(Warning - potential SPOILERS for Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice lie below. Proceed with whatever level of caution your natural SPOILER-aversion dictates...)
Another day, another teasing tweet from a beloved celebrity involved in a major comic book movie...
This time around, it's the turn of Jared Leto - a.k.a. Suicide Squad's Joker - to torment us with a potentially symbolism-loaded image posted to his social media. The reason it's so important this time out, though?
This one might just tell us exactly what to expect from the ever-mysterious Joker in the upcoming Suicide Squad...and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Jared Leto's Latest Tweet Seems to Be Teasing an Iconic Comic Book's Storyline
Specifically, The Killing Joke, the 1988 graphic novel (written by Alan Moore) in which the Joker brutally assaults Barbara 'Batgirl' Gordon, altering her comic book future forever.
The reason Leto seems to be teasing that particular comic book, though?
Well, just take a look at that hat...
A piece of headwear which has, over the years, become visually synonymous with The Killing Joke's particularly brutal version of the Joker...
...and which, from the looks of that image, might just be turning up in a DC movie in the near future.
Why Is That Such a Big Deal, Though?
Well, the thing is - there's arguably no more iconic Joker-centric story in Bat-History than The Killing Joke...but that hasn't always been for the right reasons. The graphic novel has been alternately lauded and berated since its release (with those taking issue with it including its writer, Moore), with its inclusion of not only the brutal assault of Barbara Gordon, but of a brutal sexual component alongside it, coming in for particular critical attention.
Y'see, the Joker doesn't just physically assault Barbara - he pointedly cripples her, then strips her naked, and makes her father watch as she appears to bleed to death. With there even being a possible implication of sexual assault, it ranks as one of the most shocking moments in the Joker's - and comic book - history. And now:
Jared Leto's Tweet Seems to Be Hinting That We'll See it in the DC Cinematic Universe
Or, at least, that his Joker is strikingly similar to the one we saw in The Killing Joke - which in turn suggests that Barbara Gordon has likely experienced a similarly horrifying attack sometime before the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
If so, then that tweet may not only be telling us to expect to see Barbara Gordon appear - and perhaps support those Jena Malone-is-Oracle (Barbara Gordon's post-Killing Joke secret identity) rumors - but also to anticipate a whole lot of references to the Joker in Batman v Superman.
After all, if the Joker was - as in The Killing Joke - responsible for horribly injuring Barbara Gordon, then that newspaper clipping we saw in the recent Batman v Superman trailer might just have a greater resonance than merely that caused by Man of Steel...
Is it then now even more likely that we'll see the Joker appear in Batman v Superman - and that in the years before its events, he brutally broke up Batman's 'family,' as he did in the late '80s in comic book form?
Well, perhaps - or perhaps Jared Leto just really likes big hats (and messing with us)...
We'll most likely not find out for sure till 2016...