Joel began as a nameless bass guitar player in Matt Olsen’s band, Cobalt Blue (in the cartoon, he's the drummer). As one of Matt's most prominent male friends, his role expanded over the course of the comic series as he started to also become closer to Peter Cook and then to Irma Lair. Peter declares Joel is always late and makes up funny, unbelievable excuses.
He and Irma gradually develop romantic feelings for one another, though never officially date. Irma previously referred to him as Sled Head but once they become close, she began to call him Jay. He loves to surf, usually with Peter, and gives Irma surfing lessons. He is a talented cook and dreams of someday opening his own restaurant. Joel is a Karmilla fan like Irma, and they first met each other in a Karmilla concert. He has a younger brother named Billy who is in the fourth grade; Billy is in the same class as Irma's brother, Chris.
Joel came by the Cook house to meet up with Peter to surf. The two boys were joking about Joel’s constant lateness when he pointed out Cornelia Hale at the door, assuming she came to see Peter. Peter declared she was just his little sister Taranee's friend, unknowingly crushing her hopes. The two went to the beach, soon joined by Matt who sought advice about his feelings for Will Vandom. Nigel Ashcroft also came to join them and Joel teased him about his “new style”. Peter tried to talk more with Matt about Will, but Joel could see he was in his own little world and declared Matt liked to be "mysterious.
Days later during the school recess, Joel listened to Matt talk about his latest misunderstanding with Will. Joel suggested he take her on a date and when Matt showed his anxiety, Joel told him to just send her a message. Leaving the school that day, Joel was given a flyer from a strange man at the gate, though didn’t see what was on it.
That evening, Matt called up Joel to talk of how he couldn’t get in contact with Will (who was on Meridian). Even so, he now had an idea of where to take her on the date, mentioning the flyer. The arrival of Peter made the two hang up, but Joel finally saw the flyer that inspired Will. Seeing it was for a cheap menu at the Golden Burger - not knowing that Matt had received a different flyer to an amusement park – Joel worried about how the date would go.
Sometime after this, Matt told Joel and Peter and the was officially dating Will. He also started dodging their calls to avoid being teased.
Joel accompanied Peter to the Heatherfield Dome to buy group tickets for the Karmilla concert. He joked about the ticket teller and asked for a group discount on tickets, though was rejected. Before leaving, he was adamant about getting a Karmilla t-shirt so he wouldn’t risk them being sold out. He teased Peter about his “old crate” car until the boy pointed out the surfboards in the back, which Joel was glad to take as an invitation to the beach. He tried to call Matt again but he still wasn’t picking up, to which he declared him a wimp.
The boys went to the beach and after finally contact Matt, they told him they had the tickets and invited him to hang out. Once Matt arrived, they finally heard about his big date with Will (though he edited the facts to not reveal her secrets). Though they teased him all through the story, when Mat admitted he did kiss his crush, they cheered for him.
Finally the night of the Karmilla concert arrived and Joel bumped into Irma, who let him share her arrow sign. They complimented one another on their concert t-shirts and began to bond, as both were super big Karmilla fans. They started a playful rivalry, though their friends could see something special had started between them.
Joel pestered Irma until she gave him her phone number, after which they started calling each other. On one occasion, they had a 57-minute conversation until Irma’s family called her for dinner. Joel declared he liked talking with her and asked that they meet up sometime. Irma likewise enjoyed his puns and trading jokes with him.
Joel hung out with Irma, convincing her to take pictures to finish an old roll of film on her camera. While she got them developed, he received a call from Matt who said that he wanted to have band practice, thus Joel called Peter to cancel his later plans to go surfing. Joel admitted to Peter that he really didn’t want to go to practice, hinting that he'd rather hang out with Irma more. Irma showed him the pictures she took and he joked about how blurry they are, though pointed out a pretty good picture she took of Will.
Joel went to his band practice and when Will showed up, Matt gave them a five-minute break. He and his bandmates teased the boy for being such a romantic while Matt took Will outside so they could be alone. After waiting for them a while, Joel poked his head out to ask if Matt would come back in or if they were done for the day. Matt, now in a bad mood after arguing with Will, returned to practice.
Joel's little brother Billy caught the flu from his class and as their father would be away from home tomorrow, Joel promised to babysit for tomorrow afternoon. Before that, he enjoyed some time surfing at the beach until getting a call from Irma. She told him about the new Jensen Dance Academy led by the former choreographer for Karmilla and hoping the superstar herself might make an appearance. Joel was excited at the idea until Irma mentioned the opening was tomorrow, the same time he promised to babysit. Too embarrassed to admit this, he only told her he couldn’t go with her, leaving Irma disappointed.
As promised, the next day, Joel babysat his sick brother and endured being tied up for the younger sibling to recreate a movie they watched in class. After a few hours, Joel managed to escape and ran to meet Irma, bumping into her on the street after the opening had already ended. He noticed she was in a bad mood and after she showed the complimentary t-shirt they were given – instead of meeting Karmilla – he joked that it was a failed afternoon for both of them, finding it humorous unlike Irma.
He apologized for not accompanying her and to quell her anger, he revealed the embarrassing truth of being tormented by his brother. Irma was delighted by this and admitted she suffered the same thing recently from her own little brother. The two realized their little siblings were in the same class and laughed about how many things they had in common. Irma happily declared she liked him and he returned it, glad to be friends again as he walked her home. He revealed more things to her, such as that he cooks for his family and wants to open a restaurant. He offered to cook for her sometime.
Joel was teaching Irma to surf until she fell off her board and didn’t come back up. He dove in and helped her back to the surface, but Irma was just confused and displeased. He admitted he panicked for her safety but when she makes a joke about being a mermaid, he was angry and declared an end to her surf lesson for the day. Irma chased after him, apologizing for scaring him.
Joel played with Cobalt Blue at the Rock and Roll Café where Irma cheered for him from the audience. After the concert, Joel noticed Matt had disappeared somewhere and no one had knew where he went. Unknown to him, Matt had been absorbed into the Book of Elements.
Joel was at his locker when Irma came running his way. He caught her when she tripped, teasing her for being clumsy, then they walked off together, not knowing she was trying to catch Martin Tubbs’s attention. As they walked away together, he asked if she had heard anything from Will about Matt. Cobalt Blue had several gigs coming up. Irma lied to that she heard Matt went on a trip, though offered no other details. Later, he received an email from “Matt” (actually Cornelia and Will) saying he’d gone to Midgale to help a friend move.
Matt informed his friends of his return and met up with Joel and Peter. Happy to see him, they only asked that next time he wanted to leave; he told them ahead of time. Matt appreciated that they didn’t ask any questions of what he'd been through and considers them true friends. To celebrate their reunion, all three went out for burgers at the Golden Burger.
At some point, Cobalt Blue made an audition CD that Sheila Jensen gave to Karmilla. They impressed the celebrity enough to meet her and Joel mentioned that he had a special friend (meaning Irma) who he met at one of her concerts. This led to Karmilla making a deal with Joel that she would give a special not-yet-sold CD to Irma.
Joel invited Irma over to his house to see his collection of CDs. She was impressed but also pointed out several Karmilla CDs he didn’t have, promising to make him a list. In return, she requested he sing for her and he did so gladly, making up a song about her though he wasn’t a great singer. Irma playfully made him stop. Joel heard from Matt that Karmilla was considering Matt as her replacement guitarist, meaning he could travel with her. Joel was happy for his friend and the opportunity this would give him.
Joel came across Matt sitting with Will and thinking she knew about Karmilla’s offer, tried to make jokes. Matt stopped him and dragged him away, to which Joel realized he hadn’t told his girlfriend anything. Matt declared he didn’t want to say anything until he knew for certain he would be going and told Joel not to say anything to Irma, noting the two had been hanging out a lot. Joel spied Irma coming their way and the two greeted each other, though Irma was conversing with Hay Lin. She told him to take the note she made for him out of her backpack (meaning the song list), but he grabbed what looked like a love letter to him (it was actually for Karmilla). She left with her friend and Joel was stunned by the note, not sure what to think.
To told Peter about it and the other boy was glad for him, though Joel was still unsure. He admitted that he really liked Irma but thought it was too early to think of anything except friendship, worried that he might ruin everything. Peter recognized that Joel had already fallen in love with Irma. Taking the initiative, Joel called Irma and though he was nervous enough for her to notice, he invited her to his house for dinner. Hearing he would do the cooking, she gladly accepted.
That evening, Irma arrived at Joel’s house and he greeted her, completely nervous. She was confused that it would only be the two of them but was ultimately fine with it. He served a great dinner, though Irma never picked up the romantic atmosphere he was trying to set. By the end of it, Irma was too stuffed for desert and while she admitted he had cook skill, she worried of how strange he’d been all night. She finally asked if he got her “note” and he tried to admit his feelings to her, tipping off Irma something big was about to happen. At that moment she received a call from other guardians and quickly fled. Joel was confused and saddened by her sudden retreat.
On the day of Matt’s departure with Karmilla, Joel made a bag of sweets to give to Irma. Unknown to anyone but Irma, Joel fulfilled his deal with Karmilla to pack up the equipment into the bus in exchange for a CD and autograph for Irma.  Everyone wished Matt goodbye and Joel tried to find Irma, though she had slipped away. He found her hiding from him and recognizing she felt awkward, he kindly gave her the sweets and left her alone for the time being. All watched Matt leave and as promised, Karmilla gave the CD to Irma who was delighted, but also finally realized the letter mix-up that explained Joel's behavior.
Joel found Irma again and seeing the confused look on her face, thought she didn’t like his deserts. He spoke about the CD she received and revealed he was the one behind it, earning a hug while she proclaimed to adore him. All awkwardness was forgotten and the two joked about him becoming a chef and her being his taster. At this point, the two began unofficially dating, though still referred to one another as just friends.
Joel leant Irma a box set of her favorite TV show episodes which she spent the whole weekend binge watching.
Joel and Peter join went to the beach with Irma, Cornelia, and Will. Irma was too busy teasing Cornelia to greet him so he dumped a bucket of water over her head. She chased after him and after a water fight eh was forced to admit defeat to her. From there, she challenged him to a boogieboard race and this time, Joel won.
Irma admitted to her friends that she liked Joel a lot and hoped he liked her, too.
Joel officially took over as vocalist for Cobalt Blue while they played the welcoming dance for the exchange students, with his singing having greatly improved. Unknown to him, Irma had developed a mutual though short-lived romance with Kader Peyton until the alien boy returned to his people. This incident speaks to the unofficial nature of Irma’s “relationship” with Joel.
Sheffeild Institute's school Olympics were approaching and elections were being held for Sheffield’s representative. Joel was approached by Bess and Courtney Grumper to vote for them. In exchange, they offered Cobalt Blue free hours in an official recording studio, which was enough to win his vote despite that he didn’t like them. He later was walking with Irma when they spied Martin also campaigning for representative. Irma immediately offered support to her friend while Joel awkwardly watched them. The two continued with their walk and Joel laughed at the idea that Irma would vote for "that wimp" to which Irma defended Martin as her friend. Joel pointed out that Irma would be the only one to support Martin, which outraged her that he would give in to the Grumper’s bribery. Hay Lin arrived to drag Irma away and Joel began to worry that Irma had special feelings for Martin.
The next day, Joel found Irma stalking around the halls and invited her to get a drink, though she declared she need to go to the bathroom. When he returned, he saw Irma locking the Grumper sisters in a storage closet so they would miss the debate against Martin. This confused Joel but he didn’t say anything, not did he try to help the Grumpers. After that point, Joel finally noticed how hard Martin was working and decided to vote for him instead.
Election day arrived but Joel was busy convincing his bandmates to play at the Olympic opening ceremony, knowing Irma would appreciated it. Because of this, he was the last person to arrive for the vote. The Grumpers handed him his ballot, reminding him of their promise to the recording studio, though he caught Irma glaring at him. He went to the booth to cast his vote and while he knew what he could get with the Grumpers, he believed that Martin’s fairness should be rewarded, too. Knickerbocker counted out the votes before everyone and just as the numbers were tied, the last vote came in for Martin. Irma thanked Joel for showing his support, but he was just glad she didn’t have romantic feelings for Martin after all.
On the night of the opening ceremony, Martin gave his speech but dragged on so long that Joel swooped in to start the party. While Taranee's dance team did their performance, Joel bought cotton candy to share with Irma, finding her talking to Sheila. Sheila recognized him and mentioned the deal he’d made to get a Karmilla CD for his “special friend”. Oblivious that this was for Irma, Shelia gushes at how sweet the gesture was and her thoughts that Joel and his “mystery girl” must make a great couple. Joel and Irma blushed at each other but seemed to agree.
While Irma was alone on Noah's Isle, she contemplated how her friends had found their soulmates, but she felt like she’d lost her opportunities while thinking of Joel and Kader. It’s possible she regretted not being official with Joel.
Karmilla returned to Heatherfield for another concert and Joel was excited to go because they had a chance to get backstage passes through Matt. However, Irma called on him to help her with her homework. He wasn’t happy about it, but she reminded him that she could only go to the concert if she brought up her grades. Both were excited at the idea of meeting Karmilla.
On the night of the concert, Joel arrived with Irma and Hay Lin though Will forgot about asking for backstage passes. Luckily, Taranee (who was dancing at the concert) provided some. They noticed Peter and Cornelia had come together, though Irma promised not to get involved with them as she wanted to enjoy the night. Joel agreed, thinking that after all the studying they did together, he deserved the break too. Unfortunately, Cornelia rushed over to join them, feeling too awkward to be alone with Peter. An unhappy Joel greeted an equally unhappy Peter, seeing that both of their date nights were ruined. At that moment, the concert was attacked by Ragorlang-Folkner who drained everyone’s energy, leaving all but W.I.T.C.H. in a stasis.
Once W.I.T.C.H. defeated the ex-hunter, the energy came back and all were okay, with the boys thinking the girls had run to the bathroom. When they returned, all watched Taranee’s dance performance, then Joel went with Irma and Hay Lin backstage to congratulate their friends. Sheila promised to introduce the group to Karmilla after the concert and from their place backstage, they watched their idol perform With Joel and Irma having their arms around each other.
Following this, the series went through some major changes. Joel was removed as a close friend from Irma, though there are hints that the two simply grew apart. Irma began to date Stephen. Peter also joined Cobalt Blue as another guitarist.
Joel made a reappearance to play with Cobalt Blue for a concert at Sleepy Bay. It’s hinted that this was the first concert the group had played in a while. Though he and Irma were in the same place, no interaction was seen between them.
Sometime after this, Cobalt Blue broke up.
During the big rainstorm, Joel and Peter went surfing, enjoying the huge waves the storm creates. Later, the two joined Matt in helping the fire department evacuate at-risk residents and then revived Cobalt Blue to play a charity concert for those in need. After the performance, he visited the booths and found Irma selling a lot of her old Karmilla CDs to help those in need. The two had an awkward reunion but were able to be friendly as Joel bought one of her CDs. As he walked away, he found an old note in the CD case which had his name surrounded by hearts. He was surprised by this reveal of her true feelings, recalling that she had always told him they were just friends. Even so, he recognized that time was over now and while touched, he chose not to tell Irma what he’d found. He walked away with the happy memories, just as the rainstorm finally stopped.
Joel's role in the TV series is greatly reduced making appearances in only three episodes. He is the drummer for Matt's band, with Nigel playing bass. He was present when Will stopped by Matt's home while the band was rehearsing, where he wore a black skull t-shirt, and his hair covered his eyes.
He appeared in the background playing the drums with most of his head being obscured by the neck of Nigel's bass.
His appearance drastically changed, now looking identical to the way he does in the comics, with his hair spiked, and sporting a goatee and glasses.
Images of Joel Wright.
- Issue 037: The Dispute
- Issue 048: New Horizons
- Issue 040: The Last Secret
- Issue 041: The Whole Truth
- Issue 043: The Magic of Light
- Issue 044: Never Alone Again
- Issue 051: Out of Control
- Issue 053: Dancing to a Different Tune
- Issue 054: One More Hug
- Issue 056: The Riddle
- Issue 062: Between the Pages
- Issue 063: Arrivals and Departures
- Issue 069: Beyond Borders
- Issue 064: The Screaming Man
- Issue 065: Only a Flower
- Issue 066: Reflected Memories
- Issue 067: On Your Side
- Issue 068: The Dark Side
- Issue 073: The Black Beat
- Issue 074: At the Heart of It All
- Issue 089: The Key to Summer
- Issue 132: Together Again
- Walk This Way
- H is for Hunted
- S is for Self