How The Killing Joke Inspired Jared Leto’s Joker


If I have to have a past, then I prefer it to be multiple choice.

In 1988, when Alan Moore wrote and published The Killing Joke, there was no way he could have predetermined just how true those words, spoken by The Joker, would become. Since its publication, there have been countless versions of the Joker to hit comic books, several animated renditions, a variety of Clown Princes seen in video games and two live-action incarnations of Arkham’s most infamous inmate.

A third is on its way.

With Suicide Squad set to hit theaters in 2016, comic book fans everywhere are anticipating the next Joker interpretation, this one brought to life by Jared Leto,  of Fight Club and Dallas Buyers Club fame. So far, there haven’t been too many official images released of this latest Jester of Genocide, and a quick sighting in the first released trailer for the film. That’s why Costume Discounters has decided to try and break down the major similarities and differences between the most classic comic book appearance by the Harlequin of Hate and the newest on-screen member to this facetious family tree.


  1. The Hair – Perhaps the most notable of all The Joker’s features in all of his appearances – His hair is green in both the comic book and the leaked footage from the upcoming movie.
  2. The Facial Expression – You know that phrase, a face only a mother could love? The Joker has one of those in both of these incarnations, however, even a mother’s love could be a stretch with him.
  3. The Mouth – Red lipstick? Sadistic smile? Seems like The Joker to us. The Suicide Squad rendition seems to stay truer to the graphic novel than Heath Ledger’s version in The Dark Knight, as there are no cuts to form a “Chelsea smile” on Jared Leto.


  1. The Threads – If the Joker’s green hair is his trademark, then just as iconic is his purple zoot suit. It has yet to be seen on Jared Leto.
  2. The Ink – The Joker has tattoos? Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time. In Frank Miller’s All-Star Batman & Robin, the villain is portrayed with a large red dragon sketched across his back.
  3. The Mouth – The smile and the red lipstick stay true to form, but the Suicide Squad Joker seems to have something new: silver teeth. It seems that nobody knows for sure yet how those were acquired, but perhaps it will be found out somewhere along the way.


Suicide Squad is scheduled for release on August 5, 2016, so there’s still plenty of time for everybody to see – and analyze – more images and footage that has not yet been leaked from the inevitable blockbuster. If you’re looking to create your own, original look, Costume Discounters has the Joker Costumes and Accessories to keep you laughing all the way!