The character of the "Joker" has received plenty of criticism this year, and an upcoming new version of the villain may possibly bring on even more.
Before the movie “Joker” even hit theaters earlier this year, it was criticized by people who feared that the sympathetic portrayal of the homicidal Joker, played by Joaquin Phoenix, and his troubled origin story could inspire violence. Across the nation, movie theaters increased their security measures in response to the idea of possible mass shootings at “Joker” screenings, and at least one threat temporarily shut down a theater in California, ABC News reports.
While the Joker in that controversial film was indeed a murderer, an upcoming portrayal of him will feature him as an actual predatory serial killer. The villain takes on a new darker role with a totally new look in DC Comics’ new comic series “Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity.”
In the series, Harley Quinn is a forensic psychiatrist and criminal profiler, according to DC Comics. While always canonically known to be intrigued by the Joker, she has more reasons to be obsessed in this new comic.
“Harley's intrigued by the detail this new killer is putting into his crime scenes, but has no idea the investigation will bring her face-to-face with the most notorious serial killer in Gotham’s history—the Joker,” DC says in a press release, obtained by Screen Rant. “The level of meticulous preparation in the murders is unusual, but will that help or hurt her cause?”
While the first issue is already out, the second issue of the comic, which promises to dive deeper into this new serial killer Joker’s character, is due to be released on Jan. 1.
It's unclear if this version of Quinn will be into the Joker, like in her previous depictions, in a romantic way. But it may be unsettling if so because it’s hinted that the Joker may have killed her roommate.
“Harley is haunted by one unsolved case—the night she discovered her roommate's body marked with the signature of a notorious serial killer known as the Joker,” the synopsis of the first issue states.
Five years after the death of her roommate, the murders keep on coming.
“As the murders escalate, Harley's obsession with finding the depraved psychopath responsible leads her down a dangerous path,” DC states. “When the past and the present finally collide, Harley has to decide how far she is willing to go—and how many lines she is willing to cross—to solve these cases once and for all.”
The art from the second issue shows a departure from the typical Joker aesthetic the public is used to. He is donning all black and leather, rather than sporting one of his infamous brightly colored suits.
As for the Joker’s notorious lipstick job though, well, it appears that will still play a role in the upcoming series.
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