Whether we’re talking Boom Tubes or retcons, there’s plenty of jargon in our geekcentric little world. The PoP! Stars are here to ensure you’re not left scratching your head, saying “It’s All Geek to Me.“
Joker Immunity – n. The concept that no matter how heinous the crimes they’ve committed, a character will not be killed. In the event they are killed, expect them to eventually return. “It doesn’t matter how many people Lex Luthor has killed. His Joker Immunity will keep him safe.”
Suspension of disbelief is always a component of fiction. If you can’t accept that Batman doesn’t need sleep or Spider-Man can stick to walls, you’re going to have a hard time enjoying yourself. However, not all suspension of disbelief stems from the fantastic. Sometimes you have to accept that even normal things will never happen. I’m talking about Joker Immunity. It doesn’t matter how many scores of victims a killer has racked up, if they’re popular enough in a medium like comics then they’ll never truly die.
Obviously, the idea is named after the Ace of Knaves himself, the Joker, and there’s never been a more fitting poster-clown. How many people has he murdered? Hundreds? The fact that he’s still walking around in the DC Universe boggles the mind. I’m not talking about Batman doing the deed, either. You’ve got to believe that someone close to on of his victims would have ended him by now. A hate-filled cop, furious over the deaths of his co-workers, would put a bullet in his head. The loved one of someone he killed could easily get a job at Arkham, smuggle in a gun, and ventilate him while he was resting in his cell. Heck, even one of his henchmen could do the deed as revenge for all the mooks he’s sacrificed on a whim. But no, he’s far too popular with readers to ever be killed permanently. How many fatal injuries has he sustained over the years, only to bounce back? Who needs a healing factor when you have Joker Immunity?
Of course it’s not just the Joker who benefits from Joker Immunity. Before DC’s New 52, Roy “Speedy/Arsenal/Red Arrow” Harper’s baby-momma Cheshire nuked a freaking country and somehow avoided death. Over at Marvel, Bullseye killed people for over twenty years before being taken out by a demonically possessed Daredevil. Mark my words, he’ll be back eventually. Now some villains, no matter how evil, can believably have Joker Immunity. Ones with healing factors like Sabretooth and Deathstroke make their continued existence believable. Virtual gods like Darkseid and Thanos are likewise not going down too easily. When it comes to mere mortals like the Joker though, the idea of them still sucking air and killing more and more people tends to stretch thinner than Plastic Man in a taffy puller.