Like the mind of the Joker himself, Gotham has twisted and turned at every given opportunity. In particular, Gotham has bombarded audiences with misdirects regarding the fate of Jerome Valeska, the fan-favorite villain who reportedly died back in Season 2.
However, an increasing number of hints led many to believe that #CameronMonaghan's character would one day return to the show and take on the role of #Joker. From the Season 3 'Mad City' promo to Instagram photos posted by Monaghan himself, Jerome's resurrection gradually became the world's worst kept secret — one which was finally confirmed this week by an official promo that reveals his ultimate transformation into The Clown Prince of Crime.
Check out the 'Ghosts' trailer that heralds the return of Gotham to our screens, complete with a Frankenstein version of Jerome's Joker:
“Gotham has no heroes, nothing but darkness. I’d like to share that with you.”
Creepy. As. F**k.
While you didn't need to be the world's greatest detective to see this 'plot twist' coming, the Joker's ultimate reveal has been a long time coming for fans who have stuck with Gotham since the beginning. The problem, though, was always going to be whether the show could pull off a convincing version of this iconic character, one that stands apart from the numerous Jokers depicted on screen before... and yes, that includes Jared Leto's divisive take on the role in Suicide Squad.
Fortunately, our first brief glimpse of Monaghan's Joker in action suggests that Gotham may explore a surprisingly interesting take on the character, one which delves into recent comic book history from the New 52 arc.
While the DC Comics universe has since been rebooted as part of the #Rebirth initiative, one of the most memorable moments from this period comes courtesy of The Joker, who outdoes himself in the crazy stakes by cutting off his own face and pinning it to a wall.
Removing your own face isn't too good for your health though apparently, so The Joker then took a short hiatus before returning once more, wearing the decaying flesh of his face as a mask. As if that wasn't bad enough, the Clown Prince of Crime then took his particular brand of batshit crazy to even bolder heights by literally turning his frown upside-down, flipping his maggot-infested face around to destroy any hopes we may have had of ever sleeping again.
While it seems unlikely that Gotham will commit fully to depicting this nightmarish version of The Joker on #TV, it's hard to deny that Jerome's physical transformation seems to have drawn inspiration from this disturbingly iconic version of the character.
This doesn't mean that Monaghan won't be finding new & exciting ways of freaking us out with his interpretation of The Joker though. Executive producer John Stephens discussed Jerome's character with Screener TV, revealing some of the ways that his resurrection will change him for the worse:
“He's not as nice as he was before. He's definitely changed. The way we talked to Cameron about it is that somebody who's basically gone through death and come back to life has a different point of view, a much grander point of view... [He] wants to see himself on a much larger stage.”
Until we finally see The Joker's return in full, a few questions still remain. How exactly will Jerome return to Gotham? Are those scars the result of Dr Hugo Strange's experiments, or will The Joker actually cut off his own face? And most importantly of all, will Gotham ever commit fully to full-on maggot face in the show?
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For now, Jerome is set to return for a three episode arc that kicks off on January 16, before Gotham goes back off the air until April. While there's a slim chance that the show runners may choose to kill The Joker off once more, it seems far more likely that Cameron Monaghan is now here to stay, allowing Gotham to finally explore the roots of Batman's greatest villain in all of the sickening detail that we can handle.
If the citizens of Gotham thought that they lived in a Mad City before, wait till they get a load of this guy!
Would you like to see Cameron Monaghan's Joker recreate iconic scenes from The New 52 and cut his own face off?
[Source — Screener TV]