Superman may have just gotten his secret identity back again, but it’s not business as usual for every DC character in 2023. Case in point – the Joker just became pregnant and gave birth in the latest issue of Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing.
Read on for the full breakdown of this bizarre plot twist, but beware of spoilers for Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #4 ahead!
The twist in question comes in the backup feature included in issue #4, which is written by Matthew Rosenberg and drawn by Francesco Francavilla. This story shows a confrontation between Joker and Zatanna, as the latter foils the Clown Prince of Crime’s plot to steal Gotham’s water supply. Disgusted by Joker’s flirtation, Zatanna casts one of her signature, backward spells – “On eno esle lliw reve evah ruoy ybab!” Translation: “No one else will ever have your baby!”
That spell winds up having some unintended consequences. Joker wakes up the next morning to discover he’s suddenly nine months pregnant and ready to pop. He then vomits up a blob of sentient mud that quickly morphs into a tiny Joker doppelganger. We can’t imagine Zatanna is going to be thrilled with this turn of events. Or Batman, for that matter.
This isn’t the first time DC has toyed with the idea of Joker becoming a father, though that plot point is usually reserved for alternate universes and treated with a bit more gravity. In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Harley Quinn reveals she gave birth to Joker’s daughter, but gave her up for adoption rather than subject her to a life with Joker as a father. Similarly, Harley becomes a mother to twin children in the Batman: White Knight universe, though with happier results.
What do you think of this bizarre addition to Joker’s ongoing DC Comics antics? Does it top the time he stapled his own face to the wall of GCPD headquarters? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
In other recent Joker developments, we finally learned this villain’s true name in the pages of Flashpoint Beyond. You can also brush up on 7 classic Joker comics to read after seeing the Joaquin Phoenix movie.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.