He’s considered one of the most iconic fictional characters of all time, but what exactly does the Joker… do? He fights Batman and terrorizes Gotham City, that much is clear, but how exactly does he do it? Well, he does it with a disturbing lack of sanity and an arsenal of weapons that rivals any other villain’s stash in all of pop culture.
As it turns out, the Joker has a whole lot of weapons that are just downright brutal, and the scariest part is that he’s not afraid to use them. Throughout the character’s history he has amassed quite an eclectic collection of horror, and yet many of these weapons remain unknown to the public. So in preparation of the Joker’s role in the upcoming Suicide Squad, let’s take a look at the most brutal, the most deadly, and the most sickeningly sadistic laugh-out-loud lethal killing tools that the Joker has at his disposal. Here are the 15 Most Insane Weapons Used by The Joker.
15 Electric Joy Buzzer
Like any good comedian, the Joker is never without a prop or two that can cause a laugh. But considering that the joker is a criminally insane killer, swap out props that can cause a laugh with props that can cause a death and you have an idea of who you’re dealing with.
One of the Joker’s most iconic weapons is his electric joy buzzer, something ripped from the stages of vaudeville and the prop collections of party clowns and modified for his own horrific purposes. The Joker’s joy buzzer is hidden on his hand and worn as a ring inside his palm, able to let out a lethal electric shock to anyone he comes in contact with. Whether he’s shaking hands with someone for an assassination or using his buzzer to aid himself in hand-to-hand combat, the Joker’s electric joy buzzer is no laughing matter, and it’s truly shocking what this simple little device can do to the Joker’s enemies.
14 Exploding Teeth
Considering that the Joker’s mouth is the focal point of the whole character – with his sickly iconic grin painted wide for all to see – it’s amazing that one of his most effective and secret weapons resides inside that mouth. And while his words do hurt and ultimately could cause death, the thing we’re talking about is the Joker’s set of false teeth.
Packed with a cocktail of lethal chemicals, the Joker’s false teeth are hollow inside and constantly ready to go should he choose to unleash the chemicals and mix them together. When they mix, these false-teeth-held chemicals cause an intense explosion that is capable of killing anyone nearby. And while the insanity of someone who carries around explosive chemicals in their teeth can’t be understated, the genius of that person should be noted as well. In fact, the Joker has once used this genius weapon to blast a hole in the door of a jail cell that he was being held in, thus allowing him to escape. So who’s laughing now? Oh, that’s right, it’s the probably the Joker.
13 Joker Venom
Perhaps the most well-known weapon in his arsenal, Joker Venom is not only toxic, but it also works as a fantastic metaphor for its user, as the Joker is one of the most venomous and toxic villains in pop culture history. Perhaps used by the Joker more times than any of his other weapons, Joker Venom can be distributed in gas or liquid forms, and when unleashed it will force the victim’s face to contort into a wicked smile. As if that weren’t sadistically creepy enough, it also makes the victim laugh uncontrollably until they die from suffocation. The whole situation isn’t great, and this is why DC is definitely darker than Marvel on every level.
The Joker is able to create different versions of his venom, with some taking effect after a prolonged period of time – such as when he needs his killing to be discreet – and others simply paralyzing a body or even going so far as to induce a state of psychosis and bring about hallucinations and involuntary muscle movement. It’s pretty scary shit, but it’s all par for the course for a guy like Mr. J.
12 Razor Playing Cards
Part of what makes the Joker special is how his insanity and characterization allows for a level of campiness that just doesn’t feel dated the way some older supervillains do. As a result of this, some of the Joker’s weapons can feel pretty on the nose, such as his razor sharp playing cards, but that doesn’t make them any less menacing or horrifying.
Playing off of the Joker’s position as a wild card in a deck of playing cards, and the Joker character’s position as a wild card in a city full of crime, these cards can often do anything and follow no set rules. An expert at throwing them like ninja stars, in the past the Joker’s razor cards have been utilized in all manner of horrible ways, but perhaps the worst is when the razor sharp edges are covered in Joker Venom. If those cards come flying out of the Joker’s hands and are directed to you, not only are you about to get shredded, but a pretty horrific toxin will be milliseconds away from entering your body. And at that point there’s really nothing to do but say “game over.”
11 Acid Lapel Flower
Like the vaudevillian um, joker that he bases his life off of, the Joker is no stranger to comedic props; he just likes to give them a deadly twist. Similar to his electric joy buzzer but packed with more deadly applications, the Joker’s flower lapel that he is always seen wearing is actually one that sprays acid on anyone stupid enough to get close to the killer clown.
This weapon played a big part in the 1989 Batman movie, as well as Batman: The Animated Series, which saw the Joker use the flower lapel to spray laughing gas. So, not only does the Joker’s flower have the ability to pack in multiple variations of horrible toxins, and not only does take a page from old-school comedy (except in old-school comedy the flower sprayed water and not deadly acid), but it also ties together his look and gives him a nice fancy flourish for when he’s murdering the crap out of people.
10 Boxing Glove Arm
Anyone who’s ever played as the Joker in a videogame should know this weapon firsthand. It was always satisfying to mash a bunch of buttons and see the Joker’s big red boxing glove come out, wind up on its giant spring loaded arm, and knock out your opponent. It’s somewhat less satisfying when the Joker does it in the comics, on TV, or in movies though; but that’s only because when he does it it’s usually for some sinister deed that we want Batman to stop. Except for the case in the 1989 Batman movie where he used it to destroy a television set out of frustration.
This weapon has always been perfectly suited to the Joker as it’s comically large and inherently ridiculous. Of course, since it’s the Joker using it, its ridiculousness goes right out the window when you realize how he’s modified it to cause maximum damage. The Joker’s boxing glove arm isn’t going to give you a funny little punch, it’s going to knock the crap out of you and – if you’re particularly unlucky – it could even kill you.
9 Sword Cane
If you’ve ever seen the Joker walk around with a cane it’s not because he’s suddenly become a crippled old man. Like anything that the Joker does, the cane is for murderous purposes, and hidden inside the cane is a long sword that he likes to use to do what the Joker does best; kill people.
Sometimes depicted as being ornately decorated and tying in with his overall jester vibe, the Joker’s cane is something that we don’t see a lot of, but it remains one of the simpler aspects of the Joker’s weaponry. As a master fighter and swordsman, the Joker can flourish this sword around and drop an enemy in no time, then return it to its cane sheath and walk around with it to fade into the night inconspicuously. Or at least as inconspicuous as a crazily smiling jester walking around Gotham City with a cane can possibly be.
8 Toy Harpoon Gun
So much of what makes the Joker a worldwide fan favorite villain is his cartoonish nature. But when combined with deadly intentions and a level of sanity below that of a rock, the Joker’s cartoonish nature turns to a much darker side, and the result is weapons like his toy harpoon gun.
Just like in classic Road Runner cartoons, the Joker will pull out a toy gun ripped from the ACME catalogue and pull the trigger in front of an enemy. But all that will appear is a flag that says “BANG” on it. Cue the relief from the person on the opposing end of the gun, then add in the Joker’s haunting laughter, and then the true horror comes. On the second pull of the trigger the flag itself is propelled out of the barrel and plunged into whatever target is unlucky enough to be in the way. And that’s really no laughing matter.
7 Hidden Grenade Kit
You may remember this one from The Dark Knight, when the Joker opens up his coat and shows everyone in the room the hand grenades that are clinging to his body. Using the weapons as an elaborate insurance policy, the Joker had rigged up all of the grenades to a string and a simple pull would have activated all of them and killed everyone surrounding him.
And while in another villain’s hands this ingenious weapon creation may have just been a simple bluff, with the Joker nothing can be taken as a bluff, as he’s the only person that’s crazy enough to carry out his plan and blow up the grenades that are sewn into the lining of his jacket. That’s why when the Joker breaks out this weapon, all you can do is listen to his demands and heed his famous words; “let’s not blow this out of proportion.”
6 Guns and Knives
Only the Joker could make the standard weapon of choice for every villain look more deadly than they already are. Maybe they’ve become boring in comic books and superhero movies, maybe they’re too topical in a world with mutants and gods and Iron Men, but give the Joker a gun or a knife and he will invent 100 new ways to kill someone; each more brutal than the last.
As a trained fighter and one of the most skilled combatants in all of comics, the Joker knows his way around a gun or a knife better than almost any fictional character you can think of. Having used all sorts of guns throughout The Dark Knight in a variety of different ways, as well as preferring knives over anything flashier in the comics, by now everyone should know that the Joker isn’t just flashy tricks and innovative weapons. Sometimes he likes to play it casual, go back to basics, and commit murder the old fashioned way.
5 The Dark Knight Pencil
You remember the Joker’s pencil trick from The Dark Knight, don’t you? In case you don’t, we’ll refresh your memory. The Joker walked into a room full of criminals and made demands. When things weren’t going his way the Joker did what he always does and asserted his control over everyone else. He stuck a pencil upright into a table, said he was going to make it disappear, and then jammed some poor guy’s head into it, instantly killing him. Ta-da, what a trick!
So even though the pencil is not the Joker’s usual weapon of choice, the pencil proves just how deadly any object becomes in the Joker’s hands. Perhaps he planned the pencil trick in advance, but more likely is that he saw a pencil, improvised a strategy, and executed it (along with the hand of the guy on the other end of the pencil) perfectly in the span of a few seconds. And if that’s not the mark of a maniac than we don’t know what is.
Time bombs, pipe bombs, bombs that look like the Joker’s face, even nuclear bombs; you name it and the Joker has used it in battle. That’s because, as an expert bomb-maker, the Joker knows exactly what weapons he needs for what schemes of his and he has the ability to build them and use them when the right moment presents itself. And the right moment will always present itself, because the Joker usually knows exactly how each of his schemes are going to play out.
Similar to Spider-Man nemesis the Green Goblin, the Joker has proven adept at lobbing bombs at the good guys and making them do all sorts of neat stuff. But unlike the Green Goblin, the Joker’s bombs are often secondary to his attack. Sure, a nice juicy explosion here and there is all well and good for the Joker, but these explosions are usually just, um, cannon fodder when compared to the larger terror that the Joker is trying to inflict on Gotham.
Another iconic weapon that’s been seen regularly throughout the Joker’s years in pop culture, his trusty crowbar is a delightfully wicked weapon if only because it’s simply a piece of metal. There’s nothing particularly special or deadly about the Joker’s crowbar; it’s the same one that construction workers or petty thieves can pick up at their local Home Depot. And yet look at the carnage that the Joker has been able to inflict with that thing over the years.
In the "Death in the Family" storyline – as well as the Batman animated film Under the Red Hood – the famously Joker uses his crowbar to brutally beat Jason Todd – A.K.A. Robin – eventually leading to his death. To see the savagery and lack of remorse that the Joker has when carrying out this act is to know the true horrors that he is capable of, and the crowbar is just one simple accomplice; an extension of the Joker’s hand that has ended up as one of the character’s signature weapons.
2 Parade Balloons
The Joker is no stranger to plans of mass killing, and were it not for Batman he would undoubtedly be responsible for the highest body count in comic book history. What makes the Joker so effective isn’t just that he is out to get Batman – as is the case with many famous villains who are simply against the hero – but it’s that fear, destruction, and death is his ultimate end game.
In one of the Joker’s most daring attempts at inflicting mass casualties he once released parade balloons filled with toxic gas into Gotham City's 200th anniversary parade. It was set to be horrific and deadly; a proper debut of one of the Joker’s most innovatively macabre weapons. And while a few citizens of Gotham did end up dying in the attack, Batman eventually stepped in and stopped the attack by pulling away the balloons in his Batwing and releasing them away from innocent bystanders.
1 His Intellect
Of all the weapons that the Joker has ever wielded, there is none more powerful than what lurks inside his mind, ready to come out at any moment to strike down anyone foolish enough to challenge him. Between his wicked words and his savage intellect, the Joker has pop culture’s most vicious ability to manipulate, scheme, and drive you to the point of insanity.
In fact, if someone was to find the Joker critically wounded and unarmed, they would still be at a disadvantage if they ever let him open his mouth; that’s how powerful the weapon that is ‘the Joker’ really is. Able to create chaos, terror, fear, and doubt in just a few simple words, there’s no doubt that – while all the other tools that the Joker has at his disposal are impressive - his greatest gift and his deadliest weapon is by far his own severely demented mind.
Which of these weapons would you not want to find yourself on the other end of? Are there any we missed? Let us know in the comments!