Who Are the Suicide Squad? A Short Primer
Director David Ayer introduced Warner Bros' Suicide Squad to the world via Twitter on Sunday, but with nine new anti-heroes packed into the image, it might have been hard to tell Rick Flagg from Slipknot, or Killer Croc from El Diablo. Here's a quick guide to what you'll need to know.
For starters, the line-up of the team from left to right goes: Slipknot (Adam Beach), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), Katana (Karen Fukuhara), Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Deadshot (Will Smith), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), and El Diablo (Jay Hernandez).
Heat Vision breakdown
Of that lineup, five characters have a long comic-book association with the Suicide Squad property — Captain Boomerang, Enchantress, Rick Flagg and Deadshot were members of the team when the series originally launched in 1987, and Harley Quinn has been a mainstay since the 2011 relaunch — with the majority of the others having some level of connection with the property. (Killer Croc, oddly enough, has no comic book past with the team.)
Originally a villain from the 1980s series The Fury of Firestorm, Slipknot is an assassin who specializes in hanging people, following the invention of a particularly powerful glue that covers his nooses. No, honestly.
A Flash villain who debuted in 1960's The Flash No. 117, Digger Harkness is an Australian who came to the U.S. to seek fame and fortune, only to decide to abandon those dreams in favor of becoming a boomerang-themed bad guy.
Unlike the majority of the movie's Squad lineup, June Moone is a morally ambiguous character in her comic book incarnation; a schizophrenic with two distinct personalities, she can be a hero or villain depending on which side is in control of her magical abilities at any time — which can lead to problems when she switches in the middle of a mission.
Debuting as a member of Batman and the Outsiders in 1983, Tatsu Yamashiro (Later Tatsu Toro) was a warrior, wielding a magic sword possessed by the ghost of her dead husband. In her time, she's served with the Outsiders, the Suicide Squad, the all-female Birds of Prey, and the Justice League of America. She's a bit of a joiner.
Flagg is one of two figures at the center of the Squad (the other being Amanda Waller, played by Viola Davis in the movie but unseen as yet); a former fighter pilot who leads the team. In comic book mythology, his father led a team of WWII fighter pilots called the Suicide Squadron.
A character that debuted in the 1990s Batman: The Animated Series as a henchman and love interest for the Joker, Harley is a former psychiatrist whose own sanity is in question. By turns a comedic character or tragic figure — and, often, both at the same time — Harley's star has constantly risen despite (or perhaps, because of) her inability to be pinned down. Currently, she's appears in the regular Suicide Squad series and also her own monthly title.
An assassin with a death wish, Floyd Lawton made his debut as a Batman villain in the 1950s before finally finding the spotlight he deserved in the original 1980s Suicide Squad series, becoming a man who embraced nihilism, yet somehow still managed to have more of a moral code than most.
Viewed from today's point of view, the origin of Waylon Jones sounds like a collection of urban myths: a child with a mysterious condition that made his skin resemble a crocodile, he eventually found work wrestling alligators in Florida before turning to a life of crime — and deciding that, all things being equal, he'd really rather live in a sewer. These days, he's serving as personal bodyguard to Selina Kyle in her new life as Gotham City crime boss.
Chato Santana was a former gang member who, in circumstances that aren't entirely clear, ended up with supernatural powers that allow him to set things on fire. He's not necessarily a bad guy, however; when a fire he created ended up killing innocents, he turned himself into the police, leading to his induction into the Squad.
by Pamela McClintock
by Lesley Goldberg