In honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Joker, we’re doing a countdown of your favorite Joker stories of all-time.
You all voted, now here are the results of what you chose as the 75 Greatest Joker Stories! Click here for a master list of all 75 stories.
35. “Knights of Knavery” (1944’s Batman #25)
In this story, we get what I believe is the first official team-up of two previously established Bat-villains, as the Joker and Penguin end up in prison together. They escape but find themselves pulling off the same crime in an attempt to prove that they are the smartest crook in Gotham City…
How Batman gets out of being killed once he is captured is in-sane. It involves having the Joker and Penguin shoot guns at his head!!!
34. “The Return of the Joker” (1990’s Batman #450-451)
After a longer than normal absence from the Bat-books after seemingly dying at the end of “A Death in the Family,” Marv Wolfman had brought the Joker back at the end of his storyline introducing Tim Drake (the Joker had been communicating with and manipulating Two-Face). So not only is this the first time Batman’s met with the Joker since the Joker killed Jason Todd, this storyline is also the first Joker appearance since The Killing Joke, so both Gordon and Batman are having a hard time wondering what each of them will do when they see the Joker. The story opens with an impostor Joker committing “humorous” crimes in the Joker’s name. The bad jokes ultimately force the real Joker out of hiding, where he had been recuperating from his injuries suffered at the end of “A Death in the Family.”
Wolfman nicely articulates those conflicts at the start of part two (it is crazy watching artists Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo have to recreate the events of The Killing Joke)…
Wolfman was one of the first writers to really work the whole “Why don’t I just kill this guy?” angle with regards to Batman and Joker (and, in this case, Gordon and Joker, as well).
33. “World’s Finest” (1990’s World’s Finest #1-3)
One of the most gorgeous books of its era was World’s Finest, a three-book prestige format mini-series with artwork by Steve Rude and Karl Kesel (with painted covers by Rude and a story by Dave Gibbons). The basic gist of the story is simple, as it is basically just Luthor and Joker teaming up to take on Superman and Batman, but the devil is very much in the details, and Gibbons and Rude NAIL all of those details. Check out this striking sequence where Joker and Luthor strike up their bargain…
Go to the next page for #32-29!
32. “The Great Clayface-Joker Feud” (1963’s Batman #159)
In one of the last appearance by the Joker before Batman adopts his “New Look,” the second Clayface has returned and he has found a way to give himself shape-changing powers. He just chose to change into the wrong shape…
The classic creative team of Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris delivered a very clever attempt by the Joker to get his revenge.
31. “The Joker’s Wild!” (1991-1992’s Robin II: The Joker’s Wild #1-4)
Chuck Dixon, Tom Lyle and Bob Smith were the creative team that is built around two major ideas. The first is that Batman is out of town and Robin is all alone to combat the Joker and the second is that this is the first time that the Joker has faced the new Robin…
What a great sequence by Lyle! The Joker’s reaction was excellent.
30. “Fool’s Errand” (1998’s Detective Comics #726)
Brian Stelfreeze delivered the guest art for this excellent comic book story that is based upon the Joker using his powers of persuasion to drive one of his fellow prisoner to kidnap a little girl after he is released. Batman is now visiting the Joker trying to find out where he told the man to hide the little girl…
The Joker’s motivation for WHY he set this whole thing up is chillingly clever.
29. “The Joker’s Utility Belt” (1952’s Batman #73)
This is a case where the story’s title really tells it all, as the Joker is compelled by Batman’s success with a utility belt to create one of his own…
David Vern Reed wrote it and Dick Sprang and Charles Paris drew it.
Go to the next page for #28-26!
28. “Emperor Joker” (2000’s Superman #160-161, Adventures of Superman #582-583, Superman: The Man of Steel #104-105, Action Comic #769-770 and Superman: Emperor Joker #1 (2000)
In this crossover, the Joker usurps the power of Mr. Mxyzptlk and uses it to do…well, some really bad things. Superman is able to fight off Joker’s warped view of the universe and then he and his allies must find a way to stop the now-ominipotent Joker. The story was by Jeph Loeb, Joe Kelly, J.M. DeMatteis and Mark Schultz with artwork by Ed McGuinness, Kano, Doug Mahnke and many more artists.
Here’s a glimpse of the Joker’s vision of the world…
The person being tortured is, of course, Batman. Gotta love that Aquaman.
27. “Last Laugh” (1982’s Batman #353)
This one-off story is mostly known for its stellar fill-in artwork by the great Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez…
Stunning work. The inker on this story was Dan Adkins. Gerry Conway wrote it.
26. The Joker’s Comedy of Errors” (1951’s Batman #66)
This story, by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Lew Schwartz and Charles Paris (Kane pencile the Batman and Ronie-figures) is best known as tehe “Boner issue.”
You can read more about the story here.