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The Joker's Tattoos Are Here to Stay

The Suicide Squad is still well over a year away from hitting theaters but the buzz around Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker is already at fever pitch.

It all started a few weeks ago when a photo was leaked showing the Clown Prince of Crime with a great deal of ink. Shortly thereafter word leaked that the image was just one of many alternate looks that filmmakers tried for the Joker and not the one that would be appearing in the film. Now an image from the set makes the whole story turn 360 and once again we have a tattooed Joker.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, there was also a prank image showing Harley Quinn giving the Joker his tattoos that riled up the fan sites somewhere in the middle of all of this.

All digressions aside, pictures leaked from filming show Leto’s Joker with his shirt open getting into a fight with Margot Robbie’s Harley. Peeking out from under that open shirt are bits of tattoo and the much-derided “Damaged” tattoo appears to still be on his forehead.

The reason movies based on comic books do so well at the box office is owed almost entirely to the passion of comic fans; this passion is also responsible for comic fans being hypercritical of every tiny detail of film adaptations. Doing something new with a character, especially one that is as beloved as the Joker, can be a very tricky proposition for a filmmaker. Add into that the fact that in the 75 years the Joker and Batman have been battling each other the villain has never had ink and you’re going to be opening a can of very angry worms within the comic community.

While I think it is pretty cool that the Joker is sporting some tattoos—we definitely dig the demented smile on the forearm—something tells me that the Joker’s new look is going to be lumped into the same category as the Batsuit with nipples from the Schumacher films. A lot of the tattoos that we have seen, and especially the “damaged” one, feel really hokey. It’s as if someone went in to a focus group of 50-somethings who had never read a comic book in their lives and demanded that they find a way to make the Joker edgier. You know, because a psychotic clown isn’t edgy enough on his own.

Although we’re still on the fence about whether or not we like the Joker having ink there is one thing that we are sure of—we definitely like when people have ink of the Joker. So check out this gallery below featuring some of our favorite Gotham inspired tattoos.