Jared Leto's Joker...
By now everyone has seen the new Joker that will be portrayed by Jared Leto in the upcoming Suicide Squad. Leto has been teasing this new look on several occasions. For me, when I first saw this Joker, I felt that I have seen this before somewhere and was very intersted. I started digging into my comics and talking to my buddy Tim about what we thought. I have to say that was quite fun guessing what all of this could mean.
Keep in mind that this is just one image and others could change things, but we must deal with what we have now. This Joker seems very aggressive. He has muscles which seem to be a big departure from many other incarnations, save a few. He looks quite aggressive. He looks like the force of nature that I want in my Joker. He looks unpredictable and naturally insane. All of this is a much needed departure. My buddy Tim said that Nicholson was the smooth, suave and crazy Joker. Heath did the manipulative, anarchist evil genius. Leto looks to be high energy, psychotic and violent. He has a punk rock anarchist look rather than a mater evil genius.
Now for some of the things that seem to be references to past works, The first is the pose. This is from Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke. Specifically, Moore was showing the back story for the Joker and this is the moment where he dawns the mantle if you will and becomes the Joker.
The tattoos. It isn’t unprecedented to see Joker with tattoos. We see it in Miller’s All-Star Batman and Robin, a terrible book but drawn well in my opinion. He has that giant dragon tattoo. The hahahahahaha’s are pretty classic Joker but what is interesting to me is the font. It seems to be from Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum. That was a very interesting book. It was very haunting and the visuals are just so surreal. What is interesting about
that font is it is only used when the Joker speaks, making it unique and frankly scary. The teeth on his right arm seem to refer to the chattering teeth he uses in all manner of destructive ways. One of the early pictures seemed to indicate that his hair would be cropped on the side. That got me to thinking this could be Capullo’s Joker from Endgame. It still could be, his hands are in the way. That would be an amazing look for sure.
Others have said that the tattoos are a bit on the nose. We already know all of these things about him that the tattoos show. They feel it is redundant and that they wish the tattoos were more random and enigmatic. I can see that point for sure and perhaps I would er towards that argument to be honest. Maybe he could have some knife marks on his chest or back, tattoos that he tried to do himself, that kind of thing.
The bigger question for me is why is he in this movie? I want to see him in a stand alone movie. I feel his character deserves that. He is THE bad guy for me. He doesn’t need a cast of characters around him. I want all the attention on him as the big bad. We have seen this in Snyder’s run. Batman fights all kinds of villains but when it comes to the Joker, Batman tells all of his bat family to leave, meaning this battle, this man, is the most dangerous foe he has faced and he
doesn’t want anyone else hurt. Now some argue that this has been done twice already and that we need something different. I say that those two times were some of the best superhero movies to date. That is because of the Joker I would have loved to have seen how different The Dark Knight Rises would would have been if Mr. Ledger had not passed away. Two consecutive movies with the Joker? Yes please.
In the end it isn’t about the outfit. There have been many cool costumes over the years but awful performances and vice versa. It will be the performance that will cement this incarnation into history or infamy. I am a fan of Leto and have full confidence him. People questioned Ledger, including me, and look what happened. Perhaps he is the exception and not the rule as some really big names have been in the Batman franchise and have bombed but again I feel Leto is the right man. Drawing from some of the titans of Batman tales, I am all in. With the direction this movie seems to be going, imagine what the other characters are going to look like! I’m looking at you Harley Quinn…