“THE SUICIDE SQUAD” 101: Who You Need to Know (Part 1 of 2)

Reblogged from Geek to Geek Media!

James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is the upcoming sequel to the somewhat divisive 2016 film simply titled Suicide Squad. Acclaimed Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn is taking a very different approach this time around, though. The movie boasts an even bigger cast of random, throwaway characters from the DC Comics universe with the tagline “Don’t get too attached.”

So before the new movie comes out, we figured a quick rundown of every confirmed character from the new movie might help you get to know who you shouldn’t get attached to. (A follow-up post will re-introduce some Suicide Squad heroic villains/villainous heroes you should know about but will absolutely not be in Gunn’s new no-strings-attached popcorn muncher.)

First up – the returning characters:

HARLEY QUINN

Real Name: Dr. Harleen Quinzel
First Appearance: Batman: The Animated Series – “The Joker’s Favor” (1992), Batman Adventures #12 (1992)
Affiliations: The Suicide Squad, Gotham City Sirens, Birds of Prey, etc
Enemies: The Joker (former boyfriend), Batman, Black Mask, Amanda Waller, Punchline, Black Canary, Huntress, Enchantress, Wonder Woman, Zatana, Big Barda, Harley Sinn, Savant, Warrant, Thorn, The Carp, Sea Robin, etc
Power Set: Crazy, Giant Hammer (or baseball bat), Psychology Degree
DCEU Appearances: Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey

Harley Quinn (played by Margot Robbie) is a former Arkham psychologist who was seduced and driven mad by The Joker before becoming a supervillain. After being apprehended by Batman, she was sent to Belle Reve where she was recruited into the Suicide Squad by Amanda Waller and ultimately helped to stop the Enchantress. After breaking up with The Joker, Harley found herself in the crosshairs of Black Mask and teamed up with a vigilante group called the Birds of Prey to bring him down.

Note: Unlike everyone else on this list who first appeared in the comics, Harley’s first appearance was actually in Batman: The Animated Series!

CAPTAIN BOOMERANG

Real Name: Digger Harkness
First Appearance: The Flash #117
Affiliations: The Rogues, The Suicide Squad
Enemies: The Flash, Greem Arrow, The Thinker, Yiegren, Drop Bear, Bolt, Mind Boggler, Guy Gardener, etc
Power Set: Boomerangs?!

Captain Boomerang (played by Jai Courtney) is a D-list Flash villain at best, but makes up for it with personality. He’s an Australian merc with one impeccable skill: wielding boomerangs! Over the years, he’s perfected a number of custom trick boomerangs that he can use as weapons, or tools. When robbing a bank in Central City he was (easily) defeated by The Flash and was later inducted into the Suicide Squad.

AMANDA WALLER

Real Name: Amanda Blake Waller
First Appearance: Legends #1 (1986)
Affiliations: ARGUS, Checkmate, Task Force-X, The Suicide Squad, United States government
Enemies: Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, The Justice League, Maxwell Lord, Count Vertigo, Guardian, Javelin, Enchantress, Hector Hammond, the thinker, the Mother, The Black Queen, Granny Goodness, etc
Power Set: Director of ARGUS, founder of Checkmate, leader of Task Force-X, genius level IQ, skilled strategist, tactician, manipulator, expert marksman, total badass, etc

Amanda Waller, or the Wall, is one dangerous lady. She’s been all over the place when it comes to shady organizations, but the biggest mark she has made in the DC universe is the creation of Task Force X, aka the Suicide Squad. Waller is a total badass, and unflappable. She has stood face to face with Lex Luthor, Batman, Superman, you name it, and never flinched. She believes what she is doing is the right thing- the necessary thing- and she will get it done at all costs. She famously revealed to Batman- as he was pointing out he knew all of her secrets- that she knew his, as well, even going so far to call him “Bruce”! Waller has no hesitation using people to get what she wants and no qualms about sending people to their deaths. She was one of the very, very few bright spots of the previous Squad “film” as portrayed by the incomparable Viola Davis, who thankfully is reprising her role in the new version!

RICK FLAG

Real Name: Rick Flag Jr.
First Appearance: The Brave and the Bold #25 (1959)
Affiliations: Task Force-X / The Suicide Squad, the US government
Enemies: Dead Shot, Enchantress, Vandal Savage, Dr. Polaris, General Eiling, Zod, Jess Bright, Rustam
Power Set: Elite Soldier

Rick Flag (played by Joel Kinnaman) is a soldier through and through. One of Waller’s top agents, he’s loyal to a t and plays by the book. But when his fiancé, June Moon, became the Enchantress, he was forced to lead a team of former criminals to stop her and eventually gained respect for the squad of misfits.

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Then we’ve got our new characters:

KING SHARK

Real Name: Nanaue
First Appearance: Superboy #0 (1994)
Affiliations: The Suicide Squad, the Secret Six
Enemies: Aquaman, The Flash, Green Lantern, etc
Power Set: Part man, part shark, all murderer.

King Shark (played by Sylvester Stallone!?) is awesome! Primarily a Superboy (the Conner Kent version) villain in the comics, he has also had run-ins with Aquaman and Supergirl, as well. Prior to the new Suicide Squad film he was brought to life to great effect on the CW’s “The Flash” (although not played by Stallone and not really played for laughs at all). This giant shark man is tough as hell, can swim super fast, can obviously breath underwater, is freakishly strong, resistant to cold, and likes to eat people. Good times. Expect him to be the breakout character of the film, if he survives, of course.

BLOOD SPORT

Real Name: Robert DuBois
First Appearance: Superman #4 (1987)
Enemies: Superman, the Aryan Brotherhood, Alex Trent
Power Set: Guns (lots of guns), military training, high-tech arsenal, kryptonite bullets, teleportation, etc

Not to be confused with Will Smith’s “Dead Shot” (see Part 2), Blood Sport first appeared in John Byrne’s Superman #4 (1987) where he tried to kill the Man of Steel with a kryptonite bullet! That’s pretty much all the character is known for though, kind of like how Bane used to just be that one guy that broke Batman’s spine that one time. It looks like Idris Elba’s version of Blood Sport will at least include a reference to putting Superman in the ICU as part of his backstory! Perhaps his most defining characteristic (besides being an over-the-top 80’s comic book action hero of a character) is that he’s fearless and willing to face impossible odds for a cause he believes in.

PEACEMAKER

Real Name: Christopher Smith
First Appearance: Fightin’ 5 #40 (1966)
Enemies: Dictators, warlords, nazis, etc
Power Set: Peak physical condition, flight pack, high tech armor and weaponry.

Hoo boy, this guy is nuts. In the comics he is the son of a Nazi death camp commandant, and he believes his father’s spirit haunts him and criticizes his every move (God, I hope this is true for the film). His peace-through-violence (no matter how terrible) methods were a result of a serious mental illness exacerbated by the shame of who his father was. With that in mind, it’s hard to tell if this next part is even remotely true, or just more crazytown:

He believes his helmet collects the spirits of the people he has killed, or even just people killed around him, and they can just, you know, have conversations and give advice and stuff. This dude is thirty pounds of crazy in a two pound bag. (Note: John Cena’s “Peacemaker” is also getting a spin-off series on HBO-Max!)

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Aaaaand there’s a good chance these guys won’t be making it out alive:

T.D.K. (‘The Detatcheable Kid’? AKA “Arm-Fall-Off-Boy”?)

Real Name: Unknown
First Appearance: Secret Origins #46 (1989)
Affiliation: Reject from the Legion of Superheroes in the 30th Century
Power Set: Removeable Limbs

Although it’s not 100% confirmed that Nathan Fillion is playing a version of the hilarious “Arm-Fall-Off-Boy” we’re pretty sure that T.D.K. stands for “The Detachable Kid”, especially since that appears to be his power set in the new movie. Either way though, we’re excited to see Nathan Fillion do pretty much anything. (Note: not only was he in Firefly and Dr. Horrible, he was also the voice of Hal Jordan in a few of the animated DC movies!)

SAVANT

Real Name: Brian Durlin
First Appearance: Birds of Prey #56 (2003)
Enemies: Batman, Calculator, White Canary, the Secret Society of Super Villains
Power Set: Genius level intellect, multilingual, martial arts master, nonlinear perception

A lesser known character from the Birds of Prey comics who’s constantly flip-flopping back and forth between incompetent villain and incompetent anti-hero, Savant is a genius in every since, except he also has a terrible memory at times because of his non-linear perception. We’re not sure how much he’s in the movie, but he’s played by the amazing Michael Rooker! (Merle Dixon from ‘The Walking Dead’ and Yondu from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’)

POLKA-DOT MAN

Real Name: Abner Krill
First Appearance: Detective Comics #300 (1962)
Enemies: Batman, Robin, Batgirl
Power Set: Incompetent supervillain, can turn the polka-dots covering his costume into a variety of devices

It doesn’t get any more F-list than Polka Dot Man! He’s about as head scratching a villain as the Condiment King, King Tut, Maxie Zeus, Kite Man (Hell yeah), or the Calendar Man! Man, for all the great ones, Batman has a lot of really stupid villains…

RATCATCHER II

Real Name: Otis Flannegan (original),
First Appearance: Detective Comics #585 (1988)
Enemies: Batman
Power Set: Control over an army of sewer rats, gas gun

Speaking of forgetable Batman villains, “The Ratcatcher” isn’t exactly a name that strikes fear. It looks like the new movie is featuring a legacy version of the character, who may or may not be the daughter of the original?

WEASEL

Real Name: John Monroe
First Appearance: The Fury of Firestorm #35 (1985)
Enemies: Firestorm
Power Set: Great agility, animalistic fighting ability, mutant, serial killer

A face only a mother could love.
Well, a blind mother, maybe…

The original version was a lunatic teacher who started killing people that he thought stood in the way of his obtaining tenure at the university at which he was working. Firestorm showed up and shut that mess down quickly, because he’s just a guy in a suit and Firestorm is… well, Firestorm. From prison he was sent out on a mission for the Suicide Squad but was killed by Rick Flagg for trying to kill teammate the Thinker.

Note: The New 52 version is the more animalistic one that we seem to be getting in the new film.

THE THINKER

Real Name: Clifford DeVoe
First Appearance: All-Flash #12 (1944)
Enemies: The Flash, Firestorm, Batman, the JSA
Power Set: Technologically enhanced intelligence, telekinesis, telepathy, mind control, fear projection, computer hacking

The Thinker (played by Peter Capaldi) is an old school supervillain who’s had a number of wildly different incarnations over the past several decades, but he’s always a super-intelligent mastermind with his mind set on destroying The Flash. (Note: DeVoe aka “The Thinker” was also the main villain in Season 4 of CW’s “The Flash”)

BLACK GUARD

Real Name: Richard “Dick” Hertz
First Appearance: Booster Gold #1 (1985)
Enemies: Booster Gold, the 1,000, Neron
Power Set: High-tech strength-enhancing armor

Black Guard is one of the worst villains on this list, and by that I mean, he sucks. Even his name leaves a lot to be desired. Seriously, he was defeated pretty quickly in his first appearance by Booster Gold of all people, and he hasn’t been seen much since, so we’re betting that he doesn’t last long.

JAVELIN

Real Name: Unknown
First Appearance: Green Lantern #173 (1984)
Enemies: Green Lantern
Power Set: Former Olympic Athlete

Oh come on, there’s no way this guy makes it out alive. “Javelin” as his name implies throws… javelins… Probably one of the least threatening villains and most uninspired villains in comics history. Also, why did they ever choose to pit him against the Green Lantern of all people?! (These are the questions that keep me up at night)

VIGILANTE

Real Name: Adrian Chase
First Appearance: Original version – Action Comics #42 (1941), Adrian Chase version – New Teen Titans Annual #2 (1983)
Enemies: Controller, Electrocutioner, Jericho, Cannon, Saber, Mr. Hammer, Whale, random mafia henchmen, etc
Power Set: Healing factor, hand to hand combat, expert marksman, master of the lariat, etc

There have been a number of people to wear the uniform and operate as the Vigilante over the years (seriously, there have been at least nine!), but the most popular would be Adrian Chase. The thing about Vigilante is that most versions are not super powered, but rather just ordinary people armed to the teeth that end up suffering some kind of horrible death or another. Dave Winston, for instance, was the fourth (third if you don’t count the original western Vigilante from the 40’s) Vigilante, and as pictured above was killed by the Peacemaker. Imagine getting taken out by a guy dressed like that…

MONGAL

Real Name: Mongal
First Appearance: Showcase ’95 #8 (1995)
Enemies: Superman, Mongul
Power Set: Alien warlord, superhuman strength, durability, agility, speed, stamina, and energy projection.

Mongal, the often forgotten sister of famed Superman villain and alien tyrant, Mongul! Mongal has many of the same powers and skills as her brother. In the comics, she eventually became the queen of the planet Almerac, but was ultimately betrayed and killed by her brother.

STARRO

Real Name: ?
First Appearance: The Brave and the Bold #28 (1960 – first appearance of the Justice League!)
Enemies: Earth, the Justice League
Power Set: Giant alien starfish, mind control, regeneration, energy absorption, bio-fission, size alteration, telepathy, terraforming, interstellar flight, etc

Starro (the Conqueror) is less of a character and more of a plot device. The creature was the first villain that the original Justice League of America ever fought! As cheesy as Starro is as a concept, I’ve always kind of had a soft spot for that giant alien starfish. In “The Suicide Squad” it looks like the team will be facing off against a kaiju-sized Starro on the island of Corto Maltese!

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Who do you think will survive? Who do you think will show up in the future? Let us know in the comments below!

“The Suicide Squad” hits theaters and HBO Max on Friday, August 6th!

Written by Erik Slader and Chris Carroll.

2 responses to ““THE SUICIDE SQUAD” 101: Who You Need to Know (Part 1 of 2)

  1. Pingback: Issue 14: James Gunn's "The Suicide Squad" and Marvel's "What If...?" -

  2. Pingback: Comic Zombie Podcast #14 | Comic Zombie

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