staff in order to claim all the chemicals and drugs for themselves. With Harley leading the operation, Joker's thugs also abduct a doctor, Stacy Baker, who previously diagnosed Joker, under his orders to bring her to him for an update on his condition.
Knowing that Two-Face is stationed in the Solomon Wayne Courthouse near the cathedral, planning to execute Catwoman to showcase his might, Joker also intends to ambush the operation to spoil Two-Face's plans, kill Catwoman himself, and grab Batman's attention. As Batman infiltrates the courthouse, defeats Two-Face's men, rescues Catwoman, and strings Two-Face upside down over a pit of acid, Joker sees his opportunity to implement a surprise attack. Using a remote controlled sniper rifle that Harley set up in the cathedral tower, Joker attempts to assassinate Catwoman, though his primary motive was simply to coax Batman into tracking him down as part of an elaborate trap.
- "Twinkle, twinkle, little bat. Watch me kill your favorite cat."
- ―The Joker as he attempts to kill Catwoman[src]
Batman pulls Catwoman out of the way of the sniper bullet and infiltrates the Cathedral, where he encounters Harley Quinn and a handful of Joker's followers. Batman is unable to apprehend Harley without Joker's men hurting anyone and is forced to let her escape in an ice cream truck parked outside with Stacy in tow. Despite this, Batman eventually subdues all of Joker's men, rescues the medical staff, and ascends into the bell tower, where the location of the sniper rifle's bullet was triangulated to by Batman's detective skills and forensics.
Once there however, Batman finds no sign of Joker aside from televisions broadcasting the crazed villain, and dozens of explosives and flammable chemicals rigged to blow. Batman escapes just in time as the bell tower is engulfed in the resulting explosion as Joker's trademark laughter echoes through the tower. However, Batman was able to scan the sniper's rifle control settings before the tower's destruction and was able to set up a signal tracker, which would lead him to Joker.
Using the signal tracker, Batman is able to locate Joker in the Sionis Steel Mill and learns that Joker has rallied dozens of his followers to watch Stacy's slow and painful demise, feeling bitter towards her for not being more helpful in developing a cure for his condition. As Joker's men prepare to murder her, Joker knows that Batman would soon arrive and needs a diversion to keep the hero occupied while he perfects the next phase of his plans and his trap for Batman. He then hands down the order to take Stacy to the smelting chamber to slowly torture her while he discusses his schemes with Harley. To this end, Joker has Clayface pose as a healthy version of himself as part of this trap while he waits patiently for Batman to enter his office.
At the same time, Joker also begins sending groups of his men to find Mr. Freeze, who mysteriously disappeared, and to also enter Two-Face's territory and attack Dent's men in order to take advantage of his dwindling numbers. After making his way into the Smelting Chamber, Batman rescues Stacy, defeats all of Joker's bodyguards, and finally enters the office of the Clown Prince of Crime himself. When he enters the office, Batman finds Harley crying over a seemingly lifeless Joker in a wheelchair. However, this is all part of Joker's plans as he fakes his own death in order to divert Batman's attention, allowing the hero to become vulnerable to a surprise attack.
- "Surprise! You fell for the old fake Joker gag, Batman!"
- ―The Joker to Batman[src]
Batman is soon gassed by Clayface disguised as Joker from behind (Batman believes that the Joker in the wheelchair was simply a dummy) and then beaten into unconsciousness by Harley with a bat, at which point Joker firmly ties Batman to a wheel chair, tapes a phone to his chest, and sticks a syringe in his throat to transfer his poisoned blood into Batman's body.
With Batman now infected with the same disease as Joker, Joker insists that Batman follow his commands in order to get a cure for the disease from Mr. Freeze. Though Batman is willing to die if that means the end of the Joker, the villain reveals one of his trump cards; thousands of innocent people in Gotham are also infected with his blood.
Revealing that poisoning Gotham City is a separate plot from Protocol 10, Joker rolls the wheelchair outside the window, telling the Dark Knight that he will keep in touch with the phone he taped to him. However, Joker plans to not only use Batman to obtain the cure but also as his greatest asset in the turf wars in Arkham City in order to defeat his rivals. Batman, realizing he has no choice but to find the cure to save Gotham once again, allows Joker to send him on several missions to obtain the cure.
Meanwhile, a portion of Joker's crew have split up into two groups with one killing Penguin's crew outside the old GCPD building, where Freeze was previously stationed, and one moving into Two-Face's territory and massacring all of Dent's crew and rounding up any stragglers for information on where Freeze is currently.
Keeping in contact with his longtime enemy through phone calls, Joker eventually sends Batman to rescue Mr. Freeze from Penguin, knowing that this will also topple Cobblepot's power in Arkham City and eliminate a major opponent in his control for Arkham City. Once Batman defeats Penguin's forces, saves Mr. Freeze, and puts Penguin out of commission, Joker immediately takes advantage of this new tide in the battle and has his men slaughter hundreds of Penguin's men and press any survivors into joining him. Using the sewer systems and tunnels that Joker's crew had made over the previous months, Joker's followers infiltrate Penguin's territory and begin claiming it for themselves.
At the same time, Joker sends his men to retrieve the last shipment of weapons from Hugo Strange under the foundations of Wonder Tower, Hugo Strange's base of operations, which would contain the most devastating weaponry including missile launchers, sniper rifles, rocket launchers, automated assault rifles, mines, high frequency power generators, thermal trackers, and much more.
With his increased firepower, Joker takes Arkham City by storm, conquering nearly the entire compound with only a small portion of Two-Face's territory left and leaving a trail of death and destruction in his wake. Almost every prisoner within Arkham City would be forced to join Joker's army, making Joker the ruling elite on the streets while Two-Face's men were being rounded up and tortured for information in the Steel Mill. However, Joker was still in desperate need of the cure and feared that perhaps Batman has actually failed or turned on him as he has not heard from him in hours.
Taunting Batman through phone calls with dubious clues about what he is truly planning, Joker was relieved to learn Batman has found the means to develop the cure and has Freeze create enough for both of them. However, Freeze destroys one of vials of the cure and refuses to give Batman the remaining one, which he locked up in his safe, until he saves his wife from Joker. Batman, knowing how little time he has left, fights Freeze for the cure. Joker in the meantime, having planned to double-cross Batman the entire time, sends Harley to steal the cure (and to also murder several of his henchmen for failing to capture Freeze) while Batman and Mr. Freeze are fighting by cutting the wall open located behind the safe and pilfering the cure.
In place of the cure, Harley leaves two Joker cards, with one being a faxed version and the other being a physical card, which are actually clues to what Joker's plans truly consisted of, to taunt Batman. Joker also orders Harley to steal some of Freeze's offensive equipment in order to increase his weaponry after successfully obtaining the cure. With Harley on her way to deliver the cure, Arkham City under his complete control, his increased weaponry, and Protocol 10 just under an hour away from commencement, Joker begins making his plans to blow the walls of Arkham City and form escape routes to lay a bloody siege on Gotham City and completely destroy it and wipe out all its citizens. To this end, Joker begins placing explosives all around the perimeter walls, ready to be detonated when the rest of his plans are in place. As all supplies, ammunition, and weapons are prepared and stored away for transportation, Joker motivates his army and prepares them for the massive attack on the city.
With Batman having accomplished everything he was blackmailed to do, Joker is delighted to begin his cat and mouse game with his old enemy and friend anew. To renew his game with Batman, Joker makes an anonymous phone call to the Gotham Tonight Show to inform the staff there that Batman was in Arkham City in order to lure news reporter, Vicki Vale, to the city. Once Vale was in the perimeters of the city in her news chopper, Joker takes over her broadcast to taunt her and then fires a rocket at her chopper, causing her to crash land in Arkham City.
With Vale's chopper destroyed and her pilot dead, Joker sends some of his men to kill the helpless reporter with sniper rifles, knowing that this will force Batman out into the open and serve as a diversion while Harley returns to the Steel Mill with the completed cure. Batman neutralizes the threat and rescues Vale, at which point Joker contacts him again, telling him that if he wants the cure, it will be waiting for him in the Steel Mill. With all the pieces in place, Joker is prepared to start the next phase of his plans and obtain the main objective of his schemes; finding the Lazarus Pit, which was hidden somewhere under Arkham City, to obtain immortality and absolute power and assume control over the League of Assassins.
However, just as Harley Quinn was about to reach Joker with the completed cure, Talia al Ghul, also in Arkham City to aid in her father's operations, intercepts her, ties her up, and steal the cure. Joker soon realizes that something must have went wrong and resorts to an alternative, knowing that he needs to have his gang under the impression that he was cured to motivate them to attack the rest of Arkham City and Gotham.
He then has Clayface utilize his abilites to assume his appearance once again and sends out a video taped message all throughout the Still Mill to make his forces believe him to be completely cured and ready to lead them in full force once again. This works beautifully as all his men prepare for their final siege of Arkham as Joker concentrates his efforts on securing the Lazarus Pit. In the meantime, he also sends out a handful of his men to the Gotham Radio Tower near his base to take control of the broadcast frequenices and implant a message from him to all of Gotham as part of a failsafe plot.
After rescuing Nora Fries from his henchmen and retrieving Freeze's stolen equipment, Batman eventually confronts Joker, who is staring into a mirror and appears perfectly healed, though his reflection curiously shows him still sick, at the top of the Steel Mill. However, the reality was that Clayface was still posing as the healthy Joker while the real Joker was on the other side of the mirror, escaping from the Mill through this diversion.
Batman eventually defeats this Joker and dozens of his men, but is soon surprised when TYGER helicopters suddenly begin firing missiles at the Mill and all over Arkham City under Strange's orders, revealing that Protocol 10 is actually a security measure to wipe out the entire inmate population through missile attacks. TYGER continues raining down death and destruction onto the city, destroying the room and pinning Batman under the ruble. Clayface as Joker, gleeful, prepares to carve a smile into his face when Talia al Ghul interrupts him and offers him immortality in return for Batman's life.
When Batman warns Talia not to do so, Talia presents her sword to the Joker, who gladly accepts it and agrees to lead the league, planning on taking advantage of Talia's knowledge of the Lazarus Pit to finally locate it. Leaving Batman, hundreds of his own crew, and even Harley Quinn, at the mercy of Protocol 10, Joker is led to the very building that is directly located over the Lazarus Pit Chamber, the Monarch Theatre.
Contacting his forces, Joker orders the rest of his vast army to take shelter in the tunnel systems that they have constructed over the months to wait for Protocol 10 to end and the rest of their adversaries slaughtered before emerging back onto the streets to start the final phase of his plans. At the same time, he sends a handful of his henchmen down to Wonder City to retrieve all the Wonder City Robots, planning on reprogramming them to serve as weapons once he assumes leadership of the League of Assassins and commences his massive attack on Gotham.
While it seems that Talia betrayed Batman, she truly intends to lure the Joker aside and kill him while Batman tracks her down using one his trackers that Talia equipped on her person. Batman however, knows that Talia is the one in danger and, true to his prediction, Joker easily outsmarts and overpowers her at the Theatre, holding her hostage to ensure that Batman arrives at the Theatre for their final performance. Joker finally prepares the last steps of his plans; setting up an arena for an incredible showdown with his old friend and eternal enemy.
Turning the Monarch Theater into his own personnel arena, Joker rigs explosives all over the floors and walls, knowing that the key to immortality he so desperately craves was underneath his very feet. With Protocol 10 wiping out the rest of the competition, Joker counted on Batman to take down Strange and come to him for their final battle. As Joker waits for Batman's arrival, he records one final message that is meant to be communicated to Batman in the event of his death. Once recorded, Joker gives it to his henchmen to be stored within the Steel Mill as part of his contingency plans to destroy Gotham.Once the rest of Gotham's super-criminals were killed off in Protocol 10 and Strange was taken down by Batman, Joker would be able to take complete control of the entire criminal underworld and lead the whole inmate population of thousands of bloodthirsty and sadistic mass murderers, serial killers, and rapists to blow the walls of the prison, stage a coup against TYGER and steal the rest of their equipment and armory, and erupt onto the streets of Gotham in an orgy of bloodletting.
With the League of Assassins under his complete control, the powers of immortality at his disposal, the most technologically advanced military grade weaponry known to man in his possession, and the sheer amount of numbers in his forces to command, Joker relished at all the death and destruction he could bring to Gotham and the world for centuries with nothing in existence to stop or kill him.
After Batman stops Protocol 10, all TYGER forces are neutralized, Wonder Tower is destroyed, and Hugo Strange and Ra's al Ghul, the secret benefactor behind Strange's plans and operations, are killed. With everything in place, Joker has his men conquer what's left of Arkham City and patrol the streets as he takes control of the prison's monitor and communication systems to challenge Batman to a final showdown at the Monarch Theatre.
Batman soon arrives, subdues all of Joker's crew, and enters the very Theater where his life as a crime fighter began to take root. With Talia at gunpoint, Joker demands the cure from Batman, confusing the hero as he believed Joker already had it and cured himself. In the confusion, Talia grabs the sword she presented to Joker and runs him through with it, seemingly killing The Joker once and for all.
As Talia reveals she stole the cure from Harley Quinn before she could deliver it to Joker, Batman looks at his hated enemy, believing that his death was an unnecessary casualty and tells Talia that there is always an alternative tactic to defeating an enemy. Talia defends her course of action to Batman by stating that it was a necessary one in order to save him and comforts the hero, assuring him that the long night of chaos and destruction instilled by the Joker, Hugo Strange, and her father, was finally over.
- "So how do you keep a secret from the World's Greatest Detective? Well, do you know? It's easy. You stick it right in front of him, right under his long, pointy nose and wait."
- ―The Joker to Batman[src]
However, realizing that it's never simple with the Joker, Batman begins to rethink all the strange occurrences throughout the night; a seemingly dead Joker dummy in a wheelchair, the two versions of the Joker card left in place of the cure, and a healthy Joker looking into a mirror that oddly reflected a sickly Joker. Connecting them all together, Batman realizes the truth: there was always two Jokers.
Surmising that since Joker never received his cure, Batman immediately concludes that the healed Joker was not the real one and turns to Talia just as he heard a gun cocking in the distance. Batman, screaming out to Talia in vain, is too late to warn her and watches in pain as she is shot fatally in the back. Falling into the arms of her beloved, Talia apologizes to Batman for her carelessness with her last breath and dies as the insane laughter of the one, true Joker reveals himself in front of the movie projector holding the gun he shot Talia with.
Laughing at having played everyone within Arkham City for fools throughout the night, Joker reveals that it was essential that he instilled the image of a healthy version of himself to all his allies and enemies alike for the benefit of the turf wars. Still sick and nearing death, Joker aims his gun at Batman next, demanding for Batman to hand over "his cure". The healthy Joker finally reveals himself to Batman as Clayface, having been smuggled into Arkham City under Joker's orders to take up the spotlight and divert attention from his true plans; Clayface agreed to assist Joker for the chance to play the role of a lifetime and then take on Batman's persona after killing him.
Clayface grabs the cure before Batman can, absorbs it into his body, and starts an incredible battle with the Dark Knight, using all his abilities to the fullest of their potential. With Joker watching the spectacle from the balcony, the fate of Gotham City and the world at large hung in the balance of this final showdown as Batman and Joker's own lives were merely moments away from death. However, Batman is able to use freeze grenades that were manufactured and given to him by Mr. Freeze in return for saving his wife to stop Clayface in his tracks and retrieve the sword still stuck within him from Talia's attack. Batman then proceeds to cut Clayface into pieces with the sword, at which point the Joker, after making a tasteless joke about Talia's death, detonates the bombs on the floor for a "change of scenery."
As the floor explodes, Batman and Clayface are violently thrown down into the Lazarus Chamber, where their brutal fight continues. Clayface, now greatly weakened, begins isolating portions of his body into small soldiers to attack Batman as he attempts to compose his body mass once more. However, Batman, still wielding Talia's sword, is able to cut through Clyaface's forces and throw freeze grenades into his body, freezing him once again. The dying hero then enters Clayface's body, retrieves the cure, and cuts him clean open, incapacitating the monster once and for all. Batman, having retrieved the cure finally, drinks it and cures himself of the Titan disease, while also keeping half to cure Joker and manufacture a larger dose for the rest of Gotham.
Joker, unshaken by Clayface's defeat, prepares to jump into the Lazarus Pit to claim immortality once and for all and become the new leader of the League of Assassins. However, much to Joker's dismay, Batman throws the sword into the main generator, causing it to falter and knocking what's left of Clayface into the Pit. The controls and remaining generators go critical as a result as Clayface's body matter contaminates the chemicals of the pit, resulting in an explosion that completely destroys the pit and most of the room.
- "Do you want to know something funny? Even after everything you've done... I would've saved you."
"That actually is... (coughs) ... pretty funny!'"
- ―Batman and The Joker's final words to each other[src]
With his plans ultimately ruined, Joker demands his last hope from Batman, taunting him that despite all the death and destruction he caused in just a single night, Batman will still save him. Batman voices his hatred of the Joker and his temptation to refuse him the cure and let him die, knowing that he will only continue to break out and kill if left alive and locked up. Laughing at the absurdity of their never ending battle, Joker stabs Batman in the arm, causing him to drop the vial, which shatters onto the floor. Joker screams in horror as Batman throws him to the ground and tries in vain to drink the cure from the floor.
Accepting that he will ultimately die, Joker asks Batman if he is happy now and calmly sits on the ground. As the Joker's health begins to reach its ultimate low, Batman reflects on the irony and humor in that Joker was actually correct; despite his crimes, Batman would have still saved him. The Joker agrees with Batman and also finds the situation genuinely funny, laughing and coughing soundly in his final moments before he finally succumbs to his Titan poisoning, dying with a smile on his face.
Pitying his long time nemesis, Batman grimly picks up and carries Joker's corpse out of the Monarch Theater; as the doors open, Joker's gang is outside chanting his name, expecting to see their leader triumphantly striding out and having defeated Batman once and for all. They all go completely silent when they see The Dark Knight carrying The Clown Prince of Crime motionless in his arms. Among the gang outside the theater is Harley Quinn, who gasps and falls to her knees, sobbing uncontrollably as she sees The Joker's limp body being carried away by Batman.
Batman finally carries Joker's corpse through the main gate of Arkham City and into Gotham City, where the GCPD have gathered in preparation to retake the area from the rampaging criminals. He places The Joker's body on the GCPD patrol car of Commissioner Gordon, who is also shocked to see Batman's greatest nemesis dead and repeatedly asks him what happened, only to be met with silence. Over the following weeks, as Arkham City is shut down, Batman would see to it that a massive quantity of the cure for the Titan disease would be manufactured and administered to all of Joker's victims, curing them, restoring their health, and ultimately saving thousands of lives.
After years of death, misery, and tragedy, The Joker, The Clown Prince of Crime, and Batman's greatest threat and arch-nemesis was gone at long last. However, unknown to Batman at the time, not all of the late clown's plots have been foiled as Joker had laid out a series of contingency plans and operations in the event of his death that have already taken effect. With Harley and the rest of Joker's followers ensuring that his legacy will be upheld, Joker's back up schemes would rock Gotham to its very core and continue to plague Batman. Even in death, The Clown Prince of Crime would continue to destroy Gotham and resume his cat and mouse game with Batman.
Harley Quinn's Revenge
- "This is it! Just you, me, and the only thing that can stop this place from blowing sky high!"
- ―Harley Quinn revealing her murderous and suicidal plot to Batman in honor of The Joker
After the events of Arkham City, Commissioner Gordon gives the order to Bullock and his forces to start the process of shutting down the area and personally has Joker's body transported away from the massive prison as Harley Quinn and various gang members and inmates are arrested and escorted out of the prison and into temporary holding facilities. Knowing that if any of his men got their hands on him, they would tear his body apart, along with Joker's forces still active, Gordon is forced to move Joker's body to various locations over the following weeks.
However, during the initial autopsy of the villain's body, the morgue attendants find a flash drive that was hidden beneath a fake layer of artificial skin. Almost immediately after the drive is removed, Joker's signature laughing toxin is released into the room, killing everyone within the general area and setting the stage for one of his contingency plans. As Gotham descends into chaos over the Joker's death, Batman's mind sinks lower as his depression over the loss of Talia and guilt over Joker's death begins tearing him apart on the inside.
The absence of his greatest enemy and nemesis causes the Dark Knight to become conflicted with the disturbing notion that he and Joker shared a connection, one that he would never want to admit to himself, above all his other enemies and even his closest allies and that, on some level, Batman actually misses fighting the Joker after so many years of constant conflict. Disgusted with the feeling that he might actually miss someone who caused him and his allies so much pain and misery over the years, along with his loss of Talia, Batman shuts himself down even more to Alfred, Robin, and Oracle. While dealing with these disturbing and conflicting feelings, Batman soon begins to suspect the set of contingency plans Joker made in the event of his death to ensure that Gotham is destroyed and the Dark Knight broken. As Batman investigates the late villain's final schemes, Harley Quinn breaks out of her imprisonment and takes control of Joker's gang in her own plans for revenge against Batman.
Stealing various equipment and explosives from the GCPD lockup, Quinn returns to Arkham City and takes over the Steel Mill, one of the last locations the GCPD needs to evacuate to shut down Arkham City for good, and redecorates the entire Mill into a monument to the Joker. As police forces attempt to raid her base of operations, Quinn takes various police officers hostage to lure Batman into a trap. For several days, Gordon and the GCPD would be at a stand still with Quinn's forces as the murderous widow destroys all routes back into the area and all police forces being attacked or destroyed. Having no choice but to rely on Batman again, Gordon asks for the damaged hero to save his men. However, Quinn's tactics prove to be successful as Batman is captured and locked in an air tight prison, connected to makeshift and massive statue of the Joker, within the Sionis Ship Yard.
However, Robin infiltrates Quinn's base, obtains the key card needed to unlock Batman's prison, fights past scores of her henchmen, including a Titan induced thug made from the last supply of the isolated Titan from Joker's bloodstream, and rescues Batman. After escaping, Batman learns of Quinn's true plans; to make him watch as his loved ones die and then take his and her own life as a form of ultimate revenge for Joker's death and a way of reuniting with her puddin.
With explosives rigged all over the ship yard, Batman defuses all the bombs and is forced to face dozens of the Wonder City Guardian Robots, previously collected by Joker's men during Protocol 10, now under Quinn's control. After destroying them all, Quinn reveals one last bomb that will slaughter everyone in the building. While Batman is unable to stop the detonation, he is able to get Quinn and himself to safety outside as the entire building is destroyed, taking much of Harley's gang with it. Batman fears that Robin may have been caught in the explosion as well and believes his adoptive son to be dead by Harley's doing.
Harley relishes in the Dark Knight's anguish and, while his back is turned towards the destruction, moves to stab him in the heart with a hidden knife to complete her revenge only to be knocked out cold by Robin using one of his projectiles; he reveals that he has gotten all the abducted cops back to safety as well, ending Quinn's diluted quest for vengeance. Batman, relieved to see Robin alive and well, promptly leaves, knowing that what the Joker has in store for him and Gotham has only just begun.
A Legacy of Death and Destruction Left Behind
- "The city is tearing itself apart over him. He planned it that way."
- ―Batman to Commissioner Gordon over how Joker continues to destroy Gotham even in death.
As Harley Quinn and the rest of her gang are rounded up and arrested again, Batman refocuses his attention on Joker's back-up plans. Investigating what is left of the Steel Mill, Batman finds a message from Joker that was made before he died and meant to be communicated to Batman in the event of his death. As Batman analyzes it at the Batcave, he locates a video message from his eternal enemy, who begins to taunt the hero and reveals one last, twisted and sick joke against Batman and all of Gotham.
Joker goes on to state that during the events of Arkham City, he sent his men to the Gotham City Radio Tower within the prison to take control of the broadcast frequencies and implant a message from Joker into them. This message is soon broadcast to all of Gotham over the next couple of weeks as Joker confirms his death to the people of Gotham, but promises them that whoever finds his body and gives it to Harley Quinn will be rewarded with millions of dollars he embezzled over the years through ill-concieved means. Gotham soon goes into chaos as members of Joker's gang, police, and citizens begin tearing apart the city looking for Joker's body out of pure greed.
After cruelly asking Batman to abuse Harley for him in his absence, Joker then reveals a special surprise for him; the bombs that are still rigged to the Arkham City perimeter walls, activated by the video message and set to detonate within the hour and unleash the remaining, rampaging inmates onto Gotham. While the prison is still in the process of being shut down, the remaining inmates have been given notice of this plan and prepare themselves for their escape, causing riots and chaos within the prison compound once again.
With the police too busy containing the inmates within Arkham City and the chaos in Gotham, Joker informs Batman that he is the only one capable of stopping the bombs. He leaves off his message by stating that the bombs will go off if tampered with and informs Batman that he will find the master code needed to deactivate the bombs within Arkham Asylum, in a room of personal significance to the both of them from a "day of independence" many years ago.
While in route to the Asylum, Batman contemplates on Joker's clue and relives in his memories a particularly brutal plot by the Joker that he orchestrated on the Fourth of July by hacking into the city's electric companies and shutting off all power to entice the populace to go outside. With thousands of citizens outside, Joker then proceeded to fire off Joker toxin induced fireworks all over Gotham, murdering thousands of men, women, and children and forcing Batman to escort Joker back to Arkham through a sea of corpses. Batman remembers that he took Joker to an abandoned cell within a boarded up wing of extreme isolation that night and deduces that is where Joker hid the code needed to deactivate the bombs based off his clue.
When Batman enters the room there, he finds no such code, but a book Joker wrote underneath a loose stone tile, containing the names of every single person he has ever murdered within it with Batman's name on the last page. Unknown to Batman, Joker had sensors installed within the room, tripping security and activating another message from the murdering psychopath. Joker's voice is suddenly heard on the security monitor in the room, revealing to Batman that he never had any intention of blowing the walls of Arkham City and simply used it as a ruse to lure Batman to this room.
The door suddenly locks as Joker laughs and reveals to Batman that the room itself, instead of the Arkham City walls, has been rigged with explosives by Clayface during the events that took place in the mega prison, one of which was triggered when Batman grabbed the book. Joker bids farewell to his eternal enemy, promising on seeing him in Hell and believing that this is the only way to set things right in their psychotic friendship.As the bombs go off, Arkham Asylum is nearly completely destroyed in the explosion as the entire message from Joker is broadcast to Arkham City through the security monitors along with one last image; the initials, R.I.P., with a Batman symbol above it. As the inmates cheer at the message, Detective Bullock gives the order to have medical units over at Arkham Island and orders Vicki Vale and her news team outside Arkham City to fly him over to the island.
When Bullock and his forces arrive at the ruins of the Asylum, all they find is Batman's suit, forcing them to believe that the Dark Knight had finally perished. As Gordon finds out, he orders Bullock to make sure that the news does not get leaked to Gotham, even if that means keeping the news staff locked up for the night. As Gordon loses hope of protecting his city, he receives a phone call from none other than Batman, though he never reveals how he survived such a chaotic explosion.
Batman and Gordon finally meet at the morgue where the Joker's body is being kept and come to a mutual solution on how to ensure his body is never recovered and the people of Gotham stop fighting for it; cremating it. As Batman takes one last look at the man who caused him so many years of tragedy and misery, he gives Gordon the order to cremate the psychotic, mass murderer's body. Joker's body is sent into the inferno as Batman walks away, declaring that all of Joker's plans have finally ended and, for the first time in years, there will be no more laughs. However, Gordon then gives Batman the flash drive that was hidden on Joker's body, suggesting that the villain had more than one contingency plan in effect.
The Last Will and Testament of the Joker
Having Alfred analyze the data, Batman learns that the flash drive contained the last will and testament of the Joker, detailed within a gruesome snuff video of his deceased rival sadistically torturing a bound and gagged police officer during the events of Arkham City. Outlining his rise from petty criminal to Gotham's most iconic and deadly villain, Joker reveals that he has one last surprise in store for the Dark Knight. Knowing that he has at least one more mess to clean up, Batman receives a call from Gordon, revealing that Joker had somehow infected the police commissioner with laughing toxin and his time is now limited.
Breaking into the police department, Batman works with Officer Aaron Cash to subdue Gordon before the commissioner attempts to commit suicide rather than deal with the unbearable pain of Joker's toxin any further and allowing the villain the last laugh. Having no antidote prepared for this unique strain of Joker's toxin, Batman resorts to contacting the one person who would have any information on Joker's postmortem plans; Harley Quinn. Breaking into the rebuilt Blackgate Penitentiary, Batman breaks Harley out of her cell and brings her to Joker's old hideout in the now condemned Arkham City, as the area faces its last days of shutdown.
Attempting to find any shred of humanity left in Harley, Batman pleads with her to prevent Joker from taking another good individual from Gotham. Harley begins to seem genuinely remorseful for her past crimes now that Joker is gone, and informs the hero that Joker prepared an antidote to this newly created toxin and had it placed within the sewer tunnels beneath the Steel Mill. As Batman goes to investigate, leaving Harley tied to be picked up by Cash, Harley reveals that Batman is falling into yet another trap and escapes from her binds and Arkham City.
When Batman locates the canisters of Joker's antidote, he is suddenly attacked by Killer Croc, who reveals that he made a deal with Quinn, during her earlier campaign for revenge, to devour the Dark Knight should he come for the antidote. The brutal fight between Batman and Croc destroys all but one of the canisters, which Croc holds over a drainage pipe and revels in Batman's pleads to stop. As Cash arrives with a barely alive Gordon, Batman defeats Croc with the last freeze grenade Mr. Freeze gave him weeks prior and pours the last canister of the antidote into Gordon, who regains his health and composure in mere seconds as a result.
Meanwhile, Quinn tracks the Penguin, having once again bribed his way out of prison, to his new hideout in Gotham and proposes that they form a truce and work on their plans together to destroy Batman and conquer Gotham as Penguin's rival, Joker, is now dead. Quinn reveals that Joker told her about every hideout, resource, toy, and contingency plan he formed and entrusted these schemes to be carried out by her in the event of his death. Kissing Penguin seductively, Quinn is able to persuade the crime lord into forming an uneasy alliance to finally rid themselves of the Dark Knight once and for all.
However, even with the last of the late villain's plans finally gone, the death of the Joker, Gotham's most notorious villain, would impact the criminal underworld and the course of events in the city over the following year to ensure further chaos and destruction and ultimately leave a lasting impression on Gotham and Batman. Indeed, Joker's demise would institute a power vacuum and a new alliance of villains to ensure that the Dark Knight would be caught in one, last horrific war that would determine the ultimate fate of the city he vowed to protect on the grave of his parents once and for all.
Over a year later after Arkham City's shutdown, Joker's death and the ultimate failure of his plans leads Gotham City to a time of peace with crime dramatically decreasing to nearly zero for the first time in years. Without Joker's chaotic and murderous presence plaguing the streets of Gotham, citizens have never felt safer and other criminals have become much more quiet and relatively neutral. Fearing that something was developing behind the scenes, Batman keeps a dedicated vigil over the city and develops new technology as he continues to struggle with his feelings over his nemesis' death. However, without Joker's hold over the criminal underworld, a power vacuum is left in place as other villains begin to seize the opportunity to gain control over the criminal element for their own designs.
Ultimately, Scarecrow, returning after years of hiding and plotting after Killer Croc's attack on him underneath Arkham Asylum, which left the villain horribly scarred and deformed, manages to take over the criminal underworld and unites all of Batman's enemies. Knowing that Gotham City will never truly be theirs to conquer and twist to their desires with Batman still alive, the villains agree to temporarily collaborate in order to finally achieve their common goal; the death of Batman. With Joker's presence gone, the remaining members of Batman's rouges gallery have a much easier time working together without the Clown Prince of Crime upsetting the balance and have been silently working together for the past year to unleash an elaborate plot to destroy Batman and conquer the city he vowed to protect.
Having consolidated all of the city's worst criminals and villains, Scarecrow instigates an evacuation of Gotham City on Halloween night under the threat of his new strain of fear gas, developed over the last couple of years, being unleashed from within chemical weapons and bombs hidden throughout the city. With the city evacuated, only police officers are left as the villains and their respective gangs, now all working together, begin to take over the streets and create chaos and destruction all over Gotham.
With the aid of an incredible, militarized force under the control of a new figure in Gotham, known only as the Arkham Knight, whose goal is similarly to destroy Batman for unknown reasons and purposes, Scarecrow and his allies manage to conquer all of Gotham and use its resources to manufacture more of his toxin, among other weapons, to cover the entire east coast in chaos. Harley Quinn herself joins the alliance with her own plans to avenge Joker's death and ensure that the villain's legacy lives on throughout Gotham City and beyond.
Arkham City Profile: Dr. Hugo Strange
This self-styled criminal clown remains as volatile and violent as ever. His showdown with Batman in Arkham Asylum has left him humiliated, angry and thirsty for revenge. Some form of disease is spreading over the Joker, ravaging his face and body. He has repeatedly refused to be treated by anyone except his special 'nurse' Harley Quinn.
Dr. Hugo Strange: Side Note
The Joker came to Arkham City laughing himself silly—what's so funny about this place?
~ Dr. Hugo Strange
- Joker: Hello! Anyone in there? (clang sound) No sense of humor. Oh, the strong and silent type, eh? Think you're safe behind that mask? Give me 20 minutes and a can opener and I'll have you whimpering like a schoolgirl. You might like it.
- Hugo Strange: That's enough, patient. Guard, leave us.
- TYGER Guard: Yes, sir.
- Hugo Strange: Good afternoon. My name is Professor Hugo Strange. And you are?
- Joker: Two-Face. Catwoman. Batman.
- Hugo Strange: We can play these games as long as you like.
- Joker: Great. I love games.
- Hugo Strange: Not in my facility you won't. I am offering you this opportunity to make a deal. I am fully aware of your... condition. The last thing you have is time. But I can make your final days more comfortable.
- Joker: And in return I'd be giving you...?
- Hugo Strange: I wish to study you. I need to know why you are the way you are.
- Joker: I don't have long, doc. You're going to need more than some psycho mumbo jumbo to get to the bottom of what's wrong with me.
- Hugo Strange: Oh, I have more than that. Much more. So, do we have a deal?
- Hugo Strange: How are you feeling today?
- Joker: You promised me another doctor, Strange.
- Hugo Strange: Maybe you shouldn't have killed the one I sent last week. What made you do it?
- Joker: Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly. Besides, it was worth it to see the look on her face. Hey, you know what, I think I've got a piece of it here in my pocket.
- Hugo Strange: You are trying my patience. That was the third doctor you've killed.
- Joker: Keep on sendin' 'em, doc. I'm trying to break my record.
- Hugo Strange: I think it is time for you to do something for me.
- Joker: Name it, doc.
- Hugo Strange: Tell me how you came to be. Explain what made you what you are today, how you come to be sitting across the table from me, dying.
- Joker: Is that all? I guess you can say I once had a very bad day.
- Hugo Strange: Really? Go on.
- Joker: It was a Thursday night. Things had been getting worse. I was 3 days from the bank foreclosing on my home. The chemical plant I worked at was about to lay off half the workforce, and I was sitting in the hospital, holding the hand of my pregnant wife, wishing to God that she wasn't dead.
- Hugo Strange: That must have been upsetting for you.
- Joker: Probably was. Back then, though, all I knew was that if I didn't let old man Falcone's men into the plant that night, they'd a killed me too. So here's the thing. I had to decide: Could I live without her? Was there any point going on? I've got to admit it, I was scared. Not of being dead, you understand.
- Hugo Strange: No one would blame you if you were. It is perfectly common.
- Joker: Do I look common? No, I was scared of the part just before you die. When you don't know what is about to happen. When you desperately clutching at life and trying to hold on with slippery, blood-covered hands. So I need a decision right there.
- Hugo Strange: And what was that?
- Joker: That, well, (coughs) that is a story for another day, Strange. I think I may need to see a doctor. Get me one.
- Hugo Strange: You were telling me about the night your wife died.
- Joker: No, Hugo. As I recall, I was waiting for you to send me another doctor.
- Hugo Strange: We both know I have sent you three more doctors.
- Joker: Did you?
- Hugo Strange: Yes. One was left dismembered outside the elevator to my office. The other two have not been seen since they were sent to you.
- Joker: How careless. Listen, doc-
- Hugo Strange: Professor.
- Joker: OK, Pro-fess-or, I'll give you a little more. I hope you're taking notes. It's the day after and I'm standing in the freezing rain, just staring at the chemical plant; feeling numb. Jeannie was dead. It didn't seem real. I could remember the day I first met her. Her infectious smile as I told her bad joke after bad joke. How, even after living with the pathetic wretch I was, she still wanted my child. And then they arrived. Reality's way of yanking me another wedgie. Falcone's man told me to cheer up. He said, "Things could be worse". I asked him how? He grabbed me by the collar, pulled me close - he'd been eating garlic and each word stank as he threatened to perform oral surgery on me with a nail and a brick. Creative guy. They hand me a box. I remember thinking it was heavy. Was it a bomb? A gun? I'd never used a gun before, were they that heavy?
- Hugo Strange: And what was in the box?
- Joker: How's that doctor coming along?
- Hugo Strange: I'll get you one.
- Joker: And when you do, I'll tell you the rest.
- Hugo Strange: You are looking a little better, yes?
- Joker: I have good and bad days, but I do try to start each one with a smile. (coughs)
- Hugo Strange: Are you ready to continue your story?
- Joker: Why not. So where was I?
- Hugo Strange: The box.
- Joker: Ah, yes, the box. (coughing) So there I was, tearing open this box, expecting the worst, and all it had in it was a crazy red dome and a cloak. (coughs) I thought they were having a joke with me, but oh, no. They made me put it on. They said it was a disguise, it would keep me safe. It smelt like garlic. And that was it really. I was dressed up like a spaceman, barely able to see, trying to break into the one place in this town that had given me a job. Have you ever tried to walk with an enormous fish bowl on your head? Don't answer that. It's hard. I couldn't see where I was going. I must have tripped one of the alarms. I heard muffled gunfire. I panicked and tried to run. And then I saw him.
- Hugo Strange: Who?
- Joker: Batman.
- Hugo Strange: Really?
- Joker: Yes, really. Batman tried to hit me, I moved out the way but, well, what you need to understand is, I had this giant bowl on my head, and I lost my balance. It's like life really. One minute everything's bad, the next, your wife's dead and your hanging on for dear life, suspended over a tank of experimental chemicals. I'm sure he'd say he tried to save me, but we all know he didn't. I fell. For a second, just as I hit the surface, I thought I may just get away with this.
- Hugo Strange: I assume that wasn't the case.
- Joker: Do I look like I got away with it?
- Joker: I was drowning. The chemicals were burning my skin. My entire body felt like it was on fire and it was all his fault.
- Hugo Strange: Who's fault? Batman's?
- Joker: Who else?
- Hugo Strange: Yours.
- Joker: Come again?
- Hugo Strange: Let me tell you what I believe. I believe that you have fabricated a series of events that you use to conceal the truth about your condition. I have read 12 different accounts of your past. All different, except for one detail: Batman.
- Joker: What can I say? I like to keep things interesting. A wise man once told me that if you have to have an origin story, you're better off making it multiple choice.
- Hugo Strange: And never facing up to the truth of what happened. What you did. How you got here.
- Joker: Oh, I know exactly how I got here. A big truck brought me here from Arkham. You remember the asylum, don't you?
- Hugo Strange: Of course.
- Joker: Good, because I'd hate to think that I'd fabricated seeing you watching me in my cell all those times. (cough)
- Hugo Strange: Excuse me?
- Joker: Hugo, you merry maniac. You were obsessed with me. (coughing) You all were. Trying to get in here. Next thing, you'll tell me it wasn't you who sent old Sharpie over the edge. Nice work by the way.
- Hugo Strange: Thank you.
- Joker: So here's the thing. If you want to make sure that no one else finds out about your past, you should stop poking your nose into mine. Oh, and send me another Doc, doc. I think I need a second opinion.
- "Welcome, inmates. You are now taking your first, tentative steps towards a better world. A world of fun, mischief and best of all, a world where the only person you need to answer to is yours truly."
- "I know what you're thinking. Is it all true? Is life at Joker Enterprises everything it's rumored to be? Sadly, it is. All of it, but look at the bright side, At least you know what you're getting yourself into and I can promise you this. You'll never leave."
- "Let's make this quick, boys. I've got an important operation that I'm just dying to have done."
- "Hey Bats, it's me! While you were saving Miss Vale, I took the liberty of beefing up security at my Steel Mill. I'm sorry to have to break it to you, but I don't think that even you will be able to get in here. Oh, this is getting too emotional. (coughs) I can barely bring myself to think of you dying out there. I keep thinking of you lying dead in the snow. (laughs) It's the only thing that brings a smile to my face!"
- "You guys are like family to me. And you know how much pain I went through killing my family."
- "Do I have to do everything myself around here? All I asked was that you stopped the stupid Batman. I managed to get a syringe of my blood in his neck for God's sake, and I'm half-dead. What's your excuse?" (coughs)
- "I'm fading fast here. Find my precious cure and kill whoever's holding it."
- "(coughs) That miserable double-crossing Bat has betrayed me, boys. If you see him, kill him and bring the cure back to me!"
- "When you see the Bat, kill him and get my cure. I mean it. Break every bone in his body if you have to, but don't break my cure."
- "Hey, Bats. Can you can hear me? If you can, let my boys know where you are. Help them get this over with quick."
- "Find him. My life depends on it, and now so does yours."
- "Do you really think you can just sneak through here with my delicious cure, Bats? I mean, I'm sure you can, but I know you too well, now don't I? After all, we both know you won't be able to resist crackin' a few skulls on the way through."
- "Bats! If you can hear me, and let's be honest here, you can, I want you to know, that, whatever you do to these guys, I'm still going to win."
- "Did I ever tell you about the day I found out I was sick? No? I remember it clearly. It was that night when I first met Harley."
- "I really hope you won't let me down here, boys. But if you do, I won't be cross. I'll be dead and Harley will be really upset. And seriously, you don't want to see that."
- "Hello? Henchmen? Can you hear me? Where are my guns? They are very important if my plan to... Oh, are you still down there, Bats? Pity."
- "I can't believe you let him stop you! What is it? Not enough secret weapons from old Hugo?"
- "Well, that's just great. Here I am on my deathbed and you miserable fools can't even stop some idiot dressed up like a bat. I needed those guns. Now how am I going to...oops. Sorry, Bats, I nearly gave it away there, didn't I?"
- "Ring, ring. Hey, Bats. (coughs) I've been thinking. It's probably quite difficult for you to fight your way through Arkham City in your current state. I don't think you need me to remind you that you're dying, right? The solution is simple, really. Stop fighting these idiots. Try a different tactic. Kill them."
- "Hi, Bats. Now don't go all silent on me. There's nothing to be embarrassed about. You just need to get over this not killing thing. Let's face it, killing is so much easier than putting the effort in keeping them alive."
- "Kill someone already! Kill kill kill kill kill! I can see it in your eyes. The anger, the frustration, the hints of repressed sexual tension. Oh, hang on, is that just when you see me? (laughs then coughs)"
- "Why do you keep doing this to me? It's like you idiots spend every single day day thinking up ways to leave me bitterly disappointed. Harley, when you get to the GCPD, kill a couple of 'em for me, will you, dear."
- "If any of you are still conscious, get back to base now."
- "Good evening, troops. This is General J with a quick update on what's going down here in Arkham City. As you can see, I'm looking much better. In fact...oooh...I think I'm looking better than ever. Oh, I can hear you all now: "How did this happen?", "Can I get me some of that crazy cure?", "I want answers, damn it! Now!" Well, here's the thing. Answers don't give you everlasting satisfaction. Sometimes you need to brace yourself for disappointment. Now think about it. Imagine your favorite TV show. You've been through it all. The ups, the downs, the crazy coincidences, and then: Bang! They tell you what it's all about. Would you be happy? Does it make sense? How come it all ended in a church? You guys just need to know one simple thing. I'm back. Back for good. Now arm yourselves, boys, we've got a prison break to plan. No hostages. No surrender. I know. It sounds like suicide, but listen. Whatever happens...I'll be right behind you."
- "Hey, Batman. You took out those idiots like a man who hasn't only got hours left to live. Well done. I'll be seeing you soon. I can't wait."
- "Well, what do you know? You did it. You took 'em all out. I should be sad, I suppose, but the truth is, I'm happy. Happier than I've been in years. How about you?"
- "This is the big opening thight, Batman. What's keeping you? Get your cute little ass to the movie theatre. NOW!"
- "Helloooo! Batman! You can hear me, right? It's just, you don't seem to be coming to the movie theatre and I'd hate for you to read the spoilers on the internet again."
- "Where are you, Batman?"
- "Well, this is just rude, Batman! I've laid on all this entertainment at the movie theatre and you can even be bothered turning up."
- "Where are you, Batman? I've got your premiere ticket right here in my pocket. It's right here, next to the gaffer tape and the pliers."
- "Why are you taking so long, Batman? Oh, hold on, I get it. You want me to off this annoying woman, right? I mean, she does go on a bit with all that I am the great blah, blah, mystical mumbo jumbo. I tell you what. I'll do it. But you owe me, OK?"
- "I'll see you soon! BYEEEE!"
Predator (KO'd henchman)
- "Boom! One man down. It's looking like a re-run of last time."
- "Someone's missing in there. Is it you?"
- "Oooh. I think I just heard someone's skull cracking against that nice hard floor. Mind the bloody puddle."
- "Is that the sound of one of your faces hitting something hard? I hope so."
- "Boom. And the quarterback is toast. Oh, sorry, I wasn't paying attention. Did someone just get taken out down there?"
Predator (Progress of henchmen)
- "I think we all feel confident about stopping Batman this time, right?"
- "Don't let me down, boys. If you do, I may have to drop you, too."
- "I'm just dying to see which one of you losers Batman takes out first. Let me see, eenie, meenie, miney, mo."
- "That's two down. Do you realize how much it costs training you guys? It really isn't that much."
- "Three down! Not happy, boys."
- "Four down. How many of there are you left? I lose track of you guys so easily. Maybe I should make a list."
- "Five of you. Five? What is wrong with you idiots?"
- "Four of you left to take down Batman. Are you feeling confident? I'm not."
- "Three of you left? It's not good, is it?"
- "Two? Two? You'd fit right into old melty face's gang."
- "Just one of you? You must be kind of scared right now. Boo!"
- "Only one of you left. What a shame."
- "Are you guys OK? It's just Batman. He's probably not ever really killed anyone. Still, you never know when he plans on starting, do you?"
- "You're going to pieces like a puppy in a blender!"
- "At this rate, I'll be all out of idiot henchmen before the end of the night."
- "He's making you idiots look like fools. That's my job!"
- "You boys have got the same helpless terrified look in your eyes as my doctor did when he told me I was sick. I said, you think that's sick? Take a look at this!"
- "Do you want me to get Abramovici down there for a motivational speech? I hear he's got a way of hammering the point home."
- "I am very disappointed in you boys. Really, you're all dead to me now."
- "Do you need a motivational speech about now? OK. I think you are all going to die down there. And this will be the last voice you hear before you cross over to the other side. And I am very, very, very disappointed in you."
Game Over Lines
- "I figured you'd have a little more fight in you. Guess I figured wrong!"
- "Oh, Bats! I really figured you'd last longer than that!"
- "It's okay to die, Bats. I'll be here to protect Gotham. I'll do a real good job!"
- "Get up, Bats! Hey, you ain't looking so good!"
- "Oh, Bats! If you only knew what I have planned! You'd just die!"
- "Aren't you supposed to be up on your feet and trying to stop me?"
- In an alternate ending that plays if Catwoman decides not to save Batman, a disturbing and panicked radio frequency will be broadcast by Oracle. She will plead for anyone who can hear her to send help as Joker and his forces have completely destroyed Gotham and murdered nearly everyone, including Batman and her father, Commissioner Gordon, ending by stating that Joker has won. During this ending, a rewound, sped-up message can be heard of the Joker, saying "thank you for the entertainment, Bats" if the message is slowed down and fast forward.
- In this canon, Joker has a much more heated rivalry with The Penguin, stemming from a night when Joker murdered one of his waitresses at the Iceberg Lounge by melting her face with his acid for spilling wine on him. This caused massive, negative publicity for the Penguin's club and Penguin forbade Joker to ever return, kicking him out when Joker returned weeks later after shooting the doorman.
- Joker appears to be wearing a new darker, grimmer suit than the one he wore in Batman: Arkham Asylum. While Clayface poses as a healthy Joker he is wearing a suit identical to the original from Arkham Asylum.
- During the "Ghost Train" level, if the player switches to Detective Mode upon reaching the Joker his body will not show a skeleton, hinting that it is Clayface in disguise.
- In his patient interviews, Joker recounts his origin from Batman: The Killing Joke and even uses several lines from the critically acclaimed comic.
- During the credits, a voice mail received three hours ago by the Joker plays in which he sings Only You (And You Alone) to Batman. As The Joker finishes the song, he lets out a light chuckle that gradually turns into sobbing.
- On the floor in Joker's office in the Steel Mill is a positive pregnancy test, hinting to players at the time that Harley may be pregnant with the Joker's child. However, the Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC later refutes this with dozens of negative pregnancy tests with the strongest implication being that the first test was simply a false-positive as there is a warning for such an outcome on the container for the pregnancy tests in the DLC.
- It is eventually confirmed by Rocksteady that the positive pregnancy test was a result of Harley's strong psychological longing to bear Joker's child and to further showcase her love and obsession with the Joker. While Rocksteady never truly meant for Harley to be pregnant, they did not expect that players would find the easter egg so quickly and assume that she indeed was as a result, leading Rocksteady to leave strong implications within the DLC that she was in fact not pregnant. This plot point was set into place to set the stage for Harley's ultimate descent into madness after she learns that she is not pregnant, leaving her with no lasting traces of the Joker, in Harley Quinn's Revenge and the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight.
- At the Spike Video Game Awards, the Joker won the "Character of the Year" award, along with Mark Hamill being nominated for the "Best Performance by a Human Male" award for his performance as the Joker.
- When the player enters the top of the cathedral when the Joker threatens to detonate the tower, if he or she waits after the countdown, Joker will foreshadow part of the ending to the game itself.
- Joker's design in this game can be used as an alternate skin in Injustice: Gods Among Us, exclusive for those who pre-order the game at Walmart.
- One of his KO'd henchmen quotes in the Predator gameplay is taken directly from the movie Die Hard.