THE BATMAN: 10 Stories Featuring The Joker We're Hoping To See In One Of Matt Reeves' Sequels

The Batman ends by introducing Barry Keoghan's Joker, and we have some idea about where Matt Reeves could take this twisted Clown Prince of Crime over the course of the next two movies. Check it out...

The Batman ended with The Riddler meeting an unexpected ally in Arkham State Hospital; while he was never named, we'd learn that Barry Keoghan's "Unnamed Arkham Prisoner" is, in fact, The Joker...before he becomes The Joker. A serial murderer captured by the World's Greatest Detective during his first year in Gotham City, the stage has been set for him to be a big part of this franchise.

Warner Bros. would later release a 5-minute deleted scene showing Batman confronting this deformed Clown Prince of Crime, and it looks like the stage is being set to make him the sequel's big bad.

With that in mind, we've taken a look back at some of our favourite comic books to compile a list of storylines that could inspire what comes next. As you'll soon see, we're not suggesting Matt Reeves 100% faithfully adapt any one of these but there are ideas in all of them that could make Barry Keoghan's Clown Prince of Crime the greatest, most terrifying take we've seen on the iconic villain yet.

To take a look through these storyline suggestions, simply click on the "Next" button below! 

10. "Under The Hood"


"Under the Hood" told the story of Jason Todd’s return to Gotham City as a murderous vigilante. He had been believed dead after being murdered by The Joker, but took on the identity originally held by the Clown Prince of Crime to get revenge on both the unhinged killer and his former mentor.

This story revolved mostly around the relationship between Batman and his former Robin, with The Joker more on the periphery, but that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. Fans have been crying out for this for years, and Warner Bros. and Matt Reeves would be smart to make it happen.

The filmmaker has already taken some liberties with the source material. With that in mind, Jason could be one of The Joker's early victims during Batman's first year in Gotham who the Dark Knight failed to save. Here, we'd learn that he did survive, returning as a self-styled vigilante who may not have been Robin, but still has a good reason to take aim at both Batman and The Joker.

9. "Five Way Revenge"


"Five Way Revenge" came at a time when Batman comics desperately needed to move away from the campy tone established by the 1960s TV series. The story revolved around The Joker’s attempt to take out five henchmen who had displeased him in various ways, leaving the Dark Knight with no choice but to protect those he normally wouldn't think twice about beating up and putting behind bars.

As well as showing The Joker’s disregard for those in his employ, this story increased the complexity of Batman and The Joker’s relationship. After ambushing a tired and weakened Batman, the villain decided that his victory was a case of luck rather than being the better man, so he chose to leave his foe alive. Elements of all of this in a movie would work well, again tying into the villain's capture.

It's an admittedly obscure tale, but one Reeves could flesh out in a multitude of satisfying ways. 

8. The Long Halloween


A truly epic tale, The Long Halloween featured The Joker in a fairly minor, but still pivotal role. The story revolved around a year-long mystery as Batman took on almost all of his iconic foes while simultaneously trying to take down a mysterious murderer known only as "The Holiday Killer."

Furious at being outshone by him, the Clown Prince of Crime took to the skies on New Year’s Eve in a bid to spread poison gas across Gotham. An epic battle ensued which saw Batman battle his most hated foe for control of the plane, at one point getting his cape caught in the propeller.

He eventually took The Joker down, and depending on how ambitious Reeves plans to get moving forward, then a loose adaptation of this storyline could be the perfect way to end this trilogy.

7. Death Of The Family


When The Joker escaped captivity, he left something behind; his face! Months later, the villain resurfaced and stole it back, spending this arc with the decomposing skin strapped to his face with a belt and fishing hooks. Things got even more twisted than that when he started targeting each of Batman’s closest allies, and this is a storyline that's begging for a big screen adaptation.

It’s revealed that Bruce has always suspected that The Joker knows his secret identity after he found a playing card left for him in the Batcave, while he also admits to visiting The Joker in Arkham Asylum (out of costume) to see if the villain would acknowledge him. Batman even claims to know his foe's real name, prompting the Clown Prince of Crime to jump from a cliff before he can say it.

This storyline really deepened the Dark Knight's relationship with the Clown Prince of Crime, and given how horribly scarred Barry Keoghan's Joker already is, this may be the logical next step. 

6. "The Man Who Killed Batman"


This is a story which hails from the massively popular Batman: The Animated Series rather than a comic book, but seeing elements of this classic tale in a sequel to The Batman would be no bad thing.

The unique episode focused on a hapless gangster known as Sid the Squid, a criminal who it appears succeeded in killing Batman. This obviously brings him in contact with many grateful bad guys, but The Joker is less pleased about this nobody doing what he never could by killing the Dark Knight.

Incensed by both that and the loss of his enemy, he looks to take out Sid, but is stopped at the last minute by a very much alive Batman. There’s obviously not enough here for an entire movie, but there’s no denying that elements of this could work brilliantly as a subplot or side story in the sequel.

5. "The Man Who Laughs"


Ed Brubaker and Doug Mahnke's "The Man Who Laughs" serves as a modern retelling of the Clown Prince of Crime's origin story, and serves as a loose sequel to "Batman: Year One."

Rather than a sequel, we'd actually enjoy seeing elements of this story in that planned Arkham series. Reeves has said this Joker, who has yet to take on that moniker, was a killer captured by Batman during his first year in Gotham, but there's no reason the original Red Hood and ACE Chemicals couldn't be introduced in an exciting new way. Batman could even spend a chunk of his next movie battling the mysterious Red Hood in the present before we learn it's his old foe beneath the mask.

"The Man Who Laughs" offered an in-depth, layered take on The Joker, and there are lots of ideas here that could help differentiate this version from the many great ones we've seen before.

4. The Killing Joke


Arguably the most well-known and iconic Batman/Joker story of all-time, The Killing Joke is just begging to be adapted. While The Joker’s treatment of Barbara Gordon/Batgirl has always been mired in controversy (he shoots her, then proceeds to take nude photos of the young hero to taunt her father with), that wouldn't need to be included as there are others close to Batman the villain could target.

After attempting to mentally break Commissioner Jim Gordon, an epic showdown with Batman ensues, but ends in a surprising way. The two share a laugh as they wait for the police to arrive, but there are those who speculate that the sudden end of The Joker’s laughter is because Batman kills him.

There's nothing to say that this would have to be a 100% faithful adaptation, of course, but Reeves would definitely be wise to lift elements from this in order to make this clash leave a lasting impact.

3. "Endgame"


A follow-up of sorts to "Death of the Family," this story saw The Joker return to Gotham City more powerful than ever, poisoning the entire city with a formula which drives them insane.

The only way to cure them is for Batman to extract a mysterious chemical from The Joker’s spine, but there are hints along the way that the villain is actually hundreds of years old and possibly some sort of immortal who has been causing chaos in the city for centuries. That sounds pretty crazy, right?

Well, it's later debunked when it’s revealed that he found a chemical which healed his face and gave him enhanced strength, and after a battle which sees both Batman and The Joker left bloodied and maimed, they’re buried underground. Needless to say, this has all the makings of an epic movie, and could be a great way to reinvent Barry Keoghan's Clown Prince of Crime for a new story.

2. The Dark Knight Returns


Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice obviously paid homage to The Dark Knight Returns in a lot of ways, but The Joker was obviously nowhere to be seen. As a result, the iconic villain's role in that famed Frank Miller story could very easily be used to influence a possible sequel to The Batman

Faking a recovery after years of being institutionalised, The Joker ends up poisoning an entire TV studio during an interview, and soon finds himself on a collision course with Batman as a result. However, the aged Batman in this story is in no mood to play games with his old foe, blinding him with a Batarang to the eye and breaking his neck after a vicious beating in a fairground's Tunnel of Love.

Unable to kill his paralysed enemy, The Joker laughs as he finishes the job, framing Batman for his murder in the process. Ending the second movie on this note would set the stage for the next chapter, though the hero being on the run from the cops is quite similar to The Dark Knight.

1. "Death In The Family"


This iconic tale saw readers vote to kill off Robin, and the youngster died after a brutal beating from The Joker with a crowbar. The image of Batman cradling his sidekick is iconic, and a moment that both changed the Caped Crusader forever. Robert Pattinson would like to introduce Robin, and there's something to be said about a story exploring why Batman would take a child into battle.

As we've established, if "Under the Hood" is adapted, this needs to come first, and it would be no bad thing for The Batman sequel to adapt this story and deal with Jason Todd's return down the line.

The DC Extended Universe hinted at Robin's fate in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Zack Snyder later revealed that the defaced costume belonged to Dick Grayson. We'd rather this franchise not head the same route, but the rise, fall, and resurrection of Robin is a story worth telling.

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