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Why Rick Flag's Bicep Tattoo In The Suicide Squad Means More Than You Think

Contains spoilers for "The Suicide Squad"

When "Suicide Squad" hit theaters in 2016 it received a mixed reception. Yes, the film scored big at the box office, but reviews from critics were largely unfavorable and fans remain disappointed to this day that writer/director David Ayer never saw his own director's cut released in any format. As a result, there's not a lot in common between "Suicide Squad" and the James Gunn soft reboot "The Suicide Squad" which came out five years later. The only returning players from the first film were Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), and Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman). And, in point of fact, Boomerang was only brought back as fodder since he's killed off within the first ten minutes of "The Suicide Squad."

Given that, you'd be hard-pressed to find much in common between the two films featuring the Suicide Squad. However, it turns out there was one way that the original film sneakily kept its story alive through one tiny, virtually unnoticeable aspect of one returning player.

Forever a part of the "skwad"

When people star in major motion pictures together, it can be a challenging but unifying experience. Certainly, working on a film which, for good or for ill, has endured quite as much fan chatter as the original "Suicide Squad" did (and still does) leaves a kind of figurative, indelible mark on the public-facing cast involved. Of course, there is also a literal, indelible mark "Suicide Squad" left on many of its cast members as well. Before "Suicide Squad" even hit theaters we found out about "Harley's Tattoo Parlour" — a place where the cast members of the film not only got matching tattoos, they actually gave the tattoos to each other (via Entertainment Weekly). The tattoo in question is the misspelled word "SKWAD," and, yes, they look about as janky as you might expect novice tattoos to look.

Joel Kinnaman's "SKWAD" tattoo was gifted to him by none other than Will Smith. Kinnaman posted a picture on Instagram of Smith giving him the tattoo along with the statement "Got my #skwad tattoo:) Will has many many talents, tattooing is not one of them. It was like watching a drunk baby fly a helicopter." We can still see Kinnaman's tattoo in "The Suicide Squad" which feels a bit bittersweet in hindsight. However, it's nice to think that, both canonically and in the real world, both Flag and Kinnaman have this permanent memory of the "skwad" that came before.