comic book movies

Official ‘Suicide Squad’ Joker Image Discussion: Plain insanity, still great

official suicide squad jared leto joker image discussion

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’.

joker tattoos jared leto

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.

azzarello joker jared leto

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?

jared leto joker tattoos

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).

joker mouth azzarello

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.

batman v superman bruce wayne trailer

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.

11 replies »

    • Thanks! Yeah it definitely is a very distinctive look, which was needed to show everyone that this isn’t going to be the same as Ledger’s Joker


  1. I’ll admit at first I wasn’t too sure about the look but the more and more I look at it I’m extremely intrigued and very excited to see how this film turns out.

    I also think it’s good that he looks completely original. Difference and variety is good because who wants to see the exact same thing over and over?? Go watch some Soap Operas instead…I’ll stick to great new versions/remakes/adaptations/revisions.


    • Yeah exactly! I’m glad they are willing to experiment with the character a bit, instead of following the proven formula. Either way Leto’s depiction will be distinctive, which just have to wait and see if it’s a good different or not


  2. Although I’m a big fan of Ledger’s Joker, I’d keep my mind open for Leto’s Joker.
    I really think the oh-so-over-the-top-all-over-the-body tattoos are just metaphor on how Joker will look like in the movie, not necessarily the actual appearance as a thug Joker.


  3. Obviously the smile tattoo on the right (our left) arm will be held over his face at some point, like a giant version of the hipster finger-moustache tattoo.


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