First appearance: Batman #1 (1940)
Created by: Jerry Robinson, Bill Finger, and Bob Kane
Most villainous act: Murdering Jason Todd.
In the world of comic books, no villain can match the pure malice and mayhem that is The Joker on a monthly basis. This sociopathic clown has spent the last seven decades wreaking havoc on Gotham City and the DC Universe at large. Yet despite his senseless love of violence, fans flock to read any story and watch any movie he’s featured in. You can argue he’s just as much of a household name as the Dark Knight himself.
Over the years, we’ve seen The Joker kill and maim countless denizens of Batman’s world, but no crime could match the murder of Jason Todd, a.k.a. the second Robin. This is when The Joker transcended typical comic book hijinks, and cemented himself as the most serious threat in Batman’s rouges gallery.
Whether you’re a fan of the campy version of The Joker from the Dick Sprang days, or of the homicidal incarnation we’ve been subjected to since the early ‘70s, the character always evolves with the times and keeps fans glued to the page. No matter how many dead bodies he leaves in his wake, we’ll never stop cheering the Clown Prince of Crime.