leto joker

A fan theory that has persisted for some time on the internet has been given new life with the release of new trailers for both Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad. It centers around the controversial new Joker, played by Jared Leto, and actually explains a lot about why this version of the character is so different than what we've seen before. 

According to Jason-G169 over on Reddit, our new Joker is none other than Jason Todd. In case you're not familiar with the character, Jason was Batman's rash, foolhardy sidekick that took over the mantle of Robin after Dick Grayson left the Batcave to become Nightwing. 

Famously, it did not end well for this new Robin. 

joker jason todd

In the comics, the Joker murders Jason Todd (at the behest of a twisted fan vote), and Batman subsequently spent years mourning over his loss and his failure as a guardian and father figure. When Jason Todd came back decades later, because it's comic books, he looked very different. And somehow, still familiar...

red hoods

In the Batman comic classic The Killing Joke, we find out that the Joker was tricked into becoming the Z-list villain the Red Hood, right before he fell into the vat of acid that transformed him into the Clown Prince of Crime. Though the Joker discarded that moniker, Jason took up the title of Red Hood after his own resurrection. Point being, the fan theory about Jared Leto's Joker has precedence, because Jason Todd has a built-in history of taking the Joker's identity

The Joker being a former Robin gives us a whole new dynamic with the archrivals' relationship. As mentioned earlier, it would also give us a reasonable explanation as to why Leto's Joker looks like a god damned juggalo. 


The thought of the kind of Joker we're normally familiar with, sitting down in a tattoo parlor for hours, days on end to get all that ink is frankly a little bit laughable. But what if each tattoo wasn't for the Joker, but for Batman? Sure, the J on his cheek could stand for "Joker," if this guy is super into personal branding, but what if it's a reminder that he's still Jason? An even more blatant message is scrawled on his right arm, where we can see a few feathers of what is presumably a tattoo of a bird -- probably a robin. You could extrapolate meaning from every tattoo; does the skull in a jester hat make sense if Joker ripped it off of a poison POG from the 90s, or might it represent Jason Todd's "death" and rebirth into the maniacal jester as shown in Suicide Squad?

If we've learned anything from years of movies, comics and video games, it's that you shouldn't put anything past the Joker when it comes to messing with Batman. 

robin statue

This quick shot in the Batman v. Superman trailer shows us what appears to be the Joker's defacement of a Robin statue: "The Joke's on you BATMAN." What's the joke here? Could it be that Batman's greatest ally turned into his greatest enemy, driven crazy by the Dark Knight's failure to save his sidekick from the original Joker? It might make sense, given what we see Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne reading on his paper:

batman superman trailer

This "new" Joker seems to know about Bruce Wayne's past. The family in this case could refer to a lot of things, from the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne, to the untimely "death" of Jason Todd, to this alleged HUGE LEAKED SPOILER from Batman v. Superman. Hell, the message directly recalls the comic storyline A Death in the Family, the very same arc in which Jason Todd dies.

Down in the comments, Novneet Chhabra pointed out a possible hint in the Batman v. Superman trailer. At one point, Bruce Wayne says: "20 years in Gotham. How many good guys are left? How many stayed that way?"


What do you think? Could Jared Leto's Joker be Jason Todd? Or did some guy get a bunch of terrible tattoos in high school and then later built a persona around it to justify his past decisions?