Joker’s most surprising foe is a better sleuth than Batman


Batman has often used his detective skills to stop Joker’s plan, but the Clown Prince of Crime has been defeated by at least one senior investigator.

Ask comic book fans the identity of the of the joker greatest enemy, and they will rightly say Batman, but while the Dark Knight may be unprecedented as a vigilante, even he would admit that the Clown Prince of Crime has mingled with a better sleuth – namely, Sherlock holmes! In the years 1976 The Joker # 6, the villain showed wit with, and was ultimately beaten by, an actor who thought he was Sherlock Holmes. The story was written by the legendary Denny O’Neil, with illustrations by Irv Novick and inks by Tex Blaisdell.

Since the Joker first appeared 81 years ago in Batman # 1, he has been the Dark Knight’s greatest enemy, returning each time with new, even more grotesque schematics, severely testing Batman’s “no-kill” rule. In 1976, The Joker received his own solo title, which would last for nine issues. The series, written by some of the day’s top writers including Elliot S. Maggin and Dennis O’Neil, has seen the Joker team up or battle other DC villains; a memorable problem saw the Joker and the Scarecrow get rid of their respective toxins. For number six, the Joker fought Master Detective Sherlock Holmes… sort of.


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The number opens during a dress rehearsal for a Sherlock Holmes play. The Joker, wanting to embarrass all the greatest detectives in history, robs the theater company, slipping disguised as Moriarty. During the robbery, Clive Sigerson, actor playing Sherlock, was shot in the head. As a result, Sigerson thinks he really is Sherlock Holmes – and the Joker is Moriarty. Sigerson takes off after the Joker, but before he leaves, the director asks a stagehand to follow the actor, and readers learn that the stagehand’s name is Watson! The pair pursue the Joker, referring to several classic Sherlock Holmes stories. Holmes and Watson end up cornering Joker on a yacht. Holmes hits the Joker with a high pressure water pistol, knocking him out and leaving him to the authorities. The issue ends on an ambiguous note: Sigerson, as a result of brain damage from the concussion, did he think he was Sherlock Holmes, or was he really channeling the main mind of the character ?

Sherlock Holmes nails the Joker with a high pressure water pistol

Sherlock Holmes was the best detective of his time, possessing a highly analytical mind and a keen eye for observation. Holmes was one of the many influences that Bill Finger and Bob Kane relied on for the creation of Batman. It’s easy to see why the Joker hates Sherlock Holmes – he sees Batman in Holmes so much that he’s forced to humiliate him. But more than that, Holmes’ analytical mind is the antithesis of the chaos that the Joker represents – the Joker wanted to humiliate Holmes by re-enacting some of his most famous stories, but in the end, “Holmes” turned on him. the Joker, which ultimately led to his downfall.

It’s also possible that the Joker will somehow know that the real Sherlock Holmes – who exists in DC Universe canon – also acted as Batman’s ally and strikes as usual. everyone the dark knight loves or respects. Unfortunately for Joker, even an imitation of Sherlock holmes was enough to take him down, showing that fighting crime doesn’t necessarily mean being a better sleuth than Batman, that definitely helps.

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