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The Joker’s real origin story comes from an even darker place

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Now we really know what created the iconic comic book character.

DC Comics Exhibition: Dawn Of Super Heroes Launches At The o2 Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images

For those that missed it, the first teaser trailer for Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of the Joker from the Batman comics came out today, and it’s been all over the internet. The character’s never had a true origin story, so this is all pretty much made up from scratch.

You get the basic idea in the trailer, but we think it’s missing some of the subtext. So here’s an explainer, walking you through what happens, and how Phoenix’s character ultimately ends up as the Joker...

Therapist: “William, does it help to have someone to talk to?”

“My mother always tells me to smile and put on a happy face.

She told me I had a purpose, to bring contracts and honoring to the world.”

“Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?”

(Nat King Cole’s “Smile” plays)

“I used to think that Syracuse fans’ lives were a tragedy.

But now I realize it’s a comedy.”