Jack Napier was always a mean-spirited kid. Arrested for assault when he was only 15, showed signs of both intelligence and instability, and proved he possessed a true genius nature for the arts and sciences. One night, he and a fellow cohort followed a family out of the movie theater. It was just going to be a simple robbery, but when they approached the family of three, something inside Jack went off. He shot the husband, and then the wife...and was about to do the same to the remaining boy, who was in shock over what he had just seen happen around him to the people that meant the world to him. Jack's partner was able to pull him away in enough time to spare the child's life. The boy's name was Bruce.
Once Jack got older, he made his way up the ladder of Gotham City's organized crime...securing a place for himself as the right hand man of Gotham kingpin Carl Grissom. But despite all of his class, Jack was too ambitious for his own good. He felt as though he could run the town on his own. In fact, he was fully prepared to take Gotham right out from under Grissom's nose. He wanted everything Grissom had, including his woman Alicia.
Upon finding this out, Grissom set up poor Jack. Jack was to take some of Grissom's soldiers with him to raid the offices of Axis Chemicals and destroy all evidence of the company's ties with Grissom and Gotham's underworld. Upon realizing that he was set up, Jack tried to flee the scene just as Commissioner Gordon and his men arrived.
As the cops and thugs shot at each other back and forth, Jack quietly slipped up toward the catwalks of the plant...and to sudden freedom. Just as he was about to exit, he was confronted by a six foot man dressed in a black, rubber bat suit! Threatening the Commissioner's life, Jack was able to have the Batman back off.
But as foolish Jack shot at the Batman, the bullet ricocheted and hit a nearby vat, squirting Jack in the face with toxic chemicals. Blinded, Jack tripped over the side of the catwalks. Although the Batman tried to pull him up, it was no use. Jack fell right into the vat of acid below.
Presumed dead, Jack was able to crawl to the plant's surgery room and get looked at by a person that claimed to have been a doctor. Once Jack saw how disfigured he had become, something snapped inside of him.
When he surprised Grissom the next night by turning up alive, Jack had a new identity to share...that of the Joker!
This page was last updated February 12, 2002.
The Joker, Batman, and all related characters are the exclusive trademarks and properties of DC Comics, a Time Warner company. ©2002 DC Comics. All rights reserved.