Heroes are only as good as their villains allow them to be, and thanks to having a slew of villains unlike any other, Batman has been able to stand tall over the years. Among his many notable foes, Batman has a special working relationship with Mistah J himself. The Joker is arguably the most famous villain ever penned, and some even say that he is one of the greatest comic book characters in general. People know the Clown Prince of Crime best as the man looking to take down Batman, but he's been willing to do some good in the past.
Today, we want to examine moments in which our beloved Joker decided to change his ways and make something good happen in Gotham. These moments don't come around too often, so we had to pick the best ones!
There are spoilers to Joker here, so consider this a formal spoiler warning!
20 Refusing To Work Axis Powers
There are plenty of things that the Clown Prince of Crime is willing to do in order to best Batman, but there are still several things that even he deems wrong. Apparently, working with Hydra is one thing that he refuses to do, so kudos to him for having some morals.
19 Helping Stop Lex Luthor
Worlds often collide in the world of comics, and even villains can be pitted against one another. Joker and Lex Luthor are two of the most famous villains in all of DC, and seeing Joker step up to the plate in his very own comic run to take down Lex was something that comic book readers loved.
18 The Lazarus Pit Made Him Remorseful
In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, we got a new side of the Joker. The Lazarus Pit changed the Joker in many ways, and it led him down this path. How is this Joker doing good? Simple. Repenting for his actions could cause a ripple throughout Batman's rogues' gallery, which could have a positive impact on Gotham.
17 Becoming A Hero
Imagine one of the biggest baddies in all of DC becoming a hero after turning in their evil ways. Well, this is precisely what happened in Countdown when Mistah J decided to become a hero. This turn was one that came by way of a Joker functioning in a different universe, so it wasn't something our Batman would get to enjoy for long.
16 Becoming A Detective
The Joker has always felt that he and Batman share a number of similarities, and him becoming a detective in an alternate reality is proof of this. Batman is usually the best detective around, but in this iteration, he was on the other side of things. In this universe, the Joker is the man looking to take down Batman and his bride, Catwoman.
15 Helping Batman In Dark Knights: Metal
Dark Knights: Metal saw the DC Universe in shambles as the most fearsome team of Dark Knights came through to take over and snuff out the light. Led by The Batman Who Laughs, the team was well on their way to winning when Batman played a Joker from his hand to help the helpless.
14 Betraying The Black Glove
In Batman: R.I.P., The Black Glove was giving Gotham a run for its money, and it was going to take an army to bring them down and help save the city. In one of his better moments on page, Joker was willing to turn his back on crime and risk his own life to help save Batman from losing his.
13 Bringing Awareness To Disorders
There are some scenes in 2019's Joker that are downright dark, but these moments also give way to awareness and provide useful context. As Gotham continues to plummet into the abyss, Joker gives an impassioned speech about noticing people who are suffering. This, of course, was followed by much darker events towards the end of the film— courtesy of the Joker.
12 Refusing To Take Out Batman
Getting the chance to wipe Batman off the board to start a new game of crime is something that all villains would love to accomplish, and many have even come close. With Batman in his cross-hairs, the Joker has decided to let Batman live on several occasions, allowing Gotham’s protector to fight another day.
11 Sacrificing Himself To Save The Day
The Joker is a man that is known for many things, but selfless acts of bravery are not among the hallmarks of his personality. So, it would make sense that an act like this would take place in an alternate universe (Crisis on Two Earths). In this universe, he is on the side of good along with some of the other members of the rogues' gallery. He ends it all by sacrificing himself to save the day.
10 Stealing Money From Criminals
The Dark Knight is considered to be the greatest superhero film ever made, and its featuring of Heath Ledger’s Joker was a huge reason why people loved it so much. At one point in the film, Joker is able to get millions of dollars out of the pockets of criminals and burn every dollar to the ground. An act of chaos, sure, but one that gets dirty money off the streets and punishes crime in a way even Batman can't. Or simply won't.
9 Going Behind Bars
The Dark Knight Returns is easily one of the more remarkable Batman stories ever told, and in this particular graphic novel, the Joker is more than happy to take his business off the streets and into confinement. Of course, he was probably a lot safer behind those guarded walls as opposed to being on the streets.
8 Keeping Batman's Identity A Secret
The Joker has always had an obsession with learning who Batman is, though he seems to want to keep this secret all to himself. There was a point in The Laughing Fish when Batman’s identity was about to be revealed, but the Joker stood up for the Dark Knight and stopped it from happening. What a team player!
Imagine a Gotham where the Joker is nothing more than a regular man that has no more interest in being a menace. Well, this vision was one that came to life in the pages of Batman: Going Sane, and his lack of crime activity was more than helpful for Gotham law enforcement for the brief time that it lasted.
6 Saving Gotham In White Knight
This interesting take on the Joker saw him turn his life around and pin Batman as the problem in Gotham. Eventually, the Joker and Batman have to work together to take down an outside threat, and Joker must revert back to his old self in order to make this plan happen. It's an interesting shift from the Joker that seeks to comment on Batman's vigilante status.
5 Helping The Community
Giving back to the community and lending a helping hand is something that most villains don’t concern themselves with, but Joker has a heart of gold when he wants to. After a nuclear fallout in Superman: Distant Fires, the Joker is a sane man thanks to the radiation and he more than does his part in helping humanity.
4 Joker Helps Save Gotham
The Lego Batman Movie utilized the Joker and a full rogues' gallery to take down Gotham by any means necessary. As we saw in the film, however, the Joker needed to step up to the plate at the end. Thanks to him and the help of every villain, Gotham was saved from plummeting into the void.
3 Talking Batman Into Toxin Use
Batman has had to work with the Joker multiple times over the years, but this was something that came as a surprise to many. In order to take down The Batman Who Laughs in his self-titled run, the Joker convinced Batman that he needed to accept a toxin that he was poisoned with to begin thinking and acting like the Joker himself! It certainly doesn't seem like a helpful action, but it pays off in the end.
2 Giving Up Crime In Joker’s Millions
After inheriting millions of dollars in the blink of an eye, the Joker decides to hang up his whoopie cushion and enjoy a life of luxury. This was something that no one saw coming, but of course, it was not something that was meant to last forever. A mini vacation is the best the Joker can give Gotham sometimes. After all, he is the Clown Prince of Crime.
1 Giving Birth To Batman
Joker had a lot to like about it, and there was a key moment in the film that revealed an amazing thing that the Clown Prince of Crime gave way to. Towards the end of the film, we see Martha and Thomas Wayne taken out during a Joker-inspired riot, and this moment gave birth to Batman. Without the Joker, Batman never comes to be.
Sources: dc.fandom.com, ranker.com, looper.com