The Joker Gets An Official Name (Maybe)


Writer/artist Sean Gordon Murphy recently tweeted that the iconic villain The Joker would have the name “Jack Napier” in his upcoming comic book, Batman: White Knight. Besides the fact that the Joker is given an actual name, this is significant to Bat-Fans because Jack Napier is the name of Jack Nicholson’s Joker in the 1989 movie Batman.


In fact, this is apparently the first time the Joker has ever had the name before in the actual comics, outside of movie adaptations (though he was called “Jack” in Batman Confidential #7–12). The name—as far as I can tell, maybe I’m wrong & this is an urban legend—was/is a combo of Jack Nicholson and Alan Napier. Napier played Alfred in the 1960s Batman TV series and died just one year before the Tim Burton movie’s release.

Jack Nicholson as Jack Napier in Batman

But the question is: will this be Joker’s official name now in the comics? Or as with everything else the character has said about his background so far—is it all just bullshit? Since Batman: White Knight is about the Joker supposedly “going good,” maybe he felt that having a legit name was necessary.

Second related question: does this then identify the official comics Joker with Nicholson’s version of the character, as opposed to Heath Ledger’s and etc.? Considering that there might be “multiple Jokers” in the current comic continuity…I guess it leaves things open.

The first issue of Batman: White Knight debuts October 4th.