Is Jerome Making Jared Leto's Joker Look Like A Chump?

Say what you want about Gotham and its repurposing of the Batman universe, but Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan) has kept us on the edge of our seats. Ever since his first appearance in “The Blind Fortune Teller”, episode 16 of season one, the young man who bears the most semblance to the Joker, has stolen the show. His performance has captivated on such a grand scale that many have declared him a better live-action Joker than Jared Leto’s in Suicide Squad. It’s hard to disagree, because, right now, Jerome is the better Joker of the two.

More Time?

“But Jared only had less than 10 minutes in Suicide Squad?” That’s true, but he did absolutely nothing in those 10 minutes or less to convince us of his version of the Clown Prince of Crime. In his debut episode, Jerome brought menace, evil, and trickery to the role. By the time he cracked up laughing in the interrogation room, he had us convinced.

Jared, unfortunately, did his best Jim Carrey impressions in his first outing as Mr J, and hasn’t exactly endeared himself, either, by blaming everyone else besides himself for his performance. For someone who went the method-acting route, his understanding of the character was poor to begin with. Does anyone know why he laughed like Ace Ventura? I don’t.


The Look

I was one of the few people who defended Jared Leto’s Joker look. For me, it was an interesting take on the character, thinking his tattoos and silver teeth would be explained in the film. But nope. It was just an aesthetic choice. A stupid aesthetic choice, with no explanation except after the film. It’s the equivalent of giving Superman a mask just because.

While Jerome isn’t donning the purple suit or pale face yet, his look and demeanour have been far more Joker-like than Leto’s. Watch the way he moves in “Smile like You Mean It”, episode 13 of season three. Reminiscent to Jack Nicholson’s portrayal and the animated version from Batman: The Animated Series, he encapsulates the character’s playfulness and wickedness concurrently.

Is Jerome Making Jared Leto's Joker Look Like A Chump?

The Fear Factor

Jerome has been an adversary for Bruce, Leslie, Alfred, Jim, and the criminals in Gotham. He’s unpredictable, unhinged, a showman, and his endgame is known only to him. Does that remind you of another Joker you may remember? When it comes to chaos, he ups his game and causes havoc in Gotham City. He’s even inspired a cult of followers to raise some anarchy, too.

Leto’s clown was driven by his love for his queen, Harley Quinn. That’s it. For such a formidable foe, he acted like an emo boyfriend rather than one of the greatest supervillains of all time. He could’ve terrorised the squad, taunted Batman, or even destroyed half the city just because he wanted to. But no. We got someone who spent his time trying to recover his girlfriend and threatening people with a Samsung Galaxy Note 7. I’m surprised the last scene of Suicide Squad didn’t have Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero” as its closing track.

It appears likely that Leto will get a second chance to reprise his role as the Harlequin of Hate. Hopefully, with a better script and director, he’ll be able to show us why he was the right person for the role. Until then, at least we have Jerome Valeska to keep us company.

Do you think Jerome is a better Joker than Jared Leto’s? Let us know in the comments section below.

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  1. pretendernx01

    Cameron Monaghan is a terrific actor and it helps we’ve been able to see Jerome over 3 seasons now as we get to see more sides of the character like we were able to with The Animated series.

    In my opinion, one of the best live action Batman/Joker confrontations is in S3 E14 “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies” the whole circus set was straight out of the comics and the Bruce/Joker-ish characterization was spot on.

  2. Its just that leto is a good actor and he can pull it offf but it was just the bad script and horrible writing for his character.And also because he didnt have that much screen time unlike cameron’s joker “jerome”

  3. There are actually 3 jokers that represents the golden age, silver age, and bronze age of comics each are dif. Gold = brutal kills for something like money. Silver = jokester. Bronze = can’t live without batman.

  4. Gotham sucks so yeah Jerome would be a stand out character… But their story line made it so Jerome isn’t even the joker so a comparison of the two is just stupid…

  5. Kgomotso

    Defenetly jerome’s joker passed the test on many levels he could be the next Heath Ledger “joker”….leto sucked killed joker💯💯

    • Why is this even a question !! Cameron Monaghan nailed Jerome’s character and Leto’s joker was terrible the terms I will use to define his joker will be “Junkie” “drug addict looking” “Harley’s bitch” “idiotic tattooed guy”

  6. DonR

    I’ve been saying this for awhile, nice to see I’m not the only one. Cameron is doing an amazing job, 2nd only to Ledger.

  7. Inzo

    I still think the Joker in the next DC movie must be CGI voiced by Mark Hamill, it can be done as proven by Rouge one because there are only actors who could play a believable Joker, unfortunately one is too old and the other is no longer with us.

  8. Lana Renee

    Am I the only one who thinks Cameron is doing an absolute phenomenal job as Jerome/proto-Joker just as much as Heath Ledgers? People don’t seem to realize that Gotham is BASED on the comics and characters- so they’re not necessarily going to be exactly like the comics/characters! I really hope Jerome comes back! Leto in my opinion wasn’t that bad; but it wasn’t that good either. Honestly if Leto wasn’t basically just a cameo and had way more back story or storyline I don’t think he was that bad! His acting is on point but he just needs more scenes. 🤗😅

  9. pattz

    we accept Cameron’s joker because people would not compare a tv series joker with jack Nicholson’s but the truth is cameron’s portrayal is a mix of jack and a bit of heath .in case of mainstream cinema had leto copied / got inspired by jack’s joker people would have complained . Leto’s joker was not bad but the story line was not upto the mark .It was just like how dc messed up batman’s part in dawn of justice .

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