It seems like there is a bit of an uproar about this picture. Actor Jared Leto’s version of the iconic Joker character was shown off on the 75th anniversary of the first appearance for the classic Batman villain. The image was revealed by Suicide Squad director David Ayer, and judging by the response on social media and forums, the majority of fans were not pleased.
The tattoos seem to be the focal point of hate from most people. From the playing cards and skull to the odd looking mouth on one arm, the new tattoos seem to brush the high-points of the character’s personality, but ‘damaged’ across the forehead looks to sum it all up. The hardware in the mouth and wide-eyed look round out an intimidating expression, alongside the classic purple glove and green hair fans have come to expect. This is certainly a different look for the Clown Prince of Crime than has been seen in the films, but the comics have held several versions of the Joker in many different titles, with some of those similarities shining through here. Many have sited Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, Frank Miller’s All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder, and Brian Azzarello’s Joker all as possible inspirations for this new look. The main canon Joker has undergone some cosmetic changes himself recently in the DC Universe by losing and regaining his face, so there may be some inspiration behind that as well.
The press has not been all bad. Some fans have adopted the new look favorably though, already producing fan-art and cosplay so soon after the image was released. Sometimes, something new can be scary, but history may be on Leto’s side.
It is important to remember that this has not been confirmed as the final look for the character, and Ayer has not revealed exactly how big of a role Joker will play in the film. I am curious about that last part, as I want the film to be good, but am still afraid too much focus on him could take away from the movie overall. I think it is important to note that Nicholson and Ledger also received similar reactions when they were announced to be playing the character, even if it was not purely based off of their look. Also, Leto is an Oscar-winning actor who seems dedicated to the role. Personally, I try to give all of the comic book movies a chance, and I do not think this should hurt Suicide Squad’s with fans who were previously excited for it.