The newest Suicide Squad trailer is here! It looks amazing and we're all really excited to finally see Jared Leto in action as the most memorable antagonist of the Batman mythology, the Clown Prince of Crime, the Joker himself.
In case you missed it, check out the shiny new blitz trailer below!
We previously pointed out that what we've seen of the DCEU Joker so far looks like Leto and director David Ayer tipping their hats to the most recent Joker comic book saga: Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman: Endgame. Snyder and Capullo also penned Death of the Family, probably one of the best Joker stories ever written and the story arc preceding Batman: Endgame.
Death of the Family ends with Joker tipping off the edge of a cliff, but he returns for Endgame with vengeance on his mind and several sharp objects in his possession — as well as lethal quantities of Joker toxin. Snyder and Capullo's Joker might be the most terrifying we've seen on the page so far; and not just because he has his own face cut off in Detective Comics and later worn as a mask in Death of the Family.
So Jared Leto might be channelling the Joker of Batman: Endgame, but can he live up to these messed up moments from the comic book?
Jokerfied Justice League
Endgame opens with Batman being attacked by the other members of the Justice League, one after another, from Wonder Woman to the big guy himself, Superman. And the Joker Toxin that influences the behavior of the League warps their faces into terrifying, Jokerfied approximations of their normal selves.
Batman — with his specially designed, anti-Justice League, armored suit, Fenrir — is able to quickly dispatch each of the members, until he faces off against Superman, who destroys several blocks of the city, including Gotham Royal Theater, in an attempt to kill Bruce.
Batman is eventually able to overcome him by spitting a kryptonite laced pellet in his face, but the damage is done and the League all end up in comas while they undergo treatment for the toxin damage.
The defining moment making up Batman's psychology came when his parents were killed in front of him as a child. Joker captures the man who killed Bruce's parents — Joe Chill — and makes him Patient Zero in his lethal gas fueled take-over of Gotham.
When Batman tracks Joker to Gotham Presbyterian hospital he finds the infected Joe Chill, and Joker has set up a recreation of Crime Alley the night his parents were murdered, complete with an innocent family and a murderous Joe Chill.
Joker has long been a dangerous enemy for Batman because he knows just how to play the psychological angle, from mentally torturing Bruce and the Batman Family in Death of the Family to the above scene where he intends for Batman to watch helplessly as another child loses their parents.
Batman isn't standing for this though, so he smashes through the glass and is able to incapacitate Joe Chill as he raises his gun to shoot. While the parents succumb to the Joker gas, he's able to rescue and escape with the child, Duke.
While Batman is otherwise preoccupied with Joe Chill, Jim Gordon is researching the hospital and discovers Gotham's legend of the Pale Man (suggested to be an immortal Joker). He hears a noise in his apartment and investigates, finding none other than Joker himself hiding beneath his bed.
Reacting in shock as Joker comes at him with an axe and sets the place on fire, Jim Gordon shoots the clown and he falls, supposedly dead. But you didn't think it would be that easy did you? Fueling the concept that Joker is the Pale Man of myth, he rises again and comes at Jim as he speaks to Batman on the phone.
Realizing what's happened, Batman hightails it over to Gordon's apartment, to find the Police Commissioner with an axe embedded in his chest. A little present left by the Joker.
As Batman and Duke try to help, Gordon rises, coming after Batman as the Joker gas takes a hold of him. Batman is able to subdue him, but he still has a wacking great hole in his chest. The Joker always did love to mess with Jim Gordon.
Possibly the most shocking moment of the comic comes when Joker infiltrates the Batcave and, while admiring Bruce's collection of villain paraphernalia, is confronted by a shotgun wielding Alfred.
Alfred attempts to shoot him, but Joker hides in the shadows, biding his time until...
Yeah, he cuts Alfred's freaking hand off. This has gone beyond a joke now.
Batman & Joker Die
Something that has long been a defining feature of the Joker is the fact that he doesn't actually want to kill Batman.
He wants to defeat him, push him, drive him mad, and attempt to bring him down to his level by forcing the Dark Knight to break his moral "no-kill" code; but after being left for dead by Batman at the end of Death of the Family, Joker decides that he's had enough, it's time for the Bat to die.
Their scuffle ends in an underground cave where Batman struggles to get a sample of the chemical Dionesium to the surface in order to treat the lethal gas outbreak. This is one of the most brutal Batman/Joker battles we've ever seen, as both suffer serious disfiguring burns to their faces, and Bruce is blinded by a card thrown into his eye. Ouch.
But it's the conclusion of Endgame that really highlights the particulars of the complex relationship between Batman and Joker. The whole narrative arc has been positing the concept that the Joker might be the immortal Pale Man, but Batman believes that the Joker is actually keeping himself alive through the use of Dionesium.
As the cave collapses, and the two morally wound each other, Batman restrains Joker from crawling to the Dionesium pool to heal his injuries. Joker pleads for his life, but Batman holds him there until the cave roof collapses in, destroying the pool.
In doing so Batman dooms them both to die, but saves the entire city by getting some Dionesium to the surface via a line up to Alfred's daughter, Julia. Julia pleads for him to save himself but he refuses, saying, "I'm just going to rest here a little while with my friend" as the cave collapses down upon them.
At the end of Batman: Endgame, both Batman and Joker are assumed dead, though it is comic books so Bruce Wayne does of course eventually resurface (albeit somewhat amnesic).
As for Joker though, he's yet to make a reappearance in the New 52, but we're betting we haven't seen the last of the Clown Prince of Crime. Perhaps the Pale Man sleeps below the earth still, waiting, watching.
'Suicide Squad' is set for a August 5, 2016 release date.