Everything that's wrong with Jared Leto's joker

Ever since news got out that there'd be a new Suicide Squad movie starring a batch of DC Comics' villains, it's been tricky to imagine just how it would go. After all, a movie like that relies on there being an established group of villains that moviegoers might actually know enough about to get them to the movies. In an apparent effort to generate buzz with the one big gun on the team, Suicide Squad's director, David Ayer, tweeted a photo of star Jared Leto as he'll appear when he plays the Joker...and the results are decidedly not great.

A Clear Case Of 'Try-Hard'

As a whole, the look of this new Joker is, in a word, insane. But not "insane" in terms of "the Joker is crazy," but rather "insane" in terms of how overstuffed the design seems to be. Almost every inch of this guy is offering some kind of message, and none of them are particularly interesting (or necessary). Each bit and piece of this Joker seems intent on telling anyone looking at him, "I'm the Joker!" Over and over and over again. And again and again. And again. We get it—you're the joker.

Not Timeless

One of the reasons why Batman and his rogues gallery have survived for three quarters of a century are the fact that no matter what time period you're in, it can work. Batman dresses like a big scary bat and beats up criminals—he uses a traditionally dark figure to fight for goodness. The Joker looks like a clown, but he's psychotic and hurts people—he uses a traditionally fun figure and fights for evil. It's not hard, and part of why it works is that it's usually pretty simple. This, however, seems intent on pushing the evil angle as hard as possible. There's nothing timeless or classic about this. When we look back at the various depictions of the Joker, this will be one that's undeniably modern—and the look suffers for that.

Those Tattoos Are Just Dumb

Let's pretend, for a moment, that a tattoo-covered Joker is something we can all get behind. I don't hate the skull with the jester hat, or the smiling mouth on the arm, or even all the playing cards on the shoulder. But all those "Ha" tattoos don't even fit with what appears to be a relatively curated bunch of ink. They're on his chest and then also on his forearm. That makes it look like the Joker went nuts one weekend to get every clown-themed tattoo he could pick off the shop wall. Then when he ran out he told the artist, "just put a bunch of 'ha ha's anywhere else. I guess." Please, Joker. If you're going to cover yourself in tattoos, put a little more thought into it.

Especially The 'Damaged' Tattoo On His Forehead

Again, it's overkill. We have to wonder who at the design office decided that the word "Damaged" in cursive was what was truly missing from the Joker's look. It's so, so stupid.

The Grills

The decision to cram some shiny grills in the Joker's mouth feels like another decision made by committee, and one that ruins the timeless look of the character. One explanation that's floating around the Internet is that the Joker had to replace his teeth with something after getting them knocked out by Batman's fist. Maybe, sure–but grills are such a modern phenomenon, and their presence in this photo make it difficult to separate the Joker from today's fads. When people watch the Suicide Squad in 20 years, it'll be impossible to ignore how dated the grills make it look. It's like a mullet for your mouth.

At Least It's Different

There is one thing this new Joker is doing right: it's different from the versions that have gone before. Considering the fact that the last Joker we got on the big screen was absolutely amazing from the late, lamented Heath Ledger, there was definitely a need for the filmmakers of the Suicide Squad to forge a new path. This is, without a doubt, a Joker that's unlike any other versions of the character that we've seen before. No one will be able to accuse these guys of ripping off what's gone before or not trying to do something new and different.

Different Isn't Always Good

On the other hand, the old phrase "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" feels pretty appropriate here. There's a reason the Joker's look has gone almost unchanged for 75 years: it just works. This? It just doesn't.