Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., better known as hip hop artist and actor Common, is one of many actors stepping into the shoes of a DC villain in this year's high octane ensemble outing for Suicide Squad, but one who has been the subject of much speculation since the casting announcements due to the fact that the name of his character was not clarified. Until now, that is.
First rumored to be playing Black Manta — nemesis of Aquaman (who is set to make his DCEU debut in [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870) portrayed by Jason Momoa) — Common was caught in some behind-the-scenes snaps on set last summer sporting pretty intense face tattoos and one hell of a septum piercing.
While the tentacle looking tattoo on his head could still suggest a nautical connection, it then looked pretty unlikely that he'd be putting on Manta's helmet and taking to the seas. No, the tattoos, piercings and dyed facial hair seemed to tease that he'd be portraying minor DC villain the Tattooed Man.
During an interview with Complex yesterday Common was asked to clarify exactly who his character is in Suicide Squad, to put an end to the speculation. And so we now have a name to put to the tattooed face, but it's not what you might have been expecting:
Common: "My role is basically as a character who is in business with the Joker, his name was Monster T."
"Monster T" is a new character in the DC canon, not previously appearing as a named villain in the comics before. There are a few other characters referred to as "Monster" but none which seemingly fit Common's character.
However, though the official IMDB page for Suicide Squad has Common's character listed now as Monster T, the link to his character bio still redirects to Tattooed Man. It's possible that he is still playing the Tattooed Man, just under a different name, and the Tattooed Man has worn many names before.
The Tattooed Man as a title refers to one of three minor DC characters, two of them villains who often tangled with Green Lantern (the DC superhero whom Common almost portrayed on-screen previously in George Miller's cancelled Justice League: Mortal).
The first Tattooed Man (Abel Tarrant) was a sailor who gained his powers through tattooing strange chemicals into his skin which allowed him to conjure and produce objects through his tattoos. The second (John Oakes) was an incarcerated inmate who learned how to tattoo ink which allowed him to trap people as images beneath his skin. The third (Mark Richards) was a Marine, hitman, then reformed hitman who tattooed the "sins" of men he had killed onto his body; he also had a history with both Deadshot and Slipknot who will appear in Suicide Squad portrayed by Will Smith and Adam Beach respectively.
The trailer which landed back in January had a brief clip of what appeared to be a tentacle clad man destroying a subway car, and it has been speculated that this could've been a demonstration of the Tattooed Man's powers.
Of course this could all just be speculation; he could just be playing one of Joker's henchmen, after all he's not the only one with a tattooed face. But regardless of who exactly Common is playing in Suicide Squad it's going to be one hell of a ride, as he himself said in the interview:
"The movie is dope though."