A mega blockbuster has yet to hit the big screen in the summer of 16 but that will most likely change next month with the release of the DC Extended Universe’s (DCEU) third instalment, Suicide Squad.
Suicide Squad will be the third film in DC’s cinematic universe following Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Unlike the previous two films which starred the two most iconic characters in comic book history with Superman and Batman, Suicide Squad will feature a mix of well-known characters and characters that average moviegoers aren’t too familiar with.
Comic book fans are well acquainted with the suicidal mission completing task force and although the film has generated a lot of social media buzz and has the world excited, how many regular viewers really know colourful heroic villains?
Task Force X
The group called Task Force X better known as the Suicide Squad, made their comic book debut in 1959 with the released of The Brave and the Bold #25. The Silver Age Suicide Squad features a completely different line-up than the one we will see in the film. The original task force featured Colonel Rick Flag Jr., Jess Bright, Dr. Hugh Evans and Karin Grace. The group took a step closer to becoming the villainous group we know today with the release of Suicide Squad #1 in 1987 featuring a returning Karin Grace with newcomers Briscoe, Mindboggler, Nemesis, Nightshade and Plastique.
From 1987 to 2014 the members of the group would change in nearly every volume. There has been over 140 total members of Task Force X between now and 1959. The current comic book version of the Squad featured in DC’s New 52 series titled New Suicide Squad Includes Black Manta, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Parasite and Cheetah.
Deadshot, Harley Quinn and Captain Boomerang will be the only members of the current comic book Suicide Squad that will be brought to the film. Rick Flag, Killer Croc, Katana, El Diablo, Slipknot and Enchantress will join them for the cinematic debut of the Suicide Squad.
Rick Flag – Joel Kinnaman
Swedish born actor Joel Kinnaman will portray Rick Flag, the field leader of the Suicide Squad. In the comic books, the name Rick Flag has belonged to three different characters. The film version of Rick Flag is Richard Montgomery Flag aka. Rick Flag Sr. He is the father of Richard Rogers Flag/Rick Flag Jr., a member of the original Task Force.
Judging by the trailers, Kinnaman’s version of Flag will be similar to the comics with colonel Flag leading the task force through their dangerous missions. Flag will be keeping the squad in check as he lectures the team in the blitz trailer, “you disobey me, you die. Try to escape, you die. You irritate or vex me, you die.”
Deadshot – Will Smith
Although Deadshot recently made the move to an anti-hero the character is still most commonly associated as a Batman villain. The expert marksman made his comic book debut in 1950s Batman #59. With the screen time taken in the trailers and the fact that the character is played by Will Smith, Deadshot will likely be a vital character in Suicide Squad.
Harley Quinn – Margot Robbie
One of the most popular characters in DC history will be played by one of the most popular upcoming actresses. The Australian actress Margot Robbie will portray Harley Quinn as the characters makes her long awaited cinematic debut.
Harley Quinn is one of the few DC characters that didn’t make her debut in the comics. Quinn first appeared in 1992s Batman: The Animated Series. Harley’s real name was Harleen Quinzel. She was a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum before she fell in love and was driven insane by Joker. We will see the events of Quinn’s origin play out in Suicide Squad. It is safe to say that Harley Quinn is definitely one of if not the most intriguing and interesting character in this summers film. We do not know how much screen time she will get, but with her popularity and charm (or insanity), Harley Quinn will steal the show.
Captain Boomerang – Jai Courtney
Another popular Aussie actor will appear in Suicide Squad. Jai Courtney will play Digger Harkness, better known as Captain Boomerang, or simply Boomerang. Boomerang was originally an enemy to Flash making his comic book debut in 1960s Flash #117.
Captain Boomerang was never a very popular character; he was pushed as a main villain but was unable to gain mainstream traction. Comic book fans and moviegoers can agree that being a master of throwing boomerangs isn’t a really cool ability. However, Courtney’s version of Harkness looks much more entertaining as he contributes to the film’s comic relief. Best of luck to Mr. Courtney with his effort to make Captain Boomerang look cool.
Killer Croc – Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Here is a character you may or may not already know. Making his first appearance 1983s Batman #357, Killer Croc might not have a long history like other characters but he is still one of the most popular thanks to appearances in animated TV series and video games.
Appearing in other popular films such as The Bourne Identity and Thor: The Dark World, the 48-year-old Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje has the difficult task of bringing Killer Croc to the big screen. Croc may look like a mutated crocodile, but he is a human with a rare genetic condition that gives him his appearance and animalistic traits. Akinnuoye-Agbaje is a terrific actor and it will be interesting to see how he introduces Killer Croc to a larger audience.
Katana – Karen Fukuhara
All of the Suicide Squad members are bad asses, but Katana is a standout. First appearing in 1983s The Brave and the Bold #200, Katana is known as a martial artist and trained samurai warrior wielding a sword that is possessed by the soul of her husband. Dark stuff right.
Actress Karen Fukuhara, best known for he work on the Disney channel, will make her film debut in Suicide Squad as Katana. Don’t get too fond of the character though; this is just speculation, but the movie is called Suicide Squad, some members are going to die.
El Diablo – Jay Hernandez
There has been many versions of El Diablo in DC Comics; this version is Chato Santana, an ex-criminal who gains the power of pyrokinesis. Although Diablo made his comic book debut in 1970s All-Star Western #2, the Suicide Squad version of the character didn’t debut until 2008 in El Diablo Vol. 3 #1.
Jay Hernandez has the task of playing Chato Santana who is a conflicted member of the task force. Diablo does not want to be a member of the Suicide Squad. He does not want to be a criminal. He is dangerous and he knows it. The fact that Diablo sees himself as a threat gives the character a unique ideology setting him apart from the other Suicide Squad members.
Enchantress – Cara Delevingne
“She’s possessed by a witch.” Rick Flag said it best. That is the best way to describe Enchantress. June Moone, who made her first appearance in 1966s Strange Adventures #1, has many different origins. The one we will most likely see in Suicide Squad involves her exploring a cave and stumbling upon a magical being which possesses her and causes her to become the ‘Switcheroo-Witcheroo,’ Enchantress.
The 23-year-old model turned actress Cara Delevingne will portray the Enchantress. Although Delevingne’s Enchantress is currently flying under the radar, expect her to be one of the most impactful characters in film.
Slipknot – Adam Beach
Who? There is a reason no one has heard of Slipknot. He is barely seen is any of the three trailers. Most likely killed by Flag after attempting to escape during the Squads first mission. The only things you should know about Slipknot is that he is played by Canadian actor Adam Beach, he fights using durable ropes and he is almost confirmed to die in the film.
Amanda Waller – Viola Davis
She is not an actual member of the Suicide Squad, but Amanda Waller is responsible for assembling the task force. Waller is a high-ranking government official and is one of the most intelligent and manipulative characters in the DC universe. Waller has even been seen to be an intellectual match to Batman.
Waller will be portrayed by Viola Davis, currently best known for her role as Professor Annalise Keating on ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder. There has been many versions of Amanda Waller through comic books and animation since her debut in 1986s Legends #1, but Davis looks to brings an original and authentic take of Waller to Suicide Squad.
Joker – Jared Leto
You already know who he is. He is the clown prince of crime, the jester of genocide, the ace of knaves. He is the Joker. Everyone’s favourite psychopath clown will make his return to the big screen after last appearing in 2008s The Dark Knight portrayed by the late Oscar winner Heath Ledger.
This time around another Academy Award winner Jared Leto has the task of portraying the iconic character. There is massive pressure on Leto from the fans to deliver a Joker performance that lives up to the past adaptions. Although Joker is not a member of the Suicide Squad, he will play an important role in the film as he wreaks havoc on the streets of Gotham in his quest to reunite with Harley Quinn.
Batman – Ben Affleck
Like Joker, you already know who this character is. He is the knight, he is vengeance, he is the caped crusader, he is Batman. After the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batman is once again the justice delivering hero of Gotham. The Bat will be on a mission to most likely stop the Suicide Squad and the crazy clown duo of Joker and Harley.
Ben Affleck will reprise his role as Batman making him the first on screen Batman to appear in multiple films during the same year. Although his significance and screen time for the film is unknown, we know every scene featuring Batfleck will be awesome.
??? – Scott Eastwood
American Actor Scott Eastwood is set to appear in Suicide Squad, but his role is still unknown. Eastwood is briefly seen in the trailers but we are not given any hints as to who the actor is playing.
Although Wikipedia cannot be used as a reliable reference, different Wikipedia pages display the confusion over Eastwood’s role in Suicide Squad. The page for the list of all Suicide Squad members lists Scott Eastwood to be playing the assassin Deathstroke while the filmography section of Eastwood’s Wikipedia page lists him to be playing Dick Grayson, the first Robin and current Nightwing. At least IMDb still has Eastwood as an unspecified role.
Although the summer movie season just got underway, Hollywood still hasn’t seen its summer blockbuster yet (unless you count Captain America: Civil War as a summer movie). Suicide Squad is currently the most anticipated movie of the year and pressure is on director David Ayer and the representatives at Warner Bros. to deliver an outstanding film after the Batman v Superman debacle.
Fans can expect to see a film with a strong story, strong characters and great action. And for the DC haters/critics, this one will be fun. Whether you go in with high hopes or low expectation, expect the leave the movie theatre feeling like a joyful Harley Quinn, “What a ride!” Suicide Squad hits theatres in less that a month with a North American release date of August 5, 2016.