Gotham got that much closer to having a Joker of its own with Jerome's full return tonight. The character really came into his own in this episode, too, working in some similarities to other takes on the Joker, while also establishing a unique look at that kind of character.
Actor Cameron Monaghan told Comicbook.com, "There was never a moment where I was intentionally cribbing from another actor," Monaghan told ComicBook.com "More so, I grew up watching other actors design the character of The Joker to me and obviously the part was paying tribute to The Joker, and so I wanted to you know perform it to the best of my abilities in a way that it seemed to be paying homage to the character."
He noted that most of his take, honestly, comes from the comics. He has "a very large stack of Joker comics, definitely over 50 [collections] at this point, so I was taking bits and pieces from whatever I could." It's one of the things he loves about working on Gotham, in fact.
"You know, the great thing about Gotham is because it exists in its own canon, it's not specifically coming from one source. It means that we can kind of translate the best of any world that we want and take anything from pretty much anywhere, and so we did."
Well, we have four specific storylines featuring the Joker that we talked over that you can track down and read during the 12-week hiatus that will be hard for Gotham fans to wait through.
New 52 - Death of the Family
In the more recent New 52 era of comics, we saw some very modern stories told by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, which have been pulled from quite a bit for Gotham. Things like the Court of Owls and a doppleganger of Bruce Wayne come right out of those pages, and so does the Joker with a torn-off face.
"I mean, obviously, the whole faceless thing is pretty New 52," Monaghan noted. The way the character behaves there is a little New 52 as well, with a strange give and take with Batman. Check out the Death of the Family trades or on Comixology for another look at Joker wearing his own face like a mask.prevnext
The Killing Joke
The Killing Joke features some "massively influential" storytelling that Monaghan says was seen in episode 314, "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies." In that story, we saw Batman and the Joker have a tete a tete, and learn about each other; there's also the idea of them being twisted reflections of one another that was explored in-depth in that story (and a Hall of Mirrors), and got its own little shoutout when Bruce, in clown makeup, sees his literal reflection staring at him and his metaphorical reflection below him. Glorious.prevnext
Dark Knight Returns
In The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, Batman and the Joker face off in a hall of mirrors at an old carnival, with Batman taunting Joker using his many reflections - sound familiar?
"You see The Dark Knight Returns influence as well," Monaghan pointed out when talking about the scene.
Yeah, that sequence was heavily borrowing from the seminal work, which saw Batman and The Joker face off one last time, decades down the road. The fact that it can be borrowed from for a young Bruce Wayne versus Jerome fight shows how incredibly timeless many Batman stories can be.prevnext
Finally comes Batman: Cacophony by Kevin Smith, another more recent book, and one that may be "a bit unexpected."
"I really like what Kevin Smith did in Batman: Cacophony, where there's this great sit down between Bruce and The Joker and towards the end of it, when they're in the hospital and they kind of talk about the cyclical nature of their relationship. So it was just trying to cherry pick from you know what I could find and what worked," Monaghan said.
Sounds like we have some reading to do before Jerome's next appearance.
Gotham returns April 24, 2017 on FOX.prev