Despite being more accustomed to putting the criminally insane behind bars, #DC #Rebirth has seen Bruce Wayne take a slightly different approach to dealing with the criminals in Gotham. The shape-shifting former villain Clayface has since been redeemed after being drafted into Batman’s newest team of #Superheroes, led by Batwoman. Clayface became a key member of the team, coming to the aid of Bruce in what might be one of the coolest team-ups ever. However, Clayface was only the beginning, as Batman is now forming his own #SuicideSquad in Issue 9 of the Batman Rebirth #ComicBooks, which serves as the start of the new story arc: I Am Suicide.
Batman Is Going Above The Law
If you're wondering why Batman isn't calling the Justice League for this one, Bruce needs to go above the law in order to invade Bane's fortress/prison, in his homeland of Santa Prisca. Instead of the Justice League (who might disapprove of Batman's plan), Bruce teams up with the head of Task Force X (also known as Suicide Squad), Amanda Waller.
This is all not without a good reason of course. On the island is the one person who can save the mentally traumatized — and increasingly unstable superhero — Gotham Girl, and that is the person who made her unstable in the first place: the villain Psycho-Pirate. So, when an unusual problem requires an unusual solution, Batman goes to an unusual place.
Welcome to Arkham Asylum, a place that houses the majority of Batman's rogues. However, only a select few will make the cut, so meet some of the "lucky" new members of the Batman-sanctioned Suicide Squad.
The first and perhaps most unexpected member of the team is Arnold Wesker, The Ventriloquist. Though many characters have taken on the moniker, Arnold was the original. A criminal mastermind, Arnold gets his namesake from performing his crimes with a small wooden puppet named Scarface.
Arnold projects his dissociative personality disorder through Scarface, with the puppet giving him "orders" and acting as the mastermind of his many crime sprees (Just try to imagine Breaking Bad's Walter White, except his Heisenberg persona is in the form of a puppet stuck to his arm).
The Suicide Squad is usually more associated with the heavy hitters of the criminal underground. The decision to put The Ventriloquist, an athletically unassuming criminal mastermind onto the roster, hints that Batman has something specific in mind to take down the large and imposing Bane.
A master martial artist, Ben Turner a.k.a. The Bronze Tiger, will be familiar to many due to his numerous comic appearances, as well as his on-screen appearance in the TV show, #Arrow (played by actor, Michael Jai White). Tiger is actually more of an antihero, having been a longstanding member of Waller's Task Force X and a brainwashed henchman for the evil League of Assassins (hence his incarceration). He is also one of very few foes that can claim to have bested Batman in straight hand-to-hand combat.
The Bronze Tiger is definitely a good choice to have as the team's "heavy hitter." Bruce is no fool; while it certainly helps to have some brains on the team, for an enemy of Bane, you're going to need some brawn too, whether you like it or not. Also, since Batman is working with the criminally insane, he's going to need someone he can trust to watch his back. With Bruce and Turner on friendly terms, the Bronze Tiger looks to be the man for the job.
Punch & Jewelee
If The Ventriloquist is the brains and Bronze Tiger the brawn, then Punch and Jewelee are the wild cards. It seems redundant for Batman to need someone to fill the role of comic relief (let alone two), so there is definitely more to the characters Punch and Jewelee, two characters that have been dug out deep from within DC's vault of obscure villains.
In truth, if Punch and Jewelee are anything like their past incarnations, they might be both the wild cards and the comic relief. Originally, Punch and Jewelee were a pair of supervillain lovers whose silly gimmicks beset their ruthless nature, leading them to not be taken seriously (at first) by the superhero community. Interestingly enough, Punch and Jewelee had a short tenure on the Suicide Squad roster alongside Bronze Tiger.
While we can only wait and see as to what the extent of the pairs involvement is, No. 9 gives us some hints as to what Punch offers to the group. While Jewelee is an inmate at Arkham, Punch broke in to reunite with her by impersonating Commissioner Jim Gordan. As expected, Batman saw through the ruse and recruited Punch to the team. It turns out that Punch is the only person to have ever successfully broken out from Bane’s super prison in Santa Prisca, so it looks like he'll be helping Batman to break back in.
Right before DC relaunched its comic lineup through DC Rebirth, Selina Kyle a.k.a. Catwoman, had just had a career change. After discovering that she was the daughter of the notorious crime boss Rex "The Lion" Calabrese, Selina — the expert thief and longtime love interest of Batman — left her Catwoman persona behind and took her father’s place as head of the Calabrese criminal empire. Selina would then take over much of Gotham's organized crime syndicates, believing that if left uncontrolled and unorganized, crime would consume Gotham City.
Naturally, this caused a rift to form between her and Batman; worse yet, it seems that Selina's crimes have caught up with her, as she is put on death row at Arkham for 237 counts of murder. Catwoman has skirted the line between hero and villain since her debut, and the character's inclusion onto Batman's team makes sense — not just due to Bruce and Selina’s constant on and off relationship, but because Batman basically needs to steal Psycho-Pirate from Bane, and who's better equipped for a heist than the master thief herself, Catwoman?
This is certainly shaping up to be a very strange team and it will be interesting to see what kind of team dynamic is formed with such a mix match of egos and personalities. One thing is for sure, though: Batman is going to have his hands full.
Planning to assemble your own Task Force X this Halloween? Check out the Suicide Squad makeup tutorials below and assemble the worst of the worst for your own Squad:
Tell us what you think of Batman's Suicide Squad in the comments below!