After 2016’s rather drab Suicide Squad, James Gunn’s reimagining of the series promised to be an entertaining and bloody affair.
The latter is certainly the case in 2021’s The Suicide Squad as no member of the titular Task Force X is safe in the hands of James Gunn with the director promising to show no mercy to the characters ahead of the film’s release.
But before some of these characters meet their horrendous respective death, isn’t it worth taking a moment to get know them?
Played by: Idris Elba
Bloodsport has had a few variations since his creation in 1987, but basically, he uses guns to take on Superman. Otherwise, his incarnations have been very different. For example, in his first origin he was a Black man, who had a mental break after he found out that his brother took his place in the draft for Vietnam, and was manipulated by Lex Luthor into blaming Superman. In his second incarnation, he was a white supremacist.
But that version of him could teleport weapons in from other locations, so that could make it into the film, at least.
Played by: Michael Rooker
Savant’s powers include being a certifiable genius, especially with computers and hand-to-hand fighting. The downside is that he struggles with short-term memory, something Gunn’s comedic sensibilities could take advantage of.
Played by: Flula Borg
I’m just going to leave the first line of Javelin’s DC Fan Wiki page here:
The man who would become the Javelin was an Olympic athlete, who for unknown reasons became a criminal.
He’s German, he tried to fight Green Lantern, what more do you need to know?
Played by: David Dastmalchian
The Polka-Dot Man’s career is short and ignominious, but he’s a guy who developed a costume covered with dozens of polka dots. Each one transforms into a useful item when torn off his suit, like a buzz saw, a flare, a throwing projectile, or even a getaway vehicle.
Played by: Daniela Melchior
Ratcatcher lives in the sewers! Ratcatcher can talk to rats! Ratcatcher commands a rodent army! That’s it!
Ratcatcher is usually a guy in the comics, but is being played by a woman in The Suicide Squad. The roll call teaser revealed at DC FanDome refers to her as “Ratcatcher 2” which could imply that she was trained by the original Ratcatcher as his protégé. The idea of Ratcatcher having a legacy just like Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman fills me with a genuine delight.
Voiced by: Sylvester Stallone
King Shark is a shark.
He’s had real renaissance lately, with appearances on the WB’s Flash and a supporting role in the animated Harley Quinn series.
He’s just a shark man. He likes to eat people. Sometimes it’s not that complicated.
Played by: John Cena
While he’s nominally a good guy, in the first behind the scenes footage from The Suicide Squad, John Cena described the Peacemaker as “a douchey Captain America.” He’s not wrong. The character’s unforgettable tagline is “A man who loves peace so much that he is willing to fight for it!”
The Peacemaker’s biggest claim to fame these days is that he was partial inspiration for the Comedian in Watchmen.
Played by: Peter Capaldi
The modern version of Thinker is so intelligent that his ability to consider all variables and motivations nearly amounts to clairvoyance. The downside is that his brain needs so much energy that it’s prematurely aged him, so for all we know Peter Capaldi could be playing a 22-year-old here.
Played by: Pete Davidson
Blackguard does not have an extensive history in DC Comics. He fought Booster Gold and lost, and then got kicked out of his criminal syndicate because he, you know, fought Booster Gold and lost.
Pete Davidson’s version of the character appears to be making some changes to the core concept. Blackguard can create energy constructs, but mostly used them to make a mace and shield. This guy seems to have guns.
Played by: Nathan Fillion
I can’t find any evidence that T.D.K. is an existing DC Comics character. This could mean that he’s an original creation! It could also just mean that he’s even more obscure than usual. But there’s a compelling argument going around that T.D.K. is a renamed adaptation of everybody’s favorite failed member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Arm-Fall-Off-Boy. The tip off is based on the T.D.K. emblem shown in The Suicide Squadroll call video. The letters, in this case, would stand for The Detachable Kid.
The Legion of Super-Heroes are both from space and the future, an intergalactic coalition of teens dedicated to bringing back the values of the 20th century’s Age of Heroes. Arm-Fall-Off-Boy was shown auditioning to join the Legion in a 1989 comic, but he didn’t make it in. Despite that, Arm-Fall-Off-Boy is the ironic favorite of a lot of people who love the Legion of Super-Heroes, and he has made it into other incarnations of the group, in comics in 1994 and 2019, and in the 2006 Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon show, all under the new codename of Splitter.
His power is what you’ve probably guessed and dismissed as too ridiculous, even for comics. He can pull off his own arms, use them as blunt weapons, and reattach them. When detached, the truncated ends of his limbs have a sort of … halved-grapefruit look to them, which is not too far off from the way T.D.K.’s arm endings look in his graphic.
Played by: Sean Gunn
In his first incarnation, Weasel was a man who couldn’t hack it in academia so he dressed up as a weasel and started murdering his competition for tenure. In his modern incarnation, he’s a bloodthirsty anthropomorphic weasel.
It be like that sometimes.
Played by: Mayling Ng
Mongal is the daughter of space conqueror Mongul, ruler of Warworld, a planet designed only for gladiator battles. And she’s a big get for the Suicide Squad because her dear old yellow dad regularly goes toe to toe with Superman and she’s got basically all his powers.
Played by: Margot Robbie
What else can be said about Harley Quinn that we haven’t already said a thousand times? You know who she is, you know where she’s from, and you know all about Margot Robbie’s iconic, for-the-ages performance.
And while the DCEU is pretty loosely connected these days, this is definitely the same Harley from the 2016 movie, although somewhat less male gaze-y in her attire, and one who has definitely moved on from her relationship with the Joker (who doesn’t even get mentioned in this film!). Harley already knowing Rick Flag, Captain Boomerang, and Amanda Waller is all the proof you need that this is a sequel to that film, however loose it may be.
Played by: Jai Stephen Courtney
One of the few returning characters from the first film, Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang…dies pretty early in the movie. He’s even more gleefully over the top here than he was in 2016, which is pretty appropriate. Boomer was a founding member of the comic book version of the Squad (reluctantly of course) where he was always portrayed as the most dislikeable and abrasive of all the characters.
Col. Rick Flag
Played by: Joel Kinnaman
As with so many comic book characters, there are different incarnations of Flag. The name Rick Flag has been used by three generations, all of them military men, and all linked in some way to a version of Task Force X. The main Flag is described as a former fighter pilot whose brush with death and tragedy – in his case, his entire unit being wiped out – pushed him towards an early attempt at the squad that fared little better. He agreed to lead the squad overseen by Waller and chafed at having to work alongside villains, balking at any idea that he and Deadshot might be similar. Expect comparable conflict in the film, while the presence of Corina Calderon playing a character called Grace points to the potential inclusion of the love of Rick’s life, Karin Grace.
The villain of The Suicide Squad actually began life as…a Justice League villain! And not just any Justice League villain, the FIRST Justice League villain! Yes, Starro has been kicking around DC Comics since 1960 and the very first appearance of the JLA.
While kaiju-sized from the start, Starro’s very creepy ability to spawn spores that are essentially facehuggers didn’t come around until a post-Alien world. This suddenly made Starro a much cooler, and more in-demand threat, and despite there being 17 years between their first and second appearance, since then, Starro has become a regular pain-in-the-face for the entire DC Universe.
Thinker naming the creature “Starro the Conqueror” as a derisive nickname is a reference to how the character is referred to in the comics…and it was literally the text on the cover of its first appearance.