If you haven’t been reading Justice League, you’ve been missing out on a compelling story written by Geoff Johns matched beautifully with the art style of up-and-coming artist Jason Fabok. Johns is known for writing universe-shattering storylines that deliver an ending that sticks. His most recent story called Darkseid War is one of his most compelling, and it just concluded in issue #50 of Justice League. The story hinted around the fact that the Joker’s true identity may be revealed, and it was speculated that in this issue the reveal would occur.
Since issue #40 of Justice League Johns has been weaving a tale about the members of the Justice League becoming gods to fight an evil threatening to destroy the universe. In issue #42 when Batman sat on the Mobius chair, a device that is all knowing, Batman asked the identify of the Joker to be revealed. Batman’s reaction to the chair’s response was of disbelief stating, “No. That’s not possible.”
The comic book community has been torn in half since reading issue #42. Some were excited at the possibility of learning who has been torturing Batman for all these years while others believed that the Joker’s true identity should remain a mystery because it adds to his allure. Many speculated, based on Batman’s reaction, that the Joker must be someone Batman was once close with, or is currently close to. Furthermore, many web-sleuths hypothesized that the Joker must have been someone thought to be dead based on Batman saying, “not possible” to the answer given by the Mobius chair.
In this issue we do find out what the Mobius chair said to Batman and it’s not what I expected. The answer given was…
That’s right – there are THREE Jokers. Definitely not the reveal I thought it would be, but an interesting one.
As I thought about the number three and Batman, it struck me that there have been three Robins – Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, and Damien Wayne.
All three were introduced into continuity prior to the creation of the New 52 universe. There was rarely a time when Batman was without Robin; however, the Joker existed before Dick Grayson was introduced as Robin so any kind of Robin relation to the three Jokers is most likely improbable.
The Joker has a timelessness to him (as alluded to in Scott Snyder’s Batman run) so I’m leaning towards the belief that at least one of the Jokers is Bat-Mite in disguise. Bat-Mite has always been a weird thorn in Batman side causing all kind of mischief for the Dark Knight. Bat-Mite can obviously take on the form of Batman so I guess it wouldn’t be too far off if he took the form of the Joker. Plus the DC cinematic universe may be leaning towards Bat-Mite playing a large role in Batman’s life (see my Batman vs Superman theory here).
As for the other two Jokers, after reading Rebirth #1 I’m leaning towards the belief that one of them may have been Eddie Blake, the Comidian, based on Batman finding the smiley face button in the Bat-Cave at the end of Rebirth. The Comedian was, let’s be honest, a crazed murderer who wasn’t a hero. In fact, just like the Joker, he took pleasure in harming women.
I did some web-sleuthing of my own and forum member Magic M over at www.watchmencomicmovie.com pointed out that the Joker in Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke said things eerily similar to the Comidian in Alan Moore’s Watchmen. Here are the panels referenced by Magic M to support his theory.
As for the third Joker, maybe that one is the more traditional one – the failed comedian turned Red Hood that ended up being transformed in the Joker after falling in a vat of acid.
Regardless of who the three Jokers really are, Johns has given us a lot to think about at the conclusion of Justice League #50. Consume Review Repeat gives Justice League #50 a eight out of ten smiley faces.