Sid’s lesson in comicbook history.
Earlier this evening, director David Ayer revealed the first image of Task Force X, better known as the Suicide Squad, a rag-tag group of villains and mercenaries with an ever-changing lineup, tasked with forcing unknown variables out of the way of civilians and A.R.G.U.S. interests in exchange for freedom, redemption, and probably a Slurpee or two. Now, some of you may look at this first image and wonder “Wait, did I forget pick up my son from laser-tag?” in which case, I’m here to tell you what a terrible parent you are.
Speaking of terrible parents, let’s talk superheroes, and the who’s who of Suicide Squad, from left to right.
1. Adam Beach as Slipknot
Slipknot is an American heavy metal band from Des Miones. Formed in September 1995, the group was founded by percussionist Shawn Crahan and bassist Paul Gray. After several line-up changes in their early years, the band settled on nine members for more than a decade: Corey Taylor, Mick Thomson, Jim Root, Gray, Craig Jones, Sid Wilson, Crahan, Chris Fehn and Joey Jordison. Gray died on May 24, 2010, and was replaced from 2011 to 2014 by former guitarist Donnie Steele. Jordison departed from the band on December 12, 2013 for unknown reasons.
DC fanboys were initially up in arms over Beach’s casting since he’s Canadian and Slipknot has always been depicted as traditionally Iowan, but for the stripped down, lighter version of the band that he seems to be playing, he’s an ideal choice. Will DC’s lighter, fun tone work for its cinematic universe? Only time will tell.
2. Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang
Captain Boomerang was first conceived by Matt Fraction in his soon-to-be-concluded Hawkeye series, in which Captain Boomerang (or “ze Captin” as he’s affectionately known) leads a gang of Eastern European mobsters, who he calls his “Bros.”
Boomerang’s origin is going to be much lighter in this film. Rather than referring to everyone as Bro, he’s only going to call Slipknot his Bro, because he reminds him of his brother (Admiral Frisbee), who died in a tragic car accident, and he’s out to kill the drunk driver responsible. Hence the name! Because as he states numerous times in the comics, “What goes around, comes around, Bro.”
3. Cara Delevingne as The Enchantress
After being invited to an old castle for a costume party, freelance artist June Moone discovers a secret chamber, and has magical powers bestowed upon her by Dzamor (DC Comics’ equivalent of Dumbledzor), allowing her to transform into The Enchantress if she says the phrase “The Enchantress” – so she’s basically Shazam, but created 6 years before DC got the rights to the character.
The Enchantress was granted her own animated series in the early 90s, entitled “The Animated Adventures of June Moone”, which seems to be the basis for this version of the character.
4. Karen Fukuhara as The Joker
People were concerned upon seeing the first image of The Joker, but our fears were put to rest when it was revealed that neither the tattoos, nor Jared Leto, would be appearing in the movie.
Just like Heath Ledger’s Joker was a departure from Jack Nicholson’s sporting white face paint instead of having bleached skin, Fukuhara’s Joker will wear a white a white mask, and her red lips will be located on her forehead. We don’t know for sure just yet, but in all likelihood she’ll use her katana to carve smiles into her enemies faces. If you’re still worried about her performance, need I remind you that people were skeptical of Heath Ledger until the very last scene of The Dark Knight?
5. Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg
Charles Joel Nordstrom (born 25 November 1979), known professionally as Rick Flagg, is a Swedish-American actor. He is best known for playing the lead role in the Swedish film Easy Money – a role that earned him a Guldbagge Award in the “Best Actor” category – and for his role as Frank Wagner in the John Falk film series. He starred on AMC’s The Killing as detective Stephen Holder and played Alex Murphy in the 2014 reboot of Robocop.
While his function in the film has been kept heavily under wraps, Flagg is in the middle of the picture, which leads us to believe that he is an important character, though this is just speculation. For all we know he could die in the opening scene. Wouldn’t that be funny? Going in, die-hard Rick Flagg fans are all like “Yeah! Rick Flagg!!” and then the movie opens with him getting shot in the face. R.I.P. Rick Flagg.
6.Kodi Smit-McPhee as Harley Quinn
Finally! We’re getting to see Harley Quinn on screen. I’m a little disappointed that like the video games and recent comics, the movie is straying far away from her original look, but either way, it’s about time she showed up in one of these. Ever since her first appearance in Batman: The Animated Series back in 1992, she’s become a hugely important part of the DC mythos, eventually spinning away from her abusive beau The Joker and off into her own adventures with the likes of Poison Ivy.
I do wonder if they’ll still keep the co-dependent aspect of the character, and if so, how will they handle it? It’s tricky, and something that needs to be approached with utmost care. Despite the fact that she’s a villain, Harley’s one of a couple of female comicbook characters whose recovery from past trauma has been a hugely important part of her development, especially for female readers who, for the longest time, didn’t have all that many stories to choose from. Fingers crossed.
7. Will Smith as Deadshot
On the right, we have the full reveal of the character, along with his signature mask, which for some reason seems to lack the traditional orange & blue. Manu Bennet plays the character on CW’s Arrow, where he’s injected with a super-serum on a remote island, giving him enhanced speed, strength and fighting skills.
Deadshot, a mercenary known as Slade Wilson, was also the basis for Marvel’s Deadpool (who they even named WADE Wilson), who’s going to be getting his own movie next year as well. Which of the two Deads is going to come out on top? Your guess is as good as mine!
8. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Lee Bermejo
After having been acquired by DC almost 15 years ago, Lee Joel Bermejo is finally getting the big screen treatment he deserves. Although originally a Wildstorm character, Bermejo is best known for appearances in such DC series as Brian Azarello’s Lex Luthor: Man of Steel and Joker, the latter of which was awarded ‘Best Graphic Novel’ by IGN.
While he’s had several outfits in the comics, his definitive appearance of the is perhaps the one drawn by artist Waylon Jones, who collaborated with Azarello on his Joker series. Akinnuoye-Agbage’s version of the character seems to be loosely based on this appearance, but we’ll have to wait and see!
9. Jay Hernandez as El Diablo
Introducing the legacy aspect to the DC Cinematic Universe, Hernandez plays Chato Santana, the third version of El Diablo who gets his magical powers after meeting a comatose Lazarus Lane, the original El Diablo.
Lane was a bank-teller in the Old West, who was nearly killed by a gang of thieves (and subsequently struck by lightning), and Santana’s origin is similar in the movie universe. He was a bank manager in Metropolis, who died when Superman punched Zod through the window of his office, before his limp, mangled body was lifted into the air by the World Engine. His character is being set up in next summer’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and he even has a cameo in the trailer:
So there you have it, your first look and detailed explanation of Suicide Squad, DC’s own fun and freaky Guardians of the Galaxy. Let’s hope the rumored Batman cameo doesn’t make it TOO dark & gritty, because this is shaping up to be an exciting excursion. We’ll see you again once the trailer drops!