The Joker Debuts His Version of The Suicide Squad (And It’s Even Darker)

Warning: SPOILERS for Batman Incorporated #9The Joker is officially taking the idea behind the Suicide Squad to a whole new — and much darker — level. While it seemed that the Joker was simply forming his own “Joker Incorporated” team to imitate the Dark Knight’s Batman Incorporated, the truth is a lot more terrifying.


The Joker reveals his Suicide Squad-like plans to Ghost-Maker and El Gaucho in Batman Incorporated #9 by Ed Brisson, John Timms, Rex Lokus, and Clayton Cowles. The Joker shows the two Batman Incorporated members a live feed of one of his new clown “teammates,” who has taken hostages. He then presses a remote trigger, which sets off a “gas bomb” in the clown’s body, killing both the clown and all of his hostages in one fell swoop.

Joker Goon Kills Hostages

The Joker then unveils the truth behind his seemingly-goofy “Joker Incorporated” team: each member of the group is “outfitted” with “their own unique little trigger, each capable of killing everyone within a one-block radius.” The true darkness arrives when the Joker explains that the only way to avoid mass death of innocent lives is to kill the clowns, effectively stomping all over Batman’s one rule for Ghost-Maker and the Batman Incorporated team: “no killing.”

Related: The Joker’s New Version of The Batmobile Fixes A Decades-Old Miss

The Joker Has Ripped Off Amanda Waller

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The Joker is no stranger to gaseous toxins and bombs, but this is the first time he’s tried to build himself a team, especially one so closely aligned to his own image. The Joker Incorporated concept was fully deployed in the previous issue of Batman Incorporated, cutting between a number of clowns in a number of countries: France, the UK, Australia, and more. The “clown team” idea is fresh, but the idea of a team of super-villains is a classic superhero genre trope. Indeed, the Joker has often found himself deployed on teams like the Legion of Doom and even the Suicide Squad. The Suicide Squad, of course, implants bombs in its members’ heads, incentivizing them through the threat of violent death.

The Joker, then, seems to have taken a play out of Amanda Waller’s book in his own version of a super-villain team. The Suicide Squad and its methods aren’t mentioned by name in Batman Incorporated #9, but that team is clearly an influence on the Joker’s new scheme. In this case, though, the Joker is less concerned about manipulating his “teammates” than he is about pushing Ghost-Maker into breaking his no-killing promise to Batman. And the Clown Prince of Crime has truly backed Ghost-Maker into a corner; unlike the Suicide Squad, these Joker-ified gas bombs won’t just kill the clowns. If the clowns live, or the hostages get away, or there’s any outcome other than Batman Incorporated directly killing the clowns, these bombs will also kill anyone in the vicinity, clowns and hostages and all.

How Will Batman Incorporated Save the Day?

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With that twist, the Joker has taken the Suicide Squad to astoundingly dark place — and that’s saying something, seeing as Task Force X is already a pretty twisted concept. Surely Ghost-Maker and El Gaucho will find some way out of this sticky situation, but, until then, it looks as though the Joker has finally come out on top. It really is a clown-kill-clown world in the DCU.

Batman Incorporated #9 is available now from DC Comics!

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