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Joker Venom (also known as Joker toxin) was probably the most common name for the favorite chemical weapon of the Joker. Derived from some of the same chemicals that caused his ghoulish disfigurement, the venom was a poison which caused a slow, painful death in its victims which would end with a ghastly smile.
Victims of the venom would first begin laughing uncontrollably until the convulsions became so violent that they would begin to inflict painful self-injury. Asphyxiation would soon come as the victim's breathing would become interrupted. Worst of all, the muscles of the face would contort and twist, leaving the victim with a wide-mouthed grin as they finally began to die.
The Joker would vary the strength of his venom doses according to whim, and it is very likely he had different versions of the lethal toxin; some victims would literally howl with laughter and take several minutes to die, others would die smiling almost instantly. There is also a non-lethal version of the venom which the Joker used often as well, which was usually referred to as "laughing gas".
Being highly insane and highly intelligent, the Joker had many ways of using the toxin. One particular incident involved using a very similar chemical agent to poison the fish of Gotham Harbor, in an unsuccessful attempt to patent the resulting "Joker Fish".
Joker venom was administered in several ways, including but not limited to the following:
- Introduced into food or beverages
- Hidden in hygienic products
- Injected into the bloodstream
- Applied to projectiles (bullets or darts)
- Aerosol form (gas, smoke, or mist)
Batman was able to develop an antidote for the venom, which was usually applied with an injector. This saved many lives, including his own on several occasions.
A modified version of the chemicals which transformed the Joker (mixed with a dose of Joker venom itself) turned Jack Ryder into the maniacal hero the Creeper. Fortunately, Batman's antidote worked on him, though Jack was supposed to constantly wear special antidote "patches" to remain in his old state.
Because Batman: The Animated Series was a kid's show, the nature of Joker venom was heavily toned down. In the DC Comics, there are two variations of Joker venom: the non-lethal variation and the lethal variation. The non-lethal variation only caused an uncontrollable laughter (but at the same time pulling their faces into an unusually large grin with yellowed teeth) to the victims; while the lethal variation caused uncontrollabe spasms of laughter followed by death, leaving the victims with a grotesque grinning expression called "Risus Sardonicus" due to spasms of the facial muscles after they died. In the series, not counting Batman: Mask of the Phantasm as it was a theatrical feature film, due the orders of Fox's censors, the Joker venom just made the people laugh long enough as a mere deistraction. However, when the time had come for The New Batman Adventures to air on Kids' WB, the rules were less strict, allowing the depiction of the Joker venom killing people and leaving them with terrifying grins.
- "The Last Laugh"
- "Almost Got 'Im"
- "The Laughing Fish"
- "Harley and Ivy"
- "The Man Who Killed Batman" (Mentioned Only)
- "Make 'Em Laugh"
- ↑ Burnett, A., Dini, P., Timm, B., Murakami, G. (Producers), & Geda, C. (Director). (2000). Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. United States: Warner Bros. Animation.
- ↑ Dini, Paul (writer) & Timm, Bruce W. (director) (January 10, 1993). "The Laughing Fish". Batman: The Animated Series. Season 1. Episode 46 (airdate). Episode 34 (production). FOX Kids.
- ↑ Gerber, Steve (writer) & Fogel, Rich (story) & Riba, Dan (director) (November 7, 1998). "Beware the Creeper". The New Batman Adventures. Episode 10 (airdate). Episode 23 (production). Season 2. Kids WB!.
- ↑ Dini, Paul (writer) & Kirkland, Boyd (director) (January 18, 1993). "Harley and Ivy". Batman: The Animated Series. Season 1. Episode 47 (airdate). Episode 56 (production). FOX Kids.