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The Joe Chill-Joker Connection- Do You Know The Many Killers of The Waynes?

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

So you already know Joe Chill killed the Waynes in the comics. But do you know the weird connection between him and the Joker? What about the time Batman and Joe Chill teamed up? Or when Joe Chill’s MOM raised Bruce Wayne? Or all the times that the Joker played a role in the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents BEFORE and AFTER the Batman 89 movie? We dive into ALL the wild variations across comics, adaptations, and unmade adaptations.


0:00 Episode Introduction

This episode started off as an article that Ben had written for Batman Online that covered the evolution of the Wayne murders, which you can check out here.

3:11 The UNUsual Suspects: The Zodiac Killer, Wayne Enterprises, Metallo, The Court of Owls, Penguin, and Poison Ivy's Dad?

We first mentioned Bruce's time as "The Executioner" in our Batman Training Timeline episode here, along with him being Robin in Detective Comics #226 and The Flying Fox in Adventure Comics #275:

We also covered the unmade Bruce Wayne pilot here:

As well as The Court of Owls in the Batman Vs. Robin Patreon ep here.

16:57 Joe Chill & His Silver Age Debut

You can check out the audio drama version of The Untold Legend of the Batman here, which was one of Ben's introductions to the world of the Dark Knight and introduction to Joe Chill's story:

25:55 The Batman-Joe Chill Team-Up in Batman: Year Two & Was Mask of the Phantasm Inspired By It?

29:29 Joe Chill Erased!

Corrections Department: We've revisited Zero Hour and the reason why Ben couldn't really remember why Batman didn't revisit his parents' deaths is because the story transports him to an alternate reality where he was killed instead of his parents. Batman IS able to interact with people here and it's when he tracks down Joe Chill that he finds that Chill had an alibi in being home and high the whole time. This leads Batman to question if he ever found his parents' killer but concludes that even if he hadn't, it wouldn't change what he does.

34:28 Joe Chill in the DCAU

36:24 Joe Chill in Batman Begins

We discussed Nolan's change to Batman's origin in depth in our two-parter on Batman Begins: Vs The Comics

37:59 Joe Chill: Post Infinite Crisis

41:59 Joe Chill in The New 52

43:43 How Joe Chill Became Matches Malone in Gotham

46:32 Was It Joe Chill in the Snyderverse?

Actor Damon Caro identified his role in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice as Joe Chill in this interview:

And yeah, it's Joe Chill. I play Joe Chill. Even IMDb wouldn't accept it, it was kind of funny, but yes. That is true.

47:38 Joe Chill, The Mob's Assassin in TellTale

48:34 Break: Chat of the Wild Promo, Barkbox Promo, and "Batman Dumps the Rogues Gallery Into the Lazarus Pit" Sketch with Ben as Batman, Andrew as Clayface and Farmer Brown, and Zack as Joker and Mr. Freeze

This is a promo for another podcast in the Greenlit Podcast Network, Chat of the Wild, which you can find here.

Check out our link for Barkbox here.

The Lazarus Pit sketch comes from our Patreon episode on Son of Batman, which you can check out here.

53:25 Meet Joe Chill's Family! Including the Time Joe Chill's Mom Raised Bruce Wayne!

1:02:04 The Time Joe Chill Worked For Joker (Tom Mankiewicz's The Batman Script)

We, of course, covered the Mankiewicz script (along with the Burton-Hickson treatment) in our most popular YT episode here:

Corrections Department: Technically BOTH Ben and Zack are right about the aunts (but Andrew is still wrong about either of them raising Bruce).

Zack is correct that Aunt Harriet was in the comics. Ben was saying it was Aunt Agatha, out of habit in people saying that Aunt Harriet was Bruce's aunt in the comics (including screenwriter Akiva Goldsman who had Bruce refer to his Aunt Harriet in a Batman & Robin draft as well as the unmade 2002 Batman vs Superman script).

Bruce's Aunt Agatha first appeared in Batman #89 (1955), written by Bill Finger, penciled by Sheldon Moldoff, inked by Stan Kaye, and lettered by Pat Gordon.

Dick's Aunt Harriet first appeared in Detective Comics #328 (1964), also written by Bill Finger and penciled by Sheldon Moldoff, inked by Joe Giella, and lettered by Gaspar Saladino.

1:09:29 Young Joker as the Gunman in The Burton-Hickson Treatment

1:11:18 Batman 1989: Bob Kane's Thoughts and Was that Joe Chill with Jack Napier?

The factoid about Bob Kane's approval of the Batman 1989 Joker twist comes from Michael Uslan's introduction to Batman and the Fifties:

Worried about that change in the legend, I asked Bob Kane for his thoughts on the matter. Bob replied that it made perfect sense and that, 'If the Joker had been created originally in 1939, that's who would have murdered the Waynes in the comic book!' As a tip of the hat to hardcore Bat-fans - and to Joe Chill - the scene in the movie showed Jack and another man responsible for the killing. It was hoped that would satisfy the majority of generations of Batmaniacs.

This has also sparked a minor debate among Batman 89 fans on whether Clyde Gatell's character in the flashback, credited as "Other Mugger," was meant to be a young Bob or young Joe Chill.

The story does feel more tidy if it's Bob (with Bruce sort of indirectly getting his revenge on Bob by stealing the balloons, which leads Joker to kill him).

If it is Chill, it does feel like more of a weird loose end where Batman found the man who shot his parents, but not the accomplice who grabbed the pearl necklace.

That said, there was a fan film in the works at one point by Paul Wares called Batman Prologue. It was meant to be an 89 prequel where Chill was the other mugger and Batman found him first.

This was the only scene that was publicly shown with Grissom ordering the hit on Chill to Napier (and some fine impressions of Jack Palance and Jack Nicholson by actor Gus Scharr):

1:15:41 The Unused Explanation for Why Jack Napier Killed the Waynes (Sam Hamm's Batman 2)

We covered the Sam Hamm Batman 2 script in this episode here:

1:16:30 When Joker Created Both Batman and Catwoman (Jim Steinman's Batman Musical)

We covered the unmade Batman Musical here:

Jim Steinman's quote about Catwoman's origin comes from this site:

... Selena is mostly mentally scarred by realizing how easily things that are precious can be taken from you. (Mrs. Wayne's pearl necklace is ripped from her throat.) So Selena grows up, CRAVING precious jewels, & obsessed with HOLDING ONTO THEM!
So both "witnesses" to the crime of the Wayne's horrific murder by Joker has mutated two little "observers": Bruce became Batman, Selena became CATWOMAN. Two little "lost" children have mutated thru their own complex reactions to a numbing loss, and in fact fall in love

1:18:59 When Joker Inspired Joe Chill (Joker 2019)

We covered the 2019 Joker film here:

1:20:11 When The Joker Wanted to Turn Joe Chill into A Joker (The Three Jokers)

1:27:06 Closing: Fan Comments and Social Media Promotion

A future Patreon episode will cover all of the notes that were cut from this episode on the evolution of different aspect of the Wayne murders- the date, the movie they watched, the reason they went to the movies, the time they died...

But before then, we'll be covering the Superman and Batman villains of The Suicide Squad in our $5 tier.

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Website: ZACHARY JACKSON BROWN (who also did the thumbnail art)

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