ByMichael Patterson, writer at
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Michael Patterson

When it comes to supervillains, there are few as popular as the Joker. Known for his jester-like appearance and signature laugh, the Clown Prince of Crime is undoubtedly Batman's most formidable adversary, and has become a pop-culture icon. Making his debut in 1940, the character has since gone on to appear in countless films, TV shows, video games and graphic novels. And each time, he has put Batman through a whole new kind of hell.

However, the upcoming comic Batman: White Knight will take the character in a completely different direction, and in doing so, it will answer some long-awaited questions about the Joker's real name. Writer/artist Sean Gordon Murphy took to social media to reveal that his Joker's real name will be none other than Jack Napier.

Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before

If Jack Napier sounds familiar to you, that's because it's the real name of Jack Nicholson's Joker in Tim Burton's 1989 film Batman. The classic film rewrote the character's origins, portraying him as a slippery gangster in Carl Grissom's mob, before his "accident" transforms him into the terrifying Joker.

Murphy's choice to name the Joker after the Burton version just highlights the major impact that '89 has had on the world of comic books. The film was the first big screen Batman adaptation in 23 years and redefined everything about the Dark Knight, paving the way for modern .

Jack Napier was the Joker's real name in 'Batman' 1989. [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
Jack Napier was the Joker's real name in 'Batman' 1989. [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

Jack Napier's return in comic book form will undoubtedly introduce a whole new audience to the name, and does so in a way that pays tribute to one of the greatest iterations of the character we've ever seen.

The Importance Of The Joker's Real Name

Despite the character's reputation, we never actually got to know the Joker's real name in the comics. While other adaptations, like Burton's Batman, have used aliases, his comic book origins have undergone so many revisions over the years that the name of the man behind the make-up always remained a mystery.

Thus, Murphy's reveal of the Joker's name in Batman: White Knight sets it apart from the character's countless other comic book appearances. Furthermore, it not only gives us a chance to get to know who he is with a real name, but it may also give us an insight to who he was before he became the Clown Prince of Crime.

Check out the comic's official synopsis below:

Set in a world where the Joker is cured of his insanity and homicidal tendencies, The Joker, now known as “Jack,” sets about trying to right his wrongs. First he plans to reconcile with Harley Quinn, and then he’ll try to save the city from the one person who he thinks is truly Gotham City’s greatest villain: Batman!

While the storyline may not take place in the actual timeline, it will have a major impact on our perception of it, simply because it will now be impossible to think of the Joker as anyone else but Jack Napier. But then again, a lot of us have always thought of it as his real name, thanks to Batman '89.

With an announcement this monumental, it's awesome to see that Jack Nicholson's Joker is very much alive and well in today's day and age. And it's really amazing that after all these years, the classic film is still influencing the comics.

Batman: White Knight Issue 1 is released on Monday October 4, 2017.

Are you happy that Jack Napier is finally being included in a comic book? Let us know in the comments below!

(Source: DC Comics)


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