To celebrate Joker’s 75th anniversary we got our first official look at Jared Leto’s Joker, and it’s quite different to previous live-action Joker appearances. Now that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and from this image I’m think we’re going to be getting an Azzarello type Joker. So let’s discuss the official Joker image from Suicide Squad!
No more Jared Leto hair updates, because we finally know how the Joker will look like in 2016’s ‘Suicide Squad’ movie. And it’s quite surprising. I was expecting Jared Leto’s Joker to look a little like Greg Capullo’s suave Joker look, instead we’ve gotten a thug Joker look.
Everyone’s been calling it out to Frank Miller’s tattooed Joker from All Star Batman and Robin (who had a giant tattoo on his back), but I’m thinking that we’re going to get a Joker similar to Brian Azzarello’s Joker from the graphic novel ‘Joker’.
In ‘Joker’ Joker is let out of Arkham Asylum and returns to Gotham broke, with a bunch of other criminals in charge, which he doesn’t like. With the aid of his loyal servants Jonny Frost, Killer Croc and Harley Quinn, the Joker goes around killing all those who took over Gotham to get his money back. Interestingly enough, word is both Jonny Frost and Killer Croc will be joining Suicide Squad, so the influence from the comic can be seen there.
The Joker from that story is pretty much the ultimate thug. I hate to say it, but that Joker sure had (incoming cringe word) swag. The whole comic set Joker up to be like Gotham’s greatest gangster. But the thing is, Joker doesn’t care about money, as he said in the comic. What he cares about is getting Batman’s attention.
The Jared Leto picture gives off a thug and gangster vibe as well, with all the tattoos. In a clear nod to the Killing Joke comic, the picture has a bunch of ‘HA HA HA’, similar to the cover of Killing Joke. Also on his bicep, there is a dead robin bird. So what does that all say? Well it seems like in this universe we will be getting Red Hood, as a number of rumours recently have suggested. The dead robin tattoo probably acknowledges Joker killing Jason Todd.
The giant smile on Joker’s arm looks similar to the cover of Azzarello’s Joker graphic novel. The other tattoo on Joker’s chest is a skull wearing a hat very similar to what Harley Quinn wears. Could this tattoo indicate that Harley and Joker are over, because why else would you have a skull tattoo version of your girlfriend?
Many people have been complaining about the non-subtly of this picture, because of the tattoos. Here’s the thing, the Joker is one of the least subtle characters ever. And really it doesn’t matter how the Joker looks, because everything is a joke to him anyways.
Joker’s worldview revolves around the idea that everything is a joke. The fact that people try to form meaning and order in such a chaotic world is a joke and is madness to him. So instead of fighting the mad and chaotic world, the Joker instead chooses to embrace it and be mad with it (you can read my Joker character analysis post for a deeper discussion here if ya want).
So yeah the Joker has a bunch of non-subtle tattoos that look like a joke, it actually makes sense. When it comes to the Joker, there shouldn’t be one definitive look for him. He’s the Joker! He’s one of the most random characters in comics, his look should be surprising and shocking, because that’s the Joker for you.
And as with most DC/WB releases, the picture has gotten a mixed reaction. Hey I love Heath Ledger’s Joker too, but it’s time to accept that we’re getting a different Joker. Once we see this Joker in action, truly looking like the craziest person you have ever seen, going face to face with Ben Affleck Batman, then I’m expecting the complaining to simmer down.
No wonder Bruce looked so tired and pissed off in the Batman v Superman trailer, he had to deal with this Joker for years.
But for all you who aren’t fans of this Joker look, then hopefully seeing him in action in Suicide Squad will change your mind. I for one think the character is in very good hands, and we will probably be seeing the most comic book faithful Joker we’ve ever seen before. Even if you don’t like the look, the character can still be great, just keep that in mind! And don’t think that Suicide Squad will suck just because you don’t like the look of the Joker. Anyways a look doesn’t define the character, it’s mostly defined by the way he is written and also portrayed by Leto.
Categories: comic book movies