The Joker symbolizes insanity and darkness. But he is not the darkest version of him-self. There are even more insane versions of the Joker in the larger DC Multi-Verse.
You might laugh him off but he is no joke (no pun intended). In the DC Else Worlds story arc Superman: Speeding Bullets, Kal-El is found and raised by the Waynes. They name him Bruce and it is Bruce that sees his parents being killed in the alley way by Joe Chill. This leads to Kal-El’s descent into the mantle of the Batman. On the other end of the spectrum lies Lex Luthor, who after being psychologically scarred after a chemical accident dons the mantle of the Joker. Kal-El eventually defeats Luthor Joker and becomes Superman. But the idea of one of DC Universe’s greatest minds gaining the insanity of the Joker gives us the goose bumps.
What if Joker had access to the Yellow Power Ring? In Batman: In Darkest Knight, Batman becomes a Green Lantern after witnessing the Death of his parents. Sinestro travels to Qward, becoming the first Yellow Lantern. He comes to Earth and absorbs the mind of Joe Chill, the guy who killed Batman, into him-self. And thus begins the holy reign of Terror of the now insane Sinestro Joker.
The Laughing Man
This version of the Joker was inspired by the art styles of the Nosferatu art forms that inspired the 1922 movie of the same name. In this reality, Lex Luthor is a renowned physician and scientist who created a cyborg called the Joker to help him in his experiments to understand psycho-mancy. Psycho-mancy is a way of looking at reality through a better vantage point via technological and supernatural media. The Laughing Man is used by Luthor to assassinate high value targets throughout Metropolis. The Laughing Man is the reason for turning this universe’s version of Bruce Wayne “Bruss” into a Nosferatu like figure.
Batman Beyond is an animated continuation of the DC Animated Universe that gave us the Justice League Animates Series. It more or less takes over where the Justice League series left and tells the story of Bruce Wayne and what happens in the future from his perspective. Bruce is retired. Terry McGinnis is the new Batman. In Return of the Joker, we realize that the Joker had tortured and broken Tim Drake, the erstwhile Robin. Tim’s spine was implanted with a micro-chip that twisted his mind and turned him into the new Joker Beyond.
Emperor Joker is what happens when Joker becomes a God. Mister Mxyzptlk, a super human reality warping villain from another dimension, is tricked by the Joker into giving up his powers. The Joker then turns the world upside down. He remakes the Earth ins his own image. The Justice League is no more. Villains like Bizarro and poison Ivy are seen as the new superheroes. The Joker takes guilty pleasure out of resurrecting and killing Batman as many times as he wants. Not even Superman was powerful enough to stop him. This version of the Joker was so powerful he literally ate the entire Chinese population when he was craving for a snack.
Lord of the Vampires
DC does have a penchant for making fantastic Else Worlds story arcs around Batman. One amazing example is Batman and Dracula: Red Rain, where Batman fights Dracula, King of the Vampires. He defeats Dracula but is ultimately turned into a blood sucker. The Joker came forth in the sequel to the series – Batman: Bloodstorm. Taking control of Dracula’s remaining forces, the Joker made Batman’s life a living hell. The final straw was Cat Woman’s death. The Batman sank his teeth into Joker’s neck and sucked him dry. That was Joker’s plan all along. Joker’s tainted blood destroyed Batman from within and led to his eventual down fall.
In the Flashpoint story arc, we are shown the twisted and warped world of the new timeline created because of the Flash. This new timeline is one of the darkest and bleakest alternate realities ever seen in the DC Universe. One of the major changes in human history with respect to the original continuity was the death of Bruce Wayne instead of his parents at the hands of Joe Chill. This leads to Thomas Wayne becoming the new Batman. Martha Wayne is driven insane, becoming the Joker. She was a demented freak who kidnapped Harvey Dent’s kids and made Jim Gordon shoot one to death just to get under her ex-husband’s skin. We might see her again in the new Flashpoint movie.
After the acclaimed Dark Nights Metal, we get to see the events of its sequel – Dark Nights Death Metal. The Batman Who Laughs (more on him in a bit) joins hands with an Elder Goddess called Perpetua to attack Earth and bring all the superheroes under his control. Eventually the remaining heroes lure The Batman Who Laughs to hell and Wonder Woman kills him. But in the aftermath, we see that the death of The Batman Who Laughs has left a vacuum. This void would be filled by his successor – the Robin King. Scott Snyder him-self claims Robin King is scarier than The Batman Who Laughs but we will be the judge of that. So for now he is Rank Two on this list.
The Batman Who Laughs
The number one spot on this list is the one villain who made waves in a relatively short span of time. The Batman Who Laughs is the Bruce Wayne of Earth -22, a parallel universe lying in the Dark Multi Verse. After the Joker finally drove him insane and infected him with the Joker Toxin, the Batman became the next Joker. The Batman Who Laughs is the answer to the question often asked by comic book fans – What if Batman and the Joker joined forces? This guy does not disappoint. He is scary enough to send chills down the Batman’s spine.