Is This ‘Batman’ Variant Cover Our First Look At The Joker’s New Design?
We've been keeping a close eye on the updated character designs and new looks for all the DC heroes that are coming as part of its summer DC Rebirth initiative, and we may have just been given a first look at one of the publisher's most iconic supervillains' new design.
Last night, upcoming Batgirl artist Rafael Albuquerque posted his Fried Pie Comics exclusive variant of Tom King and David Finch's Batman #1 on Instagram, which featured The Dark Knight posing back-to-back with a new take on a familiar face.
This new look for The Joker seems to take its inspiration from a lot of previous incarnations; first and foremost being Frank Miller's well-dressed androgynous take on the character from The Dark Knight Returns. In the miniseries, The Joker is a pale reflection of himself --- seemingly healed of his physical scars --- he wears lipstick to achieve that iconic Joker look and is more premeditated in his approach than other incarnations.
This makes sense considering the last we saw of The Joker, he was cured of his facial scars by dionysium, an ancient healing water that has much in common with the waters of The Lazarus Pit. This look here presented by Albuquerque does resemble Greg Capullo's take on the "healed" Joker, but with a brighter shock of hair and of course, those ruby red lips.
The design also calls back memories of Grant Morrison's "Thin White Duke Of Death" take on the character; a suave and serpentine Bowie-inspired approach to the character that saw The Joker slice his tongue in half down the middle. There are also obvious comparisons to the Jared Leto's portrayal of the character in this year's Suicide Squad film, but even The Joker would think Leto's off-camera antics were gross and unfunny.
Ultimately, this is all speculation, and a variant cover does not mean this will be The Joker's new look come June. We are promised a major revelation concerning the character in next week's Justice League #50, so that's certainly a book to check out if you've got a lot invested in what form The Clown Prince of Crime takes next.