(Warning - the following may contain major SPOILERS for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and the expanded DC Cinematic Universe beyond it. Proceed with whatever level of caution your natural SPOILER-aversion dictates...)
With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice edging ever closer to its March 25, 2016 release date, it's perhaps not too surprising that the rumor-mill surrounding the movie is beginning to kick into full gear. What's not all that much of a surprise, however, is that the most intriguing rumor we've yet heard comes courtesy not of a professional superhero columnist, but from an intrepid fan with a (possibly not all that) out-there theory.
A theory which, if it turns out to be true, means that:
The Joker Might Just Have a HUGE Secret in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Specifically, it seems as though he might have...a secret identity?
Yup, that's right - if this particular theory (from redditor DeathByRequest) is correct, not only could the Joker be about to shed his traditional feature of a mysteriously unrevealed origin, but he might just be someone we all know...and love.
Who IS He, Then?
Well, take a closer look at that there image of the Joker (as he's about to be portrayed by Jared Leto), and then another one at this here still from the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer:
Specifically in the shoulder area, say?
If you've just gasped audibly, there's a pretty good chance you've spotted the same thing as the intrepid Redditor in question. If not, though? Well, y'see:
The Joker and That Old Robin Costume Have Perfectly Matching Scars
Specifically, there seem to be matching scars (with the look of the bullet wound about them) on both The Joker's shoulders, and those of that empty Robin costume.
Which, it seems, might just suggest that...
The Joker IS Robin
The theory suggests that those scars aren't simply a coincidence (or a sign of the Joker torturing Robin in a very particular way, one designed to mirror his own body), but instead prove that at some point in the past, Robin became The Joker.
Which...actually has way more comic book precedent behind it than you'd think.
Back in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Strikes Again (the sequel to The Dark Knight Returns, the iconic comic book on which Batman v Superman is seemingly set to be heavily based), a new version of The Joker appeared in Gotham city - one who turned out to be none other than a twisted version of...Dick Grayson, the original Robin:
A far less well-treated version of Robin than we saw in the mainstream DC comic book universe, this Robin turned out to be a murdering psychopath who gained both superhuman invulnerability and a major hatred of Batman.
And then got thrown into a pit of lava... (The Dark Knight Strikes Again, it's worth noting, is pretty darned weird...)
Could Dick Grayson Be The Joker in Batman v Superman, Then?
Well, perhaps - but it perhaps seems a little more likely that (if The Joker really was originally Robin) we're talking about another Robin entirely.
After all, Dick Grayson later became the fan-favorite hero Nightwing, which would, you'd imagine, make the chances of the DC Cinematic Universe cutting out any possibility of featuring such a beloved character in the future pretty low.
Jason Todd, though? The second Robin, who the comic book Joker literally beat to death (before he was resurrected as the largely villainous - and one-time Joker identity-aping - Red Hood?).
Well, he'd make a whole lot more sense - especially since the classic storyline in which he returned as Red Hood would have a whole lot more resonance in a movie adaptation were he actually to return as The Joker. After all, the chances of the movies establishing that The Joker was originally a guy in a red mask and cape are pretty slim...
...but the chances of him having seemingly killed Robin, but secretly coerced him into becoming his very own sidekick/successor?
Well, that's a whole lot more possible - and might just shine a whole new light on one particular line from the Batman v Superman trailer...
"20 years in Gotham, how many good guys are left? How many stayed that way?"