Writer Tom King is teasing the return of The Joker to the pages of Batman.
The Joker featured heavily in King and artist Mikel Janin's flashback storyline "The War of Jokes and Riddles," which saw the Clown Prince of Crime battle The Riddler for Gotham City in the early days of Batman's career. The arc, which directly led to Selina Kyle accepting Bruce Wayne's marriage proposal, is the only time King has written the character to date.
Writing the Joker today. I control everything he says and does, and dude still scares me.— Tom King (@TomKingTK) January 18, 2018
Assuming King's next tale takes place in current continuity, the story will likely follow up on the conclusion of Dark Nights: Metal. The villain was last seen in the lead up Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's event series, where it was revealed that Batman had him locked up in a secret section of the Batcave. The Joker served as a harbinger of things to come, but he escaped and has not been seen in the months since.
An appearance by the Joker set after the events of Metal would allow King to effectively transition the character, and Gotham City, toward Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's Doomsday Clock , which is set roughly one year in the DC Universe's future. The Joker is expected to feature prominently in the 12-issue series, where the three Jokers plot thread Johns introduced in the pages of 2016's DC Universe: Rebirth one-shot will finally be addressed.