While everyone knows the tragic truth behind why Heath Ledger's Joker does not appear in the new Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, it has not stopped some viewers and critics from asking why the fictional villain himself was in no way accounted for in Christopher Nolan's latest sequel, given his monumental role in The Dark Knight. Nolan has explained his reasons for not even mentioning the Joker in the new film, but author Greg Cox puts forth some information that speaks to some fans' concerns in the official novelization of The Dark Knight Rises. Of course, in accordance with the nature of Ledger's Joker himself, that information is maddeningly suspect.

SPOILER WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Dark Knight Rises.Cox, who was was nominated in 2008 for the Best Speculative Adapted Scribe Award for his novelization of DC Comics' 52 and has written numerous books based on other comics as well as Star Trek, references the Joker's possible fate in his description of Blackgate Prison, the maximum security facility in which Selina Kyle found herself in The Dark Knight Rises.

Our friends at MTV scanned the passage in question:

Nobody. Was. Really. Sure.

Kudos to Cox for maintaining the best Joker tradition of leaving us with even more questions than before.

Published by Titan Books, The Dark Knight Rises novelization is on sale now in bookstores everywhere. You can read the first chapter for free at IGN.

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