Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has dropped a third entry into its sequence of insider episodes with a big reveal—in the game's first season, you'll get to play as da Joker, baby.
As posted to the Warner Bros. Games YouTube Channel, the diary goes into a few notable bits of information—like three seasons that'll be free if you bought the game, all paid items being cosmetic-only, all that good stuff.
They also went into the concept of "elseworlds", alternate realities created by Brainiac via DNA (don't ask how that works, it's comic books) that open the door to multiverse remixes of DC's expansive rogues gallery.
Enter Elseworld Joker: a fresh-faced, 20-something villain whose reality was taken over by Brainiac before he could settle into his shoes as Batman's nemesis. Also, he uses a rocket umbrella.
"He was part of the Suicide Squad in the elseworld where he's from," explains Johnny Armstrong, the game's associate design director, describing him as "slightly more cooperative" than Mark Hamill's take from the original 'Arkhamverse'. Eventually, you realise "he's unhinged in a different way." He then does a big laugh and shoots a gun, which… is exactly the kind of unhinged you've come to expect from the Joker.
Now, being fair—that could just be an editing issue, and while this version of the Joker looks like he's young enough to be prolific on TIkTok, I'm actually completely on board with the elevator pitch here. Okay, hear me out—or rather, hear out one of the game's scriptwriters Kate Watson.
"I think we've taken him back to the more vaudeville roots of Joker, he's masking insecurities with traditional Joker behaviour." While I'm not exactly sold on the whole 'he's secretly insecure' thing, the crusty, sinister, and threatening stylings of Mark Hamill and Heath Ledger—while excellent—are modern inventions. They're not the only version of this character in its long history.
While it's easy to read this as a Jared Leto-style swing and a miss, it mostly feels like an attempt to repackage the Joker we had from the 60s. The character wasn't always this threatening mastermind. He was, well, vaudeville. Camp. Flamboyant, and easily foiled. I'll actually be upset if they decide to make him edgy underneath the cackling shell of insecurity—let him be a little pathetic, I say. It's true to his roots.
Whether that suits the Arkhamverse's narrative is another thing entirely, but I'm at least open to the attempt. Rocksteady's just leaning into the Cesar Romero of it all, just—you know, with someone who looks like a Twitch streamer. It feels just dumb enough to work, though we'll have to wait for the game to come out before we escape the hell of clippable trailer editing and into the actual meat and bones of the game's script.