If eyes are the windows to the soul than the tattoos on your body are the stained glass windows. You can tell a lot about a person by what kind of ink they’re sporting, namely that he or she is a total bad-ass the underwent hours of pain for some fresh tats, but more than that, it’s a statement. An “I <3 Mom” Tattoo? You’re a badass who knows that family is important. A dolphin tattoo on the ankle? You’re a bad-ass who loves spring break 2011. A sleeve of kittens? You’re just a straight up bad-ass. So without further ado, here's our list of Syfy and non-Syfy tattoo enthusiasts:
The Illustrated Man
The legend that began it all. Tattoos are supposed to tell a story about the bearer of them and this story was one of the first to take that literally. The Illustrated Man is like 1001 Arabian Nights meets some spicy time travel. Ray Bradbury (RB let's you know it's quality) explores the nature of mankind by a series of short stories that are all tied together by the Illustrated Man, a carnie whose extensive tattoos (inked by a time-travelling babe) come to life to help "illustrate" the stories. Also, check out that "Dad Bod".
It's bad enough that Leonard has to live his life with only short term memory, but it's even worse when everyone he knows is using the disability to completely mess with him. A series of body tattoos not only makes Leonard look like a spiky-haired bad-ass (not at all a 2000 time stamp), but also serve as a reminder for all the clues he has assembled to solve a long-term mystery. Memento is not only a completely unique thriller but you can actually feel Christopher Nolan coming of age and prepping for Inception.
As someone who held quite a bit of resentment towards angels it's got to be quite the blow to discover that you're the chosen one who will end the human angel war. Crazier still, the way that you find this out is by a serpentine cryptogram tattoo winding its way around your body one fateful afternoon. Alex has been a pretty good sport about the whole thing, even if the tattoos seem to represent God's creative dream journal.
The Haven Maze Tattoo has some seriously demented origins — like Salem witch trial demented. The Tattoo was originally used during medieval times as a way of branding the Troubled and ensuring easy identification of the supernatural. Later on, The Guard, the team responsible for protecting The Troubled, adopted the former mark of shame as their logo. Kind of like how the word "nerd" has been reappropriated by geek culture as a badge of honor. Not that we would know anything about that.
The tattoo that Starbuck bears on her left arm is a wing and a circle that has half of the constellation of Capricorn, with a small symbol of the planet as well. The tattoo on Anders' arm is the other half of the symbol and when they embrace, the tattoos form the whole symbol. If that's not romance then what is?
Young Michael Scofield was just a young man with a dream; a dream to free his wrongly imprisoned brother from maximum security prison, although with a name like Lincoln Burrows where could his brother possibly belong (A Nicholas Cage movie is also an acceptable answer). So Michael did what any intelligent engineer would do and tattooed the prison's layout and schematics into an elegant and tasteful demon tattoo that covered his entire body. In what may be a perfect example of ink regret, (spoiler alert, yes 8 years later still counts as a spoiler) Michael and Lincoln did manage to escape the prison, not only making the tattoo moot but really making the title of the show a tough sell.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Admitedly, Lisbeth Salander’s tattoo doesn’t play a integral role to the plot of Stieg Larsson’s book and David Fincher’s adaptation, but it does look damn good on both Rooney Mara and Noomi Rapace. Plus if you’re you’re going to have a massive dragon tattoo on your back, you’d better be able to back it up with an attitude to match and Lisbeth doesn’t fall short. I mean just look at her revenge on Bjurman. Amazing stuff. Sick, but amazing.
The Hangover Part II
There’s nothing funny about a regrettable drunken tattoo, except if that tattoo is a Mike Tyson tribal tattoo and you’re Ed Helms, the veritable punching bag of The Hangover series. If you want to get all technical: the juxtaposition of Helms’ good-guy appearance with the monochrome curves and points of Tyson’s tribal tattoo create a contradiction between violence and pacifism that provides a unique visual humor. Non-technically, drunken face tattoos are hysterical.
Blindspot holds the hope and dreams of an entire subgenre on it's Jaimie Alexander-sized shoulders. That genre of being the mysterious tattooed woman who suffers from amnesia, must uncover who she is AND how the tattoos on her body relate to crimes that have yet to be comitted. It's a Jason Bourne-meets-Memento kind of deal and it's coming to NBC September 21 at 10/9c.