Jared Leto Joker“Suicide Squad” director David Ayer has released an official version of Jared Leto’s Joker. Love it or hate it, one thing is clear: Warner Bros. thinks its target audience for the film is really stupid. In order to let everyone know that that The Joker isn’t a character worth emulating, a “Damaged” tattoo has been slapped across his forehead.

Most fans can get on board with a cheshire cat tattoo. They can accept a skull or playing cards. Writing “Damaged” across a villain’s forehead, however, just comes across as incredibly sad commentary on American culture. Warner Bros. could hardly do worse if “I am a bad guy” was scribbled across The Joker’s face.

When trying to decipher what studio heads were thinking when they decided to go the “We think our audience isn’t very bright” route, one must look for evidence that might lead them to such a conclusion. While there are many examples of moral relativism’s and political correctness’ adverse effects on our culture, perhaps the the most recent Joker-related evidence came in March; a bunch of feminists went into a white-hot rage over the character’s treatment of women.

Batgirl variantFor those who are unfamiliar with the story, a variant cover of Batgirl 41 was pulled when feminists deemed it “sickening.” Artist Rafael Albuquerque even turned on his own work, stating “My intention was never to hurt or upset anyone through my art. For that reason, I have recommended to DC that the variant cover be pulled.”

It should be no surprise that an intellectually infantile culture caters to its big babies, but that doesn’t mean we have to like the situation. Perhaps “Suicide Squad” will be a good movie. Jared Leto may turn out an amazing performance. People complained when it was announced that Michael Keaton would play Batman and they complained years later when it was announced that Heath Ledger would play The Joker. In both instances the critics were wrong. Regardless, American culture was in a vastly different place in 1989, and no one will ever charge Christopher Nolan with treating his audience like a bunch of children.

Twenty years from now, will Warner Bros. reinvent Batman in a way where Bruce Wayne tattoos “Hero” on his forehead? It sounds ludicrous, but there are days when it doesn’t seem too far fetched. With luck, maybe Ryan Reynolds will release a Deadpool promotional image with a strategically-placed “Anti-hero” tattoo, just to show the world how weird it has become. If he did that, then I’d be there opening night.


  1. Another example of the dumbing down of America. And, probably, of Western civilization in general. Car commercials on TV have those “Do Not Attempt” subtitles when the drivers are doing fancy stunts. Maybe we will soon see the same thing in movies and comic books. Captions warning “Don’t try this at home” when Superman jumps out a window. Or disclaimers like, “The opinions expressed by the Hate Monger and the Sons of the Serpent do not necessarily reflect those of the writers, editors, publishers, management, or our advertisers.”

    1. Stories like this remind me of a piece of satire I once wrote on the government mandating massive warning labels for cars. Over the years people will actually Google “warning labels for cars” and end up at my blog. Do I laugh or do I cry? It’s a tough call.

  2. I would love to see a Fred Hembeck style comic making fun of how silly the comic and movie industry has become.

  3. Get Claire Danes to be Batgirl, I give 4 star, A-, thumbs up for DC.

    What will be more interesting will be the millions of words written in apologia for the choice: “Joker proclaims himself to be damaged – and perhaps he is; who are we to say? – but such self-labeling and self-diagnosis is reflective of our current culture’s attempt to eschew responsibility for its choices by blaming real or imagined psychological trauma. Jared Leto’s Joker is an acerbic satire of a generation of Tublrites who don’t understand that THEY are society’s crazed villains posing a danger to our civic institutions.”

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