10 Times The Joker Showed Remorse

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With Joker: Madness for two officially announced as the sequel to Joker, it looks like the unhinged Arthur Fleck will be putting his clown shoes back on to strike fear into all of Gotham. Arthur Fleck is by far one of the most terrifying interpretations of Joker brought to screen, and while he’s not very comedic at all, he does start to exhibit the ruthless attitude his comic counterpart is known for.



The Joker has proven time and time again that he has no limits, usually showing no guilt for his actions. However, there have been a few occasions in both the comics and movies where the Joker has shown genuine remorse for his villainous actions, shocking readers and viewers with his jarring change of heart.

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ten The Murder of Sarah Essen

Sarah Essen was a Gotham City police officer who sparked a romantic relationship with Jim Gordon and later married the commissioner. During a chain of events known as “No Man’s Land”, Joker shoots and kills Essen in a room full of children in order to get Batman’s attention.

Related: The Joker’s 7 Biggest Fears, Ranked

It is implied that Joker finds no amusement in Sarah Essen’s death, as he does not laugh after her murder. The Joker has repeatedly stated that he only kills if he finds the act funny; however, it’s clear that he didn’t find this murder funny and instead saw it as a means to an end, involving feelings of guilt. It’s never been explained why Joker reacted this way, but if his “Killing Joke” origin is to be believed, one would assume that Essen reminded Joker of his wife, who cradled his child before he doesn’t shoot him.

9 Cry at the end of the killer joke

The killer joke is a graphic novel that features a take on the Joker origin story, which is so beloved that it is considered by many to be the most iconic Joker comic and the definitive Joker backstory. In this comic, Jim Gordon is pushed to his limits as Joker tries to compromise his morals while Batman tries relentlessly to stop Joker’s evil plan.

Joker shows remorse throughout the final pages of this story, not because of the terrible things he does to Barbara or Jim Gordon, but because his plan ultimately failed. Joker is seen on the verge of tears, almost crying over his failure, which is an uncommon but fitting reason for the Joker to show his guilt.


8 The murder of three men in the subway

Joker shows the journey of mentally ill loner Arthur Fleck as he descends into violence and eventually becomes the Joker, a public figure who represents rebellion, chaos and terror in the terrorized city of Gotham.

At the start of this film, Arthur Fleck is harassed by three men on the subway, which pushes Arthur over the edge, leading him to shoot the three men. Initially, Arthur shows remorse for the murders, pointing the gun at his own head. However, Arthur later expressed how proud he was of these murders and no longer felt guilty for his crimes.


seven Joker realizes he’s allied himself with a Nazi

During the “Batman & Captain America” ​​storyline, Batman and Captain America teamed up to defeat both the Joker and Red Skull. Red Skull had hired the Joker to steal an atomic bomb, a task the Joker had agreed to complete, leading to Batman, Robin, Captain America, and Bucky Barnes teaming up to stop this criminal duo.

Related: 10 Most Heroic Things Joker Has Ever Done, According To Ranker

Upon realizing Red Skull was a Nazi and his outfit wasn’t just a disguise, the Joker showed clear remorse for working with the villain and was offended when Red Skull said Joker would make a great Nazi. . This obvious guilt led him to refer to Red Skull as a “creep” and claim that although he was a criminal, he was first and foremost an “American criminal”, attempting to assassinate Red Skull due to his regrets.


6 joker kills batman

“What happened to the Caped Crusader?” is a twisted Batman storyline that features both Batman’s enemies and allies meeting in a bar to brag about how they each killed The Batman.

During The Joker’s story, he explains that to make Batman smile, he injected the hero with Joker toxin. However, due to Batman’s stubbornness and strong will, Bruce didn’t even move. Following this, Joker continued to inject Batman with the toxin, which ultimately led to the hero overdosing and dying. This turn of events clearly saddens the Joker, as he no longer has his nemesis to play with, ultimately ending in the process by ending Batman and Joker’s iconic rivalry.


5 The Joker feels the pain he caused

In JLA #84, Batman is called to Arkham Asylum to investigate the apparent remorse of all his enemies, which seems to be caused by a menacing psychic force and a disembodied voice that tells the criminals to be grateful for their new mindset. reform.

Joker can be seen being guided through a crowd of thieves while crying and begging to die for what he’s done, with a particular focus on the pain he’s caused children. As Joker and Two-Face show guilt and shame for their actions, Batman watches them through a one-way window and smiles.


4 Joker remembers killing his toad

The Joker’s Iteration Featured in the Graphic Novel Joker (2008) is one of the most brutal versions of the character to exist. The villain does such dastardly acts as skinning a comedian alive and pushing him onstage. This ruthless take on the character seemed to perform these acts in order to maintain his reputation above all else. However, he is definitely one of the worst and most morally evil Jokers to date.

In this comic, however, the Joker shows genuine remorse and sadness over an event from his childhood. After capturing a toad while camping as a child, he brought the animal home, making it his pet. Whenever it rained, he took his toad up to the roof to watch the world, thinking it made the animal happy. The last time he took the toad to the roof, a group of children threatened to throw the animal off the roof. Knowing he couldn’t let them do this, Joker reluctantly tossed the toad himself and never saw him again. While telling this story, Joker broke down crying.


3 Joker is on display at the Lazarus pit

In Batman: Legends of The Dark Knight #145, Joker is thrown into The Lazarus Pit which recovers from injuries and makes them immortal with the downside that it can lead to mental instability.

Related: The 10 Best Joker Comic Book Stories, According To Ranker

Surprisingly, when thrown into The Lazarus Pit, Joker isn’t pushed any further, but is made “normal” after being reborn in the pit. Now charged with his newfound clarity, Joker was stricken with guilt for all the people he murdered and the many people he hurt. It doesn’t last forever, but it showed that Joker was truly beyond guilt in his normal state.


2 Martian Manhunter Alters Joker’s Brain

In JLA #15, at the end of the “Rock of Ages” storyline, Martian Manhunter temporarily made the Joker think normally by rearranging the information going to his brain.

Although Joker’s clarity didn’t last very long, Joker had time to realize that he had been evil and was stricken with guilt for all the heinous crimes he had committed. He showed obvious sadness following this, the actions were “terrible”, leading him to want to “do something good” and saying he needed to “fix it”.

1 The Specter Rewires Joker’s Thought Processes

In Specter Vol. 3 Issue 51, Jim Corrigan examined the Joker’s soul and realized that the villain did not understand his evil deeds and therefore was not morally culpable for his crimes. So instead of using his godlike powers to take down the Joker, he decided to bring him mental clarity.

As a result, the Joker is hit with a huge wave of realization regarding his past actions, which leads to him falling into a stupor and bursting into tears in the middle of a highway. Guilt for his actions paralyzes the Joker as he cries on the floor. This doesn’t last long, however, and the shock pushes the Joker further into villainy.

Next: The 10 Best Joker Comic Book Stories, According To Ranker

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