Suicide Squad comes out in less than a month, so we're diving into the comic book history of its main characters to prepare for their live-action adventure and discover some of their essential storylines. Here's everything you need to know about El Diablo.
El Diablo's Origin
There are actually multiple El Diablos in the comics, with stories stretching back nearly 50 years, but Jay Hernandez will be bringing the most recent incarnation to the screen: Chato Santana. Formerly the merciless leader of a Los Angeles street gang, Santana was shot and arrested after being busted by the police. While in recovery at the hospital, Santana comes into contact with the original El Diablo and is granted pyrokinetic powers.
Using his powers for revenge against a man that owed him a debt, Santana burned down the building this ex-mobster was in, killing everyone inside. When he discovered that there were also innocent people in the fire, he was racked with guilt, forcing him to quickly and quietly surrender himself to the police.
El Diablo's Powers And His Curse
Being pyrokinetic, Santana is able to generate and absorb fire strong enough to instantaneously reduce a human body to ashes. Nope, that's not terrifying at all.
More importantly, individuals with the El Diablo curse — given by the supernatural being Chutriel — are imbued with a spirit of vengeance, able to see the sins that a person has committed. It's El Diablo's burden to deliver punishment to these sinners. Able to see spiritual and corporeal planes at the same time, Santana can see and communicate with spirits as he desires.
The curse also guides him to wind up exactly where he needs to be, securing the necessary items he requires to carry out his mission. Immortal and extremely resistant to injury, El Diablo carries a burning whip and a hellfire pistol that are only able to affect sinners. He also has a supernatural horse named Sombra. It doesn't look as though we'll be seeing many of these qualities in the film, however.
Major Storylines For El Diablo
El Diablo Volume 3 is a six-issue limited series that introduced Chato Santana. Nearly every other mention of Santana's character is in the context of the Suicide Squad, including DC's New 52.
Suicide Squad will be out August 5.