Within the first few minutes of Joker, a movie where Joaquin Phoenix is going to get nominated for (if not win) an Academy Award for sleeping in a refrigerator, we learn that Gotham is being overrun by rats. Not just any ol’ garbage-eating rats, but garbage-eating super rats, and the only way to take care of super rats is super cats, obviously. Followed by super dogs, super gorillas, and finally, it’s winter time. Anyway, the rats never factor into the plot of the movie, but they might in another DC title, The Suicide Squad.
It’s suspected that the rats belong to Ratcatcher, an obscure villain in Batman’s Rogue Gallery. “Once employed as an actual rat catcher in Gotham City, Otis Flannegan soon started using his strange ability — an affinity with and the ability to control rats — to stage a variety of crimes,” his description reads. “Eventually, his control over the vermin grew until he threatened Gotham with a veritable army of rodents. Incarcerated many times at Blackgate Prison, he can cause as much damage behind bars as without, using his loyal, trained, pets to relay messages and transport materials inside the maze of ventilation ducts that wind throughout the giant prison.” If I lived in Gotham, I could deal with evil penguins and riddle-obsessed lunatics, but rat minions? That’s too much.
The rat infestation could be a coincidence — a way to signal that Gotham is on the decline, like how movies set in the future use trash-can fires as a visual representation of poverty — but maybe not, considering Ratcatcher will make his, or should I say “her,” official introduction in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. The role will be played by Daniela Melchior, who “will have some connection to whomever [Idris Elba] ends up playing,” according to Variety. Maybe Ratcatcher can join Harley Quinn’s girl gang?
Anyway, the rat reference did not slip by many DC fans.
Still reeling over Joker. Keep thinking the rats in the background of significant scenes could be a subtle hint to Ratcatcher?
— Pizzkey (@pisskey) October 6, 2019
Was the big rat thing a ratcatcher reference?
— Steven Glansberg (@VDC234) October 6, 2019
Shoutout to the Ratcatcher
— Jbat: Striver for Justice (@moeru_hoshi) October 7, 2019
I mean come on you foreshadow Obscure Villain The Ratcatcher and not do anything with it?
— John Reid Adams (@NarcoticCasser1) October 9, 2019
Noticed Ratcatcher too.
— Jack Bottomley (@JJB888) October 7, 2019
Maybe they're saving that for the sequel. I mean, they're introducing Ratcatcher in The Suicide Squad, so maybe she and Joker will team up in "Joker II: Ratpocalyse". pic.twitter.com/61zaD2ZAnn
— Carlos Nicolini (@cnicolinio) October 9, 2019
The Suicide Squad comes out on August 6, 2021.