The spotlight in the DC Extended Universe is squarely on women right now. Wonder Woman is still tying moviegoers in knots; just one more good weekend will make it the second biggest DCEU movie in the U.S., and it could pass Batman v Superman for the top spot not long after. Princess Diana will get back in the spotlight in Justice League this fall, and last summer was all about Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn stealing scenes from Will Smith and the rest of the Suicide Squad. Basically DC sisters are doing it for themselves.
Jared Leto is the second name on the poster for Suicide Squad. The only actor to get billed above him is Will Smith. Leto is listed ahead of actors like Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, and Viola Davis, who, unlike the Joker, are all actual members of the Suicide Squad. Despite Leto’s billing, though, and despite the large amount of publicity surrounding his unusual version of the character (not to mention his unusual preparations to play the role, which included sending disgusting “gifts” to his colleagues), Leto has very little screentime in the final film. He’s featured mostly in flashbacks about Robbie’s Harley Quinn and her time before she was captured by Batman. When he finally appears in the contemporary story, he shows up to “rescue” Harley, fails, and crashes in a helicopter. Then he doesn’t show up again until the very last scenes of the movie, when he tries to break her out of prison.
If you watched the DC Comics panel at last weekend's WonderCon in Los Angeles, then you saw the reveals of all the titles and most of the creative teams for the company's upcoming "Rebirth" event. Mixed in with those, though, was one more announcement about DC's upcoming plans: When Justice League #50 hits shelves next month as the climax to "The Darkseid War," Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok are planning to give the Joker a "real identity" that will presumably go beyond just being Gotham City's most notoriously murderous clown.
It's a bold move, especially since it's happening in the company's flagship team book rather than in a solo Batman title. In the days since the panel, the news has got a whole lot of people --- myself included --- talking about the possibilities of what we're going to see in April. If the Joker's not just the Joker, then who is he?
Unlike Batman, whose origin story seems to be told again and again (and again in Batman vs. Superman), his arch-nemesis The Joker has remained a mystery. Despite some hints at his past, most notably in Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, comic readers have never definitively learned his true identity...
Anyone following FOX’s Gotham (those brave souls) well-remembers the proto-Batman series’ quick introduction of almost-Joker figure Jerome, before Season 2 seemingly put a cap on the character in the most eye-rolling setup possible. Well, get ready to stretch that grin once more, as Ben McKenzie hints we’ve not seen the last of Cameron Monaghan’s cackling madman.