I'd like to put a big SPOILERS all over this post & its reveal of the Joker's "new look" in the upcoming "Death of the Family" storyline, but the thing is...it was already spoiled by the widely distributed November comic book solicitations. Cold comfort for "Batman" artist Greg Capullo, however, who was blindsided by the reveal and took to Twitter to express his disappointment:
"In my younger days, I’d have punched several holes in the walls of my office by now."
In deference to Capullo, you can "spoil" the new Joker for yourself only by scrolling to the end of the post. Because we don't want him to punch any holes through his wall.
Possibly adding insult to injury, the cover in question, from "Batgirl" #14, features the art not of Capullo but artist Ed Benes. In contrast, Capullo's cover for "Batman" #14 shows the Clown Prince Of Crime from behind, successfully retaining the mystery. Traditionally, big spoilers on covers have been kept hidden on solicitation images by whiting or blacking them out.
The Joker has been face-less -- literally, had his face cut off -- since the first issue of the "New 52" version of "Detective Comics." In the "Batgirl" #14 cover, he is shown wearing a "mask" of sorts, standing over an unconcious Batgirl holding heart-shaped candies and a knife (which of course brings back memories of the classic "The Killing Joke').
So technically...we still don't know what Joker really looks like yet.
This inspires a bit of speculation as to what is really going to happen in "Death of the Family." Let me just take some shots in the dark, here:
1. Joker Pulls A "Face-Off": According to this interview with "Death of the Family" writer Scott Snyder, the storyline involves the Joker going after Batman and the entire Bat-Family in the most personal, painful way possible. I can think of no better way this can be achieved than by disguising himself with the face(s) of some of those very people, luring them into a false sense of security. What is a better way to get close enough to these different people than pretend to be them? Maybe he disguises himself as Bruce Wayne, or Batman, or Alfred...or Barbara Gordon. The possibilities are endless. And with face-transplants so prominently in the news...
2. This Isn't Really The Joker: God, that would be one infuriating plot twist at the end, wouldn't it? Some crazy-person (a fellow inmate at Arkham? some supporting character we'd never expect?) pretends to be the Joker by using his face. Maybe he's even really convinced that he is the Joker, and/or the Joker is trailing him secretly, trying to clear his
good bad name.
Of course, those are just guesses. What's really going to happen in "Death of the Family? Find out in when "Death of the Family" launches in Batman #13 on October 10th!
AND HERE'S THE COVER IN QUESTION: