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We're two threads in the same stitch, remember?
~ John Doe talking about his friendship with Bruce Wayne.
I believed in you, Batman, like I never believed in anything... AND IT WAS ALL A LIE!
~ Vigilante Joker to Batman seconds before going rogue.
You can't beat me, Bruce, you need me, i’m the villain of your dreams; the shadow within your shadow, the tumor lurking in your soul.
~ Villain Joker to Bruce during their showdown.

"John Doe", later known as The Joker, is a minor character in Season One of Batman: The Telltale Series (appearing as a supporting character in Episode Four: Guardian of Gotham, and as a cameo character in Episode Five: City of Light), and the deuteragonist-turned-anti-heroic or villainous main antagonist of Season Two: The Enemy Within (appearing as the hexagonist of Episode One: The Enigma, as the deuteragonist of Episode Two: The Pact, as the tritagonist of Episode Three: Fractured Mask, as the secondary tritagonist-turned-supporting anti-hero or central antagonist in Episode Four: What Ails You, and as the titular anti-heroic deuteragonist-turned-main antagonist of the Vigilante Joker version of Episode Five: Same Stitch, while also serving as the titular villainous main antagonist of the episode's Villain Joker version). 

Unlike most other depictions of the Joker, John is shown to be a sympathetic and insecure man who is looking for direction in his life. By the end of the second season's fourth episode, John will either decide to become a vigilante and battle those who he perceives as villains in Gotham City, or he will fully embrace his inner demons and become the homicidal madman Joker usually is. 

He was voiced by Anthony Ingruber.

History

Batman: The Telltale Series

Episode Four: Guardian of Gotham

John Doe is first introduced to Bruce Wayne as being an inmate of Arkham Asylum who does not remember his past or who he is, and not even any of the doctors know the truth.

He appears an outwardly friendly and laid-back man, but one who also possesses a violent and savage side as well, as shown when he viciously beats down two inmates threatening Bruce Wayne. The two optionally connect, with John also revealing some facts about Vicki Vale's past that Bruce previously did not know (such as her having been born Victoria Arkham).

John agrees to help Bruce escape from Arkham in exchange for a favor, which Bruce can choose to promise to grant or not. Either way, John helps Bruce get out of Arkham. However, to do this, he makes fellow inmate Victor Zsasz try and murder another patient. Bruce can either save the patient or use a phone to ensure his release. Regardless of the choice, John still assists Bruce in finding Vicki by informing him to locate her adoptive parents.

Episode Five: City of Light

He gleefully witnesses the battle between Batman and the Children of Arkham and the escaped inmates in the asylum before appearing in the very last scene of the episode now out of Arkham.

Batman: The Enemy Within

Episode One: The Enigma

It is revealed that John has been released from Arkham for good behavior, and has listed Bruce as his emergency contact. He later meets with Bruce at Lucius Fox's funeral and tries to call in the favor Bruce owes him. He also reveals that he's fallen in with some "interesting people" who turn out to be the group of criminals Bruce is after called "The Pact".

Episode Two: The Pact

Using his "friendship" with John, Bruce tries to get into the Pact, with John being Bruce's primary supporter (especially if Bruce continues to treat him well).

Episode Three: Fractured Mask

John helps Bruce and Catwoman break into the late Riddler's now abandoned lair looking for information on how to get into his laptop (which Harley Quinn has possession of and wants to decrypt).

During this adventure, John shows a willingness to beat GCPD Detective Harvey Bullock with a crowbar if Bruce does not intervene, and later, when Bruce and John have drinks together outside a coffee shop with the former giving optional dating advice of the latter being himself when talking with Harley, John admits that he can feel "someone" inside him that is trying to get out. The words John uses in describing this "someone" makes it clear that it is a darker and more violent side of him, one that Bruce can urge him to either suppress or let out. As Batman, he can also meet with John Doe and teach him how to throw a Batarang after John has gotten Riddler's laptop for him and not Catwoman if she wasn't warned about Gordon and the GCPD ambushing her.

Later, when both Bruce and Catwoman are in hot water with The Pact, John urges Bruce to give up Catwoman to save himself, which Bruce can choose to do so or not.

Episode Four: What Ails You

John, alongside the other members of the Pact, storm the Bodhi Spa and the SANCTUS Underground Facility. John will briefly assist Bruce/Batman against Bane and Mr. Freeze during the battle (and if Batman taught him how to throw a Batarang earlier, then he will use it). However, during the chaos, Harley Quinn flees, leaving John Doe behind.

Heartbroken by this, John escapes himself, returning to the Pact's hideout, the abandoned Old Five Points subway station, to drown in his sorrows. However, when Harley Quinn returns and discovers that the Agency was there without John knowing, she punches him in the face and leaves in disgust. Bruce and Special Agent Iman Avesta then stumble upon the distraught John Doe, who lashes out at Bruce for his advice and despairing over how he's lost everything: The Pact, his dreams, and Harley. However, Bruce (whether forcefully or with genuine empathy), convinces John that they have a common enemy in Harley and that they need to stop her together. John then goes to find Harley on his own.

Later, John tells Bruce his location, and Bruce goes to see him. Once at the abandoned Bonus Brothers Carnival, he discovers three dead Agency operatives; John killed them, and his story of killing them in self-defense has numerous holes in it. Bruce has to decide whether to continue trusting John or not.

If Bruce agrees to work with John and believes he killed the agents in self-defense anyway, John happily embraces him, reaffirming their friendship, and they then go off to stop Harley together. John helps stop Harley on the bridge by pretending to be there to help her, only to disarm her of both the bomb trigger and LOTUS Virus vial. Harley angrily condemns him and vows revenge, but John has at last seen that Harley does not truly love him. Amanda Waller congratulates John for his efforts and then demands that he hand over the LOTUS Virus. John refuses, believing that no one should have it. Waller then coldly pulls a gun on John and tries to kill him before she is stopped by Bruce. This sends John into a rage, and he stabs Amanda Waller, detonates the bombs on the bridge, and vows that he and Batman will bring the Agency to justice together and that it will be "so much fun".

If Bruce refuses to work with John in addition believing he is lying and that he didn't kill the agents in self-defense, a heartbroken John vows revenge and runs off, intending to help Harley, now hostile to Bruce. Bruce then goes to the bridge alone as Batman. John then shows up in a truck and intercepts him and Harley, saving the latter and retreating with her into the waters below the bridge after blowing it up with homicidal relish. Additionally on the other hand, if Bruce agrees to work with John and believes he killed the agents in self-defense, John asks Bruce if he can help out with taking down Harley, and if Bruce says no or doesn't stop Waller from interfering with his attempt to disarm Harley, then John takes the detonator off Harley and blows up the bridge himself with homicidal relish before retreating with her into the waters below the bridge.

Episode Five: Same Stitch

Two weeks later, John Doe emerges as a Batman-inspired wannabe vigilante calling himself "The Joker". At first still friendly to Batman and actively helping him against Waller, the Agency and her special task force (a coerced Bane, Harley and Catwoman), when Batman and Waller blackmail each other into an impasse (Batman can request Waller to either let Avesta leave the Agency peacefully and without prosecution, remove Catwoman from her special task force due to not being like the rest of the Pact with her criminal record expunged, have Harley and Bane released from her special task force but then have the pair incarcerated at Blackgate Prison for their crimes, or don't make a request; regardless of either choice in which Waller will agree to if he agrees to hand over Joker to which Batman can either agree to or refuse to do so, but regardless she will still agree to his chosen request), an enraged Joker goes berserk and attacks. The situation escalates into a chaotic rooftop battle with Joker on one side, Batman on another, and the Agency alongside Waller's special task force trying to take down both. Joker ultimately ends the battle by detonating two mannequin bombs, and in the chaos escapes with Waller as a hostage. Taking her to the abandoned Ace Chemicals plant, Joker tries to get Waller to confess to murdering Riddler (a crime Joker believes she had herself tried to pin on him), but she's innocent; it's actually Tiffany Fox who is responsible. But now out of control and lost in a vigilante-minded fervor, Joker snaps completely and tries to kill Waller anyway alongside Tiffany, with Batman intervening to stop him. Feeling betrayed and declaring himself a fool for having believed in Batman and his way of doing things righteously, Joker savagely murders three Agency operatives and engages Batman in a brutal fight that ends with Joker defeated and Batman too injured to get up. Joker asks Batman if he ever considered himself Joker's friend, in which Batman can either say yes or no. If Batman says yes, Joker simply calls Batman "one messed up guy." If Batman says no or says nothing, Joker says that from now on they are enemies.

Three weeks later, John resurfaces as a crime lord now calling himself "The Joker" and sporting a more colorful appearance. He cuts open Bullock and stuffs an explosive into his belly but is saved by Batman, and then later storms a board meeting at Wayne Enterprises, where he and Harley unleash the LOTUS Virus in toxic gaseous form that kills everyone in Wayne Enterprises except for Bruce Wayne (including Regina Zellerbach, who Harley personally murders with her hammer). From there, Joker and Harley detonate yet more bombs, and reveal that they have several more hidden throughout Gotham that will be detonated unless their demands are met. However, all of this was merely a ploy on Joker's part; he cares about Bruce Wayne and paradoxically seeks to destroy him but also be his constant nemesis as a means of having his friend in his life. He cares not for Harley's agenda, and in fact cuts a secret deal with Gordon to tell him where the remaining bombs are if Gordon will give him Batman. Gordon agrees to it, and Batman is brought down by Joker and his men when trying to either meet with or rescue Gordon (depending on their relationship when Waller was operating in Gotham). Stripping Batman of his Batsuit secretly and throwing him in the same carnival where Bruce first lost John's trust, he forces Bruce and those of his other friends and loved ones who Joker has kidnapped (Selina Kyle, Alfred Pennyworth, Tiffany), into a sadistic game of cat-and-mouse where he needles all of them over their past mistakes and the things they are most guilty of. However, Bruce turns the tables by either exposing Joker's treachery to Harley or asking for John to help save him from Harley leading to Joker attempting to stop Harley from killing Bruce. Either scenario sends Harley into a rage. In the confusion, Bruce frees himself and Selina, and a fight breaks out. Harley is defeated and Joker flees, with Bruce in pursuit. Whether Bruce tries to reason with Joker or not, the latter attacks him in a deranged fury, but ultimately loses the battle. Seemingly dead, Joker is given CPR by Bruce with a Bat-Stunner, and then asks Bruce why he saved them, and Bruce may answer from a few different choices. Joker then asks Bruce if he ever still considered himself Joker's friend deep down as well and if he enjoyed what they had together when they were still friends, in which Bruce can either say yes or no. If Bruce says yes (admitting they had good times together as friends) or nothing, Joker will still stab him but instead say that he hopes that, whenever Bruce sees that scar, he will remember their "good times". If Bruce says no (declaring that he wish that he had never met him at all), Joker will sorrowfully stab Bruce and state that he says the cruelest things but doesn't really mean them and he'll be the knife in his side until the end of time or until he finally "bleeds out".

After the credits of either version, Joker is seen back in Arkham Asylum. What he does inside his cell depends on Bruce's final choices with Joker and Alfred.

  • Vigilante Joker: Joker sits on his bed, in regret over his actions.
    • Considered Joker as your friend: Bruce arrives to pay Joker a visit after his imprisonment, much to the latter's delight.
    • Told Joker he was never your friend: Joker stays beside the window and waits for Batman to present himself after seeing the Bat-Signal in the sky.
      • Gave up Alfred: Joker sees Batman from far away, states he knew Bruce "would never abandon him, and that nothing can keep enemies like them apart", and laughs maniacally.
      • Gave up the mantle of Batman: Joker becomes angry when the Bat-Signal turns off and that Batman never appears, shattering a picture of him and Bruce or Batman together.
  • Villain Joker: Joker sits on his bed, playing with a doll of Bruce.
    • Agreed with Joker that you had good times with him as his friend: Joker mimics Bruce's final words to him and draws a smile on the doll's face, happy that he was proven right about Bruce's admittance of enjoying their friendship while it lasted.
    • Disagreed by telling him you wish that you had never met him at all: Joker mimics Bruce's final words to him and draws burns the doll with a lighter, promising to see him again and swearing that he will always be his enemy to the very end.

Quotes

You got to be more careful, Bruce… some of these guys bite.
~ John Doe.
You got some real nerve, you know that, buddy? Remember the café? "Just be yourself/manipulate her, John!" Then I stuck my neck out for you. Way out! Bane nearly ripped by head out! And for what? She flew the coop! And I have nothing! You steered me wrong and every turn! Every bad piece of advice… Everything blew up in my face!
~ John gets angry at Bruce Wayne.
*Laughing* I know you can fight better than that! Or do you need your Batsuit to really get you in the mood? (Bruce: What?) You forget I know you Bruce, the real you, always hiding behind some kinda mask. Playboy, businessman, criminal… Bat!
~ John revealing his knowledge of Bruce Wayne's secret identity as Batman after the latter optionally dodges John when he tries to punch Bruce for either admitting that he used him to infiltrate the Pact or lying that he never used him.
You and me. You and me, we're gonna hunt them down together. You're all going to pay for your crimes! Batman and I, we're going to bring you ALL to justice! It's going to be so much fun!
~ John becomes a vigilante.
Bruce!! Buddy! What's it been? A week? Two weeks? Sorry I didn't call sooner. I've had to stay low. Real low. Like, underground. Every time I pop up Waller's idiots are there, and they don't seem to care whether they bring me in alive. I gave her Harley -- the girl of my DREAMS -- on that bridge, and what did I get for thanks? Waller tried to shoot me! The only thing she cares about is getting this virus back, and that ain't happening. Well, I'm sick of keeping out of sight. I put together a little crew. It's time to get things moving again. Our plan. To bring them all to justice. I want you to be there to see it! Today, I'm gonna make Waller and the Agency wish they never messed with us. Our fight starts now, Batman!
~ Vigilante Joker's voice message.
If there's one thing I've learned by watching you -- Violence solves.. a lot of problems!
~ Vigilante Joker talking with Batman.
I guess that's it. I really wanted to be a hero, you know? But, I - I - I just… can't.
~ Vigilante Joker after his fight with Batman.
I know you used me. I know I should hate you. But I don't because I had such a great time with you, Bruce. Did... did you ever… ? Did you ever think of me as your friend? Like... a true friend? Someone you actually care about?
~ Vigilante Joker questioning Batman about their friendship after their brutal fight.
You could have prevented everything. Instead, you made me into this!
~ John becomes a villain.
You can't beat me, Bruce, you need me, i’m the villain of your dreams; the shadow within your shadow, the tumor lurking in your soul.
~ Villain Joker to Bruce Wayne.
Remember that night? Drinking frappes under the stars. You dishing out advice about the ladies. Me finding out you were the Bat. It was… perfect.
~ Villain Joker to Bruce Wayne about their friendship.

Gallery

Trivia

  • The character has received critical acclaim, with many critics noting how this is one of the first truly sympathetic portrayals of the Joker to ever come along and praising the player's ability to shape John's decisions and affect what kind of a villain he will become. 
  • As a friend of Bruce Wayne's with a dark side that the player can try to help him fight against or else mistreat him to bring it out faster, he is in some ways similar to Harvey Dent/Two-Face. However, he differs from Harvey in that his particular mental illness is clearly different, as is his general excitable and humorous personality. His backstory, goals, and connection to Catwoman are all likewise different.  Also just like Harvey, both can somewhat be redeemed (Harvey can spare some hostages before trying to kill himself out of guilt and John can stay friends with Bruce despite everything he did).
  • Unlike most depictions, where Joker is the abusive manipulator and Harley the more sympathetic villain pining for love, in this version the roles are reversed; John Doe craves in vain Harley's approval, while Harley is an unloving psychopath who is only using him.
    • Ironically, John's personality here, that of a lonely and insecure person who just wants to make people laugh and desires friendship and love, is strongly in-line with how most versions of Harley view their versions of the Joker. The difference is that here that interpretation would actually be correct, instead of merely delusional.
    • If John becomes Villain Joker Harley does grow to truly love and their relationship is more equal. She kisses John when he saves her on the bridge in Episode 4 and passionately makes out with John at the dinner table in Episode 5.
  • His willingness to hit Harvey Bullock over the head with a crowbar references Joker's crowbar beating of Jason Todd in the comics and the animated movie adaptation, Under the Red Hood.
  • There are many differences between Vigilante Joker and Villain Joker.
    • Vigilante Joker only kills three people in self-defense after they started shooting at him. Villain Joker kills hundreds if not thousands of people with the LOTUS Virus Gas.
    • Vigilante Joker can be saved/redeemed as he can stay friends with Bruce despite his crimes, while Villain Joker cannot be saved or redeemed.
    • Vigilante Joker cared for his men. If Batman saves Special Agent Roger Harrison over Willy Deever, Joker is horrified and saddened by Willy's death, and if Batman hesitates, Joker will save Willy himself. Villain Joker kills one of his own men and doesn't show any genuine care for anyone except for Bruce and Harley.
  • John has admitted that he has a hard time taking rejection and his outbursts are a result of being antisocial. This shows John Doe may have antisocial personality disorder.
  • John seems to believe that his green hair is natural since he doesn't remember a time when it wasn’t green.
  • It is questionable as to how he was legally kept at Arkham Asylum, given that there was no record of him being committed there.
  • It is possible that John was a victim of Thomas Wayne, although this is just a speculative theory.

Navigation

           Batman Villains (Telltale)

Children of Arkham
Lady Arkham | Penguin | Blockbuster

Gotham Criminal Triumvirate
Thomas Wayne | Hamilton Hill | Carmine Falcone

The Pact
Riddler | Harley Quinn | Bane | Joker | Mr. Freeze

The Agency
Amanda Waller | Roger Harrison

Others
Catwoman | Two-Face | Joe Chill | Victor Zsasz | The Vales | Deadshot | Black Spider | Rumi Mori | Eli Knable | Willy Deever | SANCTUS

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