Jeannie was the pregnant wife of the Joker.
Jeanie was married to the man who would become the Joker when he worked as a chemist at the Ace Chemical Processing Plant. He eventually quit his job in order to pursue his dream of being a stand-up comedian but failed miserably. As a result, he and Jeannie lived in a run-down apartment in a bad neighborhood. Tensions grew between the two and he became very worried about how he would provide for his family. Nevertheless, Jeannie remained optimistic and reassured him that they would find a way, while she laughed at one of his jokes.
Desperate to support his wife and unborn child, the man agreed to help two mobsters break into the chemical plant where he was formerly employed. However, Jeannie soon found out and managed to convince her husband at the last minute to back out of the plan. Unfortunately, just as the man met with the criminals, the police contacted and informed him that Jeannie and their unborn child, whom the man had believed to be a baby boy, died in a household accident.
Stricken with shock and grief, the man attempted to back out of the plan, but the criminals strong-armed him into keeping his promise. As soon as they entered the plant, however, they were immediately caught by security and a shoot-out ensued, in which the two criminals were killed. As the engineer tried to escape, he was confronted by Batman, who investigated the disturbance. Terrified, Joker stumbled backward over a rail and plummeted into a vat of green chemicals. When he surfaced in the nearby reservoir, he removed the hood and saw his reflection: bleached chalk-white skin, ruby-red lips, and green hair. Those events, coupled with his other misfortunes that day, drove the engineer completely insane, and resulted in the birth of the Joker.
The Three Jokers
After defeating the "Three Jokers" and uncovering the true one, Batman reveals to Alfred Pennyworth that he knows not only his identity but about Jeannie and his child. During the story's conclusion, it revealed that Jeannie had informed the GCPD of the Ace Chemicals heist and had faked her death to go into witness protection. It's also implied that the Joker may have been abusive to her (which may have been seen in the original comic as he was about to go into an angry tirade against his wife for saying "oh" in a flat tone over his failed attempt at the comedy club, only to then apologize in horror over his lashing out at her, especially while she was still pregnant at the time). Batman has also kept her husband's identity a secret to ensure she and their child remain safe.
Background Information and Notes
If the information provided by the Joker's sometimes distorted memories was to be considered canon, then it was the random death of Jeannie and their unborn child which essentially drove the man to insanity. Later in Batman: Gotham Knights #54, the Riddler approached the Joker for protection against Hush by stating that he witnessed a corrupt police officer, Oliver Hammet, set a fire that resulted in Jeannie's death, rather than the electrical kitchen accident that Alan Moore originally presented. With the newfound information of the man who killed his wife and unborn child, the Joker wanted nothing more than to find the man and kill him.
In Batman Confidential, the Joker's early years were completely retold, that time through Batman's point of view. There was no mention of the Joker ever having had a wife and his lifestyle choices (as documented by Batman) certainly didn't support that one.
In Batman: The Three Jokers, the "Comedian" is shown having hallucinations or fantasies that Jeannie is alive and their son are living with him.
In Other Media
- Although she doesn't appear in Batman: Under the Red Hood, Jeannie was indirectly alluded to in Batman's flashback of his encounter with the Red Hood (The Joker) at Ace Chemicals.
- Jeannie appears in the animated adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke voiced by Anna Vocino.
- In Batman: Arkham City, Jeannie is mentioned by the Joker during a recollection of his origin to Hugo Strange. However, Strange points out that this, like many of his stories, may be a fabricated lie. Joker's recollection also implied that Carmine Falcone's men had inflicted severe enough wounds on her that she was at least at near-death in an attempt to force Joker into participating in Falcone's heist at the Ace Chemical Plant.