The evolution of The Joker just took a surprising turn in his latest ongoing series. His comic, The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing features the Batman villain leaving a swath of destruction in Gotham City, but the latest issue that came out this week also contains a backup story that is garnering a lot of attention on social media. The short tale pairs Joker with the magician Zatanna, and instead of being a graphic, violent encounter, Zatanna casts a spell that leaves Joker pregnant and the two on the verge of starting a complicated new family.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the “Knocked Upside Down!” story in The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #4. Continue reading at your own risk.
The backup story in The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #4 is by Matthew Rosenberg, Francesco Francavilla, and Tom Napolitano. It finds Joker and his gang attempting to steal all of the water from the Gotham River. Luckily, Zatanna shows up to stop the Clown Prince of Crime in his tracks. Strung upside down, Zatanna drops Joker into a pile of mud on the ground. After Joker comments on how they’d make a lovely family, Zatanna casts a backward spell that states, “No one else will ever have your baby!”
Back at his criminal lair, Joker wakes up the next morning to discover his belly has grown larger, all thanks to a magic baby Zatanna implanted. Doctor Phosphorous is called in a hilarious bit to help deliver the baby, which comes out of Joker’s mouth as a small mud monster. The baby later transforms into a smaller version of The Joker, and they pay Zatanna a visit to let her know how they could have been a lovely family together.