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Waugh's Bag, Volume 4, Issue 17!

Waugh’s Bag

Volume 4, Issue 17!

“The Joker: Ink Master”

At long last, we finally have our first look at Jared Leto’s Joker in David Ayer’s upcoming Suicide Squad, and if you’ll pardon the pun, I really hope the joke is on us.

I’ve been dying to see Leto’s take on the Joker. He’s a stellar actor, and when he was announced as The Joker I was ecstatic. And now, after seeing him for the first time, I’m not ecstatic. In fact, I’m really, really bummed out by it.  

Specifically the tattoos.

Now I’m not against the Joker having tattoos, but the amount of ink on Leto’s Joker is ridiculous. Not only that, but many of the themes of the tattoos on Joker’s body look like something that would be on a person who’s a “fan” of the Joker but hasn’t read a comic with him in it, or worse, a Juggalo. I mean he’s got a jester’s face on his shoulder for Christ’s sake! And “Damaged” written on his forehead? For real? That seems like something some high school Goth kid would write on his head for a week in school.

Sorry. I’m trying to stay level headed about this. I really am. The Joker is my favorite villain in comics, and while I know that like Batman he thrives on reinterpretation, but this is the first time in a long time that I’ve seen a new take on the Joker and thought “hell no”. I’m really at a loss for words for how disappointed I am in this depiction of him. The Joker is constantly changing opinions and moods, why the hell would he permanently put this stuff on his body? Why would he tattoo himself like Ninja from Die Antwoord? Again, why have “Damaged” written on his forehead? I can’t help but look at this picture and think of Poochie from The Simpsons.  It seems like someone higher up at WB said to David Ayer: “you know what would show that he’s REALLY dangerous? Jester Skull tattoos.”

Of course, this could all be just for the first official picture release, and Leto’s Joker could be completely tattoo free. I really hope that that’s the case, because I was super on board for not only Leto’s Joker, but Suicide Squad as well, and this has taken the wind out of my sails.  If it IS the real take on the Joker, then I guess I’ll have to deal with it. As I said before, The Joker thrives on reinterpretation. We wouldn’t get Heath Ledger’s amazing performance without that, or Mark Hamill’s. But one of the drawbacks to reinterpretation is that for every awesome new spin, you also run the risk of getting some bad ones.  And so far Leto’s new take on the Joker is off to a rocky start for me.

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