Rise of the unknown (anti) hero: Who are the Suicide Squad?By Sj.Cliff
Superhero movies are super popular at the moment.
With no comic knowledge, you would already know who Batman, Spiderman and Superman are. More recently, the spectrum of hero’s we’re watching at the cinema has widened, including teams such as X-Men and The Avengers as well as stories detailing their members.
This momentum has fuelled a collection of lesser-known hero films (and villains) to come into production - much to the joy of comic-readers. For those out of that loop, there are a lot of new characters to get your head around.
Deadpool has got my heart into a flutter, Ant-Man is crawling into a cinema near you shortly and don’t even mention the Batman vs. Superman mega production…. That’s a whole new article.
So, if you want to know who’s who in these upcoming thrillers, keep your eyes peeled! This week, a comic book reader’s knowledge about the ever-intriguing Suicide Squad.
When did the Suicide Squad start?
It may sound like a cool concept thought up by silver-screen bigwigs, but the Suicide Squad has been around for a while.
Their first appearance was in the comic world, back in 1959. Yeah, the idea is probably older than your parents.
What is it?
The Suicide Squad are part of Task Force X.
This group of villains are working for the government in order to reduce their sentences. I guess that also sort of explains why all these bad guys keep causing trouble instead of sitting in jail/asylums all day.
Who’s in it?
We’ve already seen costume shots from a couple of the key players:
The drama surrounding Jared Leto cutting off his hair has been totally justified with his transformation into this messed up clown.
While his origin is unclear, you only need to read the most recent copies of Batman to see how bad The Joker is. Escaping from a mental institution by getting another inmate to cut off his face, only to wear it as a shrivelled mask and try to kill Batman’s closest allies… He’s pretty hardcore villain.
Now sexy-sweet Harley didn’t start out life as a villain. She started out as a bombshell psychologist, Dr Harleen Quinzel, MD. Working in Arkham Asylum, she met The Joker and things went from there. Her infatuation has led her to the position of Mr J’s sidekick.
Beautiful and deadly, in the comic world she’s pretty violent but still retains a little humility, offering the occasional flash of mercy.
This assassin means business... as businessy as contract killing can be.
Floyd Lawton (by day) originally wanted to be like/replace The Caped Crusader himself, but when Batman and Commissioner Gordon discover his plans to become king of the underworld, Deadshot was quickly put in jail.
Obviously, he wasn’t too pleased with this and upon his release and started up as a killer for hire. Possessing ridiculous aim (thanks, in part, to a cybernetic eye)
What makes Deadshot one to watch? His total disregard for his own life. Wanting to go out in a spectacular fashion
And now for the Newbies…
As the name suggests, knot somebody you’d want to mess with! Lame jokes aside, according to his backstory (and linking into his first appearance in Fury of Firestorm #28) Slipknot is a pretty clever guy. Back when he used his real name, Christopher Weiss, Slipknot used to work in a chemical factory where he developed a formula to form his unbreakable ropes.
Adding his unbeatable knot-tying skills with his status as a trained assassin and sparks are going to fly…
He’s already been featured on hit TV show Arrow, but in this film we get to know a little more about this Aussie anomaly.
His comic origins are pretty lame really. Named George "Digger" Harkness, captain Boomerang grew up in a poor village in Australia where he found he had a skill for making and using, you guessed it, boomerangs. A life or ridicule saw him turn his skill into a criminal asset and, without having any superpowers; he’s become a major enemy of The Flash. Who’d have thought?
Now Enchantress is a tricky one. Her comic-life has been extremely turbulent with deaths and separations all over the place. To keep it simple, we’ll just stick to the Suicide Squad arc.
According to the comics, The Enchantress started out life as the humble June Moon. After being invited to a fancy dress party at an old Castle, the artist stumbles on a secret passageway where a creepy wizard-like man gives her the ability in order to rid the castle of a Minotaur. By saying “The Enchantress,” she changes from her usual blonde haired self to a raven-haired and classically dressed enchantress.
Only problem is that her second side is also sort of evil...
Martial arts master and expert swordswoman, Katana has badass written all over her.
She found her gift for Martial Arts early on in life, becoming truly talented in her childhood. The sword-wielding element was added in after her husband's brother (who was also madly in love with her) killed her partner and Katana had to fight for her life with his sword. The 14th-century soultaker sword is now her main weapon.
While Katana herself isn’t a bad-guy, she first teamed up with the Suicide Squad to stop a shipment of deadly weapons getting into the hands of the Yakuza. The mission got a little dangerous and after saving the lives of a couple of Suicide Squad members at the time, they were honour bound to serve her and her adventure to began.
Exactly which Rick Flag this will be is questionable, as, in the printed world, Rick has a son called Rick who also has a son called Rick. In case you weren’t already confused.
The original Rick Flag (and a member of the first Suicide Squad) is the one we’ll focus on. He led a World War II division named the Suicide Squadron but sadly, all but he died on their first mission. A few years later he was drafted in by a fictional version of President Harry S. Truman to be a part of the Suicide Squad – the civilian branch of Task Force X. while he has no powers, this military know-how and tactical thinking provided a good ground to keep a group of anti-heroes in check.
Not to be confused with Marvels “The Lizard”, Killer Croc
Raised by an aunt that didn’t want him, bullied by his peers, Waylon Jones was a prime villain candidate. His skin condition slowly turned his skin turn into that of a crocodile, probably didn’t help.
After a childhood in and out of detention centres, he was finally convicted and sent to prison… which was just about where things went wrong. Upon release, Waylon got a job at a carnival. Wrestling crocs and breaking their spine for a living triggered something inside him and Killer Croc was born.
Strong and determined, this crime boss isn’t someone you’d want to meet in a dark ally and a brilliant addition to the Squad.
The El Diablo featured in The New 52 version of suicide squad is the third “incarnation”.
The first was Lazarus Lane, a bank teller during the Old West period in America. After nearly being killed by muggers and being hit by lightening (unlucky much?) poor Lazarus was rendered into a coma. A shaman revived our unlikely antihero, which lead him on to a casual spot of vigilante-ism.
It’s believed that to revive him the shaman possessed Lazarus with an evil Spirit of Vengance. Every time he goes to sleep, the spirit gets its chance to roam the earth.
Coming to theatres next August, we’ve still got a while to wait before we can see this part of the DC universe come to life. But at least now you’re a little more clued up about why you’re going to love it so much!
Anything I’ve missed out? Let me know on the socials!