For all of his years and appearances, the Joker’s real name has never been revealed, at least in the pages of DC Comics. He’s been given several origins over the years, some of them conflicting, and none of them fully revealing his past before his face was disfigured.

That is going to change in the pages of Batman: White Knight, a new comic that inverts the typical Batman-Joker dynamic, making the Dark Knight truly dark, and a villain who torments the people of Gotham City. In this story, the Joker becomes the city’s Clown Prince Protector. The creator of the book, Sean Gordon Murphy, revealed on Twitter that this Joker will finally have his true identity revealed:

Jack Napier is, of course, the name of the man who becomes Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman, played by Jack Nicholson. Napier is a gangster who accidentally falls into a vat of chemicals and goes insane when he gets a look at his ghastly new face in the mirror. Murphy says his version of the character “is based more on TAS Napier, but there are Burton elements as well.”

White Knight is clearly an alternate universe Batman story; call it an Elseworlds story, call it a Hypertime story, call it whatever you like. So, technically, the mystery of the Joker’s true identity in the main DC Universe continues. But revealing so emphatically that the Joker is Jack Napier in this particular universe could be a forerunner to a similar origin story in the wider DC comics. It will probably depend on how well White Knight is received. Just wait till they get a load of him.

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