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Love it or hate it, Jared Leto's Joker from Suicide Squad has gone in a strikingly different visual direction from what we've seen before. Sure, he still has the green hair and white skin, but the tattoos and metallic teeth definitely represent a new appearance for the Clown Prince of Crime. That being said, it's all still firmly rooted in his history with Gotham's favorite hero, Batman. David Ayer recently opened up regarding the iconic psycho's "damaged" tattoo, and how it specifically relates to the death of Jason Todd a.k.a Robin. He elaborated:
This is sort of my personal thing and maybe less about a larger connection. But Joker killed Robin and Batman basically smashes his teeth out and locks him up in Arkham Asylum. It's in the asylum where Joker would have done the 'damaged' tattoo as a message to Batman saying, 'You've damaged me. I was so beautiful before and now you've destroyed my face.' That's where the grill comes from.
David Ayer spoke to Empire and explained that The Joker's metallic teeth and his "damaged" tattoo both have roots in Batman's A Death in the Family storyline. Following Joker's murder of The Boy Wonder, Batman seemingly catches up to him and pummels him so viciously that his teeth are replaced with a shiny, metallic grill. We've seen the sort of punches that this new Batman can throw, so Joker must have received quite a few.
This course of action definitely feels true to Jared Leto's version of The Joker. He's arguably a far more vain character than any silver screen incarnation of the villain that we have seen before, and as such, we can fully understand that he would perhaps go a little bit overboard at the idea of Batman altering his visage in any way. Joker sustains a beating at the hands of The Dark Knight, sees what it has done to his own physical appearance, and tattoos "damaged" across his forehead in Arkham Asylum so Batman will always have a reminder of just how far he went when he failed his partner in the field.
That's just the sort of thing that Joker does. Even when he loses a battle, he always finds a way to get one last laugh. We've seen Ben Affleck's Batman consistently battle the guilt of his failures, and as such, we have a feeling that he's not going to respond well when he gazes upon the singular word "damaged" on the body of his arch nemesis. We have to admit: it sets up a phenomenal conflict for later on in the DCEU.
With this new revelation, our anticipation for the Batman solo movie has officially peaked. We have a great new Batman and a great new Joker; it's now time to see them truly face off. Stay tuned for more details related to Ben Affleck's' upcoming Batman solo adventure, and make sure to check out Jared Leto's Joker in Suicide Squad, which is in theaters right now.