Waiting for a superhero movie can be hard, especially when you’re a comic book fan eager to see certain material translated for the big screen. As a result, many of us obsessively analyze images and trailers to try to figure out plots points in said movie. Occasionally this can produce unusual theories, and in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s case, there's a doozy. Over the past several months, it’s been speculated that Jason Todd, a.k.a. the second Robin, is actually the DCCU’s Joker seen in Suicide Squad and possibly a Batman v Superman flashback. Now one fan has stumbled upon new "evidence" that seemingly backs up this idea.
Reddit user DeathByRequest noticed something unusual from the two pictures below: Joker’s Suicide Squad promotional portrait and the Robin suit seen in the latest Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer. If you look closely, you’ll notice that there are two circular marks on each of Joker’s shoulders (one by the demonic jester’s hat, the other by one of the "HAs"), which DeathByRequest believes may be "a gunshot, puncture, or burn mark." Now take a look at the Robin suit, and you’ll see two similar circular marks on the shoulders as well. This goes along with previous speculation that Joker’s tattoos are actually clues to Jason being the new Clown Prince of Crime.
Look, we realize this isn’t a lot to go off of, but for the sake of argument, let’s delve deeper into this bizarre theory. If we throw out all comic book history and continuity, having Jason Todd actually being this universe’s Joker would make for a creepy twist. If we assume this theory is correct, that leaves two possibilities for how this went down. The first is that he didn’t actually die, but was instead tortured to insanity by The Joker, thus "killing" him in a metaphorical sense (and paralleling what he may do to Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad). The second is that Jason was indeed murdered, but went insane after being brought back to life and took the Joker identity for himself. Either way, this means that the original Joker is gone or dead, and Jason has inherited the insane villain’s legacy.
It also wouldn’t be the first time a Robin has become The Joker. The 2000 animated movie Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker surprised fans by revealing that the Clown Prince of Crime causing chaos in Neo-Gotham City was actually Bruce Wayne’s former sidekick, Tim Drake, whose body had been taken over by an implanted microchip containing Joker’s DNA and consciousness. Dick Grayson also disguised himself as the deceased Joker in 2001’s The Dark Knight Strikes Again, the sequel to Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.
However, even taking all of this into account, there are still a lot of holes in this "evidence" (pun intended). For one thing, Jared Leto and Ben Affleck are the same age, so even if one character is slightly older than the other, you can easily imagine them having fought for years. There would be no reason to explain Leto away as a younger Joker. Plus, Batman is one of those most intelligent people on the planet, and even if he couldn’t figure out that it was Jason, he would know if someone was masqurading as his nemesis. Oh, and those circular marks on Joker may just be moles or another kind of blemish, and it’s just a coincidence that the Robin suit has holes in the same areas.
More importantly, however, is that turning Jason into The Joker would be a wasted opportunity for future Batman films. Although being dead for years, Jason was revived last decade and became The Red Hood, an identity which was previously used by the man who eventually became The Joker. Jason began dishing out his own brand of justice on criminals, but his main target was the monster that murdered him. In both scenarios, Batman has to deal with his former sidekick being alive, but with Red Hood, he must also stop Jason’s crusade to kill Joker, even though Batman hates that cackling lunatic just as much. Not only does that line up with the comics, but as the 2010 animated film Batman: Under the Red Hood showed, that makes for a more compelling story and also sets Jason up as an anti-hero/occasional ally. Ask any comic book fan, and most will agree that’s the direction Jason needs to go in the DCCU.
It may be a while until we get a concrete answer to this Joker theory, but you can look forward to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hitting theaters on March 25, 2016, followed by Suicide Squad on August 5, 2016.