The Joker in “Suicide Squad”- Explained

jared-leto-joker-suicide-squadImage via Warner Bros

Love him or hate him, Suicide Squad’s Joker, as played by Jared Leto, left his impression on all who saw the film.  However, this iteration of the Joker was harder to put a read on than Jokers of the past.  With studios looking to make these films more accessible to comic fans and non-comic fans alike, some of the aspects of this Joker may be lost on moviegoers.  What I will attempt to do is use the Joker’s long comic book history to shed some insight on this character.

The Joker’s Mental Condition

joker arkham asylum dceu.jpgImage via DC Comics

If you asked most of the people who saw Suicide Squad, or any previous on screen adaption of the Joker, they’d probably tell you that he is insane.  However, in 1989’s Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, the Joker is said to suffer from a form of super-sanity.  He takes in his surroundings, and reinvents himself day after day to suit his current needs, which explains his changing personality.  This could explain his revamped look, including the  tattoos and fashion sense, as he adapts the aesthetic of modern day criminals in order to succeed. With Suicide Squad in part taking place in Arkham Asylum, I find it very likely that Warner Bros used the graphic novel as an inspiration for the character. While previous Jokers have had clear motives, usually involving the murder of many people and/or Batman, Leto’s motives are not as clear.  This may be partially due to the cutting of many of his scenes, but we many never know.  But what do I know, I just write about movies on the internet.

Maybe he has no motive

joker face cut off jared leto.jpgImage via DC Comics

Perhaps Alfred said it best in The Dark Knight– “some men just want to watch the world burn”.  While it is an accurate representation of that film’s take on the Clown Prince of Crime, it does not fully sum up what the character is capable of.  In a more recent story line, the Joker cut off his own face… well, because.  He is later seen sporting what he cut off as a mask, and even flips it upside down at one point, which is the stuff of nightmares.  This just goes to show that a lot of the actions the Joker takes have no reason, which could explain the character in Suicide Squad.  

He probably has no idea who he is

killing joke jared leto joker.jpgImage via DC Comics

This point is a bit speculative, but hear me out.  We see him drop Dr. Harleen Quinzel into a vat of acid at the Ace Chemical company, making her like him.  I am only to assume that he became the Joker through a similar process, as show in Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, where a fall into a vat at Ace Chemicals turned his hair green, his skin white, and his lips red.  It is after this he forgets his past.  While he does give the story that he was a failed stand-up comedian whose pregnant wife died in an accident, he claims that if he has a past, he “likes it to be multiple choice” giving us no definitive back story.  I doubt we will see one from this Joker in the DCEU, but I could be wrong.

He’s got a bad history with Batman

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Image via DC Comics

We know there is a dead Robin floating around somewhere in the DCEU thanks to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Inspired by A Death in the Family, where Joker kills Robin #2 Jason Todd, we know that it is one of Batman’s greatest failures, hanging the deceased Boy Wonder’s costume in the Batcave as a constant reminder.  Coupled with the fact that Bats himself said Gotham has “a bad history with freaks dressed like clowns”, it is safe to assume that Batman and the Joker have been doing their thing for a while (although it is made interesting by Harley Quinn’s bio in Suicide Squad, claiming her as an accomplice in his murder- the character hadn’t even been created yet).  What I believe is a more important takeaway from the comic books to the DCEU is the way A Death in the Family Ends, which is the way it always ends between Bats and the Joker- unresolved.

joker-001-187980Image via DC Comics

Personally, I really liked the direction Jared Leto took this character in Suicide Squad.  While I am disappointed at the amount of screen time he got, I’m positive this is not the last time we have seen him in the DCEU.  Whether it be an extended cut of Suicide Squad, a future film, or who knows, but the Joker is far too popular and more importantly far too important to the fabric of the DCEU to keep locked away. Who knows, they make take borrow a page from the recent DC Universe Rebirth and have there be three Jokers in the DCEU.  I think DC did the right move putting villains in an equal position as the heroes, for a couple of reasons.  The first being that DC’s villains are almost as strong characters as their heroic counterparts; just look at Harley Quinn.  Margot Robbie did a fantastic job of bringing the character to the big screen, we saw a lot of depth in her character. Second, they really have their villains to hold over the MCU.  Could you imagine a Suicide Squad made up of villains from Marvel Comics?  Sinister Six from Sony didn’t exactly work out, plus to have really great villains, Fox, Sony, and of course Marvel would have to share.  Anyways, I digress.

I hope if you were confused that this at least helped clear up some things about the Joker in Suicide Squad! I’d also love to know what you all thought of the film.

 

What are your thoughts on the Joker moving forward in the DCEU? Let me know in the comments!

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Has Begun Production; Here are my Predictions

thor-3-ragnarok-chris-hemsworthImage via Marvel

So, unless you live under a rock, you’ll have noticed that Chris Hemsworth put up a video that signaled production on the third Thor movie was underway.  Thor: Ragnarok doesn’t come until November 2017, but with production started, I will give my predictions for the film.

Expect a good villain out of Hela

thor ragnarok hela.jpgImage via Marvel

Despite the fact  that Tom Hiddleston graces the screen as Loki, the Thor movies aren’t exactly renowned for their choice of villains- first Laufey, and then Malekith, with both being equally questionable and forgettable character entries to the MCU (and they aren’t the only ones).  Hela, who will be played by Cate Blanchett, has a much bigger presence in the comics than either Laufey or Malekith, and should stir up some trouble for the God of Thunder.  Plus, Loki has shown that he plays nicely with other villains, to an extent.  So the interaction between the two should be interesting, given how Thor: The Dark World left the character.  Expect great things from Cate Blanchett, who up until this point in the MCU, has been my favorite casting of a villain, and I have high expectations of her.

Hulk will be smashing

avengers-age-of-ultron-could-set-up-planet-hulk-and-here-s-how-361429Image via Marvel

I’ve talked about how Marvel needs to make a ‘Planet Hulk’ movie.  Because of their pettiness in dealing with Universal, any solo Hulk movie seems unlikely.  But given the nature of what we’ve heard about Thor: Ragnarok, it’s perfectly likely that we could see some ‘Planet Hulk’ in the beginning.  After all, he was missing while all of his friends tried to kill each other in Captain America: Civil War.  Mark Ruffalo has also stated that he would like to explore the relationship between Banner and the Hulk, so that may work its way into the film.  Either way, Thor: Ragnarok is likely the closest we’ll ever get to a Hulk solo movie in the MCU.

Heimdall’s role will be expanded from previous films

Heimdall_DarkW1.jpgImage via Marvel

When Marvel started casting, they probably didn’t know Idris Elba would become the big name he is today.  Despite this, I’m sure that they are glad to have him.  Following his appearance in  Age of Ultron, Heimdall is sure to be featured more in this film.  I’m expecting him to jump into the action more in this film too, and not just at the gate, but really getting into it at Thor’s side, or even against him.  Either way, it’ll be interesting to see where Marvel takes Elba’s character.

Thanos and a set-up to Infinity War

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After the events of Age of Ultron, we know Thor goes home to Asgard to try and make sense of why the Infinity Stones keep popping up, which is the reason he wasn’t hanging around on Earth to pick a side on the Sokovia Accords.  Somehow, he will find Thanos, and probably also Star-Lord and the other Guardians of the Galaxy.  I expect the post credits scenes to all MCU releases to be teasers for Thanos leading up to Infinity War, where I image Thor will swoop into earth just in time to alert Tony to round up the Avengers because trouble is on it’s way.

Jeff Goldblum will do Jeff Goldblum things

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Seriously, this man doesn’t even need to act.  In all honesty, I can’t wait to hear him say all of those weird Thor words.  He will be playing Grandmaster, who is a powerful being who likes to manipulate humans.  He should spice things up, especially for the Thor movies, which sometimes can be dragged down by unnecessary plot expositions…

Speaking of which…

kat-dennings-thor-2-chris-hemsworth.jpgImage via Marvel

It appears that Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings will not be reprising their roles as Dr. Jane Foster and Darcy Lewis in Thor: Ragnarok.  That the maker.  These two spent all of their time dragging down the Asgardians.  I have always said that DC Comics have better civilian characters than Marvel, which is just my opinion and I am happy to discuss it, but these two certainly helped justify it.  Here is an example of an exchange between the two:

Jane: Blah, blah, blah, science stuff, stars, sky, blah, science stuff, blah, blah, yadda, yadda yadda.

Darcy:  Oh Jane, you know I don’t know any of that science stuff!  I’m your unpaid intern derr.

These two actually contributed nothing  towards these movies and I’m glad they are gone.  Marvel has had a tough time figuring out how civilian characters can work into their plot; I’m talking about characters like Pepper Potts, or others who don’t have any hand in the main action of the film.

So, that does it for my major predictions for Thor: Ragnarok.  As we get closer to the release,  I’ll of course have more.

What are your predictions for Thor: Ragnarok? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

The ‘Justice League’ Villain- Who Is He?

DCEU-Justice-League-Concept-Art.jpgImage via Warner Bros

We all know the Justice League- Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman, and Green Lantern (who is mysteriously missing from the DCEU).  But what about the villains?  After all, any good superhero movie is only as good as it’s supervillain. Good thing is, you’ve probably already seen him.  Spoilers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition ahead.

It’s not who you think it is

2083631-darkseidjpgImage via DC Comics

When the Justice League movie was announced, I though that Darkseid would be the main villain.  Well, turns out I was mistaken.  Darkseid will not be the main villain.  But it is not; Darkseid hasn’t been yet confirmed to even appear in the upcoming Justice League.  But Darkseid is the nephew of this character.

Darkseid’s uncle, who controls his army of Parademons

steppenwolf-batman-v-superman.pngImage via Warner Bros.

The main villain in Justice League will be Steppenwolf, as seen here in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Steppenwolf is the uncle of Darkseid, and controls his army.  This is just a hologram of him, communicating with Lex Luthor aboard the Kryptonian ship.  This is why Lex tells Batman that “the bell has been rung”, and that it cannot be un-rung in a scene that was really benefited by the Ultimate Edition.

So what’s his business on Earth?

steppenwolf-batman-v-superman.jpegImage via DC Comics

Steppenwolf, along with his army, is sent by his nephew Darkseid to retrieve the three Mother Boxes, pieces of technology from Apokolips.  What is so special about these Mother Boxes that could lead to conflict?  One of them is a part of Victor Stone- the part that turned him into Cyborg.  Oh, and another one is in Atlantis, home to Aquaman.  Clearly, the meta-humans will have to band together in order to save this intergalactic threat.

Although… doesn’t one alien taking orders from a more powerful alien who comes to Earth in a plot that is centered around a piece of mysterious technology sound a bit familiar?

Either way, Justice League is shaping up to be quite the movie.  Things that DC has been establishing should begin to matriculate and the stories start to form cohesively.  The previous films in the DCEU should finally come together in Justice League, although it will also have the tall task of having to set up numerous solo movies from characters who don’t have them yet, which is different from the MCU- all of the established characters had their own stories; DC will have to invent them and put the pieces in their starting places by the end of the film; I’m sure they can do it.

Justice League hits theaters in November 2017.  How do you think it will compare to Marvel’s The Avengers? Tell me in the comments!

 

Why wont Fox agree to let Marvel have the Fantastic Four?

fantastic-four-2015-trailers1.jpgImage via 20th Century Fox

News broke this week that there have been discussions between rival studios Marvel and 20th Century Fox in order to share their characters, much like Sony did with Spider-Man.  Everyone’s minds tend to gravitate towards the X-Men showing up in future Avengers films, but what about the Fantastic Four?

2005 saw the first Fantastic Four movie.  It was alright, not too great, but at least is was pretty faithful to the spirit and mood of the comics.  That film got a sequel in 2007 with Rise of the Silver Surfer, which wasn’t as good, and the franchise stopped there.  Fast forward eight years, and Fox must make another one or their rights to the characters will expire, and they go back to Marvel, who at this point really should be in control of them.  Fantastic Four (Fant4stic) was a disgusting movie from start to finish.  It wasn’t similar to the comics at all.  The entire movie was low-energy and depressing.  Fights between director Josh Trank and the studio blaming each other for this disaster only made things worse.  Sony seemed to have learned its lesson that you should only sink a franchise twice before giving up, so why hasn’t Fox agreed to share with Marvel?

Putting the Fantastic Four into an MCU film would be the smart move.  The Fantastic Four have never been the type of characters who existed in a vacuum, and they should be allowed to play with their friends in the MCU.  They could show up in so many places- Infinity War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, or my favorite choice, the Guardians of the Galaxy series.  If anyone was skeptical about how Marvel could introduce a character that had already flopped twice they need only look at Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War.

All the superhero movies seem to be about sharing these days.  Every movie seems to be leading up to a shared one, like Deadpool leading to an X-Force movie as an example.  People don’t want to see these characters once; they like to see them over and over again, and more importantly, they want these movies to be good, not drab, lifeless, humorless movies that are depressing.

I don’t want to beg, but if anyone at Fox is reading this, please let the MCU use the Fantastic Four.  I know sharing is hard, but it will make you better off in the end.

What are your thoughts on the Fantastic Four being crossed over with the Avengers? Let me know in the comments!

 

Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman: Why the future of the DCEU relies on the women

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Images via Warner Bros.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  The DC Extended Universe did not get off to the best start.  There are many reasons why the films were not as successful as they should have been.  Naturally, the start of their shared cinematic universe was compared to their rival Marvel’s, which had already released a $1 billion dollar film, Marvel’s The Avengers, by the time DC had started theirs in 2013 with the release of Man of Steel. Marvel’s hasn’t been without its missteps, however.  Eight years into the MCU and we are just now getting films with more diverse casts.  DC on the other hand, has planned films with diverse casts from day one of the DCEU.  Now, the DCEU, while still in its early stages, has the opportunity to be even better than the MCU we all know and love- but it relies on Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman.

OK, not just those two, but all of DC’s female characters. One of Marvel’s mistakes has been relegating their female characters to the background, which is a shame.  Marvel has only recently begun entertaining talks of a Black Widow solo movie, only after Scarlett Johansson has been playing the character for years.  Plus, Captain Marvel isn’t slated for release until 2019- 11 years and 21 films deep into the MCU.  DC on the other hand, introduced Wonder Woman earlier this year in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which was her silver screen debut) and we will see her again next summer in Wonder Woman, which if you’re keeping track, is four films in.  Plus in August, we will see Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad, with rumors already about a sequel and an all female spin-off- but what does this all mean?

DC has the chance to do what Marvel has messed up on.  It just relies on the fact that the films have to be good, and while the DCEU movies haven’t been, the MCU movies have.  But what is important is that DC is outright saying that Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn won’t be playing back up to the male characters in the DCEU, which is something Marvel has done time and time again, most notably with Black Widow but also more recently with Scarlet Witch. Marvel has taken some serious stumbles as far as including their female comic book characters goes.  DC, while even in its early stages, has already taken steps to avoid that.

The only imperative thing for DC to do now is to actually make good movies.  It is simple enough of a concept, but their execution hasn’t been great so far.  With David Ayer and Patty Jenkins directing Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman respectively, they should be better than Zack Snyder’s attempts at putting five hours of plot in a movie half that time.

The main takeaway is this: DC is giving the audiences what they want- films that feature their favorite female superheroes, which gives them the edge over Marvel.  These characters have rich histories and are loved by many fans.  Which is why it is important to give them exposure early on in the shared universe.  Plus, who doesn’t love Harley Quinn?  It will be up to characters like Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman to have great films, because it will give DC the chance to really separate itself from the MCU movies.

What do you think of this? Let me know in the comments.

 

First set photos of Tom Holland as Spider-Man in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

640Photo via Looper.com

The first set photos of Tom Holland of Spider-Man in his MCU solo  debut film have arrived, first published on Looper.  The photos show Holland in character as Spider-Man, wearing the iconic red and blue costume.  Spider-Man: Homecoming is set for release in July 2017.

Our first introduction to Holland’s Spider-Man was in May with the release of Captain America:Civil War.  Holland, while in the film only briefly, was a scene-stealer, and lived up to the high expectations for the film.

Personally, I loved Holland’s take on the character, and I am extremely excited for him to get his own film.  Of course, he’ll finally have some other heroes to play around with due to the deal between Sony and Marvel.  More and more cast members have been announced, including Zendaya, Michael Keaton, and Bokeem Woodbine (who everyone should see in season 2 of Fargo), among others, including Robert Downey, Jr. reprising his role as Iron Man.

As a franchise, Spider-Man can really only go up.  The first two Sam Raimi films were awesome, even though Tobey Maguire didn’t make the best Spider-Man (although there were really inspired casting choices in the first trilogy, most notably Alfred Molina as Dr. Octopus).  Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man series was made to keep the rights out of Marvel’s hands, a move that Sony should have made a long, long time ago.  Of all the forthcoming superhero releases, I think this is the one I am most excited for, even though we’ve seen the character 6 times before.

What do you think of these photos? Do you like what you see? Are you excited for this film? Let me know in the comments.

Why The Avengers can’t save the X-Men

maxresdefault (5).jpgimage courtesy of 20th Century Fox

By now you’ve definitely heard the rumors that rival studios Marvel and 20th Century Fox are in discussions about creating a shared universe between their  properties, most notably The Avengers and the X-Men, respectively.  These two groups of characters share a lengthy history in the comics, with some characters being major characters in both (notable example being Quicksilver).  After Spider-Man’s MCU debut in Captain America:Civil War, maybe 20th Century Fox is seeing the upside to having Marvel control their properties.  With Fantastic Four having two seperate film series become train wrecks, Fox’s hot property is the X-Men, riding the wave of success on two films this year, Deadpool and X-Men:Apocalypse.  But there is one question to ask: can the X-Men be saved?

The title should have spoiled it, the answer is no.  There have been great successes in the X-Men film franchise, but there has also been some serious mistakes.  X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: Origins Wolverine were both steaming piles of garbage.  While both the X-Men and Wolverine films have gotten dramatically better, and with Deadpool becoming the smash hit it is, Fox should be smiling.

But I would hold off if I were them.  Apocalypse wasn’t all it cracked up to be.  I remember seeing the trailer before Star Wars: The Force Awakens and thinking it was a little bit lackluster compared to Captain America Civil War, which whether Fox likes it or not, it will be compared to.  Civil War is a classic Chick fil A Chicken Sandwich, and Apocalypse more of a Burger King Whopper.  Whoppers are OK enough, but can’t hold a candle to Chick fil A.  On top of that, we have another Dark Phoenix film coming up, or so the rumors say.  I remember the last time they tried Dark Phoenix, and that movie was the fast food equivalent of Burger King’s Mac and Cheetos.  The X-Men have a long, rich comic history, with many incredible story lines; I think we should get a film with Mojo in it, if it were up to me.

Really, the X-Men need to save themselves.  And by the X-Men, I really mean X-Force and Deadpool.  At times, the younger versions of characters introduced in the first three X-Men films felt tired, which is pretty impressive, considering how many times we’ve seen Iron Man and Spider-Man and continue to salivate over their appearances.  If the X-Men are going to find long term success, it will be on the backs of newer characters (Deadpool) to do it.  I don’t understand how they are 15 years into this franchise and still no appearances of Cable, Legion, or a whole smorgasbord of other X-Men characters who are more interesting than the ones they have going.  15 years is long enough to figure out how to work in a couple of characters.

The X-Men and 20th Century Fox have a lot of work to do if they are going to keep up with Marvel and the Avengers; with films like Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 coming out in the next couple of years, they might not be the strong ones surviving a la their tagline for Apocalypse: only the strong will survive.

I’d love to hear what you all have to think and say about this; drop a comment and I promise to get back to you.