In the movie Joker, they show that Thomas Wayne and Arthur's mom had an affair and they hid the truth by faking the birth certificate and other related documents, because he was a powerful man. That's what I understood from it.

However, my friend tells me that Arthur had a different dad who abused him as a child, and Arthur's mom lied to him all this while. And decided to tell Arthur that Thomas Wayne was his dad so he could look up to him as an idol/mentor.

I'm confused about that part. Is this the same in Comic Books or just another idea for Joker's Origins?

  • 2
    Something to consider - The movie is called Joker, not THE Joker. In the movie he asks to be introduced as Joker because the talk show host referred to him as that while mocking him. I wondered if this is truly an origin story of the Joker as we have known, or like a precursor to something more vile. The age gaps just don't line up in my opinion so I wondered that myself. Also, the Joker never had an official name. Only the one made up for Jack Nicholson's role which isn't from canon sources but a token of respect, which wasn't Arthur Fleck. Delusion or not, they may not be the same characters
    – Kai Qing
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 0:06
  • Also, I recognize you may not be asking about the Joker and Batman. Just this Arthur character who may very well be the Joker
    – Kai Qing
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 0:07

3 Answers 3


According to the movie's Wikipage

Todd Phillips co-wrote the screenplay with Scott Silver.

Phillips conceived Joker in 2016 and wrote the script with Silver throughout 2017. The two were inspired by 1970s character studies and the films of Martin Scorsese, who was initially attached to the project as a producer. The graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke (1988) was the basis for the premise, but Phillips and Silver otherwise did not look to specific comics for inspiration.

I have not seen the film, but I would wager it is an ambiguity intentionally left open for interpretation. Thomas Wayne, being a public figure, would want to avoid scandal but Arthur's mother would want Arthur to believe Thomas is his father to have great aspirations.

  • 1
    For a second I thought it was a Comic Book remake of Taxi Driver(1976). Especially the dating scene, rich vs poor, the gun scene.
    – StackOne
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 21:08
  • The whole movie is open for interpretation, not just that part.
    – blueheart
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 22:48

We never know for sure from the movie. We do learn that Arthur's mother was committed to an institute, had forms attached to her file indicating an adoption, and that Arthur was abused by his father. Given some of the later events in the film, we are never completely sure if what is shown to the viewer is real or simply what Arthur's sickness is making him believe.

If we assume that the scene where he obtains the medical records really happened, then it's likely that the records are factual and he really is adopted. It's unlikely that Thomas Wayne's influence was enough to falsify legal and medical records.


Having seen the movie,

Arthur's mom had been traumatized in her younger days, while working for Thomas Wayne. She allowed her then boyfriend to abuse her adopted son-this got her committed, and in the newspaper. There was never an affair between them. Arthur believed it to be true because his adopted mother-who he believes at this point is his real mother(having just found her note)-told him so. The fact that Thomas is rich and that he could have used his money to cover it up(the current state of the city suggests this is possible. this is proven false due to physical evidence of the abuse****head trauma and burns on Arthur's back), the viewer POSSIBLY believes they had an affair.

The truth is, she projected her reality as real reality, and wrote a note to who she still believed was Arthur's father(she believes he his her real son). In spite of the history, she still looks up to Thomas as a good man-because in truth, he did care for his employees. He even helped keep things easy on Arthur by not calling the police at Wayne Manor(knowing full well of her accusation of him being Arthur's father). In the scene where Arthur finally realizes his true past, you hear about the symptoms of her mental disease(projection being one of them).

No blood relation, but a connection.

Joker hates Wayne and those who look down on every little person(even if they are really good), and Bruce will hate that the Joker indirectly helped cause the death of his parents.

  • With regard to your last spoiler, this story is likely not canon to the DCEU nor the DC comics universe.
    – m1gp0z
    Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 13:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .