Very few people know the true origins of the man who would one day become the Joker. A multitude of different tales have been passed around the criminal underworld about his past. In fact some believe that the Joker himself does not even remember anything about his past, he has been heard many times telling his cellmates, “Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another… if I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice.”
Jack Napier was once a low level bio-chemical engineer that worked for the Gotham City branch of the Umbrella Pharmaceutical Corporation (a subsidiary of Osborn Industries) who quit his job to pursue his life long dream of becoming a stand-up comedian. Unfortunately for him, his try at comedy fell on deaf ears and he failed miserably. Desperate for money, he turned to a life of petty crime. He soon came to the attention of some of the local members of Cobra’s Crimson Guard division who enlisted him to help them break into his former employer’s building and help steal a virus based biological weapon that was rumored to be in development. For the crime, the Crimson Guardsmen required Jack to don a modified version of the Crimson Guard helmet and adopt the persona of what they referred to as the Red Hood.
With the advantage of the high tech equipment that Crimson Guardsmen used, it appeared that the theft would be carried off with out a hitch, but shortly after they entered the chemical processing section of the building, they were spotted by Umbrella’s Security Service (USS) and a shoot out ensued. To complicate matters even further, the crime-fighting vigilant known as “The Batman” made one of his earliest recorded appearances and joined in battling both the Crimson Guard and the USS as he tried to not only stop the theft of the virus but also destroy it as well.
During the battle, a batarang ricocheted off of a nearby railing and caught Jack in the face shattering his “red hood” helmet and disfiguring his face. The searing pain of his injury in conjunction with the force of the hit from the batarang forced Jack over the railing into a vat of brewing chemicals where he was forgotten as the battle ensued.
Surfacing hours later in the nearby reservoir, Jack removed the remains of the “red hood” helmet and peers upon his reflection of a person he does not recognize. His skin was been bleached chalk white, his hair is now tinted green and his mouth is cut wide open in a glasow type smile. This new appearance couple with the other events of the day drove Jack Napier completely insane and the Joker was born.
As the Joker, he has plagued Gotham City with crime spree after crime spree which has been both whimsical yet sadistically brutal at the same time. Although too numerous to list, some of the Joker’s most notorious act include the crippling of Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, Barbara, the killing of Gordon’s second wife, and the apparently killing of the second Robin.