The Joker: Insane or not insane?

Avatar image for green_lantern_2814_5
#1 Edited by Green Lantern 2814.5 (71 posts) - - Show Bio

Does the Joker do what he does because of a deep mental illness that causes him to lash out onto innocent people around him or does he just see what we all try to ignore and only slightly recognize whenever a crime occurs?  

    

      
      
Avatar image for crom_cruach
#2 Posted by Crom-Cruach (8935 posts) - - Show Bio

No, he really is truly insane.

Avatar image for johnny_spam
#3 Edited by johnny_spam (2187 posts) - - Show Bio
@Green Lantern 2814.5: This is quite interesting I noticed some writers like Steve Englehart, Grant Morrison, Jim Kruegger, Judd Winick,  I think Alex Ross and Paul Dini prefer to say Joker is just an evil man and not insane it makes him all the more sinister that he is aware of the terrible things he does and hides behind the face of insanity.  
 
I don't think we are suppose to understand he is just pure violence and death. It's why the animated Joker (the version voiced by Mark Hammil) in comics makes no sense that was a children's version of the character as he is too sinister to have showed up in DCAU shows that is until Return of The Joker and Justice League at that point the audience was older and the makers were allowed to be more true to the character watch those alter productions and Mark Hammil's performance is stronger. 
Avatar image for deathpoolthet1000
#4 Posted by DeathpooltheT1000 (18984 posts) - - Show Bio

Is hard to say it, but the Joker is not insane, thats is a problem, since the rest of the world is insane.

Avatar image for clayfacetheterror
#5 Posted by ClayfaceTheTerror (26 posts) - - Show Bio

I think the Joker is insane, but he is also a genious. It makes him a very dangerous threat. 
Really the way I see it, either the Joker really is insane, or really good a fakeing it. 
Avatar image for punchlinelmh
#6 Posted by punchlineLMH (9 posts) - - Show Bio

I also like to think he's insane - which makes him much more dangerous and unpredictable. BUT, as in the brilliant "Case Study", there is the possibility of him being totally sane and aware of all his acts - but simply ingoring them with the heart of a true sociopath. Point is, since Dr Harleen Quinzel came up with that theory, it isn't worth a penny in court^^.

Avatar image for innervenom123
#7 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29886 posts) - - Show Bio

He's so crazy he's not crazy. But he is crazy. Not. Kind of.
 
He's so crazy that determining his mental status could drive YOU crazy.

Avatar image for primmaster64
#8 Posted by Primmaster64 (21668 posts) - - Show Bio

Din't Jason say something about this?

Avatar image for blade_hunter
#9 Posted by blade hunter (1917 posts) - - Show Bio
@Primmaster64 said:
" Din't Jason say something about this? "
Yes, "you're not as insane as you wont everyone to belive or even as you want to belive, you just use it as exuse for all the sick thing you do" i think Jason is right on the money here.
Avatar image for primmaster64
#10 Posted by Primmaster64 (21668 posts) - - Show Bio
@blade hunter: Yeah something like that
Avatar image for the_referee
#11 Posted by the referee (2620 posts) - - Show Bio

My guess is The Joker has something like reverse alzheimer. Let me explain. I think he's insane but has moments of clarity. 

Avatar image for atphantom
#12 Posted by AtPhantom (14434 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm amazed at how many don't consider this clear considering that he's basically a poster child for being frighteningly sick in the head. Morrison can wank his out-of-this-world theories about super-sanity or heightened awareness, but the fact is this guy has so many screws loose his head is held together by glue.

Avatar image for clayfacetheterror
#13 Posted by ClayfaceTheTerror (26 posts) - - Show Bio
@AtPhantom said:
"I'm amazed at how many don't consider this clear considering that he's basically a poster child for being frighteningly sick in the head. Morrison can wank his out-of-this-world theories about super-sanity or heightened awareness, but the fact is this guy has so many screws loose his head is held together by glue. "

I agree.
Avatar image for deathpoolthet1000
#14 Posted by DeathpooltheT1000 (18984 posts) - - Show Bio
@AtPhantom said:
"I'm amazed at how many don't consider this clear considering that he's basically a poster child for being frighteningly sick in the head. Morrison can wank his out-of-this-world theories about super-sanity or heightened awareness, but the fact is this guy has so many screws loose his head is held together by glue. "

To say he is insane is a way to explain why he is what he is. 
To control him and try to undeerstand him. 
If he is insane he could be change, for the fact he is less that normal people. 
Sorry, but he is more that normal people, like Batman is more that most of people. 
Avatar image for the_jokes_on_you
#15 Posted by The_Jokes_On_You (77 posts) - - Show Bio
@InnerVenom123 said:
"He's so crazy he's not crazy. But he is crazy. Not. Kind of.  He's so crazy that determining his mental status could drive YOU crazy. "
Avatar image for agent9149
#16 Posted by Agent9149 (3626 posts) - - Show Bio

He is not insane...he just seems insane because he doesn't do the normal things you do

Avatar image for tensor
#17 Posted by tensor (8357 posts) - - Show Bio

he is on an off

Avatar image for winfield
#18 Posted by Winfield (125 posts) - - Show Bio

Insanity is a legal term not a medical one. Legally I think there is an argument that he is insane. 
Medically I dont think he has a mental illness but his though processes and values are far removed from the norm. 

Avatar image for ms__omega
#19 Posted by ms__omega (5269 posts) - - Show Bio

Nah he is Outsane

Avatar image for thor_s_hammmer
#20 Posted by Thor's hammmer (7186 posts) - - Show Bio

he passed insane a long time ago
Avatar image for croaker
#21 Posted by Croaker (315 posts) - - Show Bio

Uniquely insane. His madness is one of a kind.

Avatar image for trump_card
#22 Posted by Trump Card (4 posts) - - Show Bio

That fact that this is an issue at all makes him one of the most interesting characters in any comic book or any story altogether.

Avatar image for wesleyearl
#23 Posted by wesleyearl (14 posts) - - Show Bio

i think he's definately eccentric because the thinks that what he does is justified, but he can't be all bad since he thinks he's doing it for the greater good

Avatar image for supertide
#24 Posted by SuperTide (15900 posts) - - Show Bio

he's insane but super smart.

Avatar image for the_jokes_on_you
#25 Posted by The_Jokes_On_You (77 posts) - - Show Bio

There's a point at which you past crazy and just become legally evil.

Avatar image for xideadpoolxi
#26 Posted by XIDEADPOOLXI (1 posts) - - Show Bio

I think that he is so fed up with societies behavior he's gotta be that crazy to get his point across...to other people his antics are insane but to him, they havent even scratched the surface of insane.

Avatar image for zoom
#27 Posted by Zoom (14751 posts) - - Show Bio
@blade hunter said:
" @Primmaster64 said:
" Din't Jason say something about this? "
Yes, "you're not as insane as you wont everyone to belive or even as you want to belive, you just use it as exuse for all the sick thing you do" i think Jason is right on the money here. "

It's funny because THE SPECTRE, who I put a little more faith in since Jason Todd is pretty freaking crazy in his own right and doesn't have the power to look into people's souls, disagrees.  He says that the Joker is so crazy, he can't comprehend the difference between good and evil and he was thus unable to smite him.
Avatar image for defaultdefaultdefault
#28 Posted by defaultdefaultdefault (16426 posts) - - Show Bio

* in the comic reality: Joker is insane. He is insane as he has been declared it by authority, and technically in the real world thats all it is. Insanity is a declaration, label
and sometimes judgment passed by your peers. Personal thought though is really, Joker might have qualified for it back when he started out, but say currently there are so
many characters that exhibit many of the same traits, hero or villain (its a world of characters running or flying around in costumes with powers shooting lazers and what not
and doing anything but conforming to societies norms) that i could say he's actually sane by proxy (he has to survive Gotham for instance) or at least juts part of a culture and not
an example of the real textbook definition which is one who cannot grasp static reality, (more on this). Outside of thoughts as well as being declared insane, Jokers character is 
a specific model of the least finest points and idiosyncrasies associated with criminal madness. 
 
* if he came here: while Joker would be found to be an eccentric, egotistical criminal and killer, he would not be legally declared insane by the professionals as he displays
a well enough grasp of reality, ie: he knows whats going on around him and sees and hears what is actually there and can react/interact with it according to the way a person
normally should, as opposed to say believing that he is Abraham Lincoln trapped in the Age of Dinosaurs and being led on a quest by a talking pink elephant named Bert.
he would fall under other classes of mental illness however, likely mania of the highest order, and deemed a danger to himself and others, than medicated to the point his
eyeballs turned milk white, shoved in a facility to wander around and bump mindlessly into walls like a pinball, and if that failed a lobotomy, but still not within this worlds
qualifiers for the legal insane declaration.

Avatar image for dracade102
#29 Posted by Dracade102 (8452 posts) - - Show Bio


Totally Sane
Totally Sane
Avatar image for harleenquinzel10
#30 Posted by harleenquinzel10 (41 posts) - - Show Bio

I think he is very insane. If he wasn't, he would have a classified problem. Yet, Joker escapes any mental classification and has been diagnosed incorrectly many times. His complete disregard for human life also makes him totally insane. However, I do think he notices things about the world that we try to ignore, but I also believe thats part of what makes him crazy.
Avatar image for richiii
#31 Posted by RichIII (14 posts) - - Show Bio

Joker is so sane he is found to be insane. 

Avatar image for 1frankcastle4
#32 Posted by 1frankcastle4 (211 posts) - - Show Bio

the joker is not insane. i agree with the super-sanity. theres no illusions to him.the world in scope is stark and clear to him, way more clear then anyone else probably sees it. thats the dangerous part to his personality. he cuts the bullshit out and breaks it down to what you start with. its you and the world, do with it what you will. so he chooses to destroy and reak havoc. why? because thats what he does.thats all. you get up and go to the fridge and grab a drink for refreshment - he walks outside and shoots someone square in the face and then dances around the body. it doesn't matter whats considered normal to others at the present time or throughout history. he does him. sometimes its repulsive voilence, or maniacal mischeavious crime. whatever he wants to do, he does it. as they say he invents himself each day. if you end up part of the plot or in his wake when he's up to somthing- to him its "sorry bout your bad luck" type of a feel, if not less. to him people and their lives are lower then pawns to him in his plot. its like they arnt even real to him at all or just dummies. living in an ongoing joke they call life. but at the same time he understands the weight of taking life and how it affects the world and each person involved. so hes fully aware of the harm he causes,just killing is what he does. thats the thought process of a sociopath. he just choses what he wants to take from things and disregaurds the rest. why? because he can because its what he wants to do. he cherishes his view on himself and the world and the fact nooone else seems to think like him. he loves expressing it with all his bravado. hes prideful to be the anomoly no doctor can figure out. when the answer is clear cut and crisp. he just doesn't give a rats ass, cause its just him and the world. and hes going with the flow every second. he's sane alright. the joke is that he has everyone convinced otherwise.

Avatar image for supreme_marvel
#33 Posted by Supreme Marvel (11579 posts) - - Show Bio
Avatar image for imagine_man15
#34 Posted by Imagine_Man15 (1809 posts) - - Show Bio

@Ms. Omega said:

Nah he is Outsane
Avatar image for deathpoolthet1000
#35 Posted by DeathpooltheT1000 (18984 posts) - - Show Bio

The Joker and Batman are Sane, they decide what they are and how they live.

The rest cant decide that.

Avatar image for bad_people
#36 Posted by Bad_People (205 posts) - - Show Bio

He's Deeply psychotic but has a full understanding of the world and right vs wrong. What is unique about him is he is a man without a shadow. He has no part of his personality that he suppresses or denies. He is not only fully aware of the darkest parts of his personality, he actively embraces them. That is one of the things that makes him so popular. He does what he wants, when he wants, not regrets.

Avatar image for mattstar132
#37 Posted by Mattstar132 (1 posts) - - Show Bio

The joker is not actually insane- he is super sane- he knows it is a comic book so anything he does is just not real

Avatar image for mrdoctor
#38 Edited by MrDoctor (1 posts) - - Show Bio

I've seen too many posts saying that the Joker is a psychopath, insane or crazy and then going on to call him a genius. Of course he is genius! People seem to think he is defying all logic by being crazy and smart. Another thing to point out is perspectives. We think he is crazy because of what we call the social norm but to him (and other crazy people) what he is doing is equally insane to what we do (but we don't see that side because you can't be both insane and sane. Lots of super intelligent people were also considered crazy by the social norm of their era: take Pythagoras, Michaelangelo and even Nicolla Tesla. All crazy, eccentric geniuses, just like Mr J!

Avatar image for outside_85
#39 Posted by Outside_85 (23518 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it's insanity, some level of OCD behavior, and just a complete lack of empathy for other living beings.

Avatar image for errorinscript
#40 Posted by Errorinscript (1216 posts) - - Show Bio

@outside_85: @mrdoctor: @defaultdefaultdefault: @green_lantern_2814_5:I think he's faking it , I dont think its that unusual for people to act eg stupid. But in hes case he acts insane to get out of black gate and into Arkham. He is still a ruthles killer and pure evil , tough I'm sure he knows what he's doing this is what makes him evil.

Aside from other vilains driven by money or other things , the Joker does it for fun or pleasure. This may sound insane, ut hes plans are fairly logical and hhe is a great stratagist , not something of what an insane man does.

Avatar image for tparks
#41 Edited by tparks (11807 posts) - - Show Bio

Ya, he's insane.

Avatar image for outside_85
#42 Posted by Outside_85 (23518 posts) - - Show Bio

@outside_85: @mrdoctor: @defaultdefaultdefault: @green_lantern_2814_5:I think he's faking it , I dont think its that unusual for people to act eg stupid. But in hes case he acts insane to get out of black gate and into Arkham. He is still a ruthles killer and pure evil , tough I'm sure he knows what he's doing this is what makes him evil.

Aside from other vilains driven by money or other things , the Joker does it for fun or pleasure. This may sound insane, ut hes plans are fairly logical and hhe is a great stratagist , not something of what an insane man does.

Well, in fiction it's not that unusual to marry brilliance with insanity... like this guy is probably the smartest character in the whole series of movies and tv adaptations:

No Caption Provided

Like, he's pure evil, ruthlessly brilliant, and comitted dozens of calculated murders... and he's still crazy enough to be confined to an insane asylum rather than an ordinary prison or be handed the death penalty.

Anyways I dont think the Joker is acting, he just really is like that, and it's because of this and his mallable MO that makes him such a threat to Batman, there isn't a pattern for him to follow most of the time.

Avatar image for errorinscript
#43 Edited by Errorinscript (1216 posts) - - Show Bio

@outside_85: What I think that makes him brilliant and genius is that he is unpredictable and acts insane.

Sure some people could call him insane. But he is not damaged mentally in any way, he just a normal being mentally. But a genacidal unpredictable normal being.

I think it's hard to describe, he knows exactly what he's doing, but does it anyway. Does that make him insane?

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.