Joker/Todd Fan Theory: Or the stages of fan grief

joker fan theory jason todd suicide squad

I’m not sure if I should even bother putting a spoiler warning with this post because this rumour is so ridiculous, but just in case it is true (which would be very strange) I will chuck in a spoiler warning: because we’re going to be talking about the birth and evolution of the fan theory that is the Joker actually being Jason Todd in the DCEU.

With the birth of the DCEU we are starting to see that there are changes to the characters we know from the comics. Aquaman and The Flash aren’t blonde, Batman is older than the rest of the Justice League, Lex Luthor has the whole Silicon Valley vibe going for him, oh and the Joker has tattoos, like a lot of them.

Change is hard, and after the legendary performance that Heath Ledger gave as the Joker in The Dark Knight, it’s hard to accept a new Joker, let alone one that seems so different. And once we got our first look and pieces of information surrounding Jared Leto’s Joker, many fans entered into the stages of fan grief. You know those feelings that come around when a character you know isn’t exactly how you wanted them to be.

joker fan theory jason todd

First there was denial. Once the image of the tatted up Joker was revealed, it was met with mixed reaction. And with the mixed reaction came the internet users with sources close to the production (of course) who insisted that this Joker image was just a homage for the Joker’s 75th anniversary and wasn’t actually his final look. So then the denial set in, with many people saying that this image didn’t even matter because it’s not how the Joker would look like anyways.

Days and weeks went past, and there were no new Joker images, just the one we got, suggesting that this in fact was the Joker’s actual look. Then came the anger. How dare David Ayer make the Joker look like white trash! The tattoos are so unsubtle, the Joker would never sit long enough to get that many tattoos etc etc (the whole argument about the Joker’s tattoos being too on-the-nose was ridiculous, considering the very unsubtle nature of the Joker).

joker comic panel

Anger arose from judgement from an out-of-context image. Perhaps this look wouldn’t suit the Joker in The Dark Knight, but perhaps it perfectly suits the Joker in Suicide Squad? And judging from the trailer, they are definitely going for a very psychopathic Joker, so the look does work in that way.

But now we have reached our third stage of fan grief, and that is bargaining. Maybe the reason why the Joker looks like this, and seems so different from the Jokers that we’ve previously seen before is because this isn’t the real Joker, no this is actually Jason Todd!!! If you haven’t seen this theory that’s been making waves across the internet, well here’s a summary: the theory is that the real Joker is either dead or just gone, and that the Joker that we see in the trailers is actually Jason Todd, “20 years in Gotham, how many good guys are left, how many stayed that way?”. Jason Todd of course is former Robin who took up the persona of Red Hood after resurrecting from his death by the hands of the Joker. This theory has now been backed up by this image:

joker jason todd theory

The scars correspond to the bullet holes in Robin’s suit.

Now I’m sure we’ll see a hundred more different reasons from fans surrounding why this theory may be true, but it just wouldn’t make any sense. Yes I know Jason Todd in the comics goes on to use the Joker’s old Red Hood persona as his own, and that in Dark Knight Strikes Again Dick Grayson becomes the Joker, so it isn’t out of the realm of possibility, it would just be stupid.

Besides in the Suicide Squad trailer we clearly see the Joker torturing Harley Quinn in a flashback scene, so unless they are changing a lot and making Jason Todd connected to Harley as well, I don’t see this theory being true at all. This is a theory that was born from fans that are resistant to accept a character deviating from the ideal state they have created for the character in their mind.

jason todd joker fan theory

Maybe the Joker just happens to look a little different in this universe. Maybe he simply has tattoos, not because he’s secretly a messed up Jason Todd, but because that’s his character. And maybe fans need to ease their way into the acceptance stage, and realise that there seems to be a very good story-telling purpose to the Joker’s look.

And that’s what’s so great about comic book characters, is that you can interpret them in different ways whilst keeping to the core of the character. We’re going to see a chaotic, psychotic Joker, keeping to his core character. But we’re also going to see a physically different looking Joker who happens to also have grills, and that’s okay!

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18 replies »

  1. I’m 100% sure that Joker is not Jason Todd. Isn’t! Is just a “fan” theory, a “fan” idea, just to spend time. Joker is Joker, Jason Todd is Jason Todd (Robin and maybe already Red Hood).
    We already know thanks to the set photo and the trailer of Suicide Squad that Joker “loves” Harley and is the one that changes Harleen in Harley Quinn. Jason Todd wouldn’t be interested in Harleen at all. David Ayer have already said a thousand times that he’s following the comic, the movie is canon and is a faithful adaptation of the comics.
    Unfortunately internet has too much power these days and everyone can write something and let his story becomes something, even if is nothing at all. Just because someone doesn’t like the new cinematic Joker look, doesn’t mean that this isn’t the real Joker, because the character played by Jared Leto in Suicide Squad and maybe other movies is the real Joker, no doubt.
    In the DC Extended Universe, Joker is Joker, no one else and I’m absolutely sure about this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah it would really change Jason Todd’s character if they suddenly connected him with Harley. I’m just waiting for more of the weird reasoning to come out for this theory.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This post has just reminded me why I enjoy coming to this site so much. You are a very rational and analytical thinker. You may wanna consider becoming a shrink. This entire joker is Jason todd nonsense stems from the fact that people rejected this joker to begin with, without even seeing the film. I love you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Can’t help but think of Jack Nicholson’s Joker in regards to this, the idea of not just making Joker being Jason Todd, but the idea of Joker having a name. Really that Robin costume with Joker spray paint is obviously Jason’s after Joker killed him, which would make sense for Batfleck to act how he is in BvS. And also Joker being Dick Grayson in DKSA was dumb too. It’s pretty pointless

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The logic behind this ‘Jayker’ theory is hilarious and very poorly thought out. First, They point out only 2 of 3 bullet holes on Robins body. Below the ‘e’ and above the ‘u’ , right below Robins left breast is another bullet whole. Then look at the Jokers left lower area of Joker’s chest. There is no scar! and there is no tattoos to obscure the view. Unlike the other bullet wounds they so eagerly pointed out.


  5. I doubt the Joker will be Jason Todd, but it would be an interesting twist. Sure, a bunch of people would be angry, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it would be bad from a storytelling standpoint if they can pull it off.


    • I mean if they pull it off in an interesting way that makes sense that would be great, but this is the sort of twist that would make sense if a comic not in a film that’s just starting a cinematic universe. Mainstream audience don’t know about Jason Todd etc so it would require a lot of set up


      • They would need to introduce the Robins, Jason Todd, his history and what happens to him along with the story of his resurrection etc which would probably be a bit too overwhelming for the mainstream audience


  6. Great post Nav. I love to see different interpretations of classic characters, especially in different mediums. It’s boring for characters to always be the same. Variety is the spice of life. I don’t have an ideal version of the Joker in my mind, if he is an agent of chaos then he is going to be unpredictable. If musicians like David Bowie can constantly reinvent himself through new looks and styles, why not a fictional character such as the Joker? Why put artificial limits on human imagination or on the Joker? That is madness.
    The Joker is going to be whoever he wants to be, not who we want him to be. If people disliked the way he looked I imagine the Joker would get a perverse joy out of that, the irony of which is lost on the humourless internet haters.


    • Hahah well said! Crazy change is especially fitting for a character like the Joker. At the end of the day as long as the core components of the character are there then I’m all good.

      Liked by 1 person

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