Top 10 Joker Deaths

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Top 10 Joker Deaths

VOICE OVER: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Thomas O'Connor
Batman may have rules against killing, but his arch-nemesis sure does die a lot! For this list we'll be looking some of the biggest deaths the clown prince has had the misfortune of experiencing.

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Top 10 Joker Deaths

Batman may have rules against killing, but his arch-nemesis sure does die a lot! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re looking at the Top 10 Joker Deaths.

For this list, we’re looking at the best times when the Clown Prince of Crime took his last bow... or at least appeared to. After all, nobody stays dead in comics.

#10: Dying in his First Appearance



If you were an apple-cheeked youth reading The Joker’s very first appearance, you probably wouldn’t have guessed that this was the beginning of a very long-standing rivalry. In his very first appearance, the J-Man perpetrated a string of robberies and killings before squaring off against the Caped Crusader for the first time. In another story in the same issue, Joker’s reign of crime seemingly came to an end when he accidentally stabbed himself in the chest during a fight. After Batman and Robin left the scene, the police discovered that the arch-villain was still alive in the first of many near-deaths. Not the most glamorous start, Mister J.

#9: Trap Door



Back in his early days, Joker had a bad habit of seemingly falling to his doom. If you can think of a dramatic thing to fall to your death from, Joker probably took a spill from it. He fell overboard while on a boat, fell from a lighthouse, from a train and off of a zeppelin! Gravity just wasn’t his friend in those early days. If we had to pick though, our favorite of these Silver Age deaths is the time Batman gave him the old alley-oop and sent him plummeting down a trap door. There’s just something classic about a trap door leading to a deadly drop.

#8: (Maybe) Strangled by Batman



Arguably the most famous Joker story of all time, Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s “The Killing Joke” saw the Joker shoot and assault Batgirl and kidnap her father in an attempt to prove anyone can be driven insane by one bad day. Batman, despite being pushed to the limit, seemingly managed to maintain his vow to never take a human life….but some people aren’t so sure. In the story’s closing panels, the two arch-rivals share a laugh over a bad joke. It looks as though Batman is bracing himself against his old foe, but some have interpreted this as Batman finally snapping and strangling the Joker, since his laughter stops suddenly from one panel to another. And really, could you blame him?

#7: Superman Loses It



And speaking of murder-free heroes crossing that line, the “Injustice” games and comic book series take place in a universe where the Man of Steel has become a tyrannical dictator. What prompted him to go from champion of justice to superpowered despot? Killing The Joker. After the Joker attacked the Daily Planet offices and left its entire staff dead, including Lois Lane, Superman decided enough was enough and brutally killed him. This decision set Supes on the path to villainy and made him an enemy to his fellow heroes. The sad part is, this is probably exactly what Joker wanted all along!

#6: Going Down With the Ship



The first time that the iterations of Batman and Superman from their 1990s cartoons crossed paths was nothing short of pure magic. Naturally, the pair’s arch-nemeses were along for the ride, and to the surprise of nobody, Lex Luthor didn’t work too well with Mister J. After briefly joining forces with Lex, Joker eventually betrays him and steals a massive wing-shaped aircraft, which Joker repainted to look like his trademark grin. But the plane ended up going down in flames, thanks in part to some exploding marbles. This looked like Joker’s last stand, and his epic laugh as the ship went down is definitely one of his best.

#5: The Phantasm’s Final Victim



1993’s “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” is still viewed by some fans as Batman’s finest cinematic outing. After a deadly vigilante known as The Phantasm slices their way through the Gotham underworld, Batman’s early days as a crime fighter come back to haunt him. As it turns out, the final name on the Phantasm’s hit list was none other than The Joker, leading to a fiery confrontation culminating in yet another epic Joker laugh. It looked as though this was the end for both Phantasm and the Joker, but given that she’s alive and well in the film’s final moments, it was unsurprising when Joker later returned.

#4: Death by Titan Poisoning



In the final moments of the first entry in the Arkham franchise, the Joker juiced himself up with Titan, a powerful serum that turned him into a hulking monster. While Joker eventually returned to his normal but still terrifying self, the serum left him slowly dying. Naturally, this prompted him to concoct an elaborate plan that would force Batman to develop a cure, placing Batman in the unenviable position of deciding if Joker would live or die. But you know what they say about the best-laid plans of homicidal clowns. Joker’s plan went south in a big way, leading to his death in front of the Caped Crusader’s very eyes.

#3: Falling from a Helicopter



Even in the modern era, Joker has a recurring habit of falling to his doom. But this time it stuck, at least for this version of the character. During the climax of Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie, Jack Nicholson’s iteration of the Clown Prince of Crime attempted to escape from atop the suitably Gothic Gotham cathedral. Batman attempted to stop him by tethering Joker’s foot to a nearby gargoyle, a plan that arguably backfired when the gargoyle broke loose, sending Joker plummeting to the streets below. Jack Nicholson is still the only live-action Joker to die onscreen, and this death will be a hard act to follow for anyone else.

#2: Snapping his Own Neck



Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” sees an older Batman coming out of retirement to fight crime once again in a dystopian future, and his return brings his arch-nemesis out of retirement as well. The two traded blows one final time before Joker lay in a bloody heap before the Caped Crusader, who still refused to end Joker’s life. As a final blow against his old enemy, Joker got the last laugh by snapping his own neck, killing himself and framing Batman for his murder. He may not have gotten Batman to finally cross that line, but this was probably almost as good.

#1: “That’s Not Funny”



And speaking of Batman tales set in the near future, this series and movie saw a new Batman defending a futuristic Gotham, with an elderly Bruce Wayne as his mentor. But when the Joker re-emerged, the gruesome details of his death came to light. In the uncut version, Joker met his end after kidnapping and brainwashing Tim Drake, who managed to break his programming just long enough to shoot Joker through the chest with a “bang” flag. Joker evidently didn’t find this very humorous, leading to some memorable final words. He may have come back from the grave years later, but that doesn’t take away from this memorable and disturbing death scene.
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