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The Outrage Over Mortal Kombat 11's Joker Design Continues

There is a whole new Joker making waves on the internet, and we're not talking about Joaquin Phoenix's Joker or even the controversial Jared Leto Joker. NetherRealm Studios officially announced a Mortal Kombat 11 DLC that adds in six new characters, and one of these characters is none other than the Joker, sporting a new look that not everyone is so keen on. 


"Why does Mortal Kombat 11 Joker look like a cosplayer?" read one tweet after the announcement. This cosplay Joker in question seems inspired from the Batman Animated Series: he's got a clean purple suit, a rose in his breast pocket, and a wide, wide smile. He doesn't look anything like Heath Ledger's rough-around-the-edges Joker or even Jared Leto's edgy Joker. Fans have felt that this new Joker doesn't really look the part of the clown prince of crime. 

Redditor froogark posted a picture of a paper bag over the Joker's head, saying, "I hope we get this mask for the Joker." And we get it. Seriously, there's something just... wrong about the Mortal Kombat 11 Joker. He's too clean cut, young, and strangely buff to be the Joker, especially after fans of the villain just experienced a skeletal, middle-aged, disheveled take on the character in the award-winning film Joker. One theory as to why the Joker looks the way he does is the fact that we originally learned of his inclusion in the game through a dataminer. Alongside the Joker leak was another pop culture icon: Ash from The Evil Dead. You know, the guy with a chainsaw arm? He's tailor made for a game that celebrates gory kills


The idea is that the Joker and Ash have been combined, or that their character models are the same, which is why the Joker looks like he could bench press the Batmobile. We have not heard anything about Ash since the official announcement of the DLC pack which includes the Joker, Shang Tsung, Nightwolf, Terminator T-800, Sindel, and Spawn. Fans don't have any complaints about these characters. In fact, the Terminator looks just like Arnold Schwarzenegger himself. 

These DLC characters will be released slowly over time, with the Joker coming to the game on Jan. 28. So why is everyone talking about him right now? Recently, the game's director, Ed Boon, tweeted, "Just watched an early pass at Joker's Fatal Blow..... Day-um!" complete with a surprised emoji. In the replies, fans begged for another taste of what's to come for the Joker. But mostly, fans asked for alternate skins based on their respective favorite incarnations of the Joker. Everyone is excited to see what kind of antics the Mortal Kombat 11 Joker gets into, but no one really wants to look at him. 

The Joker has been in a Mortal Kombat game before. The 2008 title Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe saw the Joker getting his butt handed to him by Batman, then Scorpion. Eventually he gets the upper hand once he is infected with Kombat Rage (very similar to 'roid rage), which causes him to get overconfident and want to fight every living thing in sight. His attacks are very much based on the gags he pulls in the animated series: he has razor-blade playing cards, an acid-spraying flower, and an electric hand buzzer, for starters. And he even has an extendable boxing glove, along with a pair of old fashioned revolvers (one that shoots confetti and one that shoots bullets).


In the past, one of the Joker's fatalities was the aptly named "Killing Joke," where the Joker shot at his foe with a revolver, giggling when nothing but confetti and a sign saying BANG! came out. Then, of course, he took out a real revolver and shot his opponent in the head. He also had a deadly "Card Trick," which saw him throw four cards at his opponent, the final card striking them between the eyes. 

What will the Joker's move set be like this time around? According to Ed Boon, the Joker will be "VICIOUS" in all caps. Mortal Kombat 11 is a bloodbath of a game with some of the most brutal fatalities the series has ever seen. We've come a long, long way since the days of 16-bit blood spurts that made parents lobby for the game to be banned for its celebration of violence. What would they think of today's fatalities, which depict melting flesh and ripped out, still-beating hearts in lifelike detail?

In any case, we're hoping that the Joker's new fatalities make up for his ill-received looks. If we're lucky, there will be skins and cosmetics released along the way that allow players to alter the Joker's unfortunate face.