• The Joker’s evil plan to poison Superman’s mind and kill Lois Lane in order to turn the superhero into an evil dictator is a truly evil act.
  • The Joker’s abusive treatment of Harley Quinn, hitting and disrespecting her, showcases his cruelty and disregard for others.
  • The Joker’s act of paralyzing Barbara Gordon to drive Commissioner Gordon insane proves his willingness to inflict pain and suffering on innocent people.

The Joker is Batman’s most cruel and feared foe. He is a crazed clown who is hell-bent on creating chaos to force the hero of Gotham to break his one rule and kill someone. The Joker has an unhealthy obsession with Batman, and his actions are often unprovoked and unpredictable.


Comic Book Villains As Twisted As The Joker

Few characters are more famed and maniacal than The Joker, but some of the best villains in comics certainly provide competition.

This villain has taken many different shapes since he debuted in 1940, in both the comics and on the big screen. However, only one thing is certain when The Joker shows up. He is going to commit some horrible acts. Of course, some of the worst things he has done in the past are hard to overcome.

8 Creating An Evil Superman By Killing His Wife & Unborn Child

Injustice: Gods Among Us #1 (2013)

superman kills joker while batman watches

The world known as Injustice Earth was created to be part of a video game, and the story was also told in a tie-in comic series. In this version of the DC universe, The Joker decides to focus on Superman to see if he can break the Boy Scout’s spirit. To do this, he poisons Superman’s mind to make him think that a pregnant Lois Lane is Doomsday trying to destroy Metropolis. To save the city, Superman accidentally kills Lois. With the stop of her heartbeat, a nuke goes off in Metropolis. This version of Superman gets his revenge by instantly crossing a line and killing The Joker.


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The result of this evil plan sees this version of Superman become an evil dictator who rules Earth with an iron fist. While this is a truly evil act, it does happen in another reality. Also, Batman and a team of heroes from Earth One do come here and dethrone this evil Superman, undoing Joker’s act and restoring some sanity to the realm.

7 Torturing His Love Interest, Harley Quinn

Batman: The Animated Series (1992)

Joker and Harley

Harley Quinn was first introduced to fans in Batman: The Animated Series as the quirky and fun sidekick to The Joker. She is his adoring girlfriend and is willing to do anything to please him, despite how awfully he treats her.

Joker would often hit Harley or disrespect what she had to say. Even in the early days of the animated series, he had no issue hitting her or even trying to kill her. Harley Quinn may have survived this torture and gone on to become more of an anti-hero in recent times, but taking away someone’s free will like that is definitely evil.

6 Paralyzing Barbara Gordon To Drive Commissioner Gordon Insane

Batman: The Killing Joke (1988)

joker shoots barbara gordon

The Killing Joke is a comic series that was designed to share some of The Joker’s origin. The running theme of this dark tale is that anyone can be driven mad in just one day. In fact, The Joker makes it his mission to prove this sentiment to Jim Gordon in the story.

At the time of The Killing Joke, Barba Gordon was still Batgirl. She is the daughter of Commissioner Gordon, and is kidnapped by The Joker who makes Jim Gordon watch as he shoots her in the spine. This cruel act paralyzes Barbara, but she survives the attack to continue her crime-fighting work as Batman’s tech-wiz, Oracle. Even this insane behavior was not enough to break Jim Gordon or his daughter.

5 Killing Batman’s Parents

Batman (1989)

Batman 89 Young Joker

Even those who do not read comic books know Batman’s origin story. The young boy watches his parents get fatally shot after the opera in a failed mugging. In most lore, this mugger is a man called Joe Chill, but the Batman movie from 1989 changed this origin to make it so that The Joker was the one who killed the Waynes.


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In this twist of fate, this evil act was what created Batman and made him the only man determined enough to continuously take out The Joker and foil his schemes. The Joker kills a lot of people in this iteration, but doing this in front of a small boy makes it a particularly evil deed.

4 Killing Jim Gordon’s Wife, Sarah Essen

Detective Comics #741 (2000)

Detective Comics #741 (2000)

The reality where The Joker kills Sarah Essen comes at the end of a saga called No Man’s Land. During this story, Gotham City has been crippled by an earthquake and a flood. Many citizens die, and the chaos causes the city’s criminals to run riot. Fortunately, Batman and Lex Luthor are able to start putting the city back to normal, but The Joker does not want things this way.

In an effort to crush the spirits of the remaining citizens, The Joker sets his sights on the Gordon family once again. He kidnaps a bunch of babies to draw out Batman and Gotham’s police force and then takes this opportunity to murder Jim Gordon’s wife. This cold act almost forces Gordon to shoot The Joker, but Batman is able to talk him down, albeit at the cost of Joker’s kneecap.

3 Killing Rachel Dawes And Creating Two-Face

The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight Two Face

A lot is going on in Gotham when The Joker arrives in The Dark Knight. This film by Christopher Nolan took Joker to new extremes thanks to the talent of the late Heath Ledger. The mob is on the run from a new lawyer on the scene, Harvey Dent, and Batman is successfully stopping crime in the city. In an earlier raid on a party held by Bruce Wayne, The Joker finds a way to try and stop both of these heroes in one swoop. Batman inadvertently reveals his feelings for Rachel Dawes when she is thrown out of a window by the villain.

As a result, The Joker kidnaps both Harvey and Rachel and holds them in a race against time that will see a bomb kill one of them. Batman thinks he can only save one and chooses to try and reach Rachel, but Joker gave Batman the address for Harvey instead. Bombs go off in both locations, though, killing Rachel and scarring Harvey Dent for life both physically and mentally, since Harvey was in a relationship with Rachel. The heroic lawyer then turns into a dark and corrupted figure, once again, proving that people can be driven mad by just one bad day. Such a gruesome act manages to break Batman and force him to retire long before Bane shows up in Gotham.

2 Killing Jason Todd

Batman: A Death In The Family (1988)

Batman Death in the Family

Batman and Robin are two heroes who have been by each other’s sides since the 1940s. When the first Robin, Dick Grayson, grew up to become Nightwing, Batman found a new young orphan to be his ward in the young Jason Todd. This teen was more rebellious than his predecessor, but no one could predict his fate when he was first introduced to stealing the tires off the Batmobile.


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In a story called A Death in the Family, Jason Todd is kidnapped by The Joker in an attempt to get Batman’s attention. A reader’s poll was then created to decide the fate of this Robin, and the fans voted for Jason Todd to be killed. As such, The Joker beat him to death with a crowbar. The character has returned since in the form of the Red Hood, but no act committed by The Joker has affected Batman as much, and no cool gadget could have prevented it.

1 Eating The Children Of China As Emperor Joker

Superman: Emperor Joker (2000)

emperor joker comic

The Emperor Joker miniseries was a run of comics released to tie in with the Superman arc at that time. In this story, The Joker is given access to the powers of a celestial being, and so becomes a monolithic trickster God similar to Loki in the Marvel Comics.

During his time with this power, The Joker does some truly horrible things that match his nature, but one is far more dark than anything else the character has ever done. This new version of the character, who became known as Emperor Joker, traveled to China and ate every child in the country. He then used this evil act as an excuse to make a joke about how he doesn’t like Chinese food. Not only is this act evil, it isn’t even that funny and serves no purpose.


Batman: All Live-Action Jokers, Ranked

Which live-action version of The Joker does the best job of bringing one of the best villains of all time to life?


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