Joker: KILLER SMILE is Coming To DC’s Mature Black Label

Everybody’s favorite Batman villain is getting an all-new miniseries with Joker: Killer Smile, a mature, dark, and “horrifying” new story released under DC’s prestige Black Label this Halloween.

The series has just been announced from writer Jeff Lemire (Green ArrowGideon FallsEssex County) and artist Andrea Sorrentino (Green ArrowGideon Falls). The clown prince of crime is already hands-down one of the darkest characters of the Batman mythos, if not all of comic book history. And with Killer Smile, Lemire and Sorrentino are ready to tell their version of his story.

Related: Superman is a Navy SEAL in New Black Label Origin

In this new series, the Joker is locked away in Arkham Asylum (no surprise there). With his infamous partner in crime Harley Quinn getting her own HARLEEN series from Black Label, this new tale finds Joker under the care of not Dr. Harleen Quinzel, but a new mental health professional doctor, Dr. Ben Arnell. As we’ve seen in the past, Joker will do anything to get his way, and it doesn’t seem like things will be different in this miniseries. As the series’ plot synopsis warns, “as he gets his hooks deeper and deeper into the mind of his prey, Joker sets off a chain reaction of mayhem that will threaten to tear down not only Gotham City but the soul of this idealistic man, and his young family, too.” The Joker knows his best chance at getting out of Arkham Asylum is to get his doctor on his side. Sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it?

However, rest assured this is a whole new story, and a new interpretation of the Joker. One intended to show the true depths of his depravity, promising a version that is “new” and “horrifying” which, for the Joker, is saying something. Letting him into your life is always a bad move, so what story will pull Dr. Arnell in when everyone in Gotham knows Joker is an unsolvable problem? Will he go to bat (pardon the pun) to protect, or possibly even free the Joker? And if so, will this new character’s story be cut short as quickly as seems likely?

Getting to work with my long-time collaborator Andrea Sorrentino on a Joker story is very exciting,” shares Lemire. “The Joker is an iconic character and we wanted to create something that challenges readers to look at him in a new and horrifying way.

Sorrentino adds, “This story has pushed me as a creator to aspire to new heights in storytelling. That little spark of madness in the Joker gives me an opportunity to play with the pacing, the layouts and the storytelling in a way that few other characters would allow.

The fact that this story is being released as part of DC Black Label means it can go places normal Batman comics can’t, going even darker and more twisted than some readers may expect–thanks to the books being targeted squarely at mature audiences. Joker: Killer Smile is a three-part story that will debut October 30, 2019, releasing every other month following.

Next: DC’s Best Graphic Novels Re-Releasing Under Black Label

2019-07-11 04:07:09

Tessa Smith

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Biggest Leak Debunked By Joker DLC

It appears as if a seemingly credible leak has been debunked following the arrival of Joker in Smash Bros. Ultimate, leaving gamers to once again begin speculating on who will make the final cut as DLC. Super Smash Bros. is the ultimate gaming crossover, and its scope seems to grow every other month as more characters are added via downloadable content. The latest fighter to join the battle is none other than Persona 5‘s Joker, but fight aficionados have been preparing for his arrival since December 2018—lessening the impact as a whole.

The other four fighters joining Smash Bros. Ultimate as part of the game’s Fighters Pass are still unknown, although a few rumors and reports have ousted Erdrick from Dragon Quest as a likely Smash newcomer. Despite this, the arrival of Joker has appeared to have cast doubt upon and possibly even debunked another widely circulated “leak” in Smash Bros. Ultimate. Are fans finally able to begin hoping for the inclusion of their favorite characters to join the fray again?

Related: Cuphead Devs Hope Fans Can Get Characters in Smash Bros. Ultimate

The DLC characters previously mentioned in the Smash Bros. Ultimate leak included the aforementioned Edrick from Dragon Quest, Steve from Minecraft, Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden, and Doomguy from DOOM. The thing that made this leak unravel, however, was earlier details associated with Joker that never materialized in the final content for the game – namely, the appearance of Jack Frost appearing on screen with a skill. Source Gaming’s PushDustin highlighted the leak and its current status on Twitter.

So where does this leave fans of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? Well, it opens up a lot of possibilities when it comes to characters that could make the cut. Characters like Banjo and Kazooie could appear in Smash Bros. now, while other highly-requested characters once again have the opportunity to join the fray. Even just recently, the official Halo Twitter account suggested that Master Chief would be a great addition to Smash Bros. Ultimate, which would turn all kinds of heads for fans—however unlikely it may be as of this writing.

It’s important to keep in mind that just because Erdrick was part of this leak doesn’t mean that he’s completely off the table. The character has been hinted at by some credible leakers in the past and one of the developers working on Super Smash Bros. posted Erdrick’s shield from Dragon Quest on his Instragram account as a teaser of sorts. As much as the arrival of Joker in Smash Bros. has seemingly debunked this major rumor, it’s important to note that development plans change often and the lack of Jack Frost could be a result of just that. Nothing is quite so concrete as it would seem, but this has cast a lot of doubt on the legitimacy of the original claims.

Next: Smash Ultimate’s Leaked DLC Characters Are Good – But Entirely Disappointing

Source: @PushDustin – Twitter

2019-04-17 10:04:04

Riley Little

Jared Leto’s Suicide Squad Joker Tattoos Explained

Reactions to Jared Leto’s take on the Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad were decidedly mixed, but what do the character’s various tattoos really mean? The Joker is arguably the most famous villain in comic book history and following his introduction in 1940, he’s morphed from comical prankster to one of Batman’s most lethal foes. Where Batman wants to bring order and justice to Gotham City, the Joker thrives on chaos and destruction.

The Joker has been memorably brought to life in a number of mediums. Jack Nicholson’s Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman is one of the most iconic, but Mark Hamill’s portrayal in Batman: The Animated Series to video games like Batman: Arkham Knight is also considered definitive. While fans were skeptical when Heath Ledger was cast in the role for The Dark Knight, the actor would soon prove them wrong with his mesmerizing portrayal. Ledger tragically passed away before the movie’s release and would earn a posthumous Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his work.

Related: Joker Theory: Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Creates Batman

Fans are excited to see what Joaquin Phoenix does with the role in the standalone Joker movie, which promises to be a dark, grounded take on the villain. Responses to Jared Leto’s interpretation in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad was famously divided. From stories of his outlandish behavior during filming to his garish look, it’s fair to say Leto’s performance split opinions. That said, he definitely brought a new energy and look to the part, especially in regards to the many Joker tattoos.

Ayer would state the Joker tattoos all tell a story and contain a number of easter eggs. Even the character’s contentious grill has a backstory, with Ben Affleck’s Batman having smashed the Joker’s teeth after he murdered Robin. Ayer and Leto drew inspiration from real-life drug lords for the character’s look and fascination with tattoos, so here’s the meaning behind some of the Joker’s most prominent ink.


Probably the most controversial tattoo for fans, the “Damaged” stamped on the Joker’s forehead is intended to be a personal message to Batman, blaming him for ruining his good looks after knowing out his teeth. Ayer would later admit this particular tat was probably a mistake.


The HAHAHA’s found on Joker’s chest and left arm is a trademark of the character to indicate he’s always laughing about something. He also spraypainted Robin’s suit in the same way after his murder to taunt Batman.

The J Initial

Prior to the release of Suicide Squad, a popular fan theory stated Leto’s Joker was actually Jason Todd, and the “J” tat on his cheek was a nod to this. This has subsequently been proven false, however, and is likely just a vanity reference to his own name.

The Stabbed Bat Logo

Found on Joker’s left arm is a Batman logo stabbed by a knife. This could either be a reference to Joker’s desire to kill the Caped Crusader or another nod to the death of Robin.

Dead Robin

A tattoo of a robin pierced with an arrow is found on the Joker’s right bicep, which is a pretty blunt taunt to Batman over killing Robin in the past.

The Smiles

Leto’s Joker has three tattoos of toothy smiles; one on his right forearm, his left hand, and his stomach. He uses the left-hand grin to hide his own smile during one scene, suggesting the tattoos are to hide his own insecurity over Batman smashing out his real teeth.

Related: The Best Joker Dark Knight Theory (And How It Improves The Movie)


A pretty self-explanatory one, with this torso tattoo literally branding the character as the Joker. The villain possibly got this one to shed whoever he was in his former life.

“God’s Only Child”

This tattoo is found on Leto’s back and is either a not so subtle reference to the Joker seeing himself as special or a jab at the idea of religion.

“All In”

One of the most distinctive Joker tattoos is of a deck of cards on his neck labeled “All In.” Cards are obviously a big part of the Joker’s history and “All In” is probably a reference to how the villain lives his life. He also has a tattoo of card suits on his knuckles.


The Jester tattoo on Joker’s chest in Suicide Squad could be a reference to his relationship with Harley Quinn. The fact the Jester is a skull suggests a darker meaning, however.

Next: Why Gotham Season 4 Episode 11 Was Important For The Joker

2019-04-17 08:04:55

Padraig Cotter

Smash Ultimate Finally Adding Joker To Its Roster

The long-awaited arrival of Joker in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is finally upon fans, as the 3.0 update and a bevvy of additional content prepare to release. Fighting game fans have been waiting for the next Super Smash Bros. character to drop since Piranha Plant joined Smash Ultimate in February 2019. Truth be told, the wait was almost too long, as gamers had known about the impending existence of Joker in Smash prior to the game’s release, which led to speculating on the other four fighters that would be joining Smash Ultimate via DLC.

Previous reports claimed that Joker would be joined by Dragon Quest‘s Erdrick, before a follow-up rumor eventually emerged stating that the two would also be accompanied by Steve from Minecraft, Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden, and Doomguy from Doom. While it’s looking as if that latter report won’t end up being true, speculation can finally take a back seat to the arrival of new content in Smash Bros. Ultimate for the first time since February.

Related: Super Smash Bros. Melee Player Wins Match By Doing Nothing

Dropping a video highlighting every new feature out of nowhere, Nintendo has confirmed that Smash Bros. Ultimate will receive its long-awaited version 3.0 update today on April 17, 2019. A specific time has yet to be clarified by Nintendo. For those with the Fighters Pass, this will include Joker as a brand-new playable character, a stage based on Mementos from Persona 5, and a heaping pile of new music for gamers to enjoy. Version 3.0 also adds a Stage Builder mode to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as well as a Video Editor and support for the new Smash World mobile app, all for free.

Accompanying all of that content is the arrival of paid costumes for the playable Mii characters in Smash Bros. Ultimate. These costumes are based on characters from across several Persona titles and even touts attire inspired by Sonic the Hedgehog‘s Tails and Knuckles. The digital garb will retail for $0.75 USD apiece and release alongside version 3.0 on April 17th. The most noteworthy aspect of their arrival is that they’re launch under the label “Extra Mii Fighter Costumes – Round 1,” implying that there will be more to come.

It might be a safe bet then to wager on other Mii Fighter costumes returning to the fold in Ultimate after appearing in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U. Keeping that in mind, Square Enix’s Geno and Chocobo costumes make the most sense as add-ons, and could even arrive alongside Edrick from Dragon Quest in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Jumping back to Joker, his use of a pistol also dismisses arguments being made against potential DLC characters that utilize guns. Resident Evil‘s cast of heroes and heroines look all the more feasible now (and could be joined by a wave of Capcom-related costumes), and the same can be said for the potential of Halo‘s Master Chief joining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Others that fall into this category include Tomb Raider‘s Lara Croft and Doom‘s Doomguy, but only time will tell who the remaining four newcomers are in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s incoming selection of DLC.

Next: Cuphead Devs Hope Fans Can Get Characters in Smash Bros. Ultimate

Source: Nintendo

2019-04-17 04:04:09

Riley Little

Joker Theory: Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Creates Batman

Joaquin Phoenix’s version of the Clown Prince of Crime in Joker could be responsible for turning Bruce Wayne into Batman in his universe. While Warner Bros. is still working on growing a cinematic universe of DC characters, they are also not going to be completely beholden to making all of their movies connect. This is especially true when a potentially great standalone film comes along. It’s still early in the process, but many have faith that Joker could be just that.

After initial skepticism about a Joker origin movie passed, the trailer for the Todd Phillips directed film showed just how this could work. There’s no connections to a larger universe or superheroes, as Joker looks to be a character driven piece about a man loosing his sanity. That all said, the movie will not be completely devoid of any connections to DC comics. Thomas Wayne (Brett Cullen) is set to play a major role, and a young Bruce Wayne appeared to be shown in the footage too.

Related: Why Joaquin Phoenix Is The Creepiest Joker

In the latest Screen Rant video, we lay out our theory that Joaquin Phoenix’s version of Joker may be the one who’s responsible for Batman’s origin. The theory would see Joker take several cues from Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman and Jack Nicholson’s version of Joker, but this film could make the connection between them even deeper. Check out the video featured at the top of this post for all the details.

Since previous versions of Joker have been responsible for the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne, it would be surprising if Joker didn’t try to change up the mythology in some way. It has this ability thanks to being an Elseworlds-style film – standalone and not tied to any other films – and there have been theories for the last several months that a deeper connection between Joker and Batman will be made. Our theory leans into this, which would see Arthur Fleck (Joker’s real name for the movie) be the half-brother of Bruce Wayne thanks to Thomas having an affair with Mrs. Fleck.

But if this isn’t the case, then Joker could still subvert expectations with the setup that could be done for the future of this Elseworlds universe. Even though we may never actually see a sequel to Joker or another film set in the same continuity, it’s possible that Phoenix’s “Joker” will not even be the version of the villain that this universe’s version of Batman would fight. He amasses some form of a following based on all the clown masks featured in the film, so another version of Joker could be created in the future and take inspiration from Fleck. This latter option is far less likely to happen since a sequel or flash forward would be needed, but clearly Joker has several avenues to surprise fans with a new take on the Joker-Batman relationship.

MORE: Dark Theories About Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker

2019-04-16 09:04:13

Cooper Hood

Gotham Star Reveals Creepy New Close-Up Look at The Joker

Gotham returns next week for its final two episodes, and star Cameron Monaghan celebrated by dropping a perfectly horrible close-up of himself as the Joker on social media. Fans have been very vocal about the Joker’s look ever since it was first revealed, but as the finale approaches he’s looking more and more like just what the Arkham Asylum doctors ordered.

After falling into a toxic pit in an episode appropriately titled “ACE Chemicals,” the last time audiences saw Jeremiah Valeska was while he was lying in a hospital bed wrapped in bandages. Now those bandages have unwrapped, and both the latest trailers and Monaghan himself have provided some impressive peeks into what Gotham‘s biggest nightmare looks like. Turns out the chemicals really did do a number on him, reinventing him once again despite his previously bleached skin and tortured grimace.

Related: Gotham’s Batman Finally Rises

As evidenced by Monaghan’s recent Instagram post, the makeup department is to be commended for this surprisingly comic accurate take on the Joker given the restraints placed on them from above. The burned skin makes it almost impossible to tell that it’s the same actor taking his character to the next level, and no one can deny who he’s meant to be even if the show remains barred from using the “Joker” moniker. And while it’s not clear exactly what his story will be in the final two episodes, the trailer showcases his hand stabbed by a weapon suspiciously similar to a batarang, which suggests he’ll factor into the flashforward heavily.

Monaghan’s caption reads, “#Gotham. Two weeks.” Since the show is actually returning in one week, we can assume he won’t make his appearance until the finale itself. This means that a lot could go down for Jeremiah in the interim, which would only add to his history of twists and turns before ultimately becoming the Clown Prince of Gotham. After all, no one expected when Jerome first appeared on the show in the first season that it would be his twin brother who ultimately fell into the iconic chemical vat and came out forever changed.

Whether this Joker look hits the spot for longtime fans or not, there’s no denying that a lot of detail and effort has gone into it. If the actor’s consistent sharing of behind-the-scenes material is any indication, the cast and crew are anticipating the final reveal – and Batman showdown – as much as the audience is. In many ways, Gotham has been building up the Joker’s rise to criminal power just as much as it has Gordon’s career in law enforcement or Bruce’s climb towards vigilantism. It’s only fitting that the last hour of the show’s lifespan should throw those entities into each other’s paths once more, setting itself apart by telling its own version of the timeless tale while also paying homage to all the adaptations that have come before.

More: Why Gotham’s Final Joker Look Works For The Show

Gotham penultimate episode,”They Did What?”, airs April 18th on Fox.

Source: Cameron Monaghan/Instagram

2019-04-12 12:04:39

Tatiana Hullender

Why Joaquin Phoenix Is The Creepiest Joker

Fans are already loving Joaquin Phoenix’s version of the Clown Prince of Crime in Joker, and he may just be the creepiest iteration ever. DC’s iconic villain has had many interpretations in media over the last several decades. Through movies and TV – both live-action and animation – there’s already been some great takes on the character. But, none of them have ever received the starring role that Phoenix will.

The three time Oscar-nominee is set to star in Joker, a solo origin story set outside of Warner Bros. and DC Films’ shared universe. Todd Phillips is directing the movie and the studios just recently unveiled the first look at the movie through a teaser trailer. The tone and character study approach made it clear that Joker is not most comic book movies, with Phoenix’s performance already impressing many.

Related: Joker Trailer Breakdown – Every Reveal

After just a single trailer and not even three minutes of footage, there are some who get the feeling that Phoenix’s version of Joker could be the best one yet – but is he the creepiest too? Screen Rant tackles this topic in our latest video, which compares what we’ve seen about Phoenix’s take to Jokers of the past. With his creepy clown makeup, laugh, smile, lingering, and possible backstory, he may just be the creepiest version to date. Check out the full comparison in the video at the top of this post.

Phoenix does have some stiff competition to claim the title of the best Joker ever seen on screen, but his creepiness is what currently sets him apart. Caeser Ramero’s version from the ’60s is inherently campy, while Jack Nicholson’s from Batman is a good mix of goofy and madness. Mark Hamill’s voice performance in a variety of animated shows and movies is highly regarded, and Cameron Monaghan has impressed Gotham viewers with his own spin on the character. Jared Leto’s take from Suicide Squad divided audiences, but it is Heath Ledger’s from The Dark Knight that was an award winning turn and still considered the best to date by many.

That all said, it is still a bit premature to definitively call Phoenix’s version of Joker the creepiest one, much less the best. There has been less than three minutes of footage from his performance released so far, and his performance could play completely different during the actual movie. Thankfully, there are only a few months left before Joker hits theaters and we get to see exactly how good and creepy Phoenix’s Joker actually is.

More: Dark Theories About Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker

2019-04-12 06:04:03

Cooper Hood

Every Live-Action Version Of The Joker, Ranked

When it comes to comic book supervillains, there’s arguably no bigger name than the Joker. For as long as Batman protects the streets of Gotham City, the Clown Prince of Crime will remain his greatest and most dangerous foe. In fact, it’s difficult to think of either of them surviving if they were to be pulled apart, since they’ve been synonymous with each other for decades.

Comic books aside, the Joker is also the most widely featured Batman rogue in the live-action side of things. From the 1966 Batman TV show all the way up to this year’s Joker, the grinning madman can’t seem to stay away from the limelight for too long.

RELATED: 10 Times Batman Has Been Other DC Heroes Or Villains

10 Special Mention: Joaquin Phoenix

As of the time of writing, only the Joker trailer has been released. Thus, it would be wrong to make an assumption about Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of Arthur Fleck/Joker without actually watching the full movie. It just wouldn’t be fair on him or any of the other actors on this list.

What can be said, however, is that it looks like Phoenix nailed the role. Everything about those two and a half minutes screamed quality and drummed up the excitement for the film. No one thought Joker was a good idea, but it looks like Todd Phillips and Phoenix might’ve created something really special here.

9 Jared Leto

Yikes. Jared Leto’s Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad had everyone talking for all the wrong reasons. For one, Leto’s in-depth method acting was a hot topic of conversation, causing many people to wonder how far is too far when getting into character. Then, his dramatic reaction to his cut scenes didn’t exactly endear him to his co-stars or Warner Bros. either.

RELATED: Suicide Squad: 10 Things It Actually Did Well

The truth is, Leto’s Joker was an experiment that didn’t quite work. Kudos to him and David Ayer for trying something different, but this is one tattooed, Lil’ Wayne-esque version of the Clown Prince that no one wants to see on the big screen ever again.

8 Roger Stoneburner

When Birds of Prey aired and Mark Hamill’s voice boomed as the Joker, the world thought the heavens had aligned. After all, Hamill’s take on the villain is iconic and many have called for him to portray the character in a live-action production as well.

Unfortunately, the actor playing the physical role of Joker on Birds of Prey wasn’t Hamill. Instead, it was Roger Stoneburner. Considering that Stoneburner didn’t even have a huge part to play on the show, no one understands why the producers failed to cast Hamill in the first place. If anything, it would’ve been terrific fan service.

7 Unknown

No one expected to see the Joker featured in Titans — even if it was only in Dick Grayson’s dream sequence. Nonetheless, it proved to be a pleasant surprise for fans of the series as it introduced another version of Mr. J that could be explored in later seasons.

The interesting thing is, there’s still no confirmation about who portrayed the infamous villain on Titans. His face was never outright shown, but he still managed to play his part to demonstrate how dangerous an off-the-rails Batman could actually be. He finally pushed the Dark Knight one step too far and the outcome wasn’t pretty.

6 Curtis Armstrong

Most audiences will recognize Curtis Armstrong for his role as Booger in the Revenge of the Nerds film series, as well as Herbert Viola in Moonlighting. What most people don’t know is that Armstrong also played the Joker once upon a time.

RELATED: 2 Characters Confirmed And 10 We Want To See In The Matt Reeves Batman Movies

From 2000 to 2002, ad agency Campbell-Ewald created a series of Batman commercials to promote the automobile guiding system known as OnStar. As expected, the Joker (Armstrong) made an appearance in the one ad titled “Joker Face.” Mixing camp with a little bit of Tim Burton’s Batman influence, Armstrong proved to be an inspired choice for the wicked prankster of Gotham City.

5 Mark Frost

Considering all the mediums Batman has transcended, it should come as no surprise that there was even a theater production titled Batman Live. Interestingly, it debuted on July 19, 2011 at the Manchester Evening News Arena and ran for two and a half years.

A major part of the plot involved the Joker (portrayed by Mark Frost) releasing all the inmates of Arkham Asylum and using Dick Grayson as bait for the Caped Crusader. The production received praise from both critics and fans alike for being able to consolidate decades of stories into an exciting and extravagant piece of theater.

4 Cesar Romero

There’s a section of the Batman fanbase that rejects Cesar Romero’s performance as the Joker. Many believe it to be goofy and silly rather than sinister and evil. The sentiment isn’t wrong, as Romero’s Clown Prince was more cartoonish than some of the other versions of the character on this list.

RELATED: Batman: 10 Ways The Bat-Suit Bends The Rules Of Science

The thing is, he was perfect for the tone of the Batman TV series. His look became iconic, as did his laughter and general presence on the show. He was never meant to be menacing or gritty, but just to serve as a constant annoyance to Batman and Robin.

3 Cameron Monaghan

Look, the villains on Gotham have been relatively hit and miss. Some have really turned out great, while others not so much. In the case of the Joker, he’s never been mentioned by name, but twins, Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska, have played different versions of the character.

Actor Cameron Monaghan has pulled off quite the feat as he’s convinced even the harshest critics of his uncanny ability to play the cackling madman. While the supposed final look of the Joker, which was revealed in the series finale trailer, has left many puzzled, don’t bet against there being another swerve to his appearance before the end of the show.

2 Jack Nicholson

For many years, Jack Nicholson was the archetype for the best on-screen Joker. Heck, even today, it’s hard to dispute that his performance as Jack Napier/Mr. J in Tim Burton’s Batman was anything short of phenomenal. While the film was supposed to be all about Michael Keaton’s Dark Knight, Nicholson’s Joker ended up stealing the whole show.

Looking back at it now, he’s also the actor who looked the most like the comic book version of the character. Nicholson put the time into getting his portrayal of the homicidal clown just right, while serving us one of his most iconic roles in the process.

1 Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger’s Joker is proof as to why no one should judge something until it’s complete. When he was announced as the Clown Prince of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, fans went berserk about the casting. The forums went into meltdown mode as the whiny internet trolls demanded Warner Bros. to recast the part.

Then, everyone saw the movie. Needless to say, that posthumous Oscar that Ledger received was well-deserved. Ledger’s Joker isn’t only remembered as a fantastic comic book movie villain, but also as one of the greatest cinematic antagonists of all time. There’s no disputing it; Ledger’s Clown Prince is still the MVP of Jokers.

NEXT: 10 Big Differences Between The Joker & The Lego Joker

2019-04-08 11:04:44

Sergio Pereira

How Joker Returns In Injustice 2 (Despite Being Dead)

Here’s how the Joker returned for Injustice 2 despite his literal heartbreaking death in the original game. The Joker is arguably the most famous comic book villain of all time and steadily evolved from his original appearance as a comical prankster to becoming Batman’s ultimate nemesis. His true name and backstory remain a mystery and he exists seemingly to create total chaos for his own amusement.

There have been a number of famous portrayals of the Clown Prince of Crime over the years, from Mark Hamill’s voice-over work in Batman: The Animated series, Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s Batman and Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning turn in The Dark Knight. Joaquin Phoenix will be adding to that legacy with 2019’s Joker.

Related: Why Gotham Season 4 Episode 11 Was Important For The Joker

The Joker also played a pivotal role in 2013 fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us. The premise behind the game sees Superman turn evil after the Joker tricks him into killing Lois Lane and setting off a nuclear device that wipes out Metropolis. Superman later interrupts an interrogation of the Joker by Batman and after the supervillain taunts him some more, the Man Of Steel punches a hole through his chest. This action leads to Superman setting up a tyrannical world order and the other members of the Justice League having to band together to stop him.

Fans might be wondering how the very, very dead Joker could thus return for 2017’s Injustice 2. The sequel again finds Batman and his team attempting to restore some kind of order after defeating Superman and having to face a new supervillain group. The Injustice 2 Joker is revealed to be an hallucination brought on when the Scarecrow uses his fear toxin on Harley Quinn. During this hallucination, Joker appears and tries to sweet talk Harley into abandoning her new superhero persona and embrace her past, but she finds the strength to fight him instead and break free of the vision – and Joker’s legacy.

This also explains why the Injustice 2 Joker is a little hunkier than usual. While some fans were disappointed the villain was only brought back for one scene in the game’s story mode, it’s a still a fun cameo and a good moment of character building for Harley. The hallucination aspect also recalls how the character was used in Batman: Arkham Knight and plans for a Jack Nicholson cameo in Joel Schumacher’s unmade Batman Unchained.

Given some fan disappointment over the Injustice 2 Joker feeling somewhat forced into the story, the inevitable Injustice 3 will probably find a way to keep him around in a more concrete way. Injustice 2 also implies that Nekron – the embodiment of Death – is somehow responsible for bringing the Joker back too, so that’s one possible way his return could be justified.

Next: Shazam: The Suicide Squad/Joker Connection You Missed

2019-04-08 06:04:23

Padraig Cotter

Shazam: The Suicide Squad/Joker Connection You Missed

Warning: SPOILERS for Shazam!

The Shazam! movie mentions almost every member of the DCEU’s Justice League, but the film’s coolest secret actually connects Billy Batson’s story directly to the romance between Harley Quinn and Joker. Did YOU spot it?

As the comic book fans likely already know Shazam! is FILLED with Easter Eggs that most viewers will completely miss. But one of the best touches forms a direct link between Billy Batson’s rise to superheroics… and the romance between Joker and Harley Quinn in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. The best part? The connection isn’t just in the fiction of the DCEU, but the real world, too.

RELATED: The Shazam Family of (Adult?) Superheroes Explained

Those audience members who decided to stick around and see the post-credits scene for Shazam! or even the faceless Superman cameo may think be worried that they missed a pivotal detail, but fear not. The actual connection between Billy Batson, Freddy Freeman, Joker, and Harley is forged much earlier in the movie, when the boys are trying to discover just how many superpowers Billy’s magical form can exhibit.

His use of electricity, super speed, super strength, and bullet immunity all become clear in the first night of testing. But with the possibilities truly appearing endless, Billy and Freddy decide to ditch class, head to an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of Philadelphia, and start to discover what Billy–sorry, ‘Thundercrack’ is truly capable of. The process is a complex one, finding Billy flossing, punching through concrete walls, shattering cinder blocks, and being unwittingly set on fire. But it isn’t the tests fans will want to be watching.

The empty warehouse might seem boring, but one shot of the testing trials reveals a corporate logo left behind amidst the metal beams and massive tanks. The logo is that of ACE Chemicals, one of the most notorious corporations in all of the DC Comics Universe. Why? Because they were the makers of the very toxins that transformed a normal man into the bleached-skinned, green-haired, crazed and maniacal Joker. ACE Chemicals has shown up numerous times in DCEU movies as a Gotham institution, but the remnants of its Philadelphia operation are no coincidence. Believe us, it gets weirder.

Fans may not have realized it, but they have already watched one other scene of testing and discovery set inside an ACE Chemicals factory in the DCEU. While it’s never explicitly said that Jared Leto’s Joker in Suicide Squad went through the exact same origin story, his decision to let Dr. Harleen Quinzel prove her love leaves little doubt. Heading directly to ACE Chemicals, Joker asks Harley to take the same plunge he did, leading to their so-called ‘chemical wedding’ in the vat of toxins (that recolor her as it did him).

Thankfully there are no such toxins left behind in Philly (we hope) along with the company’s logo, but there’s an even more incredible explanation for the ACE Chemicals branding. The empty warehouse in which Billy and Freddy test Shazam’s powers is actually the Hearn Generating Station, a now decommissioned electrical generating station outside of Toronto, Ontario. That’s the exact same location used for ACE Chemicals during Suicide Squad, meaning this link between films, heroes, and villains could be an intentional move by director David F. Sandberg… or could just be a case of spray painted set decoration being left up to do the work for them.

Either way, the bonds between the different branches of the DCEU have grown in number, pulling two of the most polar opposite movies closer than almost any other. Not to mention making us crave a crossover between Shazam and Harley Quinn more than we expected.

MORE: Everything We Know About Shazam 2

2019-04-06 07:04:57

Andrew Dyce