ByDerek Schulthies, writer at
Derek Schulthies

For the last several weeks, the internet has been loaded with fan theory after fan theory of Jason Todd and the Joker's roles in the new DC Cinematic Universe. Some of them have been worthy of pondering, while others seem just downright crazy in my humble opinion. Here's my two cents.

Is Jason Todd the Joker?

Most of the theories I've heard, regardless of the varying little details, seem to be centered around Jason Todd being the Joker. I don't happen to think this is the case. It just doesn't add up to me. As far as I can tell, Zack Snyder and everyone else involved seem to be sticking to some of the more popular storylines. That tells me right off the bat that the most likely relationship between these characters is that the Joker ( the real Joker) has murdered Todd's Robin by the events of Batman VS Superman. That is the most popular and generally accepted backstory for the two characters. Joker kills Todd, Ra's Al Ghul resurects him in the Lazarous pit, and he later goes on to become the Red Hood. People seem to be mistaking that as Todd having come back as the Joker. Yes, the Joker was the original Red Hood but had long abandoned the name by the time Todd adopted it. In fact, in more than one storyline his coming back as the Red Hood was in part to get the Joker's attention and a chance at revenge. This sort of storyline is the best and smartest way for DC to go about this from a business prospective. They have one big shot here with this new universe they are creating to finally step up alongside Marvel in the world of Cinema. To go off in some new, crazy, twisty direction would likely be to the chagrin of most fans and isn't going to get them the support the need to make this thing work. But this is all speculation.

On to the Evidence

As far as I can tell, the trailers for Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad are all the proof we need that Jason Todd is not the Joker. In the part of the trailer for SS that features the image above, the Joker is obviously getting ready to torture someone. He's holding in his hands what appears to be something he's a about to electrocute the victim strapped to the table with. The person on the tabel is not Todd if that's what you're thinking. If you pause at the right moments in the trailer, you can see that it is in fact Dr. Harleen Quinzel. Given the fact that she's wearing a lab coat and the Joker is wearing Arkham Asylum pants, this tells me we're getting a somewhat in depth Harley Quinn origin story. Since we know she's already Harley by the present time of SS, this is obviouly a flashback scene. How far into the past, I really don't know. I'm guessing its a ways back since Harley is considered one of "the worst of the worst" which tells me she's been at it for some time. This means that if Todd is the Joker, he's been the Joker for quite a while and is the only Joker that Harley has had any interaction with.

This seems extremeley unlikely to me and also begs the question, "What happened to the original Joker?". I've heard it theorized that Batman killed him as revenge for torturing and, as far as he knows, killing Robin. The idea of that situation is ridiculous. We all know that one of the defining traits of Batman's character is his unwillingness to kill. Even the Joker. We've seen it depicted over and over in comics, animated movies, and even video games. No matter who the Joker kills, who he hurts, or what he destroys, Batman still refuses to kill him. That's just who he is. It seems far more likely to me that Jared Leto's Joker is indeed the real Joker. At some point, he's responsible for the murder of Robin, very possibly even before he tortures Harley. After all, he is obviously locked up for some reason and given that Affleck's Batman has been at it 20 years by the events of BVS, there is plenty of time for this to have happened. I do believe that Batman does take some revenge. He probably beats the Joker within an inch of his life as he has in other depictions of the story. This would explain the metal grill we see him rocking above as well.

The Robin Suit

I've read speculation that the message written on the suit was written by Jason Todd himself after he becomes the Joker as a way to taunt Batman for his failure to save his partner. I don't see it. Not with the way the suit is displayed. Its a shrine. Its a memorial. Its a tribute to Robin, almost like errecting a statue in his honor. This isn't something you would typically do after somone has gone off the deep end and turned into a psycotic killer. Think back to Christopher Nolan's trilogy. You didn 't see them putting up a Bat Statue for the good he had done when they thought he murdered Harvey Dent. That doesn't happen until people learn the truth and he sacrifices himself to save Gotham. It just seems to me its something more than Brue Wayne leaving it up as a reminder although I'm sure that is a factor. Its a tribute to a fallen hero who went out still a hero.

In Closing

Well, there you have it. There's my take on it. There are a couple of other things I could touch on but I think I've rambled on long enough and have effectivley stated my views. Of course nothing will likely be known for sure until the arrivals of Batman VS Superman in March and Suicide Squad in August. In any case, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to read this article and I hope I've left you all something to think about.


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