21 Votes in Poll
Jeremiah Valeska from the tv show Gotham.
Who is he ?
Jeremiah is Jerome Valeska's twin brother an seemingly polar opposite with Jerome being the obviously psychopathic brother and Jeremiah being strait laced, collected and mild mannered. As a child, Jeremiah had a hobby of drawing mazes, while Jerome had a hobby of killing cats. Jerome loves chaos, Jeremiah believes in order. One day, Jeremiah was sent away from his family for protection from Jerome, where he got a high class education and adopted the alias Xander Wilde, becoming a highly skilled engineer and associate of Wayne Enterprises. According to Jerome, Jeremiah is not so innocent.
As Xander he never appears in public, only working through his assistant/proxy in a young woman Ecco. Jerome has been tracking his brother down and took him hostage along with Bruce Wayne and some city officials. Jeremiah befriends Bruce after Jerome's death and the two talk about electric generators that Jeremiah designed to control all of Gotham's electricity, but when Jeremiah returns to his office, he gets sprayed by a surprise gas left behind by his brother, changing his appearing with white skin and red lips.
What Does Jeremiah Do ?
Jeremiah sends Ecco to Jerome's grave dressed as a jester. Jerome's mourning followers are there where Ecco plays a seeming message from Jerome, telling them to throw a wake at the GCPD. The video seems to be of Jerome announcing his plans for his funeral as his followers start a fight with the police. Gordon races to Jeremiah's bunker where he finds another tape recording of Jerome. That is up until "Jerome" begins wiping the makeup off his face and talking in a more subdued manner saying "Jerome is dead. Long live me." As all this is happening, Bruce pays Jeremiah a visit, where Jeremiah claims to have been haunted by visions of Jerome. Bruce takes Jeremiah to his brothers gravesite, only to find an empty grave. Jeremiah has a panic attack claiming Jerome is alive and even accusing Bruce of being Jerome before his brothers cult show up. One of them starts praising Jeremiah as the new Jerome, which prompts an annoyed Jeremiah to shoot said cult member before wiping the makeup off his face, revealing it to be bleached white. Jeremiah reveals his plans to one up Jerome and do so with order to prove that he's the better brother. It's revealed that the generators he created are actually high powered bombs, and he left Gordon into a trap to try to kill him. The episode caps off with Jeremiah and Ecco killing two Wayne Enterprise executives and stealing the other generators.
The next episode has Jeremiah completely take over and reinvent Jerome's cult, when he approaches the GCPD to announce his plans to destroy Gotham and rebuild it in his own image. He gives them six hours to evacuate the city as he placed bombs all over the city and to show how serious he is, sets off one of the bombs. Jeremiah also states that if the police does anything to harm him, he'll immediately set off all the bombs. Jeremiah also calls Bruce and tells him he kidnaped Alfred. Bruce races to find where Alfred is being held, only to be dosed by a fear toxin and having to watch live feeds of Alfred being tortured. Bruce seems to find Alfred who has gone mad and begun to self mutilate and tries to kill Bruce. The fight is cut short when the real Alfred shows up (having been rescued earlier by Selina) and kills the decoy. Meanwhile, Oswald Cobbelpott, Butch Gilzen, Barbara Kean and Tabitha Galavan come up with a plan to get close to Jeremiah in a ruse to kill him, demanding an additional hour to evacuate the city and 50 million dollars, taking one of his henchmen hostage. Jeremiah kills said henchmen with a rocket launcher and announces he's changed his mind and will detonate the bombs immediately when he's a safe distance from the city, calling off the evacuation deal.
Later Jeremiah prepares to detonate the bombs with his followers all there to witness this, only for the trigger to fail since Bullock disabled the bombs, as a news broadcast airs confirming Gordon's survival. Jeremiah's followers turns against him for his failure, and Jeremiah has them all sealed in a chamber and incinerated. Finding himself back at square one, Jeremiah is approached by Ra's Al Ghul, who offers a Villain Team-Up to help fulfill a vision the latter had. Jeremiah accepts and shows up at Wayne Manner just after Bruce and Selina have their Big Damn Kiss, and shoots Selina in the stomach. The episode closes with Alfred beating the crap out of Jeremiah while Bruce goes to comfort Selina.
In the season finale, Selina is being hospitalized while Jeremiah has been arrested. Jeremiah keeps demanding to see Bruce and with his team up with Ra's Al Ghul going on, Jeremiah's bombing plan is back in action. This time the military steps in to enforce a martial law and lead an total evacuation of the city. Bruce is eventually taken in to talk with Jeremiah and they have a Not So Different discussion typical of what we see from Batman and the Joker. This turns out to be a distraction for Ra's to abduct them back to his base of operations. Ra's and Jeremiah's plans where to put bombs on the evacuation bridges surrounding Gotham. Ra's believes that through the cities destruction, a Dark Knight will rise in Bruce, while Jeremiah believes this is simply the beginning of a longstanding rivalry between the two. Soon, Barbara, Tabitha, Oswald and Alfred show up and a fight ensues. In the confusion, Jeremiah tries to kill Tabitha but is shot a few times and wounded by Oswald. The fight culminates in Barbara and Bruce stabbing Ra's to death, but the bombs go off and the bridges are destroyed. Jeremiah laughs at this before pulling an Exit Villain Stage Left.
In the final season, Jeremiah has not only succeeded in turning Gotham into a lawless despot, but also gathered a series of followers and creating a church in his name. Jeremiah is re-introduced forcing his followers to dig towards Wayne Manor. Jeremiah's ego is getting the best of him and he has Ecco shoot herself in the head to show off her loyalty. Selina finds herself able to walk again and goes after Jeremiah disguised as Ecco, and stabs Jeremiah several times and seemingly kills him. It turns out later on that Jeremiah has been playing possum and recovering from his injuries but is able to continue his plans uninterrupted.
Upon breaking into Wayne Manor, Jeremiah has Alfred kidnapped and place bombs all over the mansion to have leverage over Bruce. Jeremiah has Alfred brainwashed (although Bruce snaps him out of it) and two innocent people kidnapped and surgically altered to resemble Thomas and Martha Wayne. When he finally gets to Bruce, Jeremiah explains his motive of wanting to be the centre of Bruce's attention and wants him to experience his parents deaths all over again. Jeremiah takes Bruce to the theatre where he shows off his version of the Mask Of Zorro (which he and Ecco made by killing people) to recreate the night of the Wayne's deaths. However things get interrupted when Jim Gordon and Leslie Tompkins are infiltrating Ace Chemicals Plant, and Jeremiah kills the dopplgangers. Jeremiah as Jervis Tetch hypnotize Gordon and Tompkins thinking that killing Bruce's second parental figures would have the same effect. As a secondary goal Jeremiah plans on unleashing chemicals from the plant onto the city and render it unsalvagable by the mainland. The attempt on Gordon and Leslie is foiled by Selina, prompting Jeremiah to start his plans with the chemical plant. In his inventible fight with Bruce, Jeremiah asks if Bruce feels any connection to him; Bruce tells Jeremiah he means nothing to him causes Jeremiah to loose it, and Jeremiah is tricked into falling into a chemical vat below. And so begins his further transformation...into a seemingly braindead coma patient covered in chemical burns. Although the fallout leaves behind mutated monsters that need dealing with that Ivy uses for her own plans.
Ten years later, in the series finale, Jeremiah has since been hospitalized in Arkham Asylum, being nursed by Ecco. Jeremiah awakens sometime during this period, but has feigned catatonia during his stay, because he is still obsessed with Bruce who has left Gotham years ago. Despite this, he is still running things from behind the scenes. Jeremiah finds out Bruce is back and has the incarcerated Edward Nygma kidnapped to use as a distraction for his plan to blow up the newly constructed Wayne Tower. Jeremiah also has one of his followers commit suicide to frame Harvey Bullock. Ecco helps Jeremiah escape Arkham and go after Barabara Kean and her ten year old daughter (also named Barbara). Kean manages to mortally wound Ecco before being knocked out, and Jeremiah causally shoot Ecco dead, claiming that there's "other fish in the sea" before kidnapping the kid.
Jeremiah takes Barbara Lee to Ace Chemicals where Jim confronts him. Jeremiah states he's given up his old name in favour of something new (he doesn't know what to settle on but decides it starts with J). Jeremiah tried to drop Barbara Lee into a vat, and tries to kill Jim, before his hand is suddenly hit by a batarang. Jeremiah sees a dark looking vigilante watching from the shadows who he recognizes and Bruce before he is knocked unconscious by a second batarang, presumably arrested afterwards.
Redeeming Qualities or Freudian Excuse ?
Now at first Jeremiah seems like the good twin of the Valeska brothers, being the mild mannered, paranoid strait laced brother. Even when he becomes the Joker you think he's gonna be some tragic figure of have some moral agency issues to be being dosed with Joker venom...
However when we first see Jeremiah after his Joker transformation and when Bruce tries to tell him to fight what the venom did to him, Jeremiah states that Jerome's joker venom did little nothing by alter his appearance. The only time he acts like you'd expect someone to be under the venoms influence to be, it's when he pretends to be Jerome on camera and paranoia and panic to Bruce about Jerome coming back. In actuality, Jeremiah's initial joker mode is pretty much the exact same personality as his normal one; he's calm, collected, it's just now he's more outwardly evil. Jerome claims that Jeremiah is just as bad as he is behind his mild mannered persona (during a private conversation between the two brothers), and even back then Jeremiah is presented as a suspicious figure, which lends more credence to the interpretation that Jeremiah was evil all along and all Jerome's joker gas did to him was alter is appearance. Jeremiah further expresses this belief in the fifth season and no one really tries to refute his claims.
Jeremiah becomes a little more stereotypical and theatrical as the Joker in the fifth season. According to Cameron Monaghan this is because of his ego getting the better of him from creating No Man's Land, and Gordon theorizes earlier that Jeremiah may have had subdued mental instability in his past.
When Jeremiah is introduced he claims the reason he separated from Jerome was because he told his family that Jerome was always threatening and bullying him, but Jeremiah later admits in that same episode that he was lying to his family about that part. There is clear animosity between the two brothers everytime the two interact, and as it turns out Jeremiah's motivations as the Joker was not to be just a copy of his brother (he doesnt like being compared to Jerome) but rather one up Jerome in his plans and prove himself "better" than his brother. He doesn't want to continue Jerome's legacy, he wants to usurp it.
Jeremiah has a relationship with Ecco as he initially seems to care for her, but over time it's clear he sees her as a loyal henchwoman with romantic undertones to their relationship. Sound familiar ? He also has abusive undertones, mostly forcibly grabbing her, but then he has her shoot herself to prove his loyalty, and when she survives, has her manipulate the bullet in her head to control her feelings. Later on he shoots Ecco dead, saying he can always replace her. He also has a Foe Yay obsession with Bruce, viewing him as the brother he always wanted. Jeremiah wants to bring out Bruce's darkside, hence why he doesn't want to kill Bruce but corrupt him, even if it means killing everyone Bruce loves and destroying the city Bruce loves. He wants to be the centre of Bruce's world, and thinks that recreating the Wayne murders will appeal Bruce to him if he were the one who kills Bruce's parents.
He does have a sizeable bodycount in the last few episodes that I estimate is at least in the dozens, tortures a guy and Mind Rape another and twice threatens to destroy all of Gotham with a hundreds of powerful bombs. The second time Jeremiah threatens the city, he succeeds in halting much of the evacuation by blowing up the bridges, forcing the military to retreat and cutting Gotham off the rest of the world, turning Gotham into No Man's Land where Batman's future rouge gallery is free to run amuck and a worse crime wave than before begins.
By the final season, Jeremiah makes a new attempt to destroy Gotham by unleashing chemicals allover the city - unlike others who tried that, Jeremiah ain't part of a conspiracy and is carrying out these plans independently. He also gets a higher bodycount. What he tries to do to Bruce is pretty twisted in trying to recreate his parents murders, and tries to kill or disfigure a child in the finales. Whiles his plans to set chemicals onto Gotham fails, it still results in a number of people to mutate into ravenous monsters. He's one of the more reaching goals type villains but also one the most personal scarring towards the protagonist.
I'd give him a yes