The Joker is a fictional character that was created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson that first appeared in the debut issue of the American comic book Batman (April 25, 1940) published by DC Comics. Although the Joker was planned to be killed off during this initial appearance, he was spared by editorial intervention, allowing the character to endure as the supervillain archenemy of the vigilante Batman.
In the decades since his creation, the character has been adapted into a variety of media alongside Batman, including television shows, films, animation, and video games. His appearances have helped make the Joker one of the most iconic characters in popular culture. The character has been listed among the greatest comic book villains and fictional characters ever created. The Joker has served as Batman’s adversary in live-action, animated and video game incarnations since the 1960s Batman television series (played by Cesar Romero) and in film by Jack Nicholson in 1989’s Batman, Heath Ledger in 2008’s The Dark Knight, and Jared Leto in 2016’s Suicide Squad. Mark Hamill, Troy Baker, and others have provided the character’s voice for the animated character. In the Fox Network crime drama Gotham, Cameron Monaghan portrays Jerome Valeska, a psychopathic, reincarnated youth who has yet to take on the identity of the villain.