(Warning: The following may contain mild visual SPOILERS for future DC comic books. Proceed with whatever level of caution that suggests to you is wise.)
With levels of anticipation rising at a steady and seemingly unstoppable rate, it's looking increasingly likely that Suicide Squad — DC's follow up to the poorly received Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — will arrive this August to a riotous and optimistic reception. With thousands of fans already convinced by Jared Leto's take on the Joker and Margot Robbie's apparent emergence from an actual comic book page as Harley Quinn, it seems that the DC Extended Universe could have a hit on its hands.
Which, from the looks of it, DC itself may be well aware of, since...
It Seems That Jared Leto's Joker Is Heading To A Comic Book Page Near You
Comic book artist Rafael Albuquerque just posted the above image — for the forthcoming Batman #1 — to his Instagram account, and, well, it sure does look an awful lot like the Joker we're set to see in Suicide Squad.
Now, of course, with Albuquerque's design being from a Variant Cover for the Issue, it's entirely possible that DC Comics' Joker won't actually be taking on quite so much of Mistah J's style as the image initially seems to suggest — but it's also entirely possible that a pronounced influence will be very much present. If so, then...
What Would A Jared Leto-Style Joker Mean For DC Comics?
Well, for one thing, it would seem to mark a fairly major departure from the Joker we've seen in recent years of Bat-comics, who was a somewhat more philosophically sinister figure with a penchant for ripping off his own face. If DC chooses to reorient the Clown Prince of Crime as a more lighthearted (albeit likely still terrifying) villain, then that will inevitably have consequences for both Batman and the DC universe as a whole.
Alternatively, though, it's also possible that DC's current Rebirth event is intended to bring the DC movie and comic book universes closer together — but not necessarily to tilt the comic book characters in the movies' direction. Instead, we could be set to see a far darker take on the Joker in Suicide Squad than we initially anticipated — one taken straight from the pages of DC's New 52-era comic books. In that case, a rejigging of his comic book costume could simply be an attempt at visual continuity, rather than a sign of cinematic influence.
Or, y'know, it might just be a variant cover that we're reading too much into.
Check out the trailer of the upcoming Suicide Squad, which is set to feature Leto's Joker for the first time:
What do you think?
Will we see the comic book Joker take a page out of Jared Leto's book?