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(The film doesn't really have a main antagonist it's pretty much The Joker himself.)
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{{Quote|I mean, don't you have to be funny to be a comedian?|Penny to her son, Arthur.[[File:PennyFleck.ogg|noicon]]}}
 
{{Quote|I mean, don't you have to be funny to be a comedian?|Penny to her son, Arthur.[[File:PennyFleck.ogg|noicon]]}}
   
'''Penny Fleck''' is the main antagonist in the 2019 psychological thriller film ''Joker'', the first installment of the newly launched ''DC Black'' film series.
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'''Penny Fleck''' is a major antagonist in the 2019 psychological thriller film ''Joker'', the first installment of the newly launched ''DC Black'' film series.
   
 
Penny Fleck is the adoptive mother of [[Joker (2019)|Arthur Fleck]], a mentally unstable failed comedian whose lack of success and respect triggers his transformation into the Joker. Much like her son, Penny is a mentally ill woman who was responsible for letting [[Penny Fleck's Boyfriend|her former boyfriend]] abuse Arthur in his childhood and was temporarily sent to the Arkham State Hospital for her claims of having an affair with Thomas Wayne.
 
Penny Fleck is the adoptive mother of [[Joker (2019)|Arthur Fleck]], a mentally unstable failed comedian whose lack of success and respect triggers his transformation into the Joker. Much like her son, Penny is a mentally ill woman who was responsible for letting [[Penny Fleck's Boyfriend|her former boyfriend]] abuse Arthur in his childhood and was temporarily sent to the Arkham State Hospital for her claims of having an affair with Thomas Wayne.

Revision as of 08:17, February 6, 2020

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Thomas Wayne is a good man.
~ Penny Fleck about Thomas Wayne.
I mean, don't you have to be funny to be a comedian?
~ Penny to her son, Arthur.

Penny Fleck is a major antagonist in the 2019 psychological thriller film Joker, the first installment of the newly launched DC Black film series.

Penny Fleck is the adoptive mother of Arthur Fleck, a mentally unstable failed comedian whose lack of success and respect triggers his transformation into the Joker. Much like her son, Penny is a mentally ill woman who was responsible for letting her former boyfriend abuse Arthur in his childhood and was temporarily sent to the Arkham State Hospital for her claims of having an affair with Thomas Wayne.

She was portrayed by Frances Conroy as an adult, who also played Moira O'Hara in American Horror Story, while her younger self was portrayed by Hannah Gross.

Biography

Penny Fleck was born around 1927. When Penny was younger, she worked as housekeeper for Thomas Wayne and developed an obsessive crush on him but couldn't pursue the relationship, either because she was already in a relationship with her abusive boyfriend or because Thomas was already in a relationship with Martha. This caused her to adopt Arthur Fleck and take him as her son but was sent to Arkham Mental State Hospital because of her mental instability and her inability to save Arthur from abuse in the hands of her boyfriend.

Arthur, as a result of the constant abuse and trauma he had endured, grew up to forget that Penny was apart of this abuse and this resulted in him growing up with her. She began writing letters to Thomas Wayne to get his attention, believing that she once had a relationship with the man. Arthur soon finds out her letters, causing her to explain to him about her supposed relations with Thomas, stating that he is a good man.

After Arthur investigates the truth about her claims after being told off from Alfred Pennyworth and assaulted by Thomas Wayne, he finds out that what she said was not true, and that the letters were feigned. Fed up with lies, Arthur meets her in the hospital after she suffers from a stroke. Having found legal documents from Arkham which confirm his suspicions, Arthur kills her while in custody of the medical hospital by smothering her with a pillow, making Penny pay for all those years of abuse and lies. However, given her role in Arthur's descent into complete insanity, there's one certain thing about Penny Fleck: she is partially responsible for making her son become the monster he is now.

Personality

Penny is not mentally well as a person as she possibly has schizophrenic and narcissistic tendencies hinted in the film. She delusionaly believes that Thomas Wayne will respond to her letters and help her and Arthur. She is shown to be neglectful as she didn't save Arthur as a child from his abuse, it's unknown why she didn't but it's presumed she was abused by her boyfriend as well, causing her mental problems.

While Penny cares about her son, she has shown to lie to him multiple occasions which leads to her downfall. Penny is shown to be somewhat degrading to Arthur at times, claiming that he "needs to be funny" in order to be a comedian.

She seems to spend almost all of her time watching television or sleeping, never leaving the apartment and relying on Arthur for most things. 

Gallery

Trivia

  • Penny Fleck marks the second time in Batman media where the Joker's mother has appeared, especially given that the Joker's origins are a mystery as well his name in the mainstream comic book continuity. The first time was in the television show Gotham, which featured Lila Valeska as the mother of the Valeska Twins: Jerome Valeska (the precursor of the Joker) and Jeremiah Valeska (The Joker). Even so, however, it was left ambiguous whether Penny adopted Arthur or if she was indeed Arthur's biological mother and his adoption was fabricated.
    • In Alan Moore's 1988 critically acclaimed Batman: The Killing Joke comic book one-shot (where the Joker was depicted as a failed stand-up comedian like in the 2019 film), the Joker is supposedly revealed to have been married to a woman named Jeannie with whom he was to have a child until Jeannie and their unborn offspring died due an accident. However, as the Joker later muses that he does not exactly remember what transformed him, it's left beyond anyone's speculation if such account of his origins is true or not as well as if Jeannie and her child truly existed after all.
    • In The New Batman Adventures animated show, part of the DC Animated Universe, the Joker tells Harley Quinn about his abusive father, who constantly abused him with or without reasons. However, as Batman later notes, the Joker was simply manipulating Harley to win her sympathy and is stated to always change his version of the story for his gain.
    • In the 2008 critically acclaimed film The Dark Knight, part of the Nolanverse, the Joker once tells Gambol that his father was an alcoholic who physically abused his mother and was responsible for his Glasgow smile. However, he later tells Rachel Dawes that he did himself his Glasgow smile after his wife was left with one by some criminals, leaving ambiguous which of the two stories is the true one or if the two are fake.
  • Penny Fleck is Frances Conroy's second DC Comics role; she previously voiced Martha Kent, Superman's mother, in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies All-Star Superman and Superman Unbound, released in 2011 and 2013 respectively. Unlike Penny, however, Martha is a sane and loving mother.
  • While the film leaves it ambiguous, there are some hints that perhaps Penny was Arthur's biological mother after all and that she indeed had an affair with Thomas Wayne, who fabricated the adoption to maintain his image and influence:
    • Despite the claims of the Arkham State Hospital's files that Arthur was adopted by Penny, it's a bit odd that both Penny and Arthur were mentally ill. It could have been a coincidence, but maybe Arthur inherited it from Penny and it worsened due to the abuse he suffered from her boyfriend.
    • After her death, a picture signed to Penny with different handwriting from the letter she had feigned, inscribed "Love your smile - TW" was found by Arthur inside the Fleck apartment. However, considering that Arthur was an unreliable narrator, this could be all for naught.
    • Coupled with these facts, it should be noted that Brett Cullen, the actor who played Thomas Wayne in Joker, does opine that Thomas was indeed Arthur's illegitimate father, as well that while playing him, Cullen portrayed Wayne as if he had really been in an affair with Penny.
  • How Penny gets killed by Arthur (smothering her to death with a pillow) can be a reference to how Commodus (who was also portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix) kills his father Marcus Aurelius via the same way in Gladiator
  • Frances McDormand, who voiced Chantel DuBois in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, was offered the role of Penny Fleck, but she turned it down.
  • Originally, there was going to be a scene in which a funeral was held to Penny after her death, as some trailers depict Arthur in Gotham Cemetery. However, it's unknown if Arthur was visiting the cemetery for Penny's death or not, as Penny nor Arthur seemed to have any friends nor living relatives who could attend her funeral.

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Theatrical Movies
Batman (1966): Joker | Catwoman | Penguin | Riddler
Batman (1989): Joker | Bob Hawkins | Alicia Hunt | Carl Grissom | Max Eckhardt | Vinnie Ricorso | Joe Chill
Batman Returns: Penguin | Red Triangle Circus Gang (Organ Grinder, Poodle Lady, Tattooed Strongman, Stungun Clown, Thin Clown, Fat Clown, Sword Swallower & Knifethrower Dame) | Max Shreck | Catwoman | Charles "Chip" Shreck
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm: Phantasm | Joker | Salvatore Valestra | Arthur Reeves | Chuckie Sol | Buzz Bronski
Batman Forever: Riddler | Two-Face | Sugar | Spice | NygmaTech (Frogmen) | Neon Gang (Neon Gang Leader) | Salvatore Maroni
Batman & Robin: Poison Ivy | Mr. Freeze | Bane | Snowy Cones Thugs | Golums | Jason Woodrue
Batman Begins: Ra's al Ghul | League of Shadows (Ra's Decoy) | Scarecrow | Carmine Falcone | Victor Zsasz | Joe Chill
The Dark Knight: Joker | Joker's Thugs (Thomas Schiff, Chuckles, Kilson, Bus Driver, Happy, Dopey, Grumpy & Bus Driver) | Two-Face | Sal Maroni | The Chechen | Gambol | Lau | Bank Manager | Michael Wuertz | Burmese Bandit
The Dark Knight Rises: League of Shadows (Bane, Talia al Ghul & Barsad) | Catwoman | John Daggett
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Lex Luthor | Doomsday | Anatoli Knyazev | Mercy Graves | Cesar Santos | Amajagh | Joe Chill | Dru-Zod | Steppenwolf
Suicide Squad: Eyes of the Adversary (Enchantress & Incubus) | Suicide Squad (Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, El Diablo, Killer Croc, Slipknot & Amanda Waller) | Joker's Gang (Joker, Jonny Frost, Panda Man & Monster T) | Griggs
The Lego Batman Movie: Joker | Harley Quinn | Catwoman | Poison Ivy | Two-Face | Bane | Riddler | Phantom Zone Criminals (Zod, Sauron, Kraken, Lord Voldemort, Jaws & Gremlins)
Joker: Clowns (Joker & Clown) | Penny Fleck | Randall | Wall Street Three | Penny Fleck's Boyfriend

Direct-to-video Movies
Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero: Mr. Freeze | Dr. Gregory Belson
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker: Joker | The Jokerz (Chucko, Dee-Dee, Ghoul, Woof & Bonk) | Harley Quinn
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman: Penguin | Bane | Rupert Thorne | Carlton Duquesne
The Batman vs. Dracula: Dracula | Penguin | Joker
Batman: Under the Red Hood: Jason Todd | Joker | Black Mask | Ra's al Ghul | Riddler
Batman: Year One: Batman | Commissioner Loeb | Carmine Falcone | Arnold John Flass | Catwoman | Joker
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Batman | Joker | Mutant Leader | Ellen Yindel | Harvey Dent | Selina Kyle
Son of Batman: Deathstroke | League of Assassins (Ra's al Ghul & Talia al Ghul) | Ubu | Killer Croc | Man-Bats
Batman: Assault on Arkham: Suicide Squad (Amanda Waller, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Killer Frost, King Shark, Black Spider, KGBeast) | Joker | Riddler | Penguin | Scarecrow | Victor Zsasz | Bane | Two-Face | Poison Ivy
Batman vs. Robin: Court of Owls (Samantha Vanaver, Talon, Owls Lieutenant, & Talon Warriors) | Dollmaker
Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts: Animalitia (Penguin, Killer Croc, Man-Bat, Cheetah & Silverback)
Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem: Joker | Scarecrow | Clayface | Silver Banshee | Solomon Grundy
Batman: Bad Blood: League of Assassins (Talia al Ghul, The Heretic, Onyx, Firefly, Tusk, Mad Hatter, Electrocutioner, Hellhound, Calculator, & Killer Moth) | Black Mask
Batman: The Killing Joke: Joker | Paris Franz
Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants: Penguin | Mr. Freeze | Cheetah | Hush | Mad Hatter | Two-Face | Bane | Chemo | Killer Croc | Clayface | Joker | Dr. Kirk Langstrom
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders: Joker | Penguin | Riddler | Catwoman | Archer | Black Widow | Bookworm | Clock King | Egghead | False Face | King Tut | Louie the Lilac | Mad Hatter | Minstrel | Mr. Freeze | Sandman | Shame | Siren
Batman and Harley Quinn: Harley Quinn | Poison Ivy | Floronic Man
Batman vs. Two-Face: Two-Face | Hugo Strange | Catwoman | King Tut | Bookworm | Joker | Penguin | Riddler | Clock King | Egghead | Mr. Freeze | Shame | Harley Quinn
Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Riddler | Clayface | Joker | Mr. Freeze | Catwoman | Penguin | Harley Quinn | Poison Ivy
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight: Jack the Ripper | Barbara-Eileen Gordon | Selina Kyle | Harvey Dent | Hugo Strange | Ivy
Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay: Professor Zoom | Suicide Squad (Amanda Waller, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Bronze Tiger, Copperhead, Black Manta, Punch, Jewelee, & Count Vertigo) | Killer Frost | Blockbuster | Silver Banshee | Vandal Savage | Knockout | Scandal Savage | Professor Pyg | Tobias Whale | League of Assassins (Deathstroke) | Two-Face
Batman Ninja: Joker | Harley Quinn | Catwoman | Gorilla Grodd | Bane | Penguin | Poison Ivy | Deathstroke | Two-Face
Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Foot Clan (Shredder & Baxter Stockman) | League of Assassins (Ra's al Ghul & Ubu) | Joker | Penguin | Harley Quinn | Mr. Freeze | Scarecrow | Two-Face | Poison Ivy | Bane
Batman: Hush: Riddler/Hush | Catwoman | Poison Ivy | Bane | Joker | Harley Quinn | Clayface | Scarecrow | Lex Luthor | Lady Shiva | Two-Face | Penguin | Mr. Freeze

Television
Batman: The Animated Series: Joker | Two-Face | Harley Quinn | Penguin | Catwoman | Rupert Thorne | Riddler | Poison Ivy | Scarecrow | Mad Hatter | Killer Croc | Clayface | Ra's al Ghul | Mr. Freeze | Man-Bat | Ventriloquist and Scarface | Roland Daggett | Clock King | Bane | Hugo Strange | Lloyd Ventrix | Kyodai Ken | Baby Doll | Emile Dorian | Red Claw | Boss Biggis | Sewer King | Talia al Ghul | Maxie Zeus | Lock-Up | Professor Milo | Count Vertigo | Daniel Mockridge
The Batman: Joker | Penguin | Bane | Catwoman | Mr. Freeze | Killer Croc | Man-Bat | Firefly | Riddler | Punch & Judy | Kabuki Twins | Hugo Strange | Cluemaster | Ragdoll | Temblor | Poison Ivy | Tony Zucco | Count Vertigo | Harley Quinn | Maxie Zeus | Clayface II | Francis Grey | Killer Moth | D.A.V.E. | Dracula | Rumor | Toyman | Mirror Master | Lex Luthor | Black Mask | Sinestro
Harley Quinn (2019): Harley Quinn | Poison Ivy | Joker | Scarecrow | Queen of Fables | Penguin | Lex Luthor | Bane | Nick Quinzel | Sharon Quinzel

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