The Joker (comic book)


Cover of The Joker #1 (May 1975). Art by Dick Giordano
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Schedule Bi-monthly
Format Ongoing series
Publication date May 1975-October 1976
Number of issues 9
Main character(s) The Joker
Creative team
Writer(s) Elliot S. Maggin, Dennis O'Neil, Martin Pasko
Penciller(s) Ernie Chan, José Luis García-López, Irv Novick
Inker(s) Tex Blaisdell, Vince Colletta, José Luis García-López, Dick Giordano, Frank McLaughlin
Creator(s) Bob Kane
Bill Finger

The Joker is a comic book series published by DC Comics starring the super-villain the Joker. It ran nine issues from May 1975 until October 1976.

Publication history

Dennis O'Neil, who wrote the first issue of the series, recounted that "I stopped by Julie [Schwartz, Batman editor]’s office, and he said, ‘We’re going to do a Joker book.’ I know that alarms went off, I could sense the problems that such a thing would entail … but it was a job.”[1] The series was launched in May 1975 by O'Neil and artist Irv Novick.[2] In order to have him work as a protagonist, writers on the series toned down the Joker's insanity and to adhere to the Comics Code Authority, each issue would end with the Joker being apprehended, only to escape at the beginning of the next issue. Batman did not appear in the series, and the Joker was forbidden to murder anyone in the pages of his own magazine[1]


When a villain named Senor Alvarez breaks Batman's enemy Two-Face out of Arkham Asylum and insults the Joker as "not a superior criminal", the Joker breaks out of Arkham and decides to get revenge and prove he is a "superior" criminal.[3]

The Joker teams up with a villain called Willie the Weeper who has a habit of crying and laughing when he sees others cry to help him steal platinum after Willie the Weeper breaks him out.[4]

After a battle with the Joker, the Creeper gets amnesia and is persuaded he is the Joker's ally.[5]

The Joker falls in love with DC hero Green Arrow's girlfriend Dinah Lance and gives her a choice: Marry the Joker or die.[6]

The Joker competes with Justice League foes the Royal Flush Gang for a valuable painting done by the late Thaedus Wilde.[7]

When the Joker hits an actor playing the famous detective Sherlock Holmes on his head with a pipe, the actor believes he is Holmes and that the Joker is Holmes's archenemy Professor Moriarty and goes "stalking" the Joker.[8]

An experiment goes awry and switches the Joker's insanity with Superman villain Lex Luthor's criminal ingenuity.[9]

When the Joker steals "Fear-Gas" from S.T.A.R. Labs, he ends up competing with fellow Batman villain The Scarecrow to see whose "fear-based" weapon is the best. The Joker wins.[10]

The Joker and Batman "frenemy" Catwoman end up competing for a movie actor's trained feline sidekick. Catwoman's victory leads to a three way rivalry with Two-Face included.[11]

Unpublished issue

The letters page of The Joker #9 (Sept.-Oct. 1976) mentions that Martin Pasko was writing a story titled "99 and 44/100 Percent Dead!" to appear in The Joker #10, which was never published. In the end notes of The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told (1989) it is noted that The Joker editor Julius Schwartz had no recollection of this story ever being completed. A cover for issue #10 was drawn by Ernie Chan.[12]

Collected editions



  1. 1 2 Stewart, Tom (August 2009). "The Joker's Not So Wild! The Clown Prince of Crime in his Own Magazine!". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (35): 40–43.
  2. McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. It may have been an unusual idea at the time, but writer Denny'Oneil and artist Irv Novick decided to feature a villain in his own comic book. The Joker only lasted nine issues.
  3. O'Neil, Dennis (w), Novick, Irv (p), Giordano, Dick (i). "The Joker's Double Jeopardy!" The Joker (May 1975)
  4. O'Neil, Dennis (w), Novick, Irv (p), García-López, José Luis (i). "The Sad Saga of Willy the Weeper!" The Joker 2 (July 1975)
  5. O'Neil, Dennis (w), Chan, Ernie (p), García-López, José Luis (i). "The Last Ha Ha" The Joker 3 (September-October 1975)
  6. Maggin, Elliot S. (w), García-López, José Luis (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "A Gold Star for the Joker" The Joker 4 (November-December 1975)
  7. Pasko, Martin (w), Novick, Irv (p), Blaisdell, Tex (i). "The Joker Goes "Wilde"!" The Joker 5 (January-February 1976)
  8. O'Neil, Dennis (w), Novick, Irv (p), Blaisdell, Tex (i). "Sherlock Stalks the Joker!" The Joker 6 (March-April 1976)
  9. Maggin, Elliot S. (w), Novick, Irv (p), McLaughlin, Frank (i). "Luthor -- You're Driving Me Sane!" The Joker 7 (May-June 1976)
  10. Maggin, Elliot S. (w), Novick, Irv (p), Blaisdell, Tex (i). "The Scarecrow's Fearsome Face-Off!" The Joker 8 (July-August 1976)
  11. Maggin, Elliot S. (w), Novick, Irv (p), Blaisdell, Tex (i). "The Cat and the Clown!" The Joker 9 (September-October 1976)
  12. "Ernie Chan 1970's DC Joker Cover -- Unpublished". Comic Art Fans. n.d. Archived from the original on December 22, 2014. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  13. Jones, Ben (director); Krieg, Jim (writer) (April 15, 2011). "Joker: The Vile and the Villainous!". Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Season 3. Episode 1. Cartoon Network.

External links

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