Off My Mind: Does the Joker Know Batman's Secret Identity?

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#51 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (19663 posts) - - Show Bio

@JonesDeini said:

@mrdecepticonleader said:

If he does know he doesn't care.His focus is on Batman not Bruce Wayne.

Yeah, that's always been my understanding. As far as he's concerned Batman IS who Bruce Wayne. And Batman is all he cares about


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#52 Posted by Figueiredo (18 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman is the Jokers split personality. Wait for the end of this big event...

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#53 Posted by Manwhohaseverything (3043 posts) - - Show Bio

This is the scene that always made me think Joker "knew" As stated before, Joker getting diplomatic immunity and speaking to the U.N and such was extremely lame. The whole plot of "Death in the Family" had way too many "I can't buy that" moments. This page however, remains an all time favorite for me, and salvaged the story line all by itself.

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#54 Posted by EscGamer (127 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't think it matters to him, he probably sees Batman as the true self like everyone else. I don't know if anyone else comment on it but Barbara did retire for 1 year due to some incident before being shot in post-52. It's says so in Batgirl #0.

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#55 Posted by EvanTheMexiJew (117 posts) - - Show Bio

I think the Joker honestly doesn't care that Batman is Bruce Wayne. I think the Joker doesn't want to take the easy way out & corner Bruce with his mask off, instead, he wants to beat Bats fare & square, and that's means taking out Bruce AND Batman.

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#56 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29887 posts) - - Show Bio

@Doubles said:

Let me throw a complete different theory out there. Expanding on the idea that he helped direct Jason Todd to become Robin - take the 1989 Tim Burton movie as a vehicle. Jack Napier, pre-Joker, killed Thomas & Martha Wayne, thus helping, in a twisted sort of way (which is the only way the Joker would operate), create Batman.

Using this theory, not only does he know that Bruce Wayne and Batman are the same person, he even helped create him. He did it to have someone to challenge him. Thus the reason why he will never destroy him. Both Batman & the Joker rely on each other and need each other too much to ever destroy the other. You can't have peanut butter without the jelly.


That would make Joker a lot older than Batman.

And unlike that movie, he isn't in the comics.


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#57 Posted by DarthShap (880 posts) - - Show Bio

Literally minutes ago, I finished DeMatteis' Going Sane arc, which indirectly addresses this question. Anyway, it is a great Joker story, probably among my favourites.

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#58 Edited by kid Apollo (953 posts) - - Show Bio

lets say he does know batman's identity, does it change anything? if he does know and still hasn't gone after Bruce personally then clearly he doesn't care. he may not have wanted to know Jason's name but he ended up killing him anyways, he went after Babara because of Jim Gordon, not Batman. Bruce himself is unrelated to both these huge events in the history of Batman. think about it like chess, Batman and crew are the pieces, if you remove the king then the games over. jokers life would be boring (by his standards) without Batman and his posse

imo Batman/Joker is kinda like Cable/Apocalypse. they serve to make each other stronger. Joker f*cks shit up, Batman comes at him bigger and better then he was before.

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#59 Posted by GBrutality (204 posts) - - Show Bio

after reading the red hood issue and hating it at first and taking time to think, i've come to the conclusion that not only would it make sense for joker to know who batman is, but it would make their dynamic more interesting. think about it; batman, the world's greatest detective, can't for the life of him figure out who the joker really is. there are some ideas but nothing really confirmed. yet the joker knows his identity. people keep saying the joker doesn't care and i think that's completely right. joker knows people very well, he gets inside their head quite effectively. he understands that batman is batman and that bruce wayne is the identity. that if he only lost all of his sanity, he'd wear the costume all the time. this is probably how the joker feels, that whatever his identity was prior was just a false identity and that the joker is his true name and title.

just a thought.

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#60 Posted by dmkicksballs13 (129 posts) - - Show Bio

"Strange Apparitions" covered this perfectly. Hugo Strange deduced Batman's identity and tried to sell it to the highest bidder. Joker then tried to buy it so no one could know, not even him. Joker only exists because of Batman and revealing his identity would ruin the purpose of the Joker. Also in Arkham City, when Harley tries to take off his mask, Joker says something like, "No one's who you think they are, why spoil the fun."

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#61 Posted by dmkicksballs13 (129 posts) - - Show Bio

@Figueiredo: While that would completely change the entire Batman universe, it would also be the single worst idea in comic history. More people would be offended than when they created Before Watchmen.

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#62 Posted by TheMess1428 (2211 posts) - - Show Bio

@G-Man: Barbara was retired in the New 52 as well.

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#63 Posted by DocFatalis (1451 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh, one day there will be a graphic novel by a new bold writer, Miller style, where the Joker confesses he knew all along, but it will be non-canon or just before an umpteenth reboot, and the story will restart all over again.

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#64 Posted by JamDamage (1195 posts) - - Show Bio

I think he knows. I don't care that he does. plus, why is everyone mentioning things pre-52. We don't know what is cannon or non-cannon anymore.

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#65 Posted by Figueiredo (18 posts) - - Show Bio

@dmkicksballs13: ...of course I was kidding! Would that actually happen, I swear, I would never ever read any comic book again! NEVER!!! :)

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#66 Posted by Herx (530 posts) - - Show Bio

Does he know. Most likely yes. Does he care, hell no. In his eyes where's the fun in killing a man and his family, he does that without even giving it a second thought. Now killing (or torturing) a symbol of justice, now thats more fun as bruce now has to represent something bigger than being a man.

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#67 Posted by KnightRise (4811 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd be beating a dead horse if I said the point is the Joker doesn't care.

I think its safe to say that he knows his identity, but the Joker doesn't follow logical pathology. Where is the fun in murdering BruceWayne in his sleep or at a board meeting?

"I don't hate you because I'm crazy, I'm crazy because I hate you"

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#68 Posted by HexThis (1135 posts) - - Show Bio

The Joker doesn't have an alter-ego, to him the Joker is who he is. He's disfigured so he doesn't have option of blending into society and doesn't much care to. Bruce does have that option, Bruce does occasionally retreat into his alter ego but it's been argued that Bruce died when his parents did and that now Batman is the entirety of his identity. Ultimately, the Joker's agenda is to defeat Batman which means tearing away every little bit of Bruce Wayne away so Batman is his for the taking.

I don't think the Joker would be satisfied killing Bruce, I think his ultimate goal is to carve Bruce from Batman's identity so he can face off against his real enemy in a battle royale.

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#69 Posted by skaarason (693 posts) - - Show Bio

most of this article doesn't even count as the new 52 has erased almost every thing in dc

i rather have a new crisis , mix the before flashpoint universe with the dcnu make everyone happy

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#70 Posted by SmashBrawler (6032 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't know how far does the Joker's knowledge of secret identities go, but I'm pretty sure he knows Batman is Bruce Wayne, much like Jim Gordon does (or did, I don't know if the New 52 changed any of this).

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#71 Posted by SolthesunGod (323 posts) - - Show Bio

It's an interesting idea. I don't know though. I think it's impossible to guess because of DC's constantly changing history. I think it would be hilarious if he really knew. I'm sure the Joker would also find it hilarious.

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#72 Posted by serpent222 (321 posts) - - Show Bio

I have thought for a while now that Joker does know who Batman is. And he does care, simply because his awareness of the world around him allows him to see that they really do need one another. That's why Joker is always reeking havoc on Batman's live, but seldom tries to put him away. Without one another, they are just a lone psychopath, but together they have a reason to exist.

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#73 Posted by mattwing87 (441 posts) - - Show Bio

Joker probably knows but keeps it to himself. He enjoys messing with Batman. If he accidentally let it slip that Batman was Bruce Wayne others would terrorize or destroy Bruce and his loved ones. Joker wants to keep Batman to himself. If that makes any sense.

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#74 Posted by RedOwl_1 (1743 posts) - - Show Bio

I think he knows, but where's the fun on revealing like that, sure he would be pursued by every guy that hates Batman, but that won't leave the Joker any slice of the cake of his pain he would be just watching, and I'm sure we both know it's more fun do than watch :D

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#75 Posted by The_Peter_Cosmic (410 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Joker knows and thinks it's amusing that he has a bit of knowledge that Bats wouldn't want him to have. I don't think he cares about targetting civilian identity, though. Going after Bruce wouldn't be nearly as fun for him as going after Batman.

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#76 Posted by DKing_CiCADA (349 posts) - - Show Bio

I have had this discussion many times. I think that the joker knows deep in his subconscious, but not all the time. It is kind of like in the killing joke how the joker remembers his origin different every time.So I feel like at times he knows and other times he doesn't.

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#77 Posted by lukin42 (8 posts) - - Show Bio

Just a short note on New 52 Batgirl: in issue #0 she states that she was Batgirl up until she 'messed up'. She retired after this mystery event and went to college and was shot by the Joker sometime after.

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#78 Posted by gmanfromheck (41909 posts) - - Show Bio

@lukin42: Yet BIRDS OF PREY kinda contradicts some of that but that's another problem, nothing to do with Joker.

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#79 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6958 posts) - - Show Bio

Joker most likely does know and frankly I don't like the idea of him knowing, even if at the same time he really just doesn't give a rat's @$$. There is no method or motive to what he does...Joker is the ying to Batman's yang. They complete each other and are less than whole without one another. Its never been a question of identity, and if it was, Joker would have won his fight against the Dark Knight long ago.

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#80 Posted by Darkus_99 (68 posts) - - Show Bio

I think he DOES know... In Arkham City while Batman was telling Vale to stay quiet, suddenly Joker said "That's not how you talk to a lady!" In this case, Joker was able to hear his conversations the whole time! Even when Alfred called him Master Wayne & Oracle said Bruce!

... But he doesn't care at all...

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#81 Edited by th3jok3r (17 posts) - - Show Bio

I just think Joker doesn't care. It is the same as how he doesn't care how he came to be the Joker. His mind is shattered, at least in the most basic terms. He is The Clown Prince of Crime. He lives for mayhem, chaos. He is the ultimate foil to Batman. Not Bruce Wayne, not Dick Grayson, not Barbara Gordon. He only cares about The Goddamn Batman.

And now I can't wait to see what Snyder and Capullo have in store for the Man Who Laughs (gets goosebumps).

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#82 Posted by lorex (1000 posts) - - Show Bio

Well Joker is crazy and I think one of his main interests is doing things to get "Bats" to come out and play. If I had to guess he thinks of Wayne as another rich suit in Gotham and they come and go but Batmam is always there.

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#83 Posted by Apis (109 posts) - - Show Bio

I've always thought he knew the truth and just kept it secret as a private joke. It wouldn't change anything since knowing who Batman is doesn't help you defeat him. When and if he ever does beat him Joker will tell the world the truth as his way of having the Last Laugh.Thats more in line with what passes for a motive in his mind.

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#84 Posted by Pauldro (214 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked how Grant Morrison stated it: The Joker doesn't care who Batman is, he just cares about making trouble and this cat and mouse chase with Batman.

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#85 Posted by Nathaniel_Christopher (2951 posts) - - Show Bio

After everything I think its clear he does indeed know, but he just doesn't care. Or, part of him knows, but the rest of him blocks that part out so that his game with Batman won't ever be ruined.

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#86 Posted by Rick_Grayson (1092 posts) - - Show Bio

After re-reading RIP recently i also thought there were far too many times Bruce made himself obvious, especially in the presence of the Joker, for Joker to not figure it out. Either he genuinely doesn't care or he doesn't want Bats to know, but i have a very strong feeling this isn't the last we'll be hearing of this.

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#87 Posted by TheJokerha (169 posts) - - Show Bio
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#88 Posted by Bad_People (187 posts) - - Show Bio

The same reason Hush is popular now is why The Joker was always popular, opposites. Joker is a polar opposite of Batman while Hush is a mirror opposite.

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#89 Posted by Jmacq1 (17 posts) - - Show Bio

@Bad_People said:

The same reason Hush is popular now is why The Joker was always popular, opposites. Joker is a polar opposite of Batman while Hush is a mirror opposite.

Batman's got a lot of mirror opposites. Hush is one, Prometheus on the JLA front (if he's still around), Bane, New 52 brings us Talon, and even Ra's Al Ghul qualifies to a certain extent.

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#90 Posted by emmett24 (9 posts) - - Show Bio

@Darkus_99 said:

I think he DOES know... In Arkham City while Batman was telling Vale to stay quiet, suddenly Joker said "That's not how you talk to a lady!" In this case, Joker was able to hear his conversations the whole time! Even when Alfred called him Master Wayne & Oracle said Bruce!

... But he doesn't care at all...

good point, i never thought of that during the game, but your right he must have heard every thing they said. However, don't you think joker would have mocked batman with this knowledge, just to bug him.

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#91 Posted by Bitchgurl (131 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman has one of the worst kept secret ID's this side of Spider-Man, at least pre 52. Now, the way DC changes everything on a whim ( and flagging sales), who knows? Didn't The Riddler figure out who Batman was, pre 52 ? 

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#92 Posted by Darkus_99 (68 posts) - - Show Bio

@emmett24: Maybe...

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#93 Posted by Maki_P (296 posts) - - Show Bio

I've always assumed that the Joker doesn't exactly know because he simply doesn't care enough about who the guy under the cowl to put 2 and 2 together; or maybe he knows, but not consciously because, once again, he doesn't care

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#94 Posted by lifeofvibe (3774 posts) - - Show Bio

dead end post

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#95 Posted by lifeofvibe (3774 posts) - - Show Bio


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#96 Posted by amazing_webhead (8591 posts) - - Show Bio

He doesn't want to know. I think "Brave and the Bold" summed it up best:

  • Harley: Ain't you gonna take his mask off and find out who he is?
  • Joker: And reduce my primal enemy to a mere man? Harely, my dear, I'm so disappointed in you. Where's the fun in that?

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