In DC Comics history, few have the seriously oddball and convoluted pedigree of the character known as Duela Dent, aka Joker’s Daughter. Supposedly the offspring of Batman’s arch nemesis (as her name suggests), she is actually presented mostly as being on the side of good, despite squaring off with many heroes in her time. This is commendable, especially since she claims to want to fight villains, in part to atone for her father’s crimes. Just one problem: she is bonkers. We’re talking really, really cuckoo. Not only that, but she lies all the time. As will be seen, there’s no way to really know who she is at all. Add to that the alternate universes, retconning, and all of her many stints in mental wards, and there comes a point where fans may just throw their hands in the air, unable to understand anything about her at all. But don’t give up! Yes, this nutty lady of clownish disposition is very hard to keep up with. There is no fault in not really figuring her out, even if geeks believe themselves to be well-versed in the DC Universe. So, we’ve done some of the heavy lifting for you, compiling her most elusive details all in one place. Does this help demystify this confounding character? Maybe not, but you may walk away knowing more than you did.
Here’s 20 Wild Details Only True Fans Know About Joker’s Daughter.
20 She May Not Be the Joker’s Daughter at All
You would figure that if Duela Dent wanted to be trusted with superhero teams like the Teen Titans, she would perhaps introduce herself with something other than a big fat lie! When first stepping into the comic scene in 1976’s Batman Family #6, she not only sported the name, she looked the part. Dressed almost exactly like her “dad,” she also incorporated the attendant trademarked, jester-oriented superpower tricks, mad laugh, and winning smile. Her first official act in DC comics lore is taking Robin on during a theft caper, which actually ended up not even being real. As the mythology progressed, however, it was discovered that she was lying about her parentage, something she would do many times again.
19 She’s A Superhero Wannabe
While it’s impossible to get into the unfathomable mind of such a hopelessly damaged character like Duela Dent, she at least made her intentions plain. Despite her clumsiness and sometimes morally questionable behavior, she had always declared her intention to become a superhero, which is odd, as she was just as liable to clash with Batgirl as she was with the usual array of supervillains. And understandably, a lot of heroes were less than enthusiastic about teaming up with this loose cannon. Could she be considered a sort of superhero follower or entourage member? Possibly. But in other versions of this deeply troubled tough gal, her journeys have taken more twists than a deadly roller coaster Joker trap!
18 She Might Actually Be Two-Face’s Daughter
Keen-eyed connoisseurs of the greater DC universe may have done a “double-take” when noticing the name “Duela Dent” as The Joker’s Daughter’s supposed “real” name. That’s because the surname shares lineage with another nefarious Batman villain: Two-Face. And on another occasion of JD changing her story, she claimed that the diabolical duplicitous do-badder was her actual father. Harvey Dent himself may have sired this haywire liar, giving her the twice-as-nice name treatment (Duela is derived from dual). All things being equal, if she is the other side of Harvey’s twisted soul, that makes her DNA no less crazy than if she really did come from Joker himself. Next time you see her, check for a scratched coin in her hand…
17 She’s Claimed To Be The Daughter Of Many Villains
But why stop with Joker or Two-Face? Duela Dent, or whatever her real name is, has declared supervillain lineage from almost the entirety of top tier wrongdoers. A quick checklist includes Catwoman, Riddler, Penguin, and even Scarecrow. Obviously, there’s more than one lie going on here. While she is agile enough to have Selina Kyle as a mom, she certainly hasn’t inherited Catwoman’s love for luxury goods. If Edward Nygma is her true father, she doesn't share his maniacal obsession for Riddles, while there’s a good chance Penguin’s child would be shorter, stouter, and perhaps deformed. As for Scarecrow, sorry, we can’t see anybody coupling with Jordan Crane. Way too creepy! Honestly, she’s more likely to be Aquaman’s kid than any of these fellows.
16 She’s Used A Lot Of Aliases
Besides making a whole lot of claims regarding her ancestry, Duela Dent has also been pretty schizophrenic when it comes to hidden identities. While starting out on the comic scene as Joker’s Daughter, she has taken on quite a few nicknames in her time. In one arc, she chose the moniker “Card Queen.” When she was running around pretending to be Jordan Crane’s child, she called herself “Scarecrone” in honor of the fear-inducing Scarecrow. Similarly, after declaring feline kinship to Selina Kyle, she went by “Catgirl” for a while. But perhaps the most audacious of all the labels she slapped on herself was simply “The Joker,” which last we checked, was already taken.
15 Time Travel Made Her Insane
One of the great unanswered questions in the fictional history of this most perplexing personality, or should we say, personalities, is exactly who she is and where precisely she comes from. However, would you believe that she may be from the future? It’s an odd way to solve a conundrum: Robin at one point deduces she’s way older than she’s supposed to be. The answer to that question is never really resolved, however, and in a post-crisis story, her participation in the Teen Titans title is vaguely explained as a “time glitch” caused by the events in Zero Hour: Crisis in Time. We guess it would make sense that time travel could alter the human mind, which may very well explain a lot about Dr. Who, right?
14 She Infiltrates Supervillain Networks
Being the superhero wannabe that she’s always presenting herself as, it’s hardly surprising that the Joker’s Daughter would go to extremes in order to prove herself to her fellow metahumans. One tactic she has taken more than once is to “pretend” to be part of a supervillain group. When she donned her Card Queen moniker, it was to pose as part of the evil group known as MAZE. At a supervillain mixer on a hidden orbiting satellite, she even tried to impress her peers by claiming she had been resurrected in one of Ra's al Ghul’s Lazarus Pits, which the League of Shadows leader used to maintain immortality. Ultimately, though, her big plays didn’t really go anywhere and, to date, her crimefighting record is mixed at best.
13 She Was A Guest At Wonder Girl’s Wedding
This one may seem a little bit odd. Reading the headline, fans might think that Duela Dent was a wedding crasher when Diana Troy’s kid sister got hitched. But the fact is that she was formally invited to come and witness Wonder Girl tying the old golden-lasso in holy matrimony. Another guest was less than amused as Robin spotted her and confronted her on the whole “how old are you?” question. Dodging the question like a crafty lunatic, she eventually slipped out of the proceedings unnoticed, leaving before the Boy Wonder could question her further. Actually, there are a lot of things about this story are weird. Why was Beast Boy the wedding planner? And why was the groom, Terry Long, such a notorious loser? Donna Troy could have had better guests, spouses, and people in charge!
12 She Was In Teen Titans And Titans East
When she’s not busy trying to pretend she’s a villain, not really bonkers, or the daughter of whoever, Duela Dent has actually made it into the big leagues of the superhero game. Most notably, she did officially make it into the Teen Titans, but it wasn’t a love affair from the start. Many of the members were reluctant to admit her to the team and later, in the post-Crisis One Year Later period, Duela went from a double-crossing penitentiary inmate who fought the good guys to battling on the side of the splinter group Titans East. It really can make a reader dizzy to follow Ms. Dent’s changing decisions, but we do give her an A for effort for eventually doing the right thing.
11 She’s Been In And Out Of Mental Institutions
Look, anybody falsely claiming to be the daughter of one of DC's most bugged-out characters must be more than a little bonkers. So, it will perhaps come as no surprise that Duela Dent has spent more than one stint inside of an asylum for the insane. While it was hinted at during many points of her life, once the post-Crisis period kicked in, it was made plain that our dour dame has indeed flown over the cuckoo’s nest. In fact, in the JLA/Titans: Technis storyline, Cyborg actually rescues her from the looney bin to enlist her in a battle to literally save his own soul.
10 On Another Earth, Her Dad Is A Good Guy
Staying on top of all the alternate realities going on in various comic book universes can become something of a chore, but on the other hand, it's fun to play “what if” games with funhouse mirror images of the various characters we all know and love. Heroes turn out to be villains in other realities and, in the case of Duela's dad, one of the worst bad guys becomes a good guy. On Earth-Three, Joker is actually a force for good named Jokester and on that other planet, he is definitely the father of Duela Dent. Also, they get reunited in the Riddler Family, who are a team of heroes themselves. Confused? Yeah, so are we, but it’s kind of fun with this bunch of weirdos!
9 In The New 52, She’s A Definite Villain
Does Duela Dent need to be a superhero in every universe? Why can’t she maybe just be a full-blown villain, unambiguously rotten to the core? As it turns out, in the New 52 relaunch from DC Comics, that’s exactly what she is. In this storyline, the villainess lives in the sewers and finds out that The Joker has passed. As a result, she vows to take on his twisted mission of mayhem while going as far as pumping samples of Joker’s blood into herself and literally putting his face onto hers. How gross can you get? Naturally, it’s hard to blame the criminally insane, but this version of Duela definitely needs to be taken off the streets!
8 Her Age Keeps Changing
Remember when we mentioned that Duela Dent seemed to be a victim of some time travel shenanigans? Well, while the exact nature of that tragedy is never fully explained, one thing amiss with her “present self” is how she's depicted as being different ages. Recall the Donna Troy wedding, where she seems to be middle-aged and yet, when she first approached the Teen Titans, she passes as a teen to fit that particular superhero brand. Post-Crisis, in an asylum, she is definitely an older lady, but the woman in the sewers? Not so much. When crossing between rebooted universes, it’s permissible to see such variances in essential character elements, but when it comes to Joker’s Daughter, we just don’t know how many candles go on the birthday cake.
7 She May Have Kryptonian DNA
Just when we thought Duela Dent’s lineage was confusing enough, DC throws us yet another curveball. During the aforementioned JLA/Titans: Technis storyline, she comes up with a doozy. This time, she says her biological father is none other than Doomsday. Yes, that Doomsday, the guy who caused the demise of Superman in both the comics and Batman vs. Superman movie. If she’s telling the truth, then she has Kryptonian DNA and is also half alien. For our part, until we see her flying, shooting heat vision out her eyes, and punching through steel, we're not buying it.
6 Her Codename Was Harlequin At One Point
Of course, you would be right if your mind wanders to the also-bonkers Harley Quinn, made famous in Batman: The Animated Series, when we say codename Harlequin. However, Duela Dent was first when it comes to that particular word play in the realm of jester-related super-folks. It happened all the way back in Teen Titans #48. She had playful gimmicks like bullet-powered lipstick appliers and smoke-bombing powder puff cases. She also had a very Silver Age of Comics outfit, which would require quite the update in the 21st century. As Harlequin, she was a full-fledged Teen Titan and remained on the side of good (until she didn’t).
5 The Killing Joke May Mention Her
For many fans, the infamous one-shot known as Batman: The Killing Joke, was both a masterpiece and a bit of a scandal. Scribed by the legendary (and controversial) Alan Moore, the tale retraced the Joker’s origin, while also sealing an unpleasant fate for Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl. This unfortunate event forced her to change from being the athletic Batgirl to the wheelchair-bound Oracle, but it also gave us a rare glimpse of Joker before he was Joker. As a frustrated low-level crook, he was a down on his luck guy trying to provide for his wife and unborn child. While she ultimately met her demise in the story, there is no mention of the unborn child’s fate. Could that have been Duela Dent? Certainly, Moore was aware of that mythology, so it is possible.
4 Arkham City's Harley Quinn May Be Her Mom
This one is really weird. For fans of the stellar Rocksteady series of Arkham Batman video games, it is no surprise to know that these games have their own rich mythology, distinct from comics and movies. Exquisitely written, these stories are as perfectly reverent to the source material as they are adept at establishing their own universe. During the credit roll after the end of Arkham City, Harley Quinn sings a lullaby, suggesting that she and the Joker may have had a child, who would, in fact, be Joker’s Daughter. Whether or not the child came to be, and was Duela Dent, was never answered within that video game universe.
3 Harley Quinn Is Her Suicide Squad Teammate
Meanwhile, back in the comics, Harley Quinn is most certainly not Duela Dent’s mom. In fact, the two troubled brawlers end up on the same metahuman team, namely The Suicide Squad, and Harley is definitely less than loving with her new teammate. After all, stealing her puddin’s name does not sit well with her. This adds yet another layer to the is Joker’s Daughter a good or bad person question. By definition, the Suicide Squad is made up of ex-cons, so she’s a villainess, right? This is the rough, bonkers version of the character, after all. But then, she gets used on both sides of the laws by various creators so often, it may just be time to give up on figuring this one out.
2 She Leads An Underground Cult
Over on Earth Prime, one of the key alternate realities in the DC Universe, Duela Dent is still bonkers and, as explained earlier, living in the sewers. At one point, wandering around down there, she encounters a “tribe” of misfits, who are essentially a society of underground dwellers. She meets Charon, the leader of this mysterious group, and decides to take him on. After some ups and downs, she eventually overthrows Charon and becomes the de facto leader of the tribe. Now, she’s ready to lead the group out into the open and “show the world what happens when ugly takes over.” Don’t forget: this is the version of the lady who put Joker’s face onto her own, so she knows a thing or two about ugly.
1 Joker Denies He Has A Daughter
Finally, we may have a definitive answer as to what the real Joker’s role in this whole Duela Dent madness is all about. In DC’s Countdown series of events, which led up to the so-called Final Crisis, Joker’s Daughter meets her end in one of the worst ways possible. After that demise has been established, none other than Jimmy Olsen decides to interview The Joker in jail. Olsen asks the Clown whether he has a daughter and the answer is a solid “no.” However! Joker also states that he knows there’s all sorts of alternate realities out there. Now, why did he say that? It may be that, somewhere in the multiverse, Duela really is the Joker’s kid!
What do you think? Is she actually the Joker's daughter?