9 Times The Joker Was Surprisingly Heroics In Batman Comics

When He's A Community Leader In ‘Superman: Distant Fires’ 

While Batman stands for order and good in the world, the Joker is an agent of chaos. But there have been times when the Joker was good.

Yes, he frantically sows as much terror as possible as he attempts to prove that everyone is a monster on the inside. Where Batman demonstrates what people can be at their very best, the Joker is the exact opposite. He shows us what people can be when they lose their morality and instead act entirely on impulse.

All this hasn’t stopped the Joker from occasionally showing his human – and even virtuous – side, however. Whether it’s a brief moment of realization of the things he’s done, a complete shift in thinking that makes him a hero, or even a temporary partnership with Batman, good guy Joker does exist in the DC universe. You just have to dig deep into all of the plots to find him.

1. When He’s Cured And Helps Gotham In ‘Batman: White Knight’

When He's Cured And Helps Gotham In ‘Batman: White Knight’

The events of Batman: White Knight see the Joker, here known as Jack Napier, cured from his insanity thanks to a new concoction of drugs. This renders the former villain relatively harmless, and he begins a new life as a council member in Gotham.

His main aim is to stop the corruption within the city’s police force and rein in Batman’s ability to act as a vigilante. The Joker even goes so far as to team up with Batman to fight against the Neo Joker, a new villain who wreaks havoc in Gotham.

2. When He Lives A Normal Life In ‘Batman: Going Sane’ 

When He Lives A Normal Life In ‘Batman: Going Sane’ 

Batman: Going Sane sees the Joker living a normal life. He takes on the moniker Joseph Kerr and gives up a life of crime for a seemingly happy existence. This happens when the Joker believes Batman is dead and he no longer has a nemesis to battle.

Only when the Dark Knight returns does the Joker return to insanity.

3. When He Accepts His Imprisonment In ‘The Dark Knight Returns’

When He Accepts His Imprisonment In ‘The Dark Knight Returns’

In The Dark Knight Returns, Batman gives up his crime-fighting ways, which drastically changes the Joker. Instead of being a master criminal, he accepts his imprisonment inside Arkham Asylum and doesn’t attempt to escape or break the law.

Without his arch foe to battle, the villain enters a catatonic state and does not return to his old ways until Batman is back in Gotham.

4. When He Helps Defeat The Black Glove Group In ‘Batman R.I.P.’

When He Helps Defeat The Black Glove Group In ‘Batman R.I.P.’

Batman R.I.P. was a 2008 storyline in the main Batman comic series in which a group known as the Black Glove attempts to kill Batman and destroy everything he values. Members of the criminal organization invite the Joker into their plan, but he betrays them and actively works to thwart their plans.

As well as killing many of the Black Glove’s members to stop them from carrying out their plans, he also encourages the organization’s leaders to activate a transmitter that allows the League of Assassins, Nightwing, and Robin to capture them.

5. When He And Batman Work Together In ‘Dark Nights: Metal’

When He And Batman Work Together In ‘Dark Nights: Metal’

Dark Nights: Metal shows a new side to the Joker when a new villain arises. The Batman Who Laughs is a mixture of both Batman and the Joker who begins to terrorize everything and everyone around him. When it proves impossible for Batman to stop him alone, he teams up with his arch-nemesis to take him down.

With the help of the Joker, Batman stops the Batman Who Laughs and saves the planet from almost certain destruction.

6. When He Is A Hero Fighting Villains In ‘Countdown’ 

When He Is A Hero Fighting Villains In ‘Countdown’ 

In the Countdown series, the Joker has a counterpart in the Earth-3 universe. This character, known as the Jokester, battles his reality’s version of Batman, a supervillain known as Owlman. The Jokester goes from being a young boy who is bullied to a respected and heroic figure within the city for fighting back against the criminal Owlman.The series even gives this version of the Joker a new origin story, in which Owlman is responsible for providing him his permanent grin by slicing open his mouth.

7. When He’s A Community Leader In ‘Superman: Distant Fires’ 

When He's A Community Leader In ‘Superman: Distant Fires’ 

In the 1998 comic Superman: Distant Fires, the world suffers after an apocalyptic nuclear war that removes the powers of most superheroes. Following the nuclear war, the Joker also regains his sanity.

He becomes an important community figurehead among a group of survivors who make a living in a jungle city known as Champion. The former villain works to keep everyone safe in this new refuge.

8. When He Constantly Refuses To Kill Batman

When He Constantly Refuses To Kill Batman

Throughout the history of Batman, the Joker consistently refuses to kill Batman when the chance arises. He even goes out of his way to save Bruce Wayne in some instances.

Examples of this occur in The Clown At Midnight and Emperor Joker. In both instances, the villain has the opportunity to kill the Dark Knight but refrains from doing so.

9. When He’s Remorseful in ‘Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight’ 

When He's Remorseful in ‘Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight’ 

During the events of Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, the Joker is killed by Talia al Ghul after he attempts to kill her and her father. He is later revived by Batman in the Lazarus Pit as he desperately seeks to locate and neutralize Ra’s al Ghul. Rather than turning the Joker insane, as is it does with most people, the Lazarus Pit turns him into an ordinary human with a healthy mind.

“I’ve been thinking… remembering… all I’ve done,” the Joker says. “All the people I’ve hurt. The dead… the dead. Sanity is such a burden.”