Known for his criminal genius and sadistic worldview, the Joker is a staunch enemy of Batman, and yet when he decided to kill The Flash, the Clown prince of the underworld proved that the only thing keeping D.C. superhumans safe is his irresistible obsession with the Dark. Knight.
Initially, the Joker’s obsession with Batman, originally a mysterious part of his motives, is now an explicit DC canon, where the supervillain sees the Caped Crusader as the ultimate audience for his crimes. The Joker believes that if Batman can accept his twisted philosophy, anyone can, and broadly considers the rest of the world a stage that he can use to reach out to his beloved enemy. However, when the Joker decides to include other heroes in his plans, he finds that defeating them is surprisingly easy.
Created by Martin Pasko and Irv Novik, “Joker #10” is an unpublished issue of the 1975 villain series, which finally went to print only in 2019. The story follows the Joker who made a deal with the Devil to stop the development of the immortality serum. – he hunts down and kills the key heroes of the Justice League, as they are a guaranteed obstacle to his main goal. The heroes would eventually somehow survive (the Joker discovers that despite their physical death, each of them still has brainwaves), however, the second part of the story was never written down on paper. However, fans get the Joker’s method of killing off some of DC’s most iconic heroes, including Wonder Woman, Black Canary and The Flash.
Jokers kills Flash by attacking Central City in his “he-helicopter”, knowing that Flash will disable the machine, but will not let it fall on the city below. As soon as Flash decided to rotate his arms to create an updraft so that the helicopter landed safely, the Joker fired a gas cylinder into the roof below. One of the drawbacks of Flash’s abilities is his inability to hold his breath for more than a few seconds, so he quickly inhales a combination of Joker’s toxin and amphetamines, making him laugh to death.
Flash has the most versatile set of powers in the DC universe, except for real magic users, and yet the Joker quickly comes up with a plan that accurately identifies his psychological and physical weaknesses. The Joker intuitively understands that Flash will not let his helicopter fall, and then invents the perfect weapon not to bypass his powers (as is often the case with Flash’s own Robbers), but in order to strengthen them to a deadly degree. The fact that he does the same with Flash’s Justice League allies shows how deadly he is when he actually wants to kill heroes, not just involve them in mind games. This characteristic of the Joker has remained unchanged: stories such as “Injustice” and Batman’s “Finale” prove that he can get to anyone, regardless of his abilities. Indeed, the Joker has a tendency to use the powers of the heroes against them, rather than trying to force them to play on equal terms.
The Joker’s psychological insight and the killer’s unsurpassed ingenuity mean that defeating him is the wrong way to win. Heroism makes superhumans predictable, and predictability always plays into the hands of the Joker. Batman’s ability to fight the Joker depends on the villain’s obsessive nature and his desire to win their philosophical battle, but these advantages are not available to the rest of the Justice League members. As his targeting of The Flash has shown, even the most powerful DC heroes don’t stand a chance against the Joker when he actually wants to kill them, making Batman the only one standing between the Clown Prince of the underworld and the world’s greatest heroes.