Set to hit theaters this weekend, Suicide Squad is already poised to break the mold of modern superhero films. For one, it's not really about heroes at all, but about their villainous counterparts. On another level, this film is extremely different in regards to the risk it's taking with its source material. When Marvel released Guardians of The Galaxy, people viewed it much the same way. It was a lesser-known property with a significantly smaller fan-base, but Marvel had much more going for it. Already six years into their multiverse, Marvel had established a great rapport with moviegoers, and the Marvel name stamped on the trailer provided enough of a guarantee for fans. In other words, they had the freedom to use smaller characters.
DC is coming off the release of one of the most controversially received films in recent history, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. People remain skeptical of their brand, yet they are still choosing to launch a blockbuster made up of almost entirely small characters. Joker and Harley Quinn withstanding, these characters are mere strangers to many fans.
Does This Mean The Movie Will Flop?
Absolutely not! Suicide Squad has a rich history in the pages of DC Comics, it just suffers from a lack of readers among casual comic fans. DC did their homework, and they brought in the right pieces to ensure this movie is seen by the masses. With director David Ayer (Fury) and actors Will Smith and Margot Robbie all involved, viewers were bound to line up for the film's opening weekend. In addition, the inclusion of Harley Quinn and The Joker provided an extra boost to those on the fence about the movie. While these elements are enough to get people in the doors, they aren't enough to sustain the film. This is where all of those "unknown" characters come in.
Each villain chosen to represent Ayer's version of the Suicide Squad has an equally intriguing backstory and persona. From Captain Boomerang to Katana, each of these characters have plenty to bring to the table, and to the DCEU. What is it that makes the Suicide Squad comics so iconic? The individual personalities these villains bring to the team, and just how well their chemistry is handled. These are thrilling characters that we are about to watch on the big screen, so we should do a little homework on these baddies before we go see the film. Let's take a look at how each of these villains is portrayed in the comics and, hopefully, get a much better idea of how they will fit into David Ayer's Suicide Squad.
Amanda Waller (Viola Davis)
There have been many iterations of Amanda Waller over the years. Amidst these changing personas, there has always been one constant: She's as ruthless as they come. In the classic Suicide Squad of the 1980s, Amanda was a loving wife and mother-turned-politician after the murder of her family. In the New 52, Waller was a decorated soldier who had overcome odds similar to those facing her beloved Task Force X. Either way, Amanda Waller has made it clear that she is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish things the rest of the government is too scared to do.
Thinking outside the box, Amanda proposes the assembly of Task Force X, otherwise known as Suicide Squad — a group of dangerous villains tasked with missions that no sane person would ever dream of attempting. Their reward? Jail time turned to time served — if they survive. Over the years, Amanda has become a master manipulator and has found ways to keep members of the team enlisted for far longer than they had agreed to. Around every corner, Waller has set another trap or scheme in order to get what she wants. She's the most effective politician on the planet and she will not let anyone stand in her way.
Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman)
Rick Flag is a decorated war hero, an incredible astronaut, and an extremely broken man that seems to have little regard for his own life. After losing his father, his friends, and the woman he loved, Rick is recruited by Amanda to lead a team of criminals into battle.
Rick is such a stark contrast to the villains he leads, and that's what makes him so perfect for the role. Look for Joel Kinnaman to capture the essence of what it means to be a true leader and a broken man. My guess is, there will come a time where Rick will have to choose between a corrupt government and the villains he's been leading into battle. I'd put money he sides with the latter.
Deadshot (Will Smith)
First appearing in Batman #59 in 1950, Floyd Lawton has been a staple member of the Suicide Squad for years. He has similar talents to other assassins, but it's his drive and motivation that give Deadshot a different edge. According to the New 52 universe (which is what the film is said to be based most heavily on), Floyd Lawton's family was extremely poor as he was growing up. After his parents and sister were murdered by stray bullets in their apartment building, Floyd vowed to avenge them. He developed a compulsive need to never miss his target, due to the fact that his poor background taught him never to waste, and it was sloppy aim that took his family in the first place.
While many of the characters who sign up to take on the challenges of Task Force X do so out of the desire for another chance at life outside, Floyd Lawton is just in it to die. That's right, most of this character's motive comes from the need to die in spectacular fashion. After all of the torment he's endured over the years, and the fact that he has a daughter he is barely allowed to see, Deadshot is ready to bow out of this life. This kind of death wish often turned Floyd into the hero of the team, risking his own safety for others on several occasions. This characteristic, however, helped him to develop a hatred towards Waller, as she revived him numerous times because he was needed for another mission. Even as he tried his hardest to die, Deadshot always remained a titular member of the Suicide Squad.
Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie)
Harley Quinn is one of the most unique characters in DC history, due to the fact that she wasn't actually created to be a comic character. After appearing as the Joker's girlfriend in Batman: The Animated Series, Harley instantly became a fan favorite villain. A year later, in 1993, Harley Quinn first appeared in the comics. Since then, she's become one of the most recognizable villains in all of comic history.
Originally a psychiatrist aiming to cure The Joker, Harley Quinn fell madly in love with him instead. While Harley has freedom in mind when joining the Suicide Squad, you can bet her ultimate goal has something to do with The Joker himself. Whether it's to turn on the team to impress him, or just to escape back into his arms, Harley will stop at nothing to prove her love to her man. This need to impress a psychopath has long been regarded as a brilliant commentary on the psyche of abusive relationships. Her unconditional love for a physically and emotionally abusive partner has become her driving force, and it makes her character hauntingly human. Margot Robbie is a phenomenal actress, so look for all of the twisted aspects of Harley's character to come to life in the most brilliant of ways.
Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney)
Digger Harkness, a.k.a. Captain Boomerang, is undoubtedly the coward of the Suicide Squad. A longtime villain to The Flash, Captain Boomerang has set himself apart with his selfishness and unrelentingly foul mouth. The Australian-born criminal grew as a criminal and inventor, over the years, and now wields a variety of strange and dangerous weapons. Even though he grew more competent as a villain, his attitude has never changed.
Many villains are driven by hate, revenge, or lunacy, but Captain Boomerang just enjoys being a jackass. Often racist and sexist, the Aussie never has a problem being the bigot in the crowd. His quips are often uncalled for and out of line, and he is always shying away from danger when his teammates are approaching it. Boomerang is easily the most hated character of the Suicide Squad, but his dark sense of humor has helped him become one of the longest-standing members of the group.
Enchantress (Cara Delevingne)
June Moone was a sweet and caring woman who had done no wrong, but was inhabited by an evil being known as Enchantress. Living with both personalities inside of one body, June learned she could summon Enchantress by shouting her name. The challenge, however, was trying to get the witch back inside once she had been released. While June hated this aspect of her life, Amanda Waller saw it as a gift that could be very useful for her Suicide Squad.
Enchantress is definitely the mystery role going into the movie. She's not exactly a recurring member of the Squad, nor does it appear she will be joining them for their missions. In many of the trailers and promo materials, it seems as though Enchantress will be doing her own thing throughout the film. There are a couple of possibilities here, but two hold up a little stronger when you read the comics. First, Enchantress could have completely taken over June at some point in the film to become one of the major villains. She's undeniably powerful, and would prove to be a handful for Rick and his team. The other option, and the theory I personally subscribe to, is that Amanda Waller has sent Enchantress on a mission completely separate from the rest of the Suicide Squad. Often times, Amanda has kept a wild card in play in order to secure the upper hand, and I believe Enchantress will serve that purpose here.
Diablo (Jay Hernandez)
Diablo has appeared as many different characters over the course of the years, but the iteration of Chato Santana seems to be the one Ayer has chosen to use for the film. A major part of the Suicide Squad in the New 52 universe, Diablo was easily one of the most dynamic characters in the team's history. Over the course of three volumes, Diablo went from being on a peaceful mission from God, to believing he was sent to Earth by the Devil himself. From one extreme to the other, Diablo's arc was always breathtaking to watch unfold.
Chato was always the character with the most turmoil and inner conflict, and it caused him to be a character many fans could relate to. His powers were extremely fun to watch, but his torment at having to actually use them is what made Diablo exciting to read. We've seen glimpses of this in the trailer, when Deadshot has to push Diablo over the edge in order to see his powers utilized. The dynamic between these two characters was also a bright spot in the comics. A man with no care for life and a man driven by religious purpose form an interesting bond, and one that should play well with Will Smith and Jay Hernandez on screen.
Katana (Karen Fukuhara)
Tatsu Yamashiro, or Katana, is one of the only good guys among the ranks of the Suicide Squad. Wielding a sword that captures the souls of those it kills (aptly named "Soultaker"), Katana has worked with various groups of heroes over the years. Batman recognized her worth and invited her into his secret group, The Outsiders. After some time there, Katana has also worked with the Birds of Prey, and the Justice League of America.
Over the course of the comics, Katana has never been a major part of the Suicide Squad. There was a mini-series about the group, focusing on her and Deadshot, but that was only after the announcement of her inclusion in the film. While not exactly a classic member of the team, Katana does have ties to the group's dictator, Amanda Waller. In recent years, it was Waller who invited Katana to join the JLA, so we will probably see a partnership between these two in the film. Possibly Waller's mole in the Squad, Katana is sure to have a large impact on the other members of Task Force X. Karen Fukuhara has stated she'd like to explore more of Katana's backstory in the Suicide Squad sequel, so any idea that she's a one-off character is soon to be history.
Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje)
One of the most depressing backstories of DC villains belongs to Killer Croc, and it's not hard to understand why he became a villain in the first place. Waylon Jones was plagued by a defect that gave him reptilian scales and features, and the world did not take kindly to his appearance. Waylon's aunt, who was also his caretaker, abused the young boy throughout his life because she was disgusted by his appearance. Eventually, Waylon had enough and he killed his aunt and became a criminal. Often times an adversary of Batman, this iconic villain has become a staple story about the long-term effects of bullying and abuse.
What's not iconic about Killer Croc, however, is his inclusion in the Suicide Squad. He's never been a member of the team in the comics, but his inclusion in the film can be attributed to David Ayer's disdain for heavy CGI. King Shark has had a major role in the Suicide Squad over the years, but his character wasn't able to be created with the use of cosmetics. Rather than work around heavy computer effects, both practically and financially, Ayer decided to replace the shark with a similar character. Enter, Killer Croc.
The teaming up of these villains on screen has been long-awaited by many comic fans, and the talent attached to this film is sure to keep us happy. The characters chosen are incredibly interesting, and their chemistry will give moviegoers the comic book teamup of a lifetime.
Suicide Squad hits theaters August 5, and pre-sale tickets have already skyrocketed. Warner Brothers seems to have a hit on its hands — will you be in line?
What do you think of the characters they chose for Suicide Squad? Were there any you wished were here instead? Let us know in the comments below!