When the Joker travels to another universe and aligns himself with a powerful force, he gets power that is way too R-rated for any live-action movie.
While part of what makes the Joker so terrifying is the fact that he doesn’t have any powers but is still considered one of the greatest villains in the DC Universe, that idea is completely flipped on its head when the Clown Prince of Crime actually does become superhuman. After the Joker travels to another universe, he obtains dark and disgustingly brutal abilities that are way too R-rated for the movies.
In Batman/Judge Dredd “Die Laughing” #2 by Alan Grant, John Wagner, and Jim Murray, the Joker has traveled to Judge Dredd’s universe after using a multiversal teleportation belt. When he got there in the previous issue, the Joker helped a superpowered villain known as Judge Death escape imprisonment, and he was rewarded with some truly sinister powers of his own.
Judge Death is one of the four Dark Judges within the Judge Dredd continuity, beings who wield demonic abilities and are tasked with bringing about destruction of all life across the multiverse. They traveled to Judge Dredd’s universe from a parallel world in order to carry out their dark mission. After they were arrested off-panel, the Joker freed Judge Death and in return, the dark entity imbued him with its evil energy and transformed the Joker into another Dark Judge. The power the Joker gained in the process proved to be way too gruesome for any of his movies as he acquired the ability to make people’s heads explode, creating a shower of gore to coincide with the hacking sound of his sinister laughter.
The Joker’s laughter makes people’s heads explode in this comic, which really is the perfect power for the Joker as it is similar to his deadly laughing gas, but without the need for any external weaponry. In fact, the perfectly fitting power the Joker gets after he becomes Judge Joker isn’t an accident. The mystic process used to imbue Dark Judges with powers gives each one abilities based on their individual obsessions. Plus, as Judge Joker, he is immortal as his new body is invulnerable to any attack.
Since the Joker thinks death is hilarious, it makes sense that his laughter would cause his victims to suffer an incredibly gruesome demise. Judge Joker actually becomes so powerful that the only reason he goes back to his original form is because he wasn’t aware that he’d lose his powers upon transporting himself back to the DC Universe. If he was able to retain his abilities, then the Joker would be completely unstoppable even when faced against the strongest heroes DC has to offer. While assuredly disappointing for the Clown Prince of Crime, it is actually good for his real-world brand that these powers didn’t stick around. The Joker is arguably the most popular live-action movie character in the DC catalog, but with these insanely brutal abilities, there’s no way he would be able to appear in as many movies since this power is way too R-rated for the films.
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