- "Without me you're just a joke.. without a punchline"
- ―Jeremiah Valeska to Bruce Wayne
Jeremiah Valeska also known as J was the overarching main antagonist in the television series, Gotham. He is the show's version of The Joker and the twin brother of the nihilist cult leader, Jerome Valeska.
Jeremiah was born to Lila Valeska and Paul Cicero and is the twin brother of Jerome Valeska
According to Jeremiah, Jerome would abuse and scare Jeremiah when he was little. Jeremiah would later recount that he realized Jerome was dangerous and knew he needed to get away from him so he sneaked away one night from Haley's Circus and had his uncle Zachary place him at St. Ignatius. Shortly afterward, Jeremiah took on the alias of "Xander Wilde." He himself would later explain that he did this since he wanted to make it more difficult for Jerome to track him down, but Jerome, on the other hand, stated that he got adopted by rich people, therefore explaining his changed name.
He would then study at school and become an engineer. Four years after graduating, he started construction on his hideout, an underground maze bunker in a forest on the outskirts of Gotham City. The building took 6 years to complete.
At an unknown point in time, he met a woman named Ecco (a precursor to Harleen Quinzel) and hired her as his proxy and assistant.
Reunited With Jerome
Ten years after Jeremiah's graduation, Jerome breaks out of Arkham Asylum and kills their uncle, Zachary at the diner he owns for the location of his brother.
Jeremiah is then confronted by the stunned Captain Jim Gordon and Detective Harvey Bullock. They ask Jeremiah about him and Jerome, he tells them that once Jerome tried to kill him, so he ran away and changed his name to Xander Wilde. They then find out that he‘s holding Jerome captive, so they immediately order Jeremiah to let him go but he refuses to do so. After finding out that the Legion of Horribles is inside the building, and that they hypnotized Ecco, Jeremiah takes Jim and Harvey into the halls of his house, which were built like a maze that he’s the only one he can get out of. The three find Ecco there but, since she was hypnotized by Tetch, she gets into a fight with them, Ecco easily wins and takes Jeremiah to Jerome, but she’s eventually knocked out by Jim. Jeremiah then tries to escape but Jerome finds him. They have a verbal fight, in which Jerome tells he’s disappointed by what Jeremiah told about him, since, in his point of view, all of the things he said were lies. Jeremiah did agree that certain things that he told were in fact exaggerations of the truth. Jerome also tells Jeremiah that he’s going to drive him crazy and then kill him. Jim and Harvey eventually get to them, so Jerome runs away leaving Jeremiah behind. Jeremiah is later taken to the GCPD so that he can be put into protective custody.
Jerome took the Mayor, his wife, and a police officer hostage. He demanded that Jim bring him, Jeremiah and Bruce Wayne. Jeremiah is hesitant to go at first but later agrees. Jerome straps Jeremiah and Bruce into a chair. Jerome tells the crowd the story of him and Jeremiah and then cuts Jeremiah free. Determined to prove Jeremiah is just like him, Jerome hands Jeremiah the knife and tells him to take his best shot. Jeremiah tries to stab Jerome, who knocks him out with a single punch. Later, Jeremiah approaches Jerome’s body after he fell to his death. As Jeremiah walks away, Bruce asks him to let Wayne Enterprises fund his work. Jeremiah thanks Bruce and shakes his hand.
After Jerome's death, Jeremiah discovered a gift in his secret office and opened it. The gift is revealed to be a jack in the box in the form of a disfigured clown head that sprays Jeremiah with a special mixture of the laughing venom created by Jerome. The gas then eventually drives Jeremiah completely insane as Jerome's voice speaks to him in a recording coming out of the gift box, encouraging Jeremiah to be Jerome's successor and his ultimate revenge. Even though Jeremiah tried to fight the venom, it ultimately turned him into a complete maniac with pale skin and red lips.
Beginnings of the Joker
Jeremiah created a recording tape of himself disguised as his deceased brother Jerome and stated that he would have a wake at the GCPD. He then set Ecco to invite Jerome fanatics that were celebrating at his grave.
When Bruce Wayne visited Jeremiah Valeska, he showed Bruce Wayne the prototype of the device he was working on. He also pulled out Jerome's diary which Arkham gave to him after his death. There he revealed that the book was disturbing and holding him back but Bruce morally supported him by saying to quit the book. Shortly after, Bruce received a phone call about Jerome's wake and Jeremiah became paranoid. Jeremiah confessed that he was sprayed the Insanity Gas as Jerome's last sick game and Bruce convinced Jeremiah to visit Jerome's grave to truly convince the cowering Jeremiah that he was truly dead. After visiting the grave and finding it empty, Jeremiah runs away inside the cemetery building and when Bruce catches up to him, it appears as Jeremiah is losing his mind, now that he views that Bruce is his dead brother.
After Jeremiah chases Bruce towards Jerome's Graveyard, Jerome's body is now placed next to the tombstone. Still not buying the fact that his brother is dead, he pulled out a knife from Jerome's corpse and fought Bruce Wayne. Jim Gordon investigates he bunker and a recording starts playing. when Ecco arrived and placed a gun at his head, the recording starts and it looked like Jerome had an extra tape regarding Jim Gordon. After an extensive fight with Ecco, it is revealed to Gordon that Jeremiah was faking the Jerome act as he peels off the fake damaged skin and rubs the makeup off with a cloth.
Meanwhile, after a thug proclaims proudly "Jerome's victorious" Jeremiah murders him in cold blood due to him believing that he was the victorious one and not his brother since he was dead. Now cold and monotone, Jeremiah wiped the blood of his victim off his face, along with the makeup disguising his altered features; he apologizes for the act, saying it was to show Jerome's followers what an utter dud his brother was.
Jeremiah gave Jerome's followers uniforms to show their new loyalty to him; they chanted his name every time he mentioned an accomplishment. Donning a purple and black version of his normal clothing, Jeremiah leads his new followers to the GCPD, where he wished to reveal his success at killing Jim Gordon. Once Bullock was outside, Jeremiah announces that he is responsible for Jim Gordon's death and that his generator bombs are hidden all around Gotham City. When Bullock and the GCPD point their guns at him, he reveals a dead- man's switch and warns that if they kill him, the explosives will trigger.
Jeremiah gives Bullock six hours to evacuate the city and destroys the Gotham Clock Tower to show he is telling the truth. Shortly afterward, his men are shown knocking out and capturing Alfred Pennyworth at Wayne Manor.
Later, when Bruce meets with Bullock, Jeremiah calls him and tells him the address Alfred is at and warns Bruce not to tell the police as Jeremiah knows where Bruce is. Allying with Scarecrow, Jeremiah later watches Bruce via CCTV as he is sprayed with Scarecrow's fear toxin and forced to witness Alfred being tortured in an attempt to drive him mad. Jeremiah remarks that he "envies" Bruce, and that he wants him to be able to embrace his true, darker nature after being forced to lose everything and everyone he loves.
As Jeremiah enters his safehouse, he finds The Penguin, Barbara Kean, Tabitha Galavan, and Butch Gilzean waiting for him with one of Jeremiah's henchmen, Jongleur, hostage; they have also located and taken the cord relay that allows him to detonate all his bombs at once. They demand an additional hour to evacuate the city and $50 million. Jeremiah, knowing they will double-cross him anyway, pretends to agree to their demands and calls the mayor, but then claims he was put on hold, pulls out a bazooka and blows up Jongleur and the cord relay. Furious at Penguin's assertion that he is "out of his mind", Jeremiah remarks that he has always had a backup plan and can simply detonate the bombs in sequence instead. He then tells them he has changed his mind about the deadline due to their interference and will detonate the bombs as soon as he's a safe distance away. Jeremiah orders his followers to "kill these idiots" and escapes during the subsequent firefight. Arriving at another bunker where the Cult of Jerome is gathered, Jeremiah prepares to detonate the bombs, but it's suddenly revealed that Gordon is still alive, much to his fury. Jeremiah triggers the detonator for the first generator, but it doesn't explode as Bullock found and disabled it just in time. The Cult of Jerome gets angry at Jeremiah, calling him a liar and a fake; he reacts by sealing them inside the bunker and incinerating them, saying he anticipated their betrayal. All but one of Jeremiah's generator bombs are retrieved by the GCPD, while Bruce is able to rescue Alfred and overcome Scarecrow's fear gas with the help of Selina Kyle.
Later, hiding out alone at an abandoned theater, Jeremiah wonders aloud how he was defeated; he concludes Gordon must have found his maze blueprints and sabotaged the sequence by finding and disarming the first bomb (which is almost correct, except for Harvey Bullock being the one who disarmed the bomb). As Jeremiah decides he must start over, he is interrupted by the appearance of Ra's al Ghul, who compliments him on his tenacity and suggests they can cause the destruction of Gotham together. Jeremiah sarcastically replies that "recent events have convinced me of the benefits of working alone" and tries to shoot Ra's, who easily evades his bullets. Realizing that his attempts to kill the Master of the League of Shadows are futile, Jeremiah reluctantly hears him out. Ra's explains that Jeremiah's plan for a "new Gotham" can still come to be with the help of the League of Shadows, and both their plans are not just about Gotham, but about Bruce Wayne, which draws Jeremiah's interest.
Later at Wayne Manor, Bruce and Selina are talking about Jeremiah's obsession with Bruce. Bruce explains that Jeremiah was working on the premise that "one bad day" can drive someone insane. He wonders if the trauma of his own parents' deaths "made him a little insane", and if Jeremiah had sensed that and was trying to bring it to the surface. As Selina replies that Bruce proved him wrong, Jeremiah suddenly enters the room and holds a pistol to her abdomen, remarking that the day's not over yet. He shoots Selina in the stomach, knocking her backward, then smiles and throws his gun away. As Bruce desperately tries to keep Selina alive, Alfred rushes in, knocks Jeremiah down and begins pummeling him repeatedly in the face.
After being arrested, Jeremiah is held at the GCPD. Talking with Gordon, Jeremiah mockingly says he wishes to press assault charges against Alfred for punching him in the face, to which Gordon (with equal sarcasm) replies that he thinks Jeremiah looks just fine, ordering Harvey to prepare to transport him to Arkham. Jeremiah offers to give up the location of "other" bombs he claims to have planted around the city, in exchange for being allowed to speak alone with Bruce. A few moments later one of his generator bombs (planted by Ra's al Ghul) goes off and destroys City Hall, killing the mayor and seemingly confirming that Jeremiah is not bluffing. Gordon attempts to beat the locations of the other bombs out of Jeremiah, who barely reacts, merely grinning and humming "Ode to Joy". A major finally has Bruce Wayne meet with the restrained Jeremiah, attempting to get the location of the other bombs. Jeremiah excitedly urges Bruce closer, suggestively, then admits that he believes Bruce is his kindred spirit. He goes on to taunt him about Selina's injuries in a show of jealousy and amusement. When pressed about the location of the "other bombs", Jeremiah reveals that the only other bomb was the one he used on City Hall.
Jeremiah finally reveals to Bruce he is working with Ra's al Ghul. The lights suddenly go out, during which several guards are killed and Bruce and Jeremiah both vanish; they have both been evacuated from the GCPD by the League of Shadows, which also steals all of Jeremiah's confiscated bombs and re-distributes them across Gotham's bridge system. The League then brings Jeremiah and Bruce to an abandoned building overlooking Gotham River, where Ra's is waiting for them. Ra's and Jeremiah tell Bruce they'll create a legacy by destroying Gotham, allowing Bruce to be "reborn" as the Dark Knight of Ra's visions. Jeremiah admits he is skeptical of prophecies and visions, but the idea of he and Bruce rising out of the fall of Gotham together appeals to him.
Shortly after, Barbara Kean, wielding Ra's cursed knife, arrives, referring to Jeremiah as a "freak". At first they think Barbara came alone, however, Penguin then started screaming and shooting a machine gun at the League, while the whole alliance of Tabitha Galavan, Alfred Pennyworth and the Sisters of the League appeared behind him and began battling Ra's al Ghul's men. Ra's defends himself against Alfred and Barbara, asking her if she will never learn, but she finishes the sentence for him, telling him she gets that the knife has to be held by Bruce Wayne only. Jeremiah uses Bruce as a shield and shoots a member of the Sisters of the League, but Tabitha's whip ties his hands together and pulls him away from Bruce. Galavan then laces her whip around Jeremiah's throat, trapping him in stranglehold and forcing him to his knees in front of her. She tells him "this is for Selina", but before she can deliver a killing blow, Valeska manages to draw Tabitha's own knife and stab her in the leg. Valeska then grabs Galavan, throws her on the ground and grabs her throat with one hand, holding her knife near her eye with the other, smiling sadistically while telling her that it must be very disappointing for her to die like this in case she wanted to avenge Selina. However, Valeska is suddenly shot in his shoulder by the Penguin. Surprised that Cobblepot, of all people, saved her life, Tabitha looks at him in confusion; she doesn't noow yet that he has his own reasons for keeping her alive. After knocking out Palden, Bruce turns to fight Ra's, but both he, Barbara and Alfred are kept at bay by the Master of the League of Shadows. While Ra's is fighting Alfred, Barbara forces the knife into Bruce's hands before ramming it into Ra's stomach. Jeremiah, still lying on the ground with an injured shoulder, watched this with surprise. As Ra's body began to disintegrate, he looked at Barbara Kean, saying "Well done, Barbara".
Right then, the sound of an explosion shakes the whole city, drawing the attention of Barbara, Bruce and Ra's, as well as the horrified Oswald Cobblepot and Jeremiah Valeska, the latter one smiling savagely as one of Gotham's main bridges collapses into the Gotham River. Multiple other bridges follow the same fate, crashing into the water after their connections to the mainland give in to the detonation of Jeremiah's generator bombs. Shocked by this sight, Penguin, Barbara, Tabitha, Bruce and Alfred witness power failures affecting the fallen city. The dying Ra's grabs Bruce's shoulders, looking into his eyes and telling him that the choice is now his: he can either stay Bruce Wayne or accept his destiny and become Gotham's dark knight. With that, Ra's al Ghul's body disintegrates, leaving only the knife behind. Horrified, Bruce turns to face the destruction of his city. By this point, Jeremiah Valeska has already taken advantage of the confusion and escaped. The alliance against him had failed to prevent the city's downfall.
Shortly afterwards, Bruce is seen interrogating a small-time criminal about Jeremiah's whereabouts; he tells him to let Jeremiah know he is coming for him.
No Man's Land
One of his followers approaches Jeremiah, telling him that he is working his men too hard and they won’t break through for at least another two days. Jeremiah responds by slashing Sykes’s throat, and says they won’t get anyway with that attitude. Jeremiah addresses the Soothsayers as their new leader and says to dig a little deeper because that’s the only way they are making it out. Jeremiah is busy laughing and arguing with himself about a gift that someone’s going to love when Ecco returns with the new recruits. Jeremiah clears his throat and composes himself. He askes Ecco if those are all the new recruits, and she said she thought he would want quality over quantity since not everyone can pass a high caliber test of faith.
At first, Jeremiah grabbed Ecco around the throat, seemingly out of anger, but then pulled her close to examine her scar. He agrees that she has set a very high bar for devotion, and then pulls her into a dance. As they dance, Ecco tells him about Bruce and Selina, and that Selina can walk and is out to kill him. Ecco says if she sees Selina she will tell him and then adds that she will kill her. Jerermiah smiles at Ecco, and sends her away with one last twirl before turning away as Ecco walks away with the recruits.
Jeremiah is fanning himself with his hat while “encouraging” the Soothsayers to continue digging. He compares their efforts to a river due to persistence and has them chant that they will dig a little deeper to each of his questions of persistence. "Ecco" returns and abruptly stabs Jeremiah, who looks shocked into she removes her mask to reveal Selina’s face. Selina asks Jeremiah if this is deep enough for him. Jeremiah rasps that he must say, but Selina stabs him again and tells him not to say anything. She then stabs him seven more times and raises the knife before Bruce stops her. Jeremiah falls to the ground and the Soothsayers attack Selina. Alfred intervenes and throws a smoke grenade while Jeremiah lies on the ground with his eyes open, apparently dead. In reality, he had faked his death because he knew that Bruce and Selina were on his trail, not yet ready to unveil his plans.
Continuing His Plan
Jeremiah is later found, resting on a make shift bed while his followers continue digging. As soon as they break through, Ecco runs to wake up Jeremiah. She shakes him and Jeremiah says "Ouch". Ecco notes that the stitches were still sore and that this wouldn’t have happened if he wore that armor she prepared. Jeremiah says that the bullet was making her sentimental and orders Ecco give her head a shake. Ecco shakes her head and Jeremiah asks if she was better. Ecco nods yes, and helps Jeremiah as he gets up. Jeremiah reminds Ecco that he had told her that he had to let Selina thrust the knife into him at least once to make it look real which trumps precaution for him. Ecco says she understands he had to let Bruce and Selina think he was dead in order to continue the plan without Bruce and Selina being on his tail.
Jeremiah suddenly grabs Ecco and tells her he takes it that she has news. Ecco says all systems go, and Jeremiah impatiently tells her to lead the way. He grabs a lantern and stumbles after Ecco, who leads him into what looks like Wayne Manor where two people sit wrapped in bandages. Jeremiah tells the doctor that he is hearing good things, and the doctor says the bandages are ready to come off, and says his assistant thought he would like to see the results for himself. Jeremiah says he would, and waits as the doctor unveils the bandages. Jeremiah laughs and says they look beautiful. He walks closer to them, and says he loves family reunions.
Later, when Alfred is the street at night, Jeremiah surprises him and knocks him unconscious. Alfred wakes up in Wayne Manor to see Jeremiah. After Alfred threatens Jeremiah if he touches Bruce, however, Jeremiah answers “Today is the big day.”
Birth of the Joker
Sometime after capturing Alfred, Jeremiah had him hypnotized by Jervis Tetch, along with two kidnapped civilians that he had surgically altered to resemble Bruce's parents. He stashed bombs all over Wayne Manor in order to have leverage over Bruce. Once his trap was set, Bruce found a tunnel that led to the Wayne Manor where he is in shock to see Alfred, his "parents" and Jeremiah in the corner of the study. Eventually, Jeremiah sets up a dinner with them, where "Thomas" gives "Martha" a pearl necklace as he has a chat with Bruce. When Bruce asks why he is doing this, Jeremiah explains his plan to have Bruce experience his parents death all over again in order to connect to Bruce and place himself in Bruce's past. He studies over every detail of how the event went in the kitchen with Bruce before leaving so he can set up the rest of it, leaving Bruce and Alfred to deal with the bomb. After Bruce managed to snap Alfred out of being hypnotized, he followed Jeremiah.
Bruce is then led by Jeremiah to the theater where Thomas and Martha had shown him The Mark of Zorro, showing him his own recreation of the past theatric production where Jeremiah is "the star of the show". He taunts Bruce about how he left the theater because he was afraid during one scene in the film. However he then gets "Thomas" and "Martha" to leave the theater using Tetch's commands, causing Bruce to follow them.
While Bruce is still looking for them, Jeremiah finds out about Jim Gordon and Lee Thompkins infiltrating Ace Chemicals and that Tetch was able to hypnotize them. He decides to use them as replacements for Bruce's parents in the alley and shoots the lookalikes, believing that killing Jim Gordon would be like killing Bruce's second father and killing Lee would be like killing one of Bruce's closest friends. He continues to prepare his plot in the alley where the real Thomas and Martha died.
Bruce arrives at the alley, and Jeremiah tells him to step back as he holds a gun, ready to shoot Jim and Lee, who has a pearl necklace like that of Martha Wayne, keeping them hypnotized until the pearls break. He explains how he seeks to be bonded to Bruce more than just some random mugger who shot his parents before he reveals that he now has Lee and Jim under Tetch's control instead of his parents, which concerns Bruce. Jeremiah also prepares Ecco with enough chemicals preparing to launch that the mainland will never help Gotham. The murder is interrupted by Selina pouncing from the fire escape. Leading to Jeremiah starting his plan early and ordering Ecco to activate the chemicals. Leaving that for Gordon to handle while he baits Bruce to Ace Chemicals. They have a face-off where Jeremiah gets extremely desperate in trying to prove his point, taunting Bruce by asking if he feels a connection between them and how Bruce needs him. Jeremiah doesn't seem to fight back when Bruce begins to continuously punch him until Bruce states that Jeremiah is nothing to him. When Jeremiah gets the upper hand, he knocks Bruce into a railing and begins to continuously punch Bruce until he ducks one of Jeremiah's punches, causing Jeremiah to break the railing and fall into the chemicals below.
Jeremiah is later recovered, but is found comatose, severely disfigured as a result of the chemicals. Though Selina is surprised that Jeremiah managed to survive the incident, Bruce claims that he has no brain activity and is no longer a threat to them or Gotham.
Despite being comatose, Jeremiah still affected some of the events of No Man’s Land indirectly. His toxic chemicals mutated some of the civilians into ravenous monsters, and Ivy Pepper decided to use the chemicals to poison all of Gotham. Bruce later decided to use one of Jeremiah’s generators to knock down Wayne tower in order to stop Bane’s forces from advancing to the GCPD. Lucius was able to make the device more efficient when he managed to separate the core and the activator from the majority of the reactor, thus allowing it to be carried and utilized much more efficiently.
Planning to Destroy Wayne Tower and Framing Harvey Bullock
Sometime after falling into a vat of chemicals, Jeremiah is sent to Arkham Asylum and he awakens from his comatose, however, remains in a fake comatose, seeing no reason to take any actions until the one person he was obsessed with, Bruce Wayne, finally returned to Gotham.
After Bruce manages to return to Gotham after a decade, Jeremiah finally takes action and creates a plan to blow up the newly constructed building, Wayne Tower, at its opening party by getting security guard to obey his orders as well as kidnap Edward Nygma and help him escape Arkham Asylum. In Arkham Asylum, Jeremiah is seen in a wheelchair with severe scars on his face and minor strands of hair remaining on his head, with another inmate moving a paintbrush along the remaining hair on Jeremiah's head. However, Nygma intervenes, telling the inmate that this was Jeremiah Valeska and that even if he can't think or feel anything, he is still a legend, before telling the inmate that if he's gonna screw with a legend then he has to do it properly, breaking the painbrush in half and stabbing Jeremiah in the leg with half of it. Despite this, Jeremiah remains still and doesn't do anything. Shortly after, an alert in the Asylum occurs as inmates are taken, with Jeremiah being taken by Ecco, who is now a nurse at the Asylum, and Nygma being taken by apparent guards, who work for Jeremiah. After the GCPD begins to search for Edward, Harvey Bullock and Vanessa Harper discover the address of a guard who didn't show up for work and as a result, Harvey decides to travel to the location of the guard. As Harvey enters the home of the guard, he is knocked down to the ground by the guard, who tells him to keep his mouth shut and talk to the man on the phone, Jeremiah. As Harvey is frightened to discover the return of Jeremiah after a whole decade, the guard aims a gun at his head and shoots himself, claiming that he didn't have a choice. As a result, Harvey is framed for murder by Jeremiah and out of fear, Harvey plays along with being framed, claiming that he's guilty to Jim Gordon, however, the rest of the GCPD dones't seem to believe this.
As Edward wakes up in an old warehouse, he finds himself in an old warehouse and faced with a letter, stating to be from Oswald Cobblepot, however, it is revealed that Jeremiah left the note in order to manipulate Edward into using the bombs left for him to destroy Wayne Tower. When Gordon is faced with an enraged Oswald Cobblepot at the Gotham Docklands, he tells Oswald that he doesn't need to attack the Wayne Tower in order to kill him, however, Oswald doesn't seem to have any clue as to what Gordon was referring to, helping Gordon piece everything together and see that Jeremiah Valeska was behind this all. When Gordon stops a police officer from arresting Harvey Bullock, he asks if the person who framed him was Jeremiah Valeska, before the police officer tries to attack them. After defeating the officer, they check if the officer has a wire under his shirt, which he does have, leaving Harvey in immediate fear of what Jeremiah will do.
Later, Ecco is watching an Asylum guard talk to an inmate about how much it would cost to harm Jeremiah in Jeremiah's cell. However, Ecco manages to slit the guard's throat and stab the inmate in the gut, killing them both and telling Jeremiah that their cover was blown, which causes Jeremiah to giggle and grab Ecco by the throat, surprising her. When Barbara Kean and her now 10-year-old daughter returns to her old nightclub for Barbara retrieve a gun from a drawer, she is faced with Jeremiah and Ecco. As Barbara is unarmed by Ecco, who holds a knife to her throat, Jeremiah claims that this was just a surprise party for Barbara Kean, calling her the Queen of Gotham. Jeremiah states that there was another Barbara and claims that holding on to what's real is enough to drive someone mad, before Barbara Lee throws an item at Ecco, giving Barbara the chance to stab Ecco. As Barbara attempts to harm Jeremiah, he shoots Barbara Kean, knocking her to the ground and picks up Barbara Lee, telling Barbara Kean that her daughter has the same eyes as her. When he turns to face Ecco, he notices Ecco holding her bleeding stomach, and stares at her while also briefly glancing down to assess how injured she is. Jeremiah tells her that she is no longer his sweet Ecco and that there will never be anyone else like her, which surprises and excites her before Jeremiah shoots her and a large amount of blood comes out of Ecco's mouth. After Ecco dies, Jeremiah states that "there are other fish in the sea" and tells Barbara Kean that Gordon is probably searching her apartment, telling her to leave a message for him. After Gordon finds a deceased Ecco and a scared Barbara Kean on the ground, she tells him that he took Barbara Lee and that Gordon needs to go to Ace Chemicals or else he kills Barbara Lee.
When Gordon finally arrives at Ace Chemicals, he discovers that Barbara Lee is dangling over a chemical vat, with ducktape over her mouth and that she was tied to a rope, being held by Jeremiah. As Gordon aims a gun at Jeremiah and slowly walks towards him, Jeremiah talks about how it's funny being in the place where he was born again, claiming that he can feel his flesh sizzling as it melted away. Gordon tries to reassure his daughter by telling her that everything will be fine, however, Jeremiah claims that everything is far from being fine. When being asked why Jeremiah is doing this, Jeremiah replies by asking if there's a Jeremiah there, before Gordon asks what to call him. Jeremiah replies by stating other names such as Jack, Joseph, John or J and that he feels something entirely new than who he was before the Ace Chemicals incident, stating that he feels something beautiful. As the two talk about why Jeremiah finally took action after a decade of pretending to be braindead, Jeremiah says that he was waiting for Bruce to come back to Gotham and that the two were bound together, before asking about how it feels to have the one thing that you love ripped away from you (referring to Bruce) then lets go of the rope that held Barbara Lee above the chemical vat,. However, Gordon manages to grab the rope and keep her up, being stabbed by Jeremiah in the process. Suddenly, he is hit with a batarang, knocking the knife out of his hand, before he asks whoever is there to reveal themselves. After Jeremiah takes a pause and recognizes the Dark Knight, overjoyed that Bruce had finally arrived, Jeremiah simply laughs maniacally even when being slashed with batarangs but falls unconscious as one slashes his head.
it is unknown what happened next but possibly he was taken to Arkham by Batman.
Behind the Scenes
WB Didn't allow the show to use the name Joker for fear of diluting the brand. The visual representation of the source material is also extremely limited. Purple hair was considered at one point, before settling on extremely dark, vaguely green hair.
On various occasions, Gotham writer Tze Chun has been known to informally refer to Cameron Monaghan's characters individually as "This Joker" on his Twitter feed. As of January 2019, he has done this with both Jerome and Jeremiah respectively
Despite the fact that Jeremiah possibly isn't the Joker, the promo for Jeremiah's first appearance "A Dark Knight: Mandatory Brunch Meeting" teased the Joker's arrival with the question "Who Is The Joker?" (implying a connection between the Joker and Jeremiah).
- This may have merely been a marketing gimmick to hype up the episode. The arrival of Jerome was similarly teased with "Gotham's next villain... Is no joke!"
- Jeremiah was referred to as "Mr. J", which is one of the Joker's notable aliases, supporting the fact that he will one day become the Joker.
- Upon murdering his assistant, Ecco, Jeremiah declares that "there are other fish in the sea" (a clear nod to Harley Quinn).
- Jeremiah lists several monikers beginning with "J", all of which are aliases the Joker has operated under in other Batman media (including John Doe, Jack Napier, and Joe Kerr)
- In line with Bruno Heller's the Joker's ancestry, Jeremiah was conceived to be a second precursor to the Joker like his brother Jerome. As John Stephens explained in April 2018, "Jeremiah is not the Joker. Joker is somewhere out there, anonymous and unformed, he's watching the actions of Jeremiah and Jerome and possibly even another one, and he's adopting them as inspirations as the person he'll one day become."
- According to John Stephens, both Jeremiah and his brother are heavily involved in the origins and philosophy of the archenemy of Batman known as the Joker and take on certain elements of the character that will lead to his origin somewhere down the road. It is unknown at this point whether or not Jeremiah himself later becomes the Joker or a literal third character takes his place, either way, the Joker will never fully make an appearance on the show.
- Jeremiah Valeska is the third incarnation of Joker (fourth if you count Jerome Valeska) to have a fully established identity. For many years it was only known that he operated as a caped supervillain called Red Hood that fell into acid during an encounter with Batman and was permanently disfigured, which this incarnation completely ignores. The first time the character's birth name was identified was Jack Nicholson's Joker in the 1989 Batman film, which was also carried over for Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and the animated series. The Jack Napier identity also appeared in Gotham Noir and White Knight. There was also a Martha Wayne version of the Joker from the 2011 "Flashpoint" crossover story arc, in which she was Joker in an alternative universe where Bruce Wayne was dead (having been killed by the mugger) and Thomas Wayne as Batman.
- Jeremiah's transformation and breaking into laughter is similar to the Joker's breakdown in The Killing Joke following his transformation. He also clutches his head in a very similar way to the iconic Brian Bolland panel.
- Jeremiah's motive to drive Bruce Wayne insane, and his method of doing so, is similar to how Joker tried to drive Commissioner Gordon insane after crippling his daughter.
- Additionally, he shoots Selina Kyle in a similar manner to how the Joker shot Barbara Gordon.
- Jeremiah is similar to Tim Drake from Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, who was tortured and brainwashed by the Joker as a boy. But had the original Joker's consciousness implanted via microchip at the base of the neck, which could take over and possess him, physically transforming him like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
- This version of Joker is the fourth live-action version to appear on television: the first was in William Dozier's campy 1960's television series the second was in one of the Batman OnStar commercials and the third was a cameo appearance in the unaired Birds of Prey pilot.
- This was the youngest version of the Joker to date, being around 21-22 years old at the time of his transformation. Also, this version comes before Bruce Wayne becomes Batman. Due to rights issues down to Warner Brothers wanting to reserve Joker for their major DC film projects, limitations were set on the character of Jeremiah, such as him not being able to use the name "Joker" or even have pure green hair, which was started by actor Cameron Monaghan. To date, only Jared Leto and Cesar Romero have had bright green shades of hair. Instead, Jeremiah has very dark, only vaguely green hair and powdered pale skin. His wardrobe colors are also extremely subdued, only a few small parts with pure purple. This decision has not been received well.