DC: What Is Joker Scared Of? | ScreenRant

Audiences will see the return of Joaquin Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime in Joker: Folie à Deux, set to be a musical featuring Harley Quinn. The character’s main claim to fame has been as the archnemesis of Batman, with the latter largely unable to cast fear into Joker’s heart as he does against all of his other antagonists. 

There are certain things that do make Joker fearful, ranging from the possibility of being incarcerated with no way out to losing Batman himself and marking the end of their twisted dynamic. With the possibility that Joker: Folie à Deux might incorporate some of these fears, it’s worth looking into the ways the Clown Prince of Crime can be scared.

7 To Be Caught By The IRS

Although this was played out more as a joke than a fear with a continuous impact on The Joker’s story, he was most definitely terrified of the IRS in The New Batman Adventures. Here, an enemy left Joker with a fortune and the Clown Prince of Crime realized he would have to pay Inheritance Tax with money that he didn’t have.

The Joker was scared mainly because he would be transferred to federal prison for not paying taxes - he’s normally shipped off to Arkham for his crimes due to his insanity. The Joker has no loophole to escape from if he’s caught for tax evasion, which would mean he’s treated like any other prisoner and would have to go through a court of law to free himself that far from plays to his benefit.

6 For A Plan To Backfire On Him

There’s always a plan in the works by the villain in every movie featuring The Joker, with the Clown Prince of Crime loving to place his victims in elaborate traps. The Joker doesn’t like it when the tables are turned, however, which is one of the few times when audiences can see a hint of fear in his eyes.

Outright fear has been seen on occasions such as when his attempt to stab Batman in Arkham City led to the latter dropping the antidote to Joker’s poison, and when he was shot to death by the brainwashed “Joker Jr.” Robin in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker - he even claimed that it wasn’t funny when he was on the receiving end of the joke.

5 To Be Trapped In His Own Nightmares

There have been a few occasions in TV and comics about The Joker where his nightmares have been detailed. While he’s generally in control of his maniacal thoughts, forcing Joker to live them through has brought a terrified side of him out. These times have seen Joker behave just like any other scared person.

A well-known instance took place in Justice League Unlimited when the mind-controlling Ace became free of the control that Joker had on him and rendered him catatonic with horrible visions. The Joker was beside himself with terror and began screaming due to the things he was forced to see inside his mind.

4 To Watch Someone Else Get The Best Of Batman

The Joker’s obsession with Batman usually won’t allow him to kill his rival and he’s become possessive as a result. He lives in fear of the thought that someone else might do away with the Bat, which he can’t have because Joker wants to be the one to finally best the Caped Crusader.

The fear of Batman getting away from his hands led to Joker turning Gotham City into a place of anarchy in The Dark Knight, where he put a hit on Coleman Reese because the latter wanted to reveal Batman’s true identity. The Joker can never make up his mind over wanting Batman alive or dead, but he most definitely doesn’t anyone else to have all the “fun” with ending the Dark Knight’s run as a hero.

3 For Someone To Figure Out His Schtick

Deep down, The Joker is no different than Batman’s other villains - he just puts on a gimmick so thick that very few can understand what makes him tick. The Joker becomes scared when someone does read him well and it’s times like these when he retreats into a shell and wants to get out of the situation.

This was best seen in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker during his climactic encounter with the titular protagonist. Terry McGinnis realized Joker hated it when his enemy started to behave like him and fight dirty, playing mind games with the Clown Prince of Crime, causing Joker to drop the funny act. The villain becomes unsettled when his schtick is figured out since he doesn’t have any kind of leverage anymore.

2 A World Without Batman

The Joker would never have become the best villain in the Batman universe without the Caped Crusader himself. Batman’s stern code contrasts with Joker’s maniacal ways, providing a perfect backdrop for a villainous activity that can be on an endless loop just like how the villain likes it.

The few times where Batman has disappeared have turned Joker into a sad version of himself, as he feels his favorite pastime is over. Moreover, Joker ends up going through an identity crisis without the Dark Knight, which is something he’s scared to confront since he does all his crimes just so he can remain in his deluded state of reality.

1 To Be Forgotten

While fans got to hear many memorable quotes from Joker in Batman: Arkham, the series also revealed what his greatest fear is supposed to be. As it turned out, The Joker feared being forgotten more than anything else because it meant nobody was afraid of him anymore, rendering all his crimes void. 

Batman defeats the hallucination of the Clown Prince of Crime in Arkham Knight by locking him away deep in his mind. Joker resorts to begging in order to have some presence of his remaining in the world, revealing that he was always scared of being forgotten and had no comeback.

NEXT: The Scariest Versions Of Batman Ranked

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