The Batman’s Riddler comments on the power of his mask – something which actually subtly sets up an extreme Joker story for The Batman 2.
The Riddler’s line about masks actually acts as a secretly perfect setup for The Batman 2‘s most brutal Joker story. Matt Reeves’ The Batman offered a new and innovative take on the Dark Knight, borrowing aspects from previously celebrated incarnations to deliver a Robert Pattinson-led noir thriller focusing on the titular vigilante’s early crimefighting career. This pits Pattinson’s Batman against Paul Dano’s Riddler, an enigmatic figure inspired by real-life serial killers who shares a number of parallels with the film’s hero.
This particular line actually sets up a potentially brutal story for The Batman 2. As The Batman‘s reveal of Barry Keoghan’s Joker teases that the actor’s version of the villain will be distinct from previous incarnations, evidenced in part by comments regarding the character’s facial scarring. Riddler’s talk of masks and their importance to both Batman and Riddler hints that they may also be a theme that carries over into the sequel, which will likely feature Keoghan’s Joker in a larger capacity – and it’s possible that he will cut off his own face. Understandably, this development – which mirrors a notorious comic arc – would arguably be the darkest onscreen story for the character yet.
Riddler talking about how he needs his mask and Batman’s journey in the first film being one of self-discovery and identity perfectly set up Joker’s continuation of the theme in The Batman 2. In the comics, Joker cuts off his own face in order to prove that even without his “mask“, he’d still be the Joker, but Batman’s own identity was only mask-deep. Though he was obscured in his deleted scene appearance, The Batman‘s Joker has scars over his face already – something which may lead to an especially shocking and brutal reveal in The Batman 2.
Using the Joker’s Face story arc for The Batman 2 would be a bold choice, but it would actually pick up the thematic threads of the first film. Not only would it force Batman to reevaluate his identity in much the same way that he did after facing Riddler, but it would do so in a much grander fashion, building upon The Batman‘s story rather than repeating it. By making Keoghan’s Joker one of the most extreme and brutal versions to date, The Batman 2 would certainly stand out, and the story was already set up by Riddler in The Batman.
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