Jared Leto’s appearance as the Joker in the new Suicide Squad promo images and trailer have polarised fans into those who are embracing the unique look, and those who are vehemently opposed to it. Particularly the stamp of “damaged” across his forehead.
Related: 15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Batman Begins
With that territory comes theories, and these are the most interesting (read: bonkers) speculations about the ink out there at the moment.
WHY HAVE TATTOOS?
There are a few ideas floating about for this but we’d say the one that drew the biggest ‘ohhh’ moment is the theory that the tattoos are this Joker’s method of forced smiles. The original Joker had his laughing serum and Heath Ledger’s version carved smiles onto his victims. To differentiate this Joker from the rest, Reddit user NicolasCageNo1fan theorises that the character is a tattoo artist who tattoos smiles onto his victims after he kills them. We've also noted the purple glove, which would appear to support the idea.
For this to make sense, you have to adopt the Reddit user Jason-G169’s idea that the Joker is quite possibly Jason Todd (who made appeared as Robin from 1983 onwards and then Red Hood). The original Joker warped Jason into a, let’s say unstable, caricature of himself. First impressions, you’d presume the “J” is for joker. However bearing this theory in mind, the ”J” stands for Jason and taunts Batman as a reminder of his failure to stop Jason becoming worse than the original Joker.
Continuing Jason-G169’s theory, the original Joker gave Jason the forehead tattoo to remind him of what he has done to him, and how he has ruined who he was. Dark...
This one is pretty self-explanatory. It’s basically an homage to his signature laugh. Which, by the way, he may have done himself while he was bored out of his mind in prison.
Our favourite concept for this is based on the fact that Leto’s teeth are your dentist’s worst nightmare. They’re far from the gleaming grin of Jokers past. Instead, he uses the smile tattooed on his left hand to give the illusion of the classic grin before revealing his less than desirable gnashers. (comicbookmovie.com)
Similarly, the grin on his right arm could be a tribute to a smile that once was (either his, or the original Jokers).
The chest piece could symbolise Joker’s dark and twisted relationship with Harley Quinn.
“THE PACK OF CARDS”
Our own stab in the dark is that this represents the games the Joker plays, and how he forces people to play their hand.
Just poking through is what looks like a robin on Leto’s right bicep which could be a badge of honour he wears for killing Batman’s right-hand man many years ago. Again, to taunt our caped hero.
The joker isn’t really the joker, just a fanatic impersonator of your childhood nightmares. Mic drop.