It’s easy to imagine that a lot of people are hoping to see that there’s some covert or grandiose reason behind the absence of one of Harley Quinn’s tattoos from the original Suicide Squad. But the truth is that there’s no big explanation to be had, or reveal to be given other than the fact that Margot Robbie didn’t enjoy the ROTTEN tattoo, and neither did James Gunn. It’s been pointed out that it’s kind of odd that in Birds of Prey, Harley was still sporting the facial tattoo, but it won’t be showing up in the current Suicide Squad since both the actress and the director didn’t want it. There’s no other explanation for it really since James Gunn was fully ready to move on without even mentioning it, but it’s like that he knew that this wasn’t going to be missed by the fans since they tend to catch just about everything considering how many people take movies frame by frame and then cross-reference everything to make sure that their point is felt by whoever wants to listen. Yes, it gets that serious, and that obsessive.
To be honest though, the tattoos did go a little overboard in the initial Suicide Squad movie since a few would have been just fine considering that Harley and the Joker were being played in a different manner, more like a gangster and his moll, who was every bit as dangerous as he was. But the tattoos that were pasted over their bodies were a bit much, as the ROTTEN tattoo on Harley’s jawline and the DAMAGED tattoo across the Joker’s forehead weren’t in bad taste so much as they were just plain silly. A lot of tattoo aficionadoes would likely tell anyone that facial tattoos are a bit risky since not only is one marking their up their face, but unless one is bound to pursue a profession where such markings aren’t a big deal, they’re not exactly going to be seen as a part of society that many people want to deal with. For the Joker and Harley, that’s not such a big deal really since they’re bad guys, as Harley put it in the initial Suicide Squad.
Tattoos on any comic character aren’t exactly a new thing, but for a long time tattoos came with a stigma that pointed to those that had them as being slightly lower class and not quite as worth paying attention to. Thankfully that belief went out quite a while back, but the adoption of tattoos on comic characters is something that’s been evolving throughout the years as more and more characters have been seen to have them. Tattoos on women are something that many people have an opinion on, but as it’s been seen, women have taken to tattoos just as much as men, and in some cases even more so. Harley Quinn having tattoos isn’t such a big deal really since it goes with her character. But the ROTTEN apparently wasn’t something that Margot really wanted, even though she did keep it around for another movie, which is curious. Maybe she was torn about the continuity and not enjoying it, or maybe there was something else to it. But in the next Suicide Squad, the word will be gone from her face, though much of who she is will be the same.
It’s easy to state that Margot Robbie has taken on Harley Quinn with a fervor that’s hard to match since she’s become the character in such a way that it would be tough to see anyone else in the role, especially after she’s taken it over for three movies, two of which feature her as the main reason to even see the movies in the first place. It kind of feels as though this tattoo has become a bigger deal than it should have been, but again, fans are going to highlight anything they think might be worth mentioning since if it messes with the continuity in any way it’s going to be brought up and people will have something to say about it. But in this case, Gunn was ready to let it go, which would have been nice since a simple blurb on it would have sufficed.
Still, getting the chance to talk about other subjects apart from the one on hand is usually nice since it opens up a debate about more than a single subject and gives people more to think about when all is said and done. It’s already looking as though Harley Quinn is going to be just as nuts and just as aggressive in this upcoming movie, and it’s likely that she’ll end up being kind of cool to watch, but also kind of ineffective against the more powerful baddies unless she’s given a chance to get in close and do some damage.