Fans have been waiting for this reveal for a long time: who is the man that would go on to become the Joker?
What was his real name before he went mad? It's one of the biggest unanswered questions in the DC Universe, and one that appeared would finally be answered.
The stage was set way back in Justice League #42, shortly after Batman became a god of knowledge by sitting on the all-powerful Mobius Chair. One of the Dark Knight's first acts as god of knowledge was to ask the chair what the Joker's real name was. The chair's answer isn't revealed to readers at the time, but it was an answer that caused Batman to utter "No. That's not possible," leading many fans to assume that the chair uttered a name familiar to Batman and readers.
Well, Justice League #50 is finally here, and with it, the revelation of what exactly the Mobius Chair told Batman. The answer isn't what you think.
Spoilers for Justice League #50 and DC Universe: Rebirth #1 below!
Justice League #50 marks the end of the long-running Darkseid War arc, and a whole number of major events go down that will forever change the DC Universe. A new Green Lantern is born. Darkseid gets turned into a baby. Wonder Woman learns she has a twin brother.
In addition, Batman speaks up about exactly what he learned that day when he asked the chair about Joker's real identity. Hal Jordan asks Batman for the truth about the Joker, only for Batman to say it doesn't matter. As it turns out, the Mobius Chair didn't give Bruce a name. Instead, it told him of the existence of three different Jokers.
That's certainly not the answer fans had in mind. Writer and DC bigwig Geoff Johns hinted as much a few months ago when talking about Justice League #50, saying the reveal would be an answer fans couldn't predict.
It all seems to tie into DC's Rebirth event, which will see the old pre-New 52 DC Universe restored. DC Universe Rebirth: #1 has Batman seeking to learn more about the "three Jokers," with his Batcomputer displaying three distinct versions of the character. One is the most recent New 52 version of the Joker, as written by Scott Snyder. Another is Joker as seen in The Killing Joke by Alan Moore, where one of Joker's many origins is explained. Yet another appears to be an even older, classic incarnation of the character.
At first glance, it would appear that the three Jokers are three different versions of the characters across DC's various continuities. It seems a given that the New 52 Joker is one of the three. Same goes for the pre-New 52 version of the character. What doesn't line up, however, is the third Joker. As The Killing Joke is official DC continuity, the third pre-Killing Joke version of the character shown on the computer screen is technically the same character.
So, who is the third Joker? With the addition of Moore's Watchmen characters to the DC universe, some are already speculating that the Comedian could possibly be the third Joker of whom the Mobius Chair spoke. Batman even finds the character's signature bloody pin at the end of DC Universe Rebirth #1, seemingly confirming that Comedian will be joining the DC Universe in some form.
It's a lot for fans to take in. While it's a little disappointing that the reveal of Joker's real name proved to be anything but, the mystery of how these three Jokers will shape the DC Universe moving forward is nonetheless an interesting one.