May 192016

SuicideSquadJKRandHQfeaturepic3On May 19, IGN reported that in in an interview, Jared Leto revealed that playing the Joker for Suicide Squad had been the most fun he had in film.  Here is an excerpt of the report by NICOLE CARPENTER:

Suicide Squad actor Jared Leto had a “blast” playing the Joker, despite having to shave his eyebrows off for the second film in a row.

Getting the call to play the Joker was “terrifying and exciting” for Leto. “It was a real honor to get asked to play the part,” he added. “These characters are so special to people and I have a lot of respect to that.”

During an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show, the actor told Degeneres filming Suicide Squad was “the most fun [he’s] ever had on a film.” And it sure sounds like he did; back in April, it was reported Leto sent a bunch of disturbing gifts to his co-stars.

Leto also became “part detective, part writer,” and met with actual killers and psychopaths when preparing for the role.

He’s not the only one who did weird things to get into character. Enchantress actress Cara Delevingne said she got naked in the woods and walked around howling.

Following is Leto’s interview with Ellen Degeneres :

(Original article HERE)

Apr 232016

SuicideSquadJKRandHQfeaturepic2COMINGSOON.COM, Silas Lesnick released an interested bit of an interview with Jared Leto and Margot Robbie talking about what it was playing the Joker and Harley Quinn.  Here is an excerpt of that article:

“I don’t think I’m allowed to talk about that so much,” Leto smiles, “But we walked in a completely new direction. I think we knew that we had to do that. It was important to do that. When the Joker has been done and done so well, it gives you a bit of an indication of where you shouldn’t go. There’s a bit of a map there. That’s the good part about it.”

As a fan of the character himself, Leto is thrilled at the chance to offer a brand-new take on a role that has become something much bigger than the sum of its parts. 

“It’s quite an honor,” Leto continues. “Joker has been written about in pop culture for 75 years. I’m just the latest in the long list of people who have redefined and reinvented this character. The actors, the voice actors, the television series, the writers, the artists and the fans. People have taken the Joker and reinvented and redefined for 75 years. It is really special to be asked to do that.”

Starring opposite Leto is Margot Robbie in the first ever big-screen depiction of psychiatrist turned psychopath, Harley Quinn. While the Suicide Squad Joker may be aiming for a brand-new take, Robbie suggests that what we’ll be seeing from her character is classic Harley.

“I did a lot of research on mental illness and codependency,” she says. “I was trying to access a way in to understanding why she’s so in love with the Joker. I kind of decided that she’s codependent on him. Now that I’ve done the research, I realize that that’s more of an addiction than an illness… You see many sides of her. Sometimes she’s really funny. Sometimes she’s really mean. She just enjoys everything she does. Whether she’s doing something good or bad, she’ll have an equal amount of enjoyment out of it. She’s not always the most likable character.”

(For complete article, please visit COMINGSOON.COM HERE)

Apr 162016

joker-is-front-center-in-new-suicide-squad-trailer-820751B. Alan Orange met with actor Jared Leto go get an interesting interview about the research he underwent when developing the personality of the Joker for the upcoming film SUICIDE SQUAD.  The article was published in the MOVIEWEB site and you can read it HERE.

Let me bring up some interesting excerpts:

Jared Leto’s acting methods on the set of Suicide Squad have become legend. We know that he stayed in character for most of the shoot. And that he sent his cast mates some very disgusting gifts, which included used condoms, dead animals, and sticky porno magazines. What we haven’t heard about yet is the extensive research he did before climbing into the pale white skin of this madman. And this consisted of meeting with real-life murderers, psychos and psychotherapists.

About crafting a new Joker, director David Ayer had this to say.

“The Joker has a lot of different looks, sort of built from the looks throughout the history of DC Comics but with a new sort of flair and flavor on him so he does feel like a modern-day gangster, because… he’s always been a gangster.”


Until now, Jared Leto hasn’t publicly spoken out too much on his role. He wants to leave an air of mystery lingering around the performance. About making the character new for audiences again, he says this.

“We knew we had to strike new ground. There had been such great work that we knew we had to go in a different direction. So you had a kind of direction from the very beginning, knowing that you can’t go that way, so you have to head this way. That was really helpful. But the Joker is fantastic because there are no rules. The Joker operates from instinct. David and I had conversations and I think he trusted that I was going to go out and experiment and explore and come back with something for him to continue the collaboration with. And it was nice to have that trust from him. He really let me lose and encouraged me. That was a priceless thing when you’re working with a director to have that faith and trust.”

Jared Leto goes onto describe the kinds of research that went into finding who this version of the Joker is. This is no longer a comic book character in the hands of this Oscar winning actor. No, he insists that this is one of the most realistic versions of the villain ever seen in any medium.

“He became a real person. I don’t know if person is the right word. I think the Joker lives in between reality and another plane. Kind of a shaman in a way. It’s a very intoxicating role to take on. You have permission to break rules and to challenge yourself and anyone around you in a really unique way. I first started at the beginning, educating myself, researching, reading as much as I could, going back to the source material. And then at a certain point, I knew I had to stop doing that. Because the Joker has been redefined, reinvented many times before. I think the fun thing about it is when people have done it in the past, there is some spirit of the Joker essence that they keep, but they either build upon something or tear something down and start again at the beginning.

For me, I knew once I had gone through the process of educating myself, I had to throw everything away and start from the beginning and really build this from the ground up. It was a transformative process. There was a physical transformation. There was a physical conditioning. There are a lot of things [I did].

It’s probably better to not get into it but to the Joker, violence is a symphony. This is someone who gets an extreme reward from the act of violence and manipulation. Those are the songs he sings and he is very in tune with what makes people tick (love this quote). I did meet with people that were experts, doctors, psychiatrists that dealt with psychopaths and people who had committed horrendous crimes, and then I spent some time with those people themselves, people who have been institutionalized for great periods of time. I guess when you take on a role, any role, you become part detective, part writer, and for me that’s my favorite time of the entire process, the discovering, the uncovering, and the building of a character. Yeah, it’s really fun.”

Jared Leto goes onto talk about the character as though he is a person removed from the actor himself. He insists that he wasn’t present for the shoot. But that, depending on who you ask, The Joker did have a great sense of humor. The actor then went onto talk about the video he made, which was shown to the rest of the cast right before a big dead hog was dropped in the middle of the table at the script reading.

“I think in the beginning it was important to set up and define our relationship, so to speak. [laughs] There were a lot of things. It was fun. You’ve got to remember doing these things isn’t just about the result, it’s the process. It’s working with Mr. Frost, who is the Joker’s henchman. It’s making the choice and the decision of how am I going to introduce the Joker to the very first people who will meet him. So it becomes an exercise as much for me as it is for anyone else. And it’s as much about the process as it is about the results. How do you go about these sorts of things? How do you work with the people around you? It was a lot of fun. The attention to detail and the process that we went through helped to bring a life to the character for me. Those actions and those gestures-the joker loves a grand gesture. Those were really important. And they were fun. The Joker is someone who doesn’t take things too seriously.”

and from the site COSMIC BOOKNEWS (please read more HERE)…

…  As far as the look of the Joker, it was a collaborative process. There were things I brought to the table and things David brought to the table and it was a mashup of both of our sick and twisted minds. There were specific things that he liked and wanted and I was there to help bring them to life in the best way I could.

I think the most important thing I brought was probably not to do with the outside but with the internal. But you know David was specific with tattoos. They were his idea but there was a lot to play with. Who knows what will end up in the final film?

Apr 032016

killingjoke_ani_byphaMy favorite Joker story of all time, and I can’t just way to see it…so to tease the fans DC Has released a preview of the animated film…full 10 minutes of insights of what promises to be one of the best Batman animated films in a long time.   Please sit back and enjoy this nice preview with me…


I can’t wait for this film to come out….


Mar 162016

Gotham-TV-Show-Fox-LogoI have been following GOTHAM series in FOX network and have to tell you that it still has me hooked.  I love the series’ twist on characters that we thought could not be improved or reinvented.  They find new visions for the character development at every corner and with the advent of Hugo Strange to his project “Indian Hill” just makes the plot more interesting.


We have seen that Dr. Hugo Strange is developing a program called “Indian Hills” to bring back “dead” criminals in an effort to develop an army that I feel has some similarities with the Talons army that was introduced in the pages of Batman by the COURT OF OWLS story arc by acclaimed comic book writer Scott Snyder. Another important clue from the series is the announced return of Theo Galavan to the series as Azrael (?), though the man was shot dead by Jim Gordon and finished beautiful by an umbrella shoved through his mouth courtesy of Oswald Cobblepot.  How could a dead man return to the world of the living?  With the help of Victor Fries serum of course.

Now, if Strange was able to get a hold of Galavan’s body, as he has done with other criminals (remember Firefly’s?) what if he was also able to get Jerome Valeska’s body from GCPD as well?  Very possible, since the maniac killed his father, there was no one to reclaim the body.  So…would Hugo have the ability to bring back a character that Jokerdom has described as the closest thing to the REAL Clown Prince of Crime?  Well, I found and interesting article that might be heading in that direction.  Here is the article found in SCENE CRUSH (January 13, 2016)…

Anyone following FOX’s Gotham (those brave souls) well-remembers the proto-Batman series’ quick introduction of almost-Joker figure Jerome, before Season 2 seemingly put a cap on the character in the most eye-rolling setup possible. Well, get ready to stretch that grin once more, as Ben McKenzie hints we’ve not seen the last of Cameron Monaghan’s cackling madman.

You’re warned of basic Gotham spoilers through Jerome’s arc from here on out, but where many presumed that that FOX DC drama have tipped too heavily toward the character’s Joker future, Season 2 outing “The Last Laugh” threw a wrench in that theory by killing off the Jerome character and insinuating his legacy as a “Joker Virus” on the city.

Anyone following FOX’s Gotham (those brave souls) well-remembers the proto-Batman series’ quick introduction of almost-Joker figure Jerome, before Season 2 seemingly put a cap on the character in the most eye-rolling setup possible. Well, get ready to stretch that grin once more, as Ben McKenzie hints we’ve not seen the last of Cameron Monaghan’s cackling madman.

MACKENZIE: “Not only can we [bring Jerome back], but we might. I can’t say definitively, but yes. I’ll put it this way: almost nobody that you’ve seen go away is dead. They are all able to come back.”

Granted, we left Gotham in 2015 on a deeper descent into the mysterious “Indian Hill” facility that already introduced a young Mr. Freeze (House of Cards star Nathan Darrow), and will soon embrace Bat-mythology even further in B.D. Wong’s Hugo Strange, so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility to resurrect Jerome somehow. Divisive though he may have been, there’s little argument Cameron Monaghan produced the strongest responses Gotham has seen yet, and the series itself isn’t in a place to ignore success.

(Original article: ‘Gotham’ Hints Proto-Joker Jerome Will Return for Last Laugh)

Jan 242016

SuicideSquaddateDirector David Ayer, had only praising words for Jared Leto’s Joker performance on the upcoming SUICIDE SQUAD movie, and thought there is just a little of the Joker still showing on the latest trailer, it is definitely promising performance.  Here is what Ayer had to say:



“It’s a scary character to tackle,” Suicide Squad director David Ayer says of Joker. “This iteration of him, people will realize there really is a continuity of history — there is a lot of respect for what the Joker represents, who he is as a character. He is the best-known villain in fiction, so there’s an incredible responsibility there to also be faithful to what he is but at the same time push him into this next world, next time, next phase.”

Ayer adds that “people kept their distance” from Leto when he was in 24/7 Joker mode. “I love helping actors find what methodology works best for them. It’s like tailoring a suit — it’s not one size fits all. But it really made an event when he would show up on set. There was almost a pageantry to him, which did translate into the power on screen he has.”

Leto even freaked out Ayer a few times.

“Big time. The hairs stand up on the back of your neck,” says the director, who grew up on the old 1960s Batman TV show. “If you’re a Batman fan, you have to love/hate the Joker because he’s the best nemesis ever. Just to have him on one of my film sets, it was a very memorable thing for me.”

What Leto brings to the Joker — the first on screen since the late Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning The Dark Knight baddie — is a fearless nature, Snyder says.

“The commitment to the role, you’re going to see that really shine through in a way that you’re not used to seeing actors in movies really go all the way with (in) every little moment and every little breath,” Snyder says. “You’re going to get taken on a journey with Jared that I don’t know that everyone’s ready for but I think it will be amazing.”

(Original interview appeared on the USATODAY HERE. Check it out)

Oct 302015

Actress Margot Robbie was also interviews by EMPIRE MAGAZINE regarding her characterization of SUICIDE SQUAD’s  HARLEY QUINN.EmpireHQCVR01

If you thought the Watchmen were messed up, get a load of Suicide Squad. Leading off Empire‘s rogues gallery of new covers was Jared Leto’s wild card, not a member of the squad but still the beating heartlessness at the core of David Ayer’s comic-book adaptation, and Cara Delevingne’s Enchantress. Now comes Margot Robbie’s post-transformation Harley Quinn, the third newsstand star to adorn the new Suicide Squad issue.

A mischief-making case-study in how not to conduct therapy sessions, not only will she not improve the Joker’s mental equilibrium, her own psychological health will be sent spinning along the way. Along with her work attire. “When I got the role I started looking up Harley costumes online, with my mum sitting next to me,” Robbie tells Empire. “She was like, ‘My daughter is going to dress like a prostitute!’ There are a lot of angry mothers out there!”

With apologies to Mrs Robbie, this image of a fully decked-out Quinn might cause a splutter or two back in Queensland. Like a heavily-armed riot grrl, she accessorises punk and street gang style with a non-MLB approved baseball bat and a sidearm the size of Liechtenstein. Note, too, the ‘Daddy’s Little Monster’ tee.

A property Ayer has termed “Comic-Book Movie 2.0”, Suicide Squad is not your common-or-garden superhero tear-up. This one, Ayer is at pains to explain in Empire’s on-set report, is something different. “You do a story about struggle and isolation and people who have been shit on, that suddenly get thrown this lifeline… that’s not so bad.” On the surface, at least, it seems like Robbie’s character is heading in the other direction, but she has demons that need exorcising too. Unfortunately, it’s the Joker doing the exorcising.

(Original article by Phil De Semlyen for EMPIRE MAGAZINE HERE)

Oct 302015

Here is a transcript of the article from EMPIRE MAGAZINE where Jared Leto was interviewed regarding his Joker portrayal in the movie SUICIDE SQUAD to be release in 2016…


Glimpsed on Instagram, teaser in the trailer and much discussed online, Suicide Squad‘s Joker has remained tantalising unknowable – up to now. The new issue of Empire pokes through the bars of Arkham Asylum and lays bare the nuts and bolts of Jared Leto’s wild-eyed reimagining of DC’s supervillain. Nuts, of course, being the operative word for this character.

“There was definitely a period of… detachment,” the actor tells us of his immersion in Suicide Squad’s wild-eyed outsider. “I took a pretty deep dive. But this was a unique opportunity and I couldn’t imagine doing it another way. It was fun, playing those psychological games.” When quizzed on exactly how arduous that process was, Leto unleashes an allusion you’re unlikely to hear from, say, Tom Hanks anytime soon. “It was painful, like giving birth out of my prick-hole.” Ouch.

The role of the Joker in David Ayer’s vivid, sure-to-be-ferocious imagining of the DC team-up is, Leto stresses, radically different from what’s gone before. “If you don’t break rules, you’re not going to strike new ground,” he explains. You can bring your pencils out again, although there’ll be plenty of other ways for this Joker to inflict pain.

Director David Ayer pays fulsome tribute to his star in the piece. “There’s a power to that character,” he elaborates in Empire, “and by some freaking miracle, through the incredible things Jared has done and the photography and all the other things that went into it, we’ve cooked up something transcendent.” So how dark does this Joker get? “He’s scary.”

Surprisingly, perhaps, producer Charles Roven pitches this new Joker as “more social” than those that have gone before. Besides being a sociopath, Roven explains that this Joker is “a very successful and smart businessman”, hinting at another hitherto unseen side of the man. Maybe a man who, beneath the psychic wounds, has something to offer Lex Luthor in due course?

The new issue of Empire – on newsstands on Thursday, October 29 – opens up this anarchic comic-book world in fine style. Head here for a look at its four lead character across five dazzling new covers.

(Original article by Phil De Semlyen appeared in EMPIRE MAGAZINE ONLINE HERE)

Feb 042015

Batman38CVRThe  incredible guys at  COMIC BOOK RESOURCES had a chance to talk to Scott Snyder about the his role in the new  Joker story line ENDGAME and the acclaimed writer talks about his unconventional origin story for Joker that he hinted in BATMAN #38 this month.  Here is the interview highlights.  (WARNING…SPOILERS AHEAD!):

CBR News: In “Batman” #38, you explain that the Joker virus is unique in that it heals The Joker even as it slowly kills its victims. It’s a complete inverse, like life and death and comedy and tragedy and, really, like Batman and The Joker. Why is it human nature to be so fearful of our polar opposite?

Scott Snyder: Part of the point of “Endgame” is that The Joker now positions himself as a stranger to Batman. “You don’t know me at all, and I know everything about you.” That’s terrifying not only because he’s a reflection of Batman, but suddenly he’s become this obscured reflection. It was always his message in “Death of the Family” and earlier in continuity, that, “We are two sides of the same coin. I’m doing this because I make you stronger.”

But this time, he something’s different. “All I am is the unknown.” Now, he’s this stranger that knows Bruce very well, and knows his weaknesses. I don’t think there is anything scarier than somebody coming after you that knows what you are most afraid of, and is happy to bring that to your doorstep.

While he’s often portrayed as crazy and the Clown Prince of Gotham, this time around, we’re seeing a more calculated approach to his mayhem.

I’ve actually never really seen him as crazy. I see him as evil. I think people like to think he’s crazy because we’re less comfortable with the idea that somebody could be deeply evil. You so rarely see absolute lack of empathy and compassion in a character that is operating with gleeful malevolence. That is something that just goes completely against our nature to believe in another human being. The Joker is that. In my interpretation, The Joker never says he’s crazy. He more, unapologetically, says, “This is who I am.” He very much has reasons for doing the things that he does, which make sense in his relationship with Batman. But I don’t think he views himself as crazy, and I don’t think Batman thinks he’s crazy either. The public perception of him is that he is a lunatic, but deep down, he’s actually very evil.

Speaking of crazy, we also get the New 52 debut of Crazy Quilt in this issue, a much maligned supervillain since his debut in 1946. Why mine Batman’s past to find these gems when building a story arc like “Endgame,” as opposed to creating new adversaries like the Court of Owls?

That’s a great question. For me, this story is meant to be somewhat celebratory, as dark and twisted as it is. It started as a celebration of Batman’s 75th anniversary, and it ends as a celebration of Joker’s 75th anniversary…

…Crazy Quilt was perfect because I needed a character that was really Frankenstein-ian. I needed a doctor that Batman believes must have helped Joker make this inverse strain. Joker must be taking something that is giving him this ability to heal and letting him make this argument that he is ancient. When he targets Dekker, he’s sure that he’s right: This is the person that did it. But even though Dekker admits that he helped Joker make the virus, what he says that stuns Batman is, “The substance in the virus, it’s from him. I got it from The Joker’s body… from his spine. He found it long ago. He is who he says he is.” Because Crazy Quilt is so integral to the story, you forgot the silliness of him. ..

…Again, this story, albeit very twisted, is meant to be fun. Even though Joker said “Death of the Family” is a comedy and “Endgame” is a tragedy, for him, he revels in tragedy, so “Death of the Family” must have been more uncomfortable for him. That story was more grim and dark, and this story is more eye-popping and silly and fun. And it only gets more so. You’ll see a lot more nuttiness as the story moves forward. I wanted this to be a big birthday party for The Joker and Batman, because this will definitely be the last time I ever write The Joker.

Well, looking at the cover for “Batman” #40, it’s fairly mythic.

I love that cover. I told Greg that I wanted it to be like Batman and The Joker had turned into completely mythological figures, something that you would see portrayed in a stained glass window. I wanted it like they are fighting deep in the pages of an ancient story, because again, this will be the last time we use The Joker. “Death of the Family” was the first part of a story, and I intended to do something with The Joker that was more of a tragedy in the second part. But when I started working on this one, which basically started when I was finishing the first one, I quickly realized that this one was going to be the one when nothing is left on the table. Everything that Joker didn’t do or said he wouldn’t do — and I don’t mean not kill people — but everything and anything is possible. The consequences of this one change everything. In “Death of a Family,” he gave Batman a chance. In this one, there are no chances. This one is about tearing everything down, for The Joker. And a lot of it does get torn down, and what comes out on the other side and what it leads to, the transformative aspects to the story, is very, very big.

I know from talking to you about “The Wake” that you love science and biology, so when I see such a well-defined, scientific explanation for the Joker virus based on jellyfish physiology, I know you’ve done your research. Do you have a team of scientists working for you?

[Laughs] No team, but I actually did a lot of research on that science. Again, the story has been planned for over a year and I love the idea of making it somewhat plausible. That gene, LIN28, is real. It’s one of the key genes that they’ve found in mice to be responsible for regenerative abilities for lost limbs. The idea of the cellular matrix and magic dust is all speculative stuff that is fun to read about. I really wanted to make something that links the mythology of some different aspects of “Batman” in a way that could be true and could be not true, because Crazy Quilt is crazy. At the same time, his belief that the Lazarus Pit is a corrupted version of this substance or has this substance in it, and the electrum that the Owls have possibly have this substance in it. And there is the idea that Vandal Savage was possibly touched by this substance long ago, and that’s why he is this immortal figure, which is how Grant [Morrison] positioned him in the cave.

This story really is a goodbye to a lot of things that we’ve built, and lots of the status quo, and it’s a celebration at the same time. I just want it to be as big as we ever go. AWe can pull back with a new status quo in June. It’s almost time to start over, in a way. I want people to say, “I did not know that they had that in them, to try something that nutty in their fifth year on the book” — my fifth year, Greg’s fourth.

Traditionally in the DCU, Batman and Joker have been portrayed as wickedly clever and resourceful. But in this arc, you’re basically making Joker a super threat in terms of strength and immortality. How does that change the Batman/Joker dynamic?

One of the things that is almost unspoken between Bruce and Dick is the question of, “Did we just miss our chance to kill him?” Or is it possible that The Joker always had this substance in him and it wouldn’t have worked any way? He would have just got up and laughed. Ultimately, now he is kind of reveling in the fact that you cannot take him down. He is this character that has a much longer history than you would think.

The other reason that it’s deeply scary, and why he’s chosen to flaunt it in front of Batman, whether or not it’s true, is because he believes very much that Batman’s biggest problem, his biggest fear, is his own mortality. He’s tried to transform himself into a symbol that extends beyond his own body and extends beyond his own life, and not in a way that he is afraid of dying. Bruce is afraid of losing Batman to his own body as he gets older. He’s afraid that he’ll go down fighting, but he won’t be strong enough, he won’t be fast enough. He isn’t exactly the legend that Batman has become. He’s still, ultimately, physically defined by his own body. He’s a person, and The Joker is saying that. He’s saying, “I know who you are. You’re nothing. You’re reduced to being just Bruce Wayne. I’m something much bigger than you — and I always have been.”

(This is just a partial transcript.   The whole article (and pictures) can be accessed HERE)

Oct 232014

BAT35-00The guys at Comic Book Resources had a very nice interview  with DC writer Scott Snyder about the  new storyline ENDGAME that started in Batman #35 and marks the Joker’s return to Gotham.  Here is part of that interview. (For the whole interview visit our friends at Comic Book Resources HERE)

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for “Batman” #35, on sale now.

You’ve probably heard by now that 2014 is Batman’s 75th anniversary. One thing that’s been missing from that celebration thus far is his perennial archenemy the Joker, who hasn’t been seen in DC Comics’ storylines since 2012’s “Death of the Family” by writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo — where the Clown Prince of Crime attempted to craft a fatal schism in the Bat-family.

With this week’s “Batman” #35, Snyder and Capullo launched “Endgame,” a six-part storyline that had been shrouded in mystery before release. And now readers know why: In the last page, it’s revealed that Joker is back, and apparently has raised the stakes: Controlling a Joker-ized Justice League targeting Batman, all part of a larger plan yet to be revealed.

CBR News spoke with Snyder — whose Image Comics series “Wytches,” illustrated by Jock, also debuted today — about the issue, which he says is the first part of Joker “moving on” from Batman with one final plot. And given that the opening shot involved the combined powers of the Justice League, Snyder said things only get bigger from here

CBR News: Scott, as revealed in the last page of “Batman” #35, the Joker is back! You wrote a major Joker story, “Death of the Family,” not that long ago, in 2012. As that story closed, did you know you’d be coming back to the character at this point? Did you have these plans in mind, at least loosely?

Scott Snyder: I did. Really, it was when I began writing it that I realized it would need a closing act. It was just really a matter of when we were going to do it. While I was writing “Zero Year,” I kind of had this thing in the back of my mind as a story that we’d eventually return to. It just became a question of what was the best time to actually launch into it. Ultimately, I thought about doing it about six months from now, but I kept looking at the date, being like, “It’s Batman’s 75th anniversary!” I remember one of my friends was like, “It’s also Joker’s 75th anniversary at the end of that.” “You know what, we’ve got to do it. We’ve got to do it then.”

It’s something we’ve been looking forward to for a very long time. It’s the conclusion, I think, to the arc for us with the Joker as a character that really began in “Death of the Family” in terms of his psychology.

How has the Joker changed at this point? Where do we find him in this story? If he’s controlling a Joker-ized Justice League, that seems to be an upgrade.

He’s changed a tremendous amount since the last time we saw him, and this story is really sort of an inversion of the other one — we would never want to do something that felt, in any way, repetitive. For us, if that one was sort of a comedy, or was about him saying, “This story is all about friendship and love and this sense of immortality and you coming with me and your villains, who are your true family, who are your royal court — we’re the ones who transformed ourselves into these eternal figures, because we saw you do it, and we have transcended our bodies and death to become these things of legend and to give meaning to what we do” — and Batman rejects all of that in “Death of the Family,” where he says, “No, what makes me stronger is my humanity — the people that love me and the people I love as Bruce Wayne.” In doing so, he severed all ties with the Joker.

This time, the Joker’s back to say, “Actually, your life means nothing. Your life is a joke, and the fact that you think that it has any kind of significance or meaning, what you do, and that it has an effect on things in the greater picture, is laughable, and I’m here to prove that to you.” So this one is really about hate. [Laughs] And death and suffering — tragedy as opposed to “Death of the Family.” If that one was happy, this one is sad. But, that said, it’s not going to be centered on a character dying or going after one person — Joker’s really here to say, “I am out for all of you. I’m here to burn everything down this time.”

When the story was first announced months back, all that was really revealed was the title: “Endgame.” It was clear both you and DC were not looking to disclose anything further. Now that the first chapter is out, can you tell us if this is this Joker’s endgame against Batman — or the world at large? What can you share about the significance of that title, now that we know Joker’s the villain?

Joker’s saying, “This is the end of us. This is it. This is the last Joker story of ‘Batman and Joker.'” Joker is moving on, is what Joker would say. So it’s really the end of the game played between the two of them.

For him, he’s funeral. He’s ready to end everything with Batman. For us, it’s incredibly fun to write him in this psychological state, because it’s no-holds barred. It’s the kind of thing where nobody is precious, no one matters, he’s out to prove a point and to make Batman feel like his life is meaningless. In that way, he’s incredibly vicious and incredibly fun.

His plan is huge — you can imagine, if we open with the Justice League Joker-ized, we’re not going to go smaller from there. [Laughs] It’s very, very big, and very out of control, and a lot of fun to write. I don’t want to say I’ll never write the Joker again, because I always feel like you do that, and then 10 years down the line you get some opportunity and you become a hypocrite about it. But I would say this is really the concluding chapter for us for the Joker, given the relationship we’ve created between him and our version of Bruce Wayne, for this run of “Batman.”

You say things are going to get bigger, and already in this issue, we’re seeing the Justice League, and the scale of it already seems to be on a different level. You’ve told very big stories in “Batman” so far, but a lot of those stories were very personal, and also Bat-universe-centric. This feels like maybe a bigger, superhero “DC” story. Is that fair to say?

I don’t want to give the impression that it’s going to pull in people from all corners of the DCU. I’m not up for that kind of story in “Batman” right now. The reason that Joker pulls the Justice League in is to send a very specific message — and it is a warning shot. The story gets bigger from there.

That said, the cast is pretty Batman-centric going forward. You’re going to see some people I think that will surprise you; good and bad, new and old. It will involve everybody in a way that I think we haven’t really had a chance to do as widely as this story will do it.

Really, it’s a celebration of Batman and Joker’s 75th anniversary in that way, where we’re trying to show how far-reaching their influences are on other characters, how big their relationship is, how long a shadow it casts over Gotham in general and the DCU.

Is his face going to be reattached?

Well, his face is over with Joker’s Daughter. Although he has it at one point in this story — spoiler! I would imagine he would need a face. I wouldn’t have him walking around with a mask, or something like that. Without giving too much away, I think it’s safe to bet that he will probably have a face of some kind, yes.

Also wanted to ask about the back-up stories written by James Tynion IV for this arc, with the one in #35 rather moodily drawn by Kelley Jones. What can you say about the plan for those back-ups, and how they’re working in tandem with the main narrative?

They’re great. They’re connected to the main narrative in that they follow the things that are happening to Gotham, and are happening to the characters that you see in “Batman” itself. But essentially James’ mission when we discussed them, we talked about the possibility of him doing five stories really that give different origins for the Joker. Different tales of how he is capable of doing what he does, and who he is. That’s the narrative there — even though it has a plot, and it has a very dark place that it’s going.

It’s also a celebration, artistically, of great Batman artists both past and present. So you’ll see that people that I think you’ll really be excited and shocked to have return to Batman in different capacities. It really is like a big birthday party for Joker and Batman — though they would argue whose birthday it really is. [Laughs]