The Joker (comic book)
Cover of The Joker #1 (May–June 1975). Art by Dick Giordano
|Publication date||May 1975-October 1976|
|No. of issues||9|
|Main character(s)||The Joker|
|Created by||Bob Kane|
|Written by||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|
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." The series was launched in May 1975 by O'Neil and artist Irv Novick. 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 (the sole exception was issue #4, where the Joker was killed in the end, only to return in the next issue as if nothing had happened and with no explanation as to how he survived). Batman did not appear in the series, and the Joker was forbidden to murder anyone in the pages of his own magazine.
- No. 1, May–June 1975 - "The Joker's Double Jeopardy!": When a villain named Senor Alvarez breaks Batman's enemy Two-Face out of Arkham Asylum and insults the Joker as being "not a superior criminal", the Joker breaks out of Arkham and decides to get revenge and prove he is a "superior" criminal.
- No. 2, July–August 1975 - "The Sad Saga of Willy the Weeper!": The Joker teams up with a villain called Willy the Weeper, who has a habit of crying when he tries to commit a crime and laughing when he sees others cry, to help him steal platinum after Willy the Weeper breaks him out.
- No. 3, September–October 1975 - "The Last Ha Ha": After a battle with the Joker, the Creeper gets amnesia and is persuaded by the Joker that he is the Joker's ally.
- No. 4, November–December 1975 - "A Gold Star for the Joker": The Joker falls in love with DC hero Green Arrow's girlfriend Dinah Laurel Lance and gives her a choice: marry the Joker or die!
- No. 5, January–February 1976 - "The Joker Goes 'Wilde'!": The Joker competes with Justice League foes the Royal Flush Gang for four valuable paintings done by the late artist Thaddeus Wilde.
- No. 6, March–April 1976 - "Sherlock Stalks the Joker!": 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' archenemy Professor Moriarty. "Holmes" "stalks" the Joker with the help of a stagehand (who used to be a sailor who worked on the docks) named "Dock" Watson.
- No. 7, May–June 1976 - "Luthor -- You're Driving Me Sane!": An experiment of Superman villain Lex Luthor's goes awry (thanks to the Joker's interference) and gives the Joker Luthor's genius and Luthor the Joker's insanity.
- No. 8, July–August 1976 - "The Scarecrow's Fearsome Face-Off!": When the Joker steals some "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.
- No. 9, September–October 1976 - "The Cat and the Clown!": The Joker and Batman's "frenemy" Catwoman end up competing for a movie actor's trained feline sidekick. Catwoman's victory leads to a two-way rivalry ...
- No. 10, October–December 2019 - "99 and 99/100% Dead!": The Joker makes a deal with "Lou Cipher" to defeat the Justice League and kill a scientist developing a health serum. After defeating the Flash, Black Canary, Green Arrow, and Wonder Woman, the Joker discovers that while they lack a pulse the League continues to have brainwaves.
The letters page of The Joker #9 (Sept.–Oct. 1976) mentions that Martin Pasko was writing a Joker vs. the Justice League of America story titled "99 and 99/100% Dead!" to appear in The Joker #10, which was never published despite being listed as "on sale right now" on the Daily Planet promotional page for August 16, 1976. 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; however, Pasko found xeroxed pages of the story which he sold on eBay in 2011. A cover for issue #10 was drawn by Ernie Chan, but it was not finished at the time. The Joker #10 was published for the first time on August 14, 2019 in DC's The Joker: The Bronze Age Omnibus (which also contains The Joker #1-9 as well as other published Joker stories from the 1970s), and as a stand-alone issue on October 3, 2019.
- The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told includes The Joker #3, 288 pages, January 1989, ISBN
- The Joker: The Clown Prince Of Crime collects The Joker #1–9, 176 pages, November 2013, ISBN 978-1401242589
- The Joker: The Bronze Age Omnibus collects The Joker #1–10, 832 pages, August 2019, ISBN 978-1401293406
- Willy the Weeper appeared as a one-time villain in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold TV episode "Joker: The Vile and the Villainous!", voiced by Tim Conway, in which the Joker recruits him into becoming a supervillain again after facing a humiliating defeat by Bulletman.
- 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.
- 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 lasted only nine issues.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- O'Neil, Dennis (w), Novick, Irv (p), Giordano, Dick (i). "The Joker's Double Jeopardy!" The Joker #1 (May–June 1975)
- O'Neil, Dennis (w), Novick, Irv (p), García-López, José Luis (i). "The Sad Saga of Willy the Weeper!" The Joker #2 (July–August 1975)
- O'Neil, Dennis (w), Chan, Ernie (p), García-López, José Luis (i). "The Last Ha Ha" The Joker #3 (September–October 1975)
- Maggin, Elliot S. (w), García-López, José Luis (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "A Gold Star for the Joker" The Joker #4 (November–December 1975)
- Pasko, Martin (w), Novick, Irv (p), Blaisdell, Tex (i). "The Joker Goes "Wilde"!" The Joker #5 (January–February 1976)
- O'Neil, Dennis (w), Novick, Irv (p), Blaisdell, Tex (i). "Sherlock Stalks the Joker!" The Joker #6 (March–April 1976)
- Maggin, Elliot S. (w), Novick, Irv (p), McLaughlin, Frank (i). "Luthor -- You're Driving Me Sane!" The Joker #7 (May–June 1976)
- Maggin, Elliot S. (w), Novick, Irv (p), Blaisdell, Tex (i). "The Scarecrow's Fearsome Face-Off!" The Joker #8 (July–August 1976)
- Maggin, Elliot S. (w), Novick, Irv (p), Blaisdell, Tex (i). "The Cat and the Clown!" The Joker #9 (September–October 1976)
- Pasko, Martin (w), Novick, Irv (p). "99 and 99/100% Dead!" The Joker #10 (October–December 2019)
- Rozakis, Rob, ed. (August 16, 1976). "Direct Currents". Daily Planet. 76 (16). p. 1. Archived from the original on 27 September 2010.
- Gold, Mike, ed. (1988). The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told. DC Comics. ISBN 978-0-930289-36-2.
- Wells, John; Dallas, Keith (July 25, 2018). Comic Book Implosion: An Oral History of DC Comics Circa 1978. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 24. GGKEY:1FQ2FSNDRN1.
- Eury, Michael; Kronenberg, Michael (2009). The Batcave Companion. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 151. ISBN 978-1-893905-78-8.
- "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.
- Greenfield, Dan (November 19, 2018). "DC to Publish Long-Lost JOKER #10 Four Decades Later". 13th Dimension.
- Staff writer (February 2019). "The Joker: The Bronze Age Omnibus". DC Comics. DC Entertainment.
- Staff writer (September 2019). "The Joker (1975-1976) #10". Read DC. DC Entertainment. Archived from the original on 7 October 2019.
- 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.