Batman / Batman Joker

How Did Batman Become the Last Joker?

Batman has been a popular character in the world of comics and movies, and his arch-nemesis, the Joker, has been a constant thorn in his side. However, in one storyline, Batman actually becomes the last Joker. How did this come to be?

The Storyline

The storyline that explores Batman becoming the last Joker is called “The Last Laugh.” It was written by Chuck Dixon and released as a three-part story arc in 2001. The story begins with the Joker carrying out one of his typical schemes – this time involving the kidnapping of a judge.

The Plan

The plan is for the judge to be taken to an abandoned building where he will be put on trial by a group of people dressed as various Batman villains. The judge’s fate is sealed – he will be found guilty and executed by the Joker himself.

However, things don’t go according to plan for the Clown Prince of Crime. Batman arrives on the scene before the execution can take place and battles with the Joker’s henchmen.

The Twist

During their battle, something strange happens. The Joker suddenly disappears, and Batman finds himself being taken over by a mysterious force – one that transforms him into a new version of the Clown Prince of Crime.

As it turns out, this force is actually an ancient entity known as Barbatos. Barbatos had been using the Joker as its vessel for some time but needed a new host – which turned out to be Batman.

Batman as The Last Joker

As Batman becomes more like the Joker under Barbatos’ influence, he begins to see things from his enemy’s perspective. He starts to understand why the Joker does what he does – even if he doesn’t agree with it.

Eventually, Barbatos is defeated and leaves Batman’s body. However, even though he is no longer under the entity’s control, Batman still has some Joker-like tendencies.

The Aftermath

The aftermath of this storyline is seen in subsequent issues of Batman comics. Batman’s newfound understanding of the Joker leads him to change his tactics when dealing with his enemy. He becomes less focused on trying to capture or kill the Joker and more interested in trying to get inside his head.


In “The Last Laugh,” Batman becomes the last Joker – at least temporarily. The storyline is an interesting exploration of how two mortal enemies can be more alike than they realize. It also shows how even the most dedicated hero can be tempted by darkness.