Major spoilers ahead for the DCEU (not plot-specific to Suicide Squad).
If you saw Suicide Squad this weekend, you’ll know that David Ayer’s bad guy team-up flick revealed in super-casual fashion that Harley Quinn was an accomplice to the murder of Robin, essentially confirming that the Joker was responsible (clarifying exactly why the “Joke’s on you, Batman”) without actually stating it.
Today, Ayer gave us juicy confirmation of who murdered Batman’s iconic sidekick, revealing in the process a surprising connection with the controversial “damaged” tattoo that resides on Mr. J’s forehead. Here’s what Ayer had to say:
“This is sort of my personal thing and maybe less about a larger connection, but Joker killed Robin and Batman basically smashes his teeth out and locks him up in Arkham Asylum. It’s in the asylum where Joker would have done the ‘damaged’ tattoo as a message to Batman saying, ‘You’ve damaged me. I was so beautiful before and now you’ve destroyed my face.’ That’s where the grill comes from.”
That’s a pretty illuminating and surprising explanation, and on the one hand it makes perfect sense — this Joker is the very definition of a narcissist, and it’s easy to imagine that he would’ve considered himself beautiful even with his pale skin and green hair when he had a full set of original teeth.
On the other, it’s kind of disappointing that the directors with the reigns of the DCEU, and the entire of DC Comics lore at their disposal, are trigger-happy enough to casually murder Robin off-screen, long in the past, when such a defining event in the life of Batman (and arguably the Joker too — Robin’s murder would be perhaps the first time he was able to cause Bruce true hurt) surely deserves to be played out before our eyes, rather than mentioned as an Easter Egg-y afterthought.
Of course, we still have Ben Affleck’s The Batman on the way, and it’s not impossible that the murder of Robin will factor heavily into that film’s narrative, even if just in flashback form. Ultimately, though, this feels like a misguided attempt to pay homage to the Batfamily of the comics without actually earning the right to visit that chapter of Batman’s life. As the DCEU continues to gather steam, it seems we’ll find out whether reveals like this one are the beginning of a longer arc, or just a footnote in the history of the Caped Crusader.
Will the Joker appear in the DCEU before that solo Batventure? It’s hard to say, but don’t expect him in Justice League when that movie arrives in November 2017. If Harley Quinn’s spin-off presses ahead, though, there’s every chance we’ll see the Clown Prince and his girl running riot in Gotham in the near future.
Is a few lost teeth and a stint in Arkham really enough justice for the Joker’s murder of Robin?
You are the Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon, and you are my daughter.