ByKatie Granger, writer at Creators.co
MP Staff Writer, come to bargain.
Katie Granger

If Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice left you feeling just a little bit deflated, worry not; because in a few months time DC and Warner Brothers' Suicide Squad will be hitting screens and, if the trailers are anything to go by, it's gonna be one hell of a ride.

But even in amongst the psychedelic craziness of Suicide Squad one aspect has been talked about head and shoulders above all others, and it is of course the man stepping into the shoes of the Clown Prince of Crime: Jared Leto's Joker.

'I Prefer It To Be Multiple Choice!'

'The Killing Joke' - Joker's multiple choice past
'The Killing Joke' - Joker's multiple choice past

As the most prevalent and iconic of all Batman villains, Joker has been portrayed in numerous media, by numerous actors, and written and illustrated by numerous writers and artists. Due to his "multiple choice" past it's tricky to say that there's one true way to portray Joker both on and off screen, and we've already had many different versions, each iconic in their own way.

From Mark Hamill to Heath Ledger, from Bill Finger and Bob Kane to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, Joker is hard to pin down as any specific character. And that's part of what makes him so interesting.

Joker artwork by Ben F Jeffery - www.BenFJeffery.com
Joker artwork by Ben F Jeffery - www.BenFJeffery.com

We've already commented on the fact that it looks like Leto's take on the iconic character might be drawing from the Joker of Snyder and Capullo's Batman: Endgame and Death of the Family, probably one of the best, and most terrifying, Jokers ever realised on the page.

But there's a minor Suicide Squad character who also nods towards another iconic Joker outing, did you notice Jonny Frost?

Jonny Frost

Joker and Jonny Frost in 'Joker'
Joker and Jonny Frost in 'Joker'

In a recent EW interview, the first time Leto sat down to properly discuss Joker and his portrayal of him without going all method acting on us, he name dropped a character by the name of "Mr. Frost".

Wait what? Mr. Frost, the incredibly minor and instantly forgettable (but actually kind cool) Flash villain? Nope, not that one. Cause a quick look at the Suicide Squad cast list tells us that Jim Parrack is playing a character credited as "Jonny Frost / Pseudo Joker".

Jim Parrack portrays Jonny Frost in 'Suicide Squad'
Jim Parrack portrays Jonny Frost in 'Suicide Squad'

Comic book fans might recognise the name Jonny Frost, as he's the central character of Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo's graphic novel Joker, an interesting take on a more violent, gangster flavored Joker.

Leto describes Frost as "the Joker’s henchman", and that's pretty much exactly who he is in the comic. In fact, though the story is titled after Joker, he's not actually the character whose narrative we follow. The main character of Joker is Jonny Frost, a nothing street thug sent to collect Joker upon his release from Arkham Asylum.

'Joker': Joker meets Jonny Frost for the first time
'Joker': Joker meets Jonny Frost for the first time

Joker takes a liking to Jonny, and keeps him on as his chauffeur. In his new role in high crime society Jonny witnesses Joker's brutal path towards taking back the city, his territory been stolen out from under him whilst incarcerated. Joker is portrayed here as a less manic, more focused, gangster character than other iterations; as he tells Jonny: "I’m not crazy anymore, just mad".

As the brutality escalates Jonny fears losing not just his life but his very sanity as he's drawn into the dark world of Joker. The biggest mistake he makes perhaps is trying to understand the man that is Joker, and Azzarello and Bermejo's incredibly visceral take on the character is very different to those we've seen before. This is largely because Joker is explored not through his character coming into conflict with Batman, as is typical, but instead through the eyes of one of his subordinates.

Ledger's Joker bears a similarly to the 'Joker' character
Ledger's Joker bears a similarly to the 'Joker' character

There's been a lot of speculation that Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight (which came out the same year as Joker) was inspired by Bermejo's early sketches of the character, due to the physical similarities between them in terms of the messy, smudged make up and hair.

'Suicide Squad'

And it looks like it's not just Ledger's Joker which may have taken a leaf out of Joker's book, as Leto's Joker bears more than a passing resemblance also, from the gangster grills to the snazzy red leather jacket and henchmen swaggering around wielding machine guns.

Jared Leto as Joker in 'Suicide Squad'
Jared Leto as Joker in 'Suicide Squad'

Including Jonny Frost as Joker's primary henchman in Suicide Squad makes a lot of sense, as it was fairly clear once the first trailer dropped that we were going to be seeing a very different, more organised crime involved, Joker than before, one very different from the likes of Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger.

This chimes with a comment made by Suicide Squad director David Ayer, who outright describes this Joker as "a modern-day gangster":

The Joker has a lot of different looks, sort of built from the looks throughout the history of DC Comics but with a new sort of flair and flavor on him so he does feel like a modern-day gangster, because… he’s always been a gangster.
Jared Leto laughs it up in 'Suicide Squad'
Jared Leto laughs it up in 'Suicide Squad'

The fact that Parrack is credited as "Pseudo Joker" is interesting also, as it suggests that Frost might be used as a stand in for Joker at some point during the movie.

Does this mean we'll see Parrack in the green hair and white make up? And will he meet the same end as Jonny Frost does in the comics, and end up just another victim of the Joker's vengance?

We'll find out soon enough, as Suicide Squad releases 5 August 2016.

Check out the 'Suicide Squad' blitz trailer below!

Who is your favorite Joker? Tell us in the comments below!

Source: EW

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