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Weaponry of The Joker

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The arsenal used by The Joker is one of the most diverse, if not the most diverse, in the DC Universe. Where other characters, both hero and villain, stay with tried-and-true gadgets (the Green Lanterns' power rings, Mr. Freeze's ice gun, etc.), the weaponry used by The Joker changes almost daily, befitting his unpredictable character. Though Joker Venom is a favorite of the Clown Prince of Crime, he has used everything from conventional guns and knives to lethal "gag" weapons such as nitroglycerin-filled cigars to fulfill his twisted ends. Below is a list of each and every one of these gadgets, in order of appearance.

"Conventional" ParaphernaliaEdit

FirearmsEdit

Joker vs. Brute

The Joker shoots Brute Nelson dead.

First appearance: Batman #1 (1940)

Firearms are probably The Joker's most-commonly used weapon, exceeding even Joker Venom in sheer number of appearances. All manner of firearms have appeared in the Ace of Knaves' dastardly hands, from conventional handguns to sniper rifles. The Joker is largely an average shot with most firearms, though he has occasionally hit one of Batman's arms or legs.

The first actual usage of firearms by The Joker came in his premiere appearance, where he used it to slay mob boss Brute Nelson. He later shoots at Batman with a gun in the same story, though the Dark Knight's bulletproof vest (hidden beneath his tunic) renders the bullets useless.

Most infamously, it was with a firearm (a revolver, to be precise) that The Joker crippled Barbara Gordon with in Alan Moore's landmark graphic novel The Killing Joke. In addition, it was also with a pistol that the Ace of Knaves killed Sarah Essen Gordon, wife of James Gordon, during the "No Man's Land" arc. The Joker is not abject to pistol-whipping, either, as an unfortunate Jason Todd found out in Batman #429 (part of the infamous "A Death in the Family" arc).

KnivesEdit

Joker's knife

First appearance: Batman #1 (1940)

In times of crisis, The Joker may keep a small switchblade in his sleeve to use as a last resort. During his final battle with Batman in "The Joker Returns", he attacked the Caped Crusader with such a hidden weapon, but wound up nearly killing himself instead.

Since then, the idea of The Joker using a hidden knife has been used in the likes of The Killing Joke (where once again, it fails to kill Batman) and the DCAU direct-to-video movie Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker (where The Joker stabs Batman in the leg with it in their final confrontation, resulting in Bruce Wayne walking with a limp from that point on).

The Joker used knives more frequently than any other weapon in The Dark Knight. He states that it's because guns are too quick and don't allow him to "savor" the kill.

"Unconventional" ParaphernaliaEdit

Joker VenomEdit

Main article: Joker Venom

First Appearance: Batman #1 (1940)

The Joker's trademark "Joker Venom" is nearly as iconic as its primary user, as it reflects much of his violent and egotistic personality. Nearly always lethal, the Venom can appear as a gas or as a liquid, and when taken into the body, forces its victim's mouth into a grotesque smile. Often, the Venom will also have the side effect of making its victim laugh uncontrollably, resulting in death by suffocation.

The Venom's first victim was millionaire Henry Claridge, whom The Joker killed with a special variation of it that took effect in twenty-four hours.

Some versions of Joker Venom have also been shown to place the victim's mind in a state of utter insanity, characterized by powerful hallucinations and involuntary muscle movement. More rarely, the Venom does not kill at all, but simply freezes the victim's voluntary muscles, rendering them incapable of movement.

Exploding TeethEdit

Joker's exploding teeth

First Appearance: Batman #1 (1940)

An innocuous set of false teeth hidden in the Joker's mouth contain a nasty surprise: chemicals that, when mixed, create a fantastic explosion. Using these teeth, The Joker was able to blow a hole in the door to his jail cell and escape.

Razor-Sharp Playing CardsEdit

Venom-tipped cards

First Appearance: Batman #1 (1940)

Having derived his alias from playing cards, The Joker naturally incorporates them into his schemes every now and then. Often, the cards that he carries around (which tend to be Jokers) possess bladed edges, allowing him to use them as cutting weapons. In their first appearance, the cards were sharp enough to cut the fingers of public reformer Edgar Martin, and release the Joker Venom coated on their edges into his bloodstream, killing the unfortunate man.

Since then, The Joker has used razor-sharp cards on numerous occasions, sometimes as throwing weapons (in a possible parody of Batman's Batarangs).

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