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The Best Joker Storylines In Comic History

List RulesVote up the Joker comic book story arcs every fan must read!

Throughout all of comic book history, few villains are as beloved as the heroes they fight against, but if there was one everyone would easily recognize as the greatest villain from all of comics, it would likely be the Joker. Since he first debuted alongside the Caped Crusader, the Crown Prince of Crime has caused some of the more tragic events in Batman's life, but more than that, he's shaped the world of superheroes and Gotham City since the very beginning. There are both new and classic joker comics on this list.

The Joker has been written about and illustrated by hundreds of people over the years, and his stories span thousands of comic books, but which one could be considered the best of them all? Seeing as he's appeared in numerous one-shot single issues of comic books, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, numerous story arcs, and storylines, determining which is the best is no easy task. Fortunately, this list has you covered, as it outlines the 20 greatest Joker stories ever told within the pages of DC Comics! Check out the list below, and don't forget to vote up your favorite of the Joker's adventures, like Joker's Five-Way Revenge, to see which one rises to the top!

  • Photo: DC Comics

    Story Found In: Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth

    One of the most important settings in the Batman universe is Arkham Asylum. For decades, this has been the place where most of Batman's enemies ended up sooner or later, and none of the residents could be more welcome than the Joker. Legendary scribe Grant Morrison takes a look into what makes Arkham Asylum such an important venue for Batman and his rogues in this brilliant book illustrated by the inimitable Dave McKean.

    As Batman must explore the depths of Arkham Asylum, he also must face his own inner demons. This story pits the Dark Knight against his deadliest foes, which of course, includes the Joker. The graphic novel was one of the first to really dive into what made Arkham Asylum so important within the Caped Crusader's world and is a great read for anyone who considers themselves a fan of the Dark Knight and his most dangerous enemy.

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  • Photo: DC Comics
    158 VOTES


    Story Found In: Detective Comics #826

    Brilliant Batman scribe Paul Dini returns to the series that started it all with the story, "Slayride!" This tale features a return of the Joker, who has captured Robin with the intent of killing him! As this isn't the first time the Joker has captured one of Batman's wards resulting in death, Robin knows he must do everything possible to escape from the Clown Prince of Crime's clutches!

    It takes everything within the Boy Wonder's training and skill set to find a way to free himself from Batman's greatest villain. While this is more of a Robin story than a Joker tale, the Clown Prince of Crime's role as the principal antagonist makes this a must-read for anyone who considers themselves a fan.

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  • Photo: DC Comics
    180 VOTES

    Mad Love

    Story Found In: The Batman Adventures: Mad Love #1

    While most of the best Joker stories came from the comics, "Mad Love" was written and illustrated by the masterminds who worked on the critically acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series. Based on an episode from that series, Paul Dini and Bruce Timm put together this brilliant graphic novel depicting the same tale.

    In "Mad Love," a character fans have come to know, and love was introduced for the first time, Ms. Harley Quinn! She had made her initial debut on the animated series, but this book would mark her first showing in comic book form, which makes it one of the most significant to come out in recent years. While the story does feature the debut of Harley, it is also centered around her relationship with the Joker, as well as their relationship with/against the Dark Knight.

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  • Photo: DC Comics
    269 VOTES


    Story Found In: Batman #35-40

    The Joker has been the principal antagonist to the Dark Knight for years, but after their last encounter, Batman failed to live up to his expectations, and the Joker isn't laughing anymore. It's the "Endgame" now, and the Joker is coming for everything Batman holds sacred!

    Everything is on the line as the Joker confronts the Dark Knight in their most physical showdown of all time. Nothing, not even the Dark Knight's closest allies and family, nor his beloved Bat Cave are safe from the Joker's final attack against his nemesis in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's incredible face-off between the Clown Prince of Crime and the Dark Knight!

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