ByJeremy Knaack, writer at
Jeremy Knaack

Before you read on, I just want to clear the air a bit. This article is purely based on opinion and the discretion of the reader is advised. You have been notified.

Suicide Squad has become one hell of an enigma. The interesting casting choices and the approach of the characters has raised so many questions as to how the whole movie will pan out. It seems like a fun approach to the universe and the comics, but my main focus as of late is of the one character that everyone seems to be waiting for. The Joker. Jared Leto as the Joker was a surprise to many people with a lot of praise and excitement and having some people...not so thrilled. Me included to be quite honest and here are my reasons why:

The Joker having tattoos shows a sign that he conformed to the atmosphere of being institutionalized, an exaggeration of the character or just another ploy to be edgy and new.

Before I get into this, I want to give you my perspective on The Clown Prince of Crime: The Joker is a very complex character. He is loved by many people who enjoy the DC universe and I believe that the praise is well deserved. The Joker has managed (in my eyes) to be one of the most scary, brutal, evil and downright smartest villains to be brought to light from the minds of the writers behind him. This is an individual who finds rape, murder, anguish and anything in between humorous and hilarious. But the one distinguishable aspect of this character that seems to be looked over in this case is that although his methods of madness seem insane and out of control, through all those times he isn't insane at all or out of control in the slightest.

He is completely aware of who he is, what his agenda will entail and doesn't do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. With that being said, he is a very smart individual who learns from his mistakes rather than a hopeless criminal who keeps repeating his footsteps. To me that makes the character more frightening. He touches the dark of the mind that no one dares to tread, embraces the void with open arms and seems to come out pretty much unscathed. Not only that, he is one for showmanship almost always when he has a plan for causing chaos. He also seems to be one to show some sort of class to his chaotic events and makes everywhere he exposes himself adapt to his surroundings, not the other way around.

So my question is, were the tattoos supposed to symbolize something or just to make the character more unique than the rest?

His previous appearances alone was enough to frighten the most resilient individual if it were a true life encounter. Why go through the effort of using tattoos to express yourself when he has clearly proven that he is completely capable of being able to do that without having to show it through body art? It seems like a cool concept at first but just seems to symbolize conformity to his environment rather than making the place conform to his madness-induced environments he has created.

Usually in prison you don't have very many people getting tattoos to express themselves. I mean if the level of risk involved with the prison is high, most likely the tattoos are applied to represent a gang or race the inmates belong to. I highly doubt that The Joker is in a low security facility so I guess I can see why this can apply to the appearance of the character, but why when this character is considered more of a Crime Lord than a Compton gang member or a meth cook? Most criminals or "bad guys" depicted with these kind of tattoos are usually portrayed as either white trash or completely incapable of making a plan come into fruition to the extent that The Joker can. To sum this all up, it just doesn't seem right with the potential of the character and to me a very bold (but not smart) move. Which comes to my next piece of criticism:

The caps in his teeth with the tattoos makes him seem more like Riff Raff the Rapper more than The Clown Prince of Crime.

This to me just goes to show just because an idea might seem good, unique or part of the times doesn't mean it should be done to placate or attract the masses. I honestly don't think this would be palatable to the people who love and fear this character for more than just the appearance. I understand the philosophy of making a blockbuster and you execs can't help but to justify the means of catering to the masses. But it leaves a bad taste in the mouths of people who really enjoy the lore and stories pertaining the Joker in comics, series, movies and video games that show a very classy version of the character which has been integral for the character for generations.

I just have a hard time swallowing the idea that the protagonists in this movie are going to fear a scene rapper more than an actual crime lord. I guess if it were myself, reading and growing to enjoy the character by means of not just the scary yet simple image of The Joker, but the subject matter. It seems like I would be more frightened and attentive hearing it from the depiction of his character we've known for many years rather than take things seriously with someone who looks like a rapper with an identity crisis. But this is a matter of opinion. Speaking of that, next criticism:

Whether intentional or not, Jared Leto's Joker so far is almost like Heath Ledger's Joker with a little more flair.

Since there hasn't been enough released to really make this a solid viewpoint for myself, what has been released this far has shown that The Joker's voice to me is way too similar to Heath's interpretation of the character. The overall performance looks more over-the-top compared to Heath's subtle approach, but the voice is almost uncanny. I think Jared has way more potential to take the risk of doing a completely different approach voice-wise. So far, not impressed in the slightest.

Heath Ledger's Joker surprised pretty much everyone bracing for the characters long-awaited arrival in live action cinema. It was a very interesting take that I thoroughly enjoyed and was genuinely excited/shocked for when I saw the trailer. It was one of those moments that when I heard the casting for The Joker in The Dark Knight was going to be Heath Ledger (even though I enjoyed his roles) I was pretty apprehensive due to the roles he usually takes, but had the thought that maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt to take on something he's never touched before. I think he surpassed everyone's expectations with flying colors. I've been trying to give Jared Leto the same respect but so far I am getting more hesitant the more that is released.

I do have to give credit where credit is due though. This character seems like a very daunting character to get into mentally. I feel like it would take a lot of willpower to not succumb to the chaotic mindset of this type of villain. So there's a huge amount of respect for him taking on the role. But as of this moment, I'm very skeptical based on what I have seen so far. What do you think about Jared Leto's performance of The Joker as of late? All opinions welcome.


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