Comic Legends: How Did Faceless Joker Come About?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and eighteenth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Just like the last couple of months, one legend today, one tomorrow and one Sunday.

Let's begin!


Joker was originally going to be shot in the forehead in the New 52.



At the start of the New 52, Tony Daniel wrote and drew (with inks by Ryan Winn) "Detective Comics."

At the end of the first issue, the villainous Dollmaker was revealed to have removed the Joker's face!!

Eventually, the Joker showed up again in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's "Batman," complete with him wearing his face like a mask!!

Amazingly enough, though, the whole story started in a MUCH different place. Originally, the issue was going to end with Joker getting shot in the head!

Daniel explained on his Facebook page that the Joker would have been rumored to have been lobotomized by the Dollmaker.

Was the Joker faking it? Joker would’ve escaped from the Arkham hospital before a police transport, with the aid of Dollmaker’s henchmen. (Remember the nurse)? He would’ve disappeared for a year, and double crossed by the Dollmaker who would’ve held him captive for some time because he wanted to study the “worlds greatest villain.” Long story short, Joker would’ve killed Dollmaker and his cronies, except for the Nurse who at that point fell in love with him and helped him. DC felt the lobotomy angle was a bit too over the top. They wanted the crossover the following year to be between Detective Comics, Batman and the others. So Scott Snyder and I got on the phone to talk about what we could do for the crossover, “The return of the Joker.”

And that's where the whole face removal thing came into play:

Scott told me he had an idea about Joker being unrecognizable to Batman. Where he takes his make up off, and we would get to see Joker’s real face. So I explained my Dollmaker villain and what he does to his victims. I explained he could just remove the Joker’s face. A bit more extreme than the lobotomy idea, certainly. But for some reason DC bought the idea.

And so we got the famous face removal storyline! I think it worked out for the best, but it's pretty funny how these things are determined.

Thanks so much to Tony Daniel for filling the world in on the background of this story!

Check out some legends from Legends Revealed:

Check back Saturday for part 2 of this week's legends!

And remember, if you have a legend that you're curious about, drop me a line at either brianc@cbr.com or cronb01@aol.com!

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