After months of rumors and speculation, the cast of David Ayer's Suicide Squad has been revealed! Will Smith is Deadshot, Margot Robbie is Harley Quinn, Jared Leto's Joker, Tom Hardy is Rick Flag, Jai Courtney's Captain Boomerang, and Cara Delevingne is Enchantress. Also, word is the studio wants Oprah Winfrey as Amanda Waller and rumors are still floating around that Jesse Eisenberg will reprise his role as Lex Luthor. Whether other members of Task Force X will eventually be announced has yet to be seen (fingers crossed for Bronze Tiger!), but it seems safe to assume these are the primary characters. So, begin placing bets on who's not going to make it to the end of the mission! Seriously, we all know someone's not going to make it, right?
The movie is scheduled to open August 5, 2016, so that means you have plenty of time to see what other projects these actors have been in. If you're going to form a strong opinion about whether they'e qualified for the role, you should at least check out their best work, you know? A distant release date also means you have plenty of time to do your homework and learn everything you can about this twisted team! We all know there's plenty of good Joker stories (e.g. THE KILLING JOKE, THE MAN WHO LAUGHS, THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS), but the Suicide Squad also has a rich history. To help you out, we're going to recommend five things you should check out before the movie hits theaters! It won't be cheap, but everything we're suggesting is well worth your time and cash. When you're finally sitting in a theater, ready to watch Ayer's Suicide Squad, you'll have a much better understanding of these characters and a stronger appreciation of the team's history.
John Ostrander's work
If you're going to research the Suicide Squad, John Ostrander's comics are absolutely mandatory. Seriously, when it comes to Task Force X, his work is essential. He built this new team, fleshed out the characters, and made it such a gripping ride. Collecting all of the issues from will be tough (unless you buy digitally or have a mountain of cash), but there are two collections that will make this a little easier for the casual fans out there: SUICIDE SQUAD: TRIAL BY FIRE (if you're going to buy just one thing, buy this) and SUICIDE SQUAD: FROM THE ASHES. TRIAL BY FIRE collects the team's detailed origin story (SECRET ORIGINS #14), as well as the first 8 issues of Ostrander's classic run. Buy that and you'll have all of the basic knowledge you'll need about the team's beginning. It's sure to get you hooked, too. Both collections give you a more than appropriate understanding of what Task Force X's world is all about. It's a twisted place that's full of people you can't completely trust, ulterior motives, huge consequences and deep characters. If you want to go the extra mile, also pick up Ostrander's LEGENDS -- that reveals the formation of the team. Do yourself a favor and at least read the first arc of his run, okay? If it's not your thing, so be it; at least it'll expand your knowledge. However, the odds are pretty good that most of you will really enjoy it and want to buy more issues.
Deadshot Vol 1
Given Will Smith's popularity and the fact that Floyd Lawton, a.k.a. Deadshot, has been a prominent character on the team, it seems pretty likely the marksman will play a big role in the movie. So if you think Deadshot's just an accurate gunman and not all that interesting or simply want to get a better understanding of him, you need to read his first limited series. Written by Ostrander and Kim Yale and illustrated by Luke McDonnell, this miniseries tells a powerful story, detailing Lawton's dark origin and giving us an incredible insight into the character. If you can't find all 4 issues, there's a collected edition called DEADSHOT: BEGINNINGS. Not only does it provide the limited series, but it also includes a couple of Lawton's encounters with Batman. Deadshot's a great character and this story will help you understand why.
Batman: Assault on Arkham
Don't let the title fool you, this animated movie's all about the Suicide Squad! Yeah, the Dark Knight is in it and provides some cool action scenes, but a majority of the time is dedicated to Deadshot leading the team on a very risky mission. Sure, the roster is different (it's looking like King Shark, Black Spider, and Killer Frost may not be in Ayer's film), but this animated movie is awesome and ridiculously entertaining. It's a mission that's full of dark comedy, amusing character dynamics and a whole lot of excitement. That should be enough to make it worth checking out, but in case that isn't enough, we should let you know it also shows how Harley Quinn and Joker can be used well in the movie. You can to read our full review of the movie. Don't feel like reading a comic? Then this is exactly what you're looking for!
Suicide Squad (The New 52) Vol 4
Opinions are pretty mixed on The New 52's take on the Suicide Squad, but Ales Kot and Patrick Zircher told one hell of a story. Kot's script is warped and fun, it's clear he had a good time writing Quinn. Meanwhile, Zircher's art is perfect for this team's world, drenching these characters in darkness and creating an immersive experience for our eyes. The only downside is Zircher didn't illustrate issue #23. Also, you're sure to really enjoy this if you've read THE BLACK MIRROR. The collection also includes the Villains Month issues for Deadshot and Harley Quinn. Quinn's goes too over-the-top with just how evil she can be (what she does in the end is seriously messed up), but the New 52 origin for Deadshot was surprisingly good. So, if you're looking for a modern incarnation of the team, this is something you should consider picking up!
Deadshot Vol 2
While the first limited series about Deadshot focused heavily on character and a compelling narrative, the second limited series, written by Christos N. Gage and illustrated by Steve Cummings, is basically non-stop action and packed with a ton craziness. Sure, his personality and family life is once again in the spotlight, but if you want to see why Floyd's considered one of DC's top marksman, this is worthy of your attention. Watching Deadshot hold his own against a variety of villains is good fun and keeps things thrilling, but the highlight has to be when he takes on Green Arrow; it's a blast. This is a must read if you just want to enjoy some jaw-dropping combat and watch him pull off some ridiculously impressive shots.
What are you going to read or watch to prepare for the movie? 'Suicide Squad' is set to open August 5, 2016.