The TOP 13 JOKER Gadgets, Gizmos and Gimmicks — RANKED

JOKER WEEK: That is a killer arsenal…

It’s JOKER WEEK! We’re celebrating comics’ greatest villain since there’s a big ol’ major motion picture coming out this week. For the complete index of features, click here. — Dan

Batman’s got his utility belt, Batcave and Bat-vehicles.

Well, the Joker’s no slounch in those departments either — so 13th Dimension contributor Anthony Durso has come up with the TOP 13 JOKER GADGETS, GIZMOS AND GIMMICKS — RANKED:


Where does he get those wonderful toys? No, not the Caped Crusader. We’re talking about his arch-nemesis, the Clown Prince of Crime himself… the Joker! Throughout the years — and in different media — the Harlequin of Hate has accumulated his own little armory to help him in his criminal and murderous enterprises.

13. The Crowbar. Sometimes the simplest tools are the best. With a maniacal fervor rivaling only Hannibal Lecter and his nightstick, the Joker used an ordinary crowbar to beat the living daylights out of the second Robin, Jason Todd, before he proceeded to blow him up. Jason eventually got better, er, resurrected, but his death at the hands of the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations (?!) is one of the more iconic images of the post-Crisis era of Batman.

12. The Pencil. You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t pull the mask off that ol’ Lone Ranger and you most certainly don’t sit there when the Joker offers to perform a magic trick. But one of Gambol’s thugs learned this the hard way when he got a ringside seat to this sleight of hand by the Joker (Heath Ledger) in 2008’s The Dark Knight. Seriously.

11. The Cane. The Joker’s always been a bit of a dandy, right down to his 3-piece suit (with tails and spats) and walking stick. It’s not just a prop, though, to look good in a Carmine Infantino pin-up. Inside there’s a razor-sharp sword. That Joker… such a cut up.

A little cockeyed, but it’s the best I could find.

10. Bang! Gun. Sometimes it’s just a gag. Sometimes it’s not. Only the Joker knows for sure.

9. The Hyenas. The Joker’s pet Hyena, Giggles, was first introduced in Filmation’s 1977 New Adventures of Batman. One could assume he eventually went to the Happy Hunting Ground and was replaced by two Hyenas named Bud and Lou in Batman:The Animated Series (1992). Somewhere along the way the hyenas were abandoned by the Joker and were adopted by Harley Quinn. You can’t keep a good dog down apparently.

8. Playing Cards. Although the Joker often uses his namesake card as his calling card at the scene of a murder, the other 52 cards are just as deadly. Whether they’re normal-sized ones with razor-sharp edges designed for throwing, or giant-sized death traps, Batman knows that the Joker’s hand is hard to beat.

7. The Utility Belt. One day, the Joker got tired of always being thwarted by devices in Batman’s utility belt. So he decided to fight fire with, um, itching powder? First appearing in Batman #73, the Joker’s utility belt infamously showed up in his Batman ’66 debut The Joker Is Wild/Batman Is Riled, which adapted the original comic story.

6. Exploding Cigars. Much like the Bang! Gun, sometimes a cigar is just a… nah, it’s NEVER just a cigar!

5. The Ha-Hacienda. Over the years, the Joker has had hide-outs all over the place — including one right under his cell at Arkham Asylum!) Filled with toys and playing card motifs, the Ha-Hacienda is a virtual death-trap for Batman and Joker henchmen alike. And since the Joker, like Batman, is all about branding, he even used the name for the letters page in his short-lived comic book in the ’70s. A mobile version of the Ha-Hacienda, called the Ho-Ho-Home on Wheels, was briefly used by the Joker but he eventually went back to his favorite mode of transportation…

4. The Jokermobile. You can always rely on the Jokermobile to be the most INSANE vehicle design found in the DC Comics parking lot. Whether it’s the version from the comics (which itself has had variations over the decades), the one from the ’66 TV series driven by Cesar Romero, or Mego’s pimped-out van from the ’70s, you know the Joker is always arriving to his latest murder or caper in style.

3. The Squirting Flower. Sometimes a flower is… oh, come on, you can’t fall for this gag a THIRD time can you? Let’s put it to the acid test…

2. The Joy Buzzer. I know… it’s pretty SHOCKING that this isn’t at Number One, right? It was close, but no exploding cigar.

1. Joker Venom. It’s been his go-to since Day One. Sometimes known by the branded name of Smilex™, Joker Venom is a deadly dose that leaves its victims with a grin, again and again. LOVE THAT JOKER!

Anthony Durso is the owner of Retropolis Tees (click here) and The Toyroom toy package customizing company (click here).


— The Complete JOKER’S WEEK Index of Features. Click here.


Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. “Where does he get those wonderful toys?”

    Since this is the subject at hand, what better place to ask this. Years ago in college there was a guy I knew reading a Batman book of stories – no pictures (at least I don’t think),…like a real book of short stories. One of them was about a guy who sold Batman some of his gizmos he used to fight crime. At the end of the story, after Batman’s left the shop, the Joker comes in to buy villainous gizmos. Seems the guy dealt with and sold to everybody and all sides. Have looked for that for years. Can’t seem to find on line. Any clues?

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