John Doe (aka the Joker) is the central character of unORDINARY and a third-year student of Wellston High.

Appearance

John is a teenager with black hair and burnt gold eyes. During school hours, he is typically found wearing the Wellston school uniform with his hair gelled flat against his head and a single lock hanging over his face (Seraphina calls this hairdo his "helmet"); his casual hairdo is unkempt and spiky. Based on instances in which he is seen shirtless, he appears to be fairly fit.

In the past, John left his hair unstyled and wore a light blue t-shirt, a dark blue jacket, and dark grey shorts. As ʎɐpsǝn┴, John discards his jacket and wears a paper bag over his face. As the masked attacker and the Joker, John wears a black ski-mask and ditches his jacket.

His speech bubbles are white with black text, but the colors of his speech bubbles and text are inverted when he experiences extreme emotion or when he gets aggressive toward the one he is talking to. When activating his ability, his eyes glow a bright gold color.

Personality

The crumbling facade of the powerless cripple and the monster that lies beneath. Image taken from Uru-chan's Twitter.

John is a conflicted young man with multiple facets to his personality. However, John does have some traits that are always present no matter which side of him happens to be in control. John's lifelong goal is to live a normal life free of strife. He does not take the denial of this dream very well, and would always attempt to try and force it to become reality. He sees the hierarchy and the people who enforce it as his greatest adversaries. How he approaches the problems posed by these obstacles depends on which of his personalities is dominant.

Another trait John always displays is a stubborn adherence to his own course of action. He rarely takes advice from anyone other than himself, even from people he trusts and respects. As a result, he often sabotages himself and worsens his own problems. When his actions blow up in his face, he'll feel a deep regret that he can never elude.

Though John is plagued by the guilt born of his terrible mistakes, he is loathe to reflect on them. John preferred concealing his true power and trying to forget the pain and suffering he caused rather than improving himself as a high-tier. As far as he's concerned, the details of his past at New Bostin were off-limits to everyone who didn't want to become his sworn enemy. John was even willing to cut ties with his best friend when she found out about his history, convinced that she saw him as a monster just as his hometown peers did.

John doesn't advocate second chances, a belief he fostered even before becoming a student of Wellston. This worldview extends even to himself, though he tried his hardest to deny it. He felt that neither he, nor anybody who regularly abused the weak, could ever change of their own volition. To John, all apologies were lies told to weasel out of the consequences. He shuns any attempts to help him find redemption and peace of mind for his many cruel actions, distancing himself from anybody who actually agreed with the altruistic philosophies he briefly advocated.

Monster

YOU MADE ME!!!

As a young teenager with no signs of developing abilities, John was subjected to bullying by his schoolmates at New Bostin High School. This treatment fostered anger and resentment, and the belief that authority was gained only through strength. Because of the mistreatment he suffered, John desired power and hated and had trouble accepting the reality of being a cripple. After discovering his true power, John became obsessed with cultivating his ability and sought to get as strong as he possibly could, and even pushed aside his friendships for the sake of getting stronger. As King, John often used the other students as an outlet for his feelings of contempt, thinking it was only the natural way of the world. Despite being clear winner of any fight, John would attack attacking students long after they could no longer fight back. Even after getting punished for his actions, John showed no remorse for his brutality. Thanks to his early life experiences, he felt that nobody should question the actions of the most powerful individual around, yet he found himself the subject of scathing critique and judgement, which worsened his anger and brutality. This monstrous personality was soon dominated by traits of arrogance and unfettered rage, which left John devoid of reason and believing that he could never lose, no matter what anyone else said.

A kingdom of isolation, and it looks like I'm the...King

Following his expulsion and readjustment program, John came to view himself and his actions with disgust. He has tried to disassociate himself with this Monster personality, but thanks to the world he lived in, he could never truly be rid of it. It has emerged when John was alone in the company of those who knew his secret. He would threaten or bark orders to them, and get angry whenever he didn't get the results he wanted. His rage seemed to blind him to the fact that some of the things he demanded from them were beyond their power. He's only managed to calm down when he remembered the suffering he caused back in New Bostin.

Cripple

Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know.

When John was first introduced in the webtoon, he presented himself as a powerless cripple; this is the side that most people see. As a cripple, John came off as hopelessly optimistic and naive but was more than willing to risk his neck to stop bullying. Even though the odds were clearly against him more often than not, John would always get back up and think positively, and continue to press forward on with his tasks. He does not care for the social norms of the world and would rather live his own way, outside of the hierarchy.

Three potentially useful abilities, and John refuses to use any of them in order to keep up his facade.

This personality was constructed by John as an earnest attempt to turn over a new leaf and live a life free of strife. It didn't pan out the way John had wanted to, but he made the effort to keep up the charade anyway. John's Cripple personality had the greatest understanding of what would happen if he ever lost control of his anger, and viewed his ability as an enabler for these negative emotions. His readjustment program with Keon left him so afraid of his own ability that he refused to activate it to defend himself, avoid confrontation, or even heal injuries he sustained daily. John's father was a major influence on this personality, and he strived to make it through school days by emulating him (and his hairstyle). It was thanks to William's book, Unordinary, that John was able to attempt another shot at life in the first place, and the superheroes that have emerged as a result gave him hope that the world's strongest individuals might actually used their power to benefit mankind. However, he is unwilling to become a superhero himself, both out of shame for being corrupted by power and seeing nearly everyone as not worth saving anyway; the only exception to this is Seraphina.

Additionally, this aspect of John seems to have developed a degree of self-loathing. When he was berating Zeke for going after weaker students to make himself feel powerful, he was simultaneously thinking back to his tyrannical actions at New Bostin. Overall, despite his power, John considered himself weak for having been corrupted so easily by his ability.

Posing as a cripple has given him a clearer insight on people he didn't have when he was King of New Bostin, since back then people continued to disrespect him even after his increase in strength. He saw that people at Wellston put on a facade of respect when in front of people stronger than they were, and revealed their true cruel selves when around people they didn't fear. These individuals bought into John's own facade of helplessness, and did with him as they wished. Though John tried his hardest to sell the image of a powerless cripple, his total lack of fear betrayed him to more perceptive individuals, such as Arlo and Isen. He nearly exposed himself when he slapped Remi's helping hand away in a confused fit of anger.

Seraphina playfully teases John.

Though his life of being a target by Wellston's most aggressive bullies would be enough to drive anyone mad, he found immense comfort in the friendship he formed with Seraphina. Towards her, he is very light-hearted and joking, never giving any hints of his more violent side. He was immensely proud of the fact that she chose to be his friend despite believing him to be a genuine cripple. John strives to keep up appearances as the school cripple even when she wasn't around, out of fear that she would reject him if she found out about his Monster personality. It was only through experiences as traumatic as Keon's readjustment program that caused John to drop the act entirely and cut loose on the ones who provoked him.

Joker

The fears that once controlled me can't get to me at all

In the wake of Seraphina's misery as a result of Zeke's "godslayer" stunt, John's two personalities slowly began to merge. John concluded that despite the corruption that he succumbed to when using his ability, he would never achieve any results by holding back. So he began to wreak vengeance on those who sought to disrupt his and Seraphina's peaceful life by using his ability while in disguise, allowing him to keep up his act as an optimistic cripple. Following Seraphina's capture and torture at the hands of mid-tier bullies, John decided that it was the hierarchy itself that was the source of all of life's problems and decided to destroy it. Thus, John's Joker personality was truly born.

As with his Monster personality, John does not relent when he fights, and sadistically beats his opponents within an inch of their lives. Any targets who tried to run away would be chased after or trapped. Admitting defeat, apologizing, and pleading for mercy only falls on deaf ears as Joker would indiscriminately beat down all his victims in the same fashion; John knew full well from his time posing as a cripple that his targets surrendered out of fear rather than any genuine sense of remorse. Though brutal in battle, John had a better control of his temper when not on the attack and would not be goaded into fighting ahead of his own schedule.

When the mask goes on, the gloves come off.

Despite the similarities, John's Joker and Monster personality are distinguishable from each other by one trait: their attitudes towards hierarchy itself. While John tried to control the hierarchy as King, as Joker he sees it as an evil that must be destroyed, and still views his past tyrannical reign with disgust. John has begun developing other unsavory personality traits as a result of his crusade. He feels immense satisfaction watching major supporters of "might makes right" squirm when he puts them on the receiving end of their own philosophies. John himself sees no wrong in this, as people like them have sought to ruin his life just to feel powerful and important.

Despite his cynicism pushing him to extreme measures, he still values Seraphina's opinion of him over all other things. She has confided to him her admiration of his persistence to make it through life as a cripple. He desperately keeps up appearances with false claims of "being the same" and helping her adjust to her new lifestyle. This last remaining noble trait of his is ironically the major motivator of his mission to decimate those who adhere to the hierarchy even if they've never personally hurt him or his best friend. Despite his noble intentions towards Seraphina, John believes that she must always take his side and accept his lies. He's the only one who considers his extreme measures are ultimately for a good cause. Isen goes as far as to claim that "[John]'s just an angry dude who wants to watch all of us burn."

Post-Joker

Let the storm rage on!

When John could no longer deny the fact that Seraphina learned of his secret, he dropped all pretenses and once again began openly treating everyone with hostile contempt. While he didn't revert to the state where he took pride in his power and rank, John lost all fear of what his power turned him into. John no longer takes anybody's attempt at abuse lying down, and when attacked, John would openly retaliate with the full extent of his power. In fact, he is even more short-tempered than before now, vowing to sabotage Remi's "Safe House" simply because she insulted him. As he no longer had any reason to care who knew the truth about him, John doesn't bother wearing any disguises.

Ever since he shut Seraphina out, all he could focus on were how people always treated him because they saw him as powerless. Even after Isen let the whole school know he was Joker, John found that people looked at him with disgust regardless of whether they doubted the revelation or feared it might be true. Some even sought proof in the form of a demonstration, hoping they might be amused by his suffering. Thoroughly convinced that everyone else is just as monstrous as he is, John decided that mercy was wasted on them. Thus, he publicly declared himself King of Wellston after savagely beating Zeke in front of the whole school.

Later on it is also revealed that due to his past trauma and his inability to trust others, as Seraphina would later note, he is liable to words that he feels is against him. Believing Zeke's lies when he said that Remi made the Safe House to be open to all, and that only he wasn't allowed. causing him to once more feel betrayal thinking everyone is against him.

Psychosis

As a result of being bullied throughout his life, John has developed multiple mental health issues including: post-traumatic stress disorder, relationship obsessive-compulsive disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, paranoid personality disorder, as well as a victim complex. While John's mental state was relatively well as the start of the series, as the story progressed it got worse-and-worse until it reached a point where Arlo deemed him to be in need of professional help.

The near-constant bullying he had to endure caused John to have a lot of pent-up anger. As a result, after he became powerful, he began to vent these frustrations by brutalizing his opponents and was prone to fits of rage whenever criticized or insulted. John's morality also seemed to have been influenced by the bullying, justifying his actions by claiming he was treated the same way. This leads into his victim complex; John has shown to be unable to self-reflect and instead blames others for his faults. All of this also negatively impacted his relationships with others, demanding their validation and physically abusing them if they refused.

While John's mental state appeared stable at the start of the series, this was actually due to him now suffering from a far greater mental illness that suppressed the others; there are multiple signs that Keon's torturous "re-education" caused John to develop PTSD, displaying several symptoms including: him no longer enjoying certain things, distancing himself from a traumatic event, and seeing flashes of said traumatic event. However, his past anger still remained but was now directed toward his former self.

After resuming his violent ways, John's mental state suffered a relapse. In addition, being betrayed by Arlo caused John to develop a case of paranoia, no longer willing to trusting others, even if his friends vouch for them, and keeping those he does trust on a short leash. Over time, even his friendships turned toxic; John was genuinely blind to the part he played in all this. Ironically, despite claiming not to care about others' opinions, John actually seems to desperately want people to see his perspective.

By the time John officially became King of Wellston, he seems to have mostly overcome his PTSD and self-hatred. However, this was only due to him concluding that "everyone is the same as [him]" and his violent actions are thus justified. At the same time, he also seems to have given up on trying to get others' validation and decided to truly become the "Monster" they claimed him to be. Unfortunately, this proved ineffective, as everyone lost their fear for him upon seeing how unstable he was. As stated be Seraphina, he came to a new school for a fresh start, looking to change his ways, but instead, in his eyes, he repeated all the traumatic events that happened at New Bostin, including the supposed "betrayal" of his closest friend. As a result, he gave up; on himself, and others, now believing that no one could and will truly change, including himself. This caused him to lose his trust in everyone, firmly believing everyone in the world has it out for him.

Bonus Episodes

Introduction

John was one of the three characters to be introduced by Uru-chan. He is the only student to wear his vest and has greasy hair.[1]

Scary Movie

After being scared by a horror movie, John screamed in fear. Seraphina froze time so she could take an embarrassing photo of him.[1]

L is for Loser

Elaine mentioned to Arlo how John's lock of hair looks like the letter "L". Meanwhile, John sneezed while taking his groceries home.[1]

Morning Routine

John went through the process of how he styles his hair.[1]

Petition

Uru-chan showed John a petition to stop gelling his hair. He immediately refused.[1]

Levels and Tiers

John's defaced stats are shown on the tier list with his level crossed out replaced with a 1.0 and his ability "sass" replaced with N/A. He is the only cripple on the tier list.[2]

While uru-chan was teaching about abilities, John was asleep on his desk.[2]

Powers & Abilities

Aura Manipulation: John is capable of copying any abilities with "physical feedback" and combining abilities for devastating results. In addition to copying and combining other abilities, John is capable of detecting and sensing intensities of auras given off by abilities and amping any of the abilities he copies. However, the number of abilities he can copy appears to be finite, as shown by his inability to copy Barrier after copying Phase Shift, Lightning, Hunter, and Energy Beam in Chapter 155.

During his middle school years, John was a cripple with no ability, however, John turned out to be a late-bloomer and his ability manifested during his final year of middle school. While he initially started off as a low-tier,[3] John's ability level shot up significantly during his high school years andduring his suspension, John was already a god-tier with a level of 7.0.[4]

Abilities Copied

Physical Abilities

Despite initially not using any abilities, John is shown to be capable of holding his own and even defeating those with abilities such as Gavin,[21] Krolik[22], and Hower[23] with his fists and reflexes. He often practices hand-to-hand combat against a punching bag during workouts, and his proficiency in hand-to-hand combat far outclasses many of his peers. Furthermore, John appears to have a high pain tolerance and is capable of fighting back even when he is greatly wounded. These physical aspects, combined with his powerful ability, make John more than a match against most, if not all of his peers.

Intelligence

In terms of grades, John is only an average student. His sense of judgment and common sense are often clouded by his own anger, fears, and arrogance, making him oblivious to truths that are obvious to others. He's not that bothered by this, seeing as it means he's not the type to devise long-term plots against people, save for Arlo.

However, as shown against his first battle with Gavin, John is shown to be a very witty person and has used these wits to win battles.[21][24] When he goes all out, he displays a sharp, tactical mind that can overcome the limitations of his ability; he often goad his targets into using their abilities so he could mimic them for personal use. John possesses incredible knowledge over ability fundamentals and aura, so much so that he that he can copy abilities without much effort[6]; even when it's his first time copying an ability, John can effortlessly combine abilities and create new techniques from said abilities without a second thought. To conceal his identity John has taken the logical step of never wearing his jacket or vest during his excursions as a masked attacker and wears his jacket when unmasked to differentiate himself from his more violent alter-ego. When it comes to combat, even opponents who understand Aura Manipulation and its limits usually find themselves two steps behind John. Aware that his secrets were slowly being uncovered, John is able to anticipate his opponents' strategies against him and devise counter-strategies to ensure his victory.[19] Even when he was still learning the fundamentals of his ability, Claire noted that John was naturally gifted with it It eventually got to the point where he could innovate new techniques with Aura Manipulation on his own, without the aid of Claire's visions.[25]

The disparity between John's intelligence on and off the battlefield is remarkably stark. He appears unable to acknowledge facts he should be well-aware of, such as when Cecile pointed out that Seraphina was more than smart enough to figure out he is the student known as Joker.[26] This is likely because, as pointed out by his father and Claire, John has difficulty coming to terms with certain realities[27][5], making him appear outright delusional at times. It would explain why he stubbornly refuses to claim any responsibility for the turbulent state of Wellston High's environment and the situation it puts Seraphina in. John's tendency to blame others for problems, while not entirely without merit, prevents him from learning from his own mistakes and developing the wisdom necessary to resolve them and prevent said mistakes from happening again.

Quotes

  • (To Seraphina on his rough day) "I just... had a long day."[28]
  • (To Adrion ) "I'LL NEVER LOSE, BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE IS TRASH!"
  • (To Arlo) "You should be grateful. If you're able to keep all but one person in line... Then you must be doing your job right."[29]
  • "After all...a King is nothing if his subjects refuse to follow him."
  • (Being tricked by Arlo) "All I wanted was to be ordinary."
  • "I'm not the monster. They are."
  • (To Sera, after returning from battling Arlo) "Please...don't look at me now."
  • (To Arlo) "If anyone finds out about what happened here today... I'll dethrone you. "
  • (To Zeke ) "Go ahead. You and your incompetent lapdog...can do whatever the hell you want with me. Just don't forget...In the end...you're just like me. Another worthless piece of trash in this world."
  • (To Zeke) "Congratu-f*cking-lations." 
  • (To Arlo while discussing about the 'kidnapping' event) "You know, Arlo... not everyone spends an entire month planning on the downfall of a single person."
  • (To Seraphina, upon her return from suspension) "You don't understand. The moment you fall, people become cruel."
  • (To Seraphina) "When you're always stuck in situations where there's no way to fight back... It starts messing with you. In here. You feel trapped. Angry. Detached from yourself. ...It sucks."
  • "I'm good with secrets :D"
  • (To Arlo, about Isen) "He deserved every bit of that beating."
  • (To the Wellston student body) "I am your new KING! Anyone who dares to cross me will end up exactly like this sh*thead! NO EXCEPTIONS! NO MERCY! JUST PAIN!"

Notes & Trivia

John's eyes glowing as seen in the UnOrdinary promotional video

Chapter 3 - First time that John's eyes glows.

  • John and his father W.H. Doe are the only characters in the series to have known surnames.
  • In real life, John's full name is a placeholder name that refers to a person, party or corpse whose identity is unknown.
  • Despite being introduced as powerless, it was hinted throughout the series that John had an ability until it was confirmed in Chapter 41 by his eyes glowing.
    • LINE Webtoons's video on UnOrdinary also shows John with glowing eyes in one scene.[30]
    • In Chapter 3 John's eyes seem to glow when he throws Gavin out the window.
    • In Chapter 4 John's eyes seem to glow again as he was playing Slappy Pig with Sera .
    • In Chapter 35, Arlo commented that John's behavior was like that of a high-tier; it was also hinted that John may have had a personality change during his transition from New Bostin to Wellston.
    • In Chapter 41, John activates his ability the first time since transferring to Wellston.
    • Isen has implied that John is a high-tier with the following quote, "What happens when a high-tier runs rampant?".[31] Furthermore, John might even be a god-tier, as Isen implied that he did not think Arlo could deal with him.[31]
    • In Chapter 54, John uses his ability to battle for the first time since transferring to Wellston, and the following battle in Chapter 55 and Chapter 56 shows that John is powerful enough to best even a god-tier like Arlo in combat.
    • Uru-chan stated in her Fireside Chat that John was originally going to be powerless throughout unORDINARY, but began to plan out his ability staring from Chapter 2.

John's original stats, depicting his ability of "Sass."

  • In the Bonus Episode 2, John has his ability "Sass" crossed out and replaced with "N/A" as a joke. In the same fashion, John's level was scratched out and replaced with a 1.0.
  • Many fans commented that John looked better with his hair unkempt and Uru-chan addressed this to John in the form of a petition in the first Bonus Episode, though he flatly rejects it. John finally let his hair down in Chapter 40.

A record from New Bostin High School with John's information. Upon closer inspection, there appears to be an "A" on the line where his ability is listed.

  • An "A" can be seen in the ability box of John's New Bostin High School records. This could mean that his ability starts with an A or it is simply placeholder text.[32] It also states, "NOTE: Do not activate ability when handling situations involving John". This implies that John becomes a noticeable threat when people with abilities activate them in John's presence.[32]
    • Once John used his ability in Chapter 55, he was seen copying abilities used by others. Because of this, John's ability had the placeholder name "Ability Mimicry".
    • In Chapter 148, John's ability is offically called "Aura Manipulation".

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  • It is revealed in Chapter 85 that John's ability level when he was still in New Bostin Grade and Middle School was around level 1.2, with no signs of progress. But, his ability level shot up to a greater degree when he was in high school, as Isen stated.
    • According to Chapter 148, New Bostin records state that John was a god-tier with a level of 7.0 before he was expelled.
    • Chapter 181 further reveals that John's ability did not manifest until his final year of middle school.
  • Upon attacking his chosen targets, John chooses to cover his head with a paper bag in order to remain anonymous. Fans would rather call him "ʎɐpsǝn┴" as a reference to when he once wore Zeke's paper lunch bag, which was labeled "Tuesday", upside-down.
    • When he replaced paper bags with his new black mask, certain fans began to refer to him as "Black Friday."
    • The masked John is offically named "Joker" as a reference to the card.
  • His current level is unknown, though it likely equals or exceeds that of Seraphina, since her level was the same as John's in high school, however John's skills continued to grow until he voluntarily put up the façade of being a cripple.
  • The hair gel John uses recives much hatred from the fanbase.
  • John is older than the students in his grade by a year, as he had taken a year off at the readjustment facility.
  • John formerly lived on Walnut Street before being transferred to his dorm.


Cameos

  • In Episode 21 of Quimchee's webtoon I Love Yoo, John and Seraphina were waiting in line to play a game of Fabio Kart.[34]
  • In Episode 13 of Enjelicious's webtoon Age Matters, John and Arlo are singing about a stopping hairgel petition.
  • In Episode 64 + 65 of Quimchee‘s webtoon I Love Yoo, John’s name is shown to be on the HIRAHARA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL sign in list.

References

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