Jekylhyde14

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Suicide Squad Introduction/Predictions

Yeah, yeah, I'm really late with my Aquaman entry, but... it's coming. In the meantime, a little movie called Suicide Squad comes out this week, so I thought I'd do a little piece on that. I'm going to give you, hopefully short, introductions on each major character and give you my opinion on how likely they are to survive the film. I haven't seen it yet so my predictions are entirely based on what I know of the characters from the comics and from what little I've seen out of the trailers. Also, I'll be writing about the comic characters that the film characters are based on, but I wouldn't be surprised if the movie gave them different alter egos, origins, and/or powers. This may take a bit, so strap in.

The Concept:

Let's start with the team itself and what it is. The first iteration of The Suicide Squad, also known as Task Force X, popped up in 1959 in The Brave and The Bold #25 and was created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru. It was a military team with no superpowers who took on monsters, dinosaurs, and other crazy sci-fi threats they loved so much in the Silver Age. This version of the team had a short run and then went away, forgotten. The more well-known version of the team, and the one the movie is based on, came about in 1987 with Legends #3 and was created by John Ostrander, Len Wein, and (my dear friend) John Byrne. This version of The Suicide Squad was made up of super-villains looking for redemption, reduced sentences, or just kicks. The government would send them on high risk, black ops missions that carried low survival rates (hence the name Suicide Squad). The villains would be kept in check by bombs implanted in either their heads or necks, so they could be killed by remote if they stepped out of line. If this sounds really cool, it's because it is. The concept allowed DC to clear out some of the more outdated super-villains in their universe in a meaningful way. It also allowed the spotlight to fall on some lesser known characters, and gave them room to grow. John Ostrander's run on the book, Suicide Squad (1987) #1-66, is some of the best stuff published by DC in the late '80's/early '90's. The group has remained a fan favorite ever since, so it's really not surprising that they're getting a movie treatment.

The Characters (From Least Likely to Most Likely to Survive):

Slipknot

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Created By: Gerry Conway, Joe Cavalieri, and Rafael Kayanan

First Appearance: Fury of the Firestorm #28 (1984)

Portrayed By: Adam Beach

Christopher Weiss, aka Slipknot, was a mercenary/assassin who specialized in using ropes tied into nooses to either capture or eliminate his targets. He first ran afoul of Firestorm after he was hired by the 2000 Committee crime organization to capture Firehawk. He was defeated, imprisoned, and recruited by Task Force X. He didn't die during his run with The Suicide Squad, but he did notably lose his left hand in Suicide Squad #9. Poor, old Slipknot was given a bomb bracelet to keep him in line, and Captain Boomerang lied to him and told him that it was a bluff. He shouldn't have listened...

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Chances of Survival: 0%. Let's face it, the only reason Slipknot is in the movie is because he's expendable. He will die and he will likely be the first to die maybe even as a demonstration that the neck bombs do work. The real question isn't will he survive, but: Will he survive the first half hour of the movie?

Rick Flag

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Created by: Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru

First Appearance: The Brave and The Bold #25 (1959)

Portrayed By: Joel Kinnaman

Col. Rick Flag, Jr. was a member of both the Silver Age and Modern Age versions of The Suicide Squad. He's a military man from a military family, and usually served as the team's field leader. He was also one of the few truly heroic figures on the team which made him a counter-point for the madness and villainy around him. Flag lost quite a bit in service to his country. His girlfriend and fellow team member Karin Grace died on a mission in Suicide Squad #9 (yeah, Slipknot's hand wasn't the only casualty). Flag, himself, also "died" heroically in Suicide Squad #26 (don't worry, he got better).

Chances of Survival: 10%. I hate to say it because I like Joel Kinnaman (The Killing- what up!), but I don't think Flag stands much of a chance. This movie will want to make a statement so it can produce sequels, and Flag's heroic death in the comics may be too iconic a scene to pass up. In the end, I expect his own goodness to be the death of him and may be what helps inspire the rest of the team to carry on and finish the mission.

Enchantress

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Created By: Bob Haney and Howard Purcell

First Appearance: Strange Adventures #187 (1966)

Portrayed By: Cara Delevingne

Sweet, innocent, free-lance artist June Moone went to a party with her boyfriend Alan Dale at the... wait for it... Terror Castle. The party was set upon by supernatural forces and June stumbled upon a... we'll call it a magic statue that gave her the ability to turn into a witch known as The Enchantress. That was her comic book origin, anyway. In the trailers it looks like June will be some sort of archaeologist...? Eventually, The Enchantress persona began taking over and started to turn decidedly evil. June agreed to join Task Force X willingly as Amanda Waller promised to help June learn how to control The Enchantress. This turned out to be a bad bargain on both ends because NO ONE CONTROLS THE ENCHANTRESS.

Chances of Survival: 25%. I really, really don't want June Moone to die. She's a great character with a lot of room for exploration. I have a feeling it's coming, though. We don't see much of Enchantress in the trailers, and there is precedent for it in the comics... sort of. Enchantress quite memorably loses control in Suicide Squad #6 and endangers a mission in the Soviet Union. Flag has to force Deadshot to take her down before the situation gets worse.

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Deadshot doesn't end up killing her (he's not so bad for a mass murderer), but I can easily see a similar scene playing out differently from the comics and ending with June dead. From one of the trailers, it looks like June is romantically linked with Rick Flag. Maybe his death leads to her losing it and eventually losing her life? Again, I don't want her to die, but I feel like it's going to happen.

El Diablo

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Created By: Jai Nitz, Phil Hester, and Ande Parks

First Appearance: El Diablo #1 (2008)

Portrayed By: Jay Hernandez

There are three versions of the El Diablo character, but the film version seems based on Chato Santana. Chato was a high ranking member of the LA based gang Los Reyes. After being betrayed by one of his subordinates and left paralyzed during a raided weapons deal, Chato ended up in a hospital alongside the original El Diablo, Lazarus Lane. After hearing Chato's story, Lazarus decides to choose him as his successor and turns the young man into Hell's assassin. As El Diablo, Chato had a pistol and lariat powered by hellfire and a supernatural horse. Though, in the movie, it seems like they're just giving him the ability to control fire. El Diablo wasn't a member of Task Force X before he was announced as a character in the film, so I'm anxious to see what the team holds for him.

Chances of Survival: ...30%...? My first impression when I heard El Diablo was going to be on the team was that he must be expendable like Slipknot. He's a minor character and he was never part of the team before, so they must be bringing him on to kill him, right? Yet, the trailers make it seem like he has some good character building moments, and it appears like he survives quite a bit of it. Maybe this is all just to make his eventual death more meaningful, or maybe they're planning on giving him a solid push with this movie. He's still more likely to die but count him as possibly the dark horse survivor of this movie.

Killer Croc

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Created By: Gerry Conway and Gene Colan

First Appearance: Batman #357 (1983)

Portrayed By: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Waylon Jones was born a freak with scaly skin, sharp teeth, and supernatural strength. This made life tough for the young man and, as a result, he grew into violence and a life of crime. He eventually ended up in Gotham where he briefly made a play to be the kingpin of crime, but he was thwarted by the Batman and ended up the city's resident monster. At heart, he's a tragic figure, but he's also a vicious thug with cannibalistic tendencies. Don't mess with Croc. Like El Diablo, Croc was never a member of The Suicide Squad before he was announced for the movie. However, the comic team usually rolls with another man-eating monster in the form of King Shark, so I expect Croc is just taking his place.

Chances of Survival: 50%. I could see it going either way for Killer Croc. On one hand, he's a relatively well-known character having been featured in Batman: The Animated Series and The Batman Arkham video game franchise. That notoriety might be enough to keep him around. On the other hand, Croc is not the most charismatic villain and hasn't provided too much character development to work with in the past. Basically, don't be surprised if he lives or if he dies.

Katana

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Created By: Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo

First Appearance: The Brave and The Bold #200 (1983)

Portrayed By: Karen Fukuhara

Tatsu Yamashiro was a skilled martial artist with a loving husband, Maseo, and two children. Takeo, Maseo's brother and a high ranking Yakuza member, was jealous of his brother and wanted Tatsu as his own. Takeo challenged Maseo to a duel and murdered him. Tatsu, in defense of her children, disarmed Takeo of his katana known as "Soultaker" and escaped with her kids. Eventually, she took up the identity of Katana driven by revenge for her husband and by the dark impulse that emanated from her mystical sword to kill evil-doers and trap their souls within the blade. Despite her homicidal tendencies, Katana usually finds herself on the side of angels having been a member of both The Outsiders and the Justice League of America. Like El Diablo and Killer Croc, she is a newcomer to The Suicide Squad.

Chances of Survival: 75%. I want to say that Katana is completely safe. She's one of the few heroic figures on the team, and the trailers make it seem like she goes the distance. I have this nagging doubt, though. Maybe it's because she has no prior history with the team or maybe it's because she's being played by a Hollywood newcomer, but I'm a little worried for Katana. Maybe it's nothing. Don't do it, David Ayer.... DON'T DO IT. If Katana dies, I riot.

Captain Boomerang

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Created By: John Broome and Carmine Infantino

First Appearance: Flash #117 (1960)

Portrayed By: Jai Courtney

George "Digger" Harkness was an Australian outlaw who became an expert with the boomerang. He found his way to Central City and became one of the Flash's most consistent Rogues though he was always bested by the speedster. During one of his stints in jail, Boomerang was offered a pardon if he agreed to join Task Force X. Harkness became a member of the team, but, after a while, it became clear that his only real mission was looking out for himself. As a result of his opportunistic and, often, dickish behavior, Captain Boomerang became a fan favorite as a member of The Suicide Squad. As I mentioned before, he lied to Slipknot about his explosive bracelet, he tried to move in on Punch's wife Jewelee, and he let Mindboggler get killed because she'd embarrassed him in front of the team.

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All of that is just the tip of the iceberg. Captain Boomerang is a character you will love to hate.

Chances of Survival: 90%. Captain Boomerang's selfish and opportunistic behavior made him one of The Suicide Squad's longest surviving if most ineffective members in the comic. I would be shocked if the movie played it any different. Captain Boomerang should survive and he should do so at the expense of others. There's an off-chance he could be killed for shock value, but... nah. He'll most likely live.

Deadshot

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Created By: Bob Kane, David Vern Reed, and Lew Schwartz

First Appearance: Batman #59 (1950)

Portrayed By: Will Smith

In the early stories, Floyd Lawton was a bored, little rich boy who was skilled with a gun. He decided to start his own criminal empire which led him to tangle with and be defeated by the Batman. Later, he became an assassin for hire with a reputation for never missing a shot and started to use colts strapped to his wrists. It turns out that he does all this because he has a psychological death wish. Ironically, this death wish makes him so bold and deadly that he never ends up dying even on the many, many Suicide Squad missions he's willingly signed up for (even when he doesn't need a pardon). The one redeeming quality Lawton has is his love for his daughter whom he supports from afar to keep her safe. Deadshot is the true badass of The Suicide Squad and its most deadly member. There used to be an online list of every death in Ostrander's Suicide Squad and the most common cause of death on that list was: "Shot by Deadshot."

Chances of Survival: 95%. As I said, the whole gimmick with Deadshot is that he wants to die, but can't. He's one of the most popular members of the team, and he's being played by the biggest star attached to the movie. The only reason I could see for them killing off Deadshot would be if Will Smith asked for too much money to do a sequel. Yet... his career probably needs this movie as much as it needs him. Deadshot will almost definitely remain among the living.

Amanda Waller

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Created By: John Ostrander, Len Wein, and John Byrne

First Appearance: Legends #1

Portrayed By: Viola Davis

In Pre-Flashpoint continuity, Amanda Waller was a mother with a murdered husband, a family to support, and a hunger for power. In Post-Flashpoint continuity she was a former soldier trying to stay effective in a world of superheroes. In both continuities she's ruthless, manipulative, and almost always gets her way. Waller is the driving force behind the modern version of The Suicide Squad. The idea of using super-villains for black ops is her baby and she defends it without hesitation against all comers. She has her finger on the button of those bombs she straps to or injects inside her operatives. Amanda is not well liked but she doesn't care.

Chances of Survival: 99%. The thing about "The Wall" is that she lets others do her dirty work for her. She rarely puts herself in harms way, and that keeps her alive. As the founder of the team, they really need her around if they plan on sequels. There's always the slight chance that Deadshot will haul off and shoot her in the face like he's always wanted to. I wouldn't count on it, though...

Harley Quinn

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Created By: Paul Dini and Bruce Timm

First Appearance (In Continuity): Batman: Harley Quinn #1 (1999)

Portrayed By: Margot Robbie

Dr. Harleen Quinzel was a young, idealistic psychiatrist employed at Arkham Asylum. Eventually, she was allowed to work with Arkham's star patient... KILLER MOTH! Just kidding... it was The Joker... we all know it was The Joker. The Joker allowed Quinzel to believe she was getting through to him all the while he was seducing her and picking apart her own sanity. Bit by bit, Harleen began to break until she lost her mind completely, fell in love with The Joker, and broke him out of Arkham Asylum to join him in his life of crime and mayhem. She took on the guise of Harley Quinn and took part in many of The Joker's schemes and battles with The Batman. After being ditched by her "puddin'," Harley accepted Amanda Waller's offer to join The Suicide Squad where she's become a constant presence. Harley is unique on this list as she first debuted in Batman: The Animated Series. She became so popular in the cartoon that the editors from DC moved her into the comics. Since then, she's developed into one of DC's most popular characters and stars in her own solo title.

Chances of Survival: 100%. Harley Quinn is, hands down, the most popular character on the team. She's so popular, in fact, that I'm shocked they didn't name the movie: Harley Quinn and The Suicide Squad. The fan uproar over killing her, alone, would make it not worth it. Alive and on the team, she makes DC and WB money. Dead and gone, they get nothing. Harley will not die.

The Joker

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Created By: Jerry Robinson, Bill Finger, and Bob Kane

First Appearance: Batman #1 (1940)

Portrayed By: Jared Leto

The Grim Jester, The Harlequin of Hate, The Clown Prince of Crime...Batman's greatest nemesis, and, perhaps, the greatest super-villain of all time. He needs no introduction... So... I guess I'll stop here.

Chances of Survival: 100%... with an asterisk. We're not sure how big a role The Joker has in this movie. Maybe he's the villain. Maybe he only shows up in flashbacks. Maybe they'll claim he's already dead at the start of this film. Maybe they'll claim he died at the end. However, no matter what, he won't really be dead. They would never really kill off The Joker in a film that doesn't have "Batman" in the title. Especially if Jared Leto's Joker is as good as it's been hyped to be. They'll want to bring him back for...oh...I don't know... a Batman solo film co-written by Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns...? So, even if they say he's dead, he won't really be dead.

Other Live-Action Versions

At this point, the Suicide Squad has been well market tested with TV audiences. The team has appeared in both Smallville and Arrow. The Squad appears in Season 10 of Smallville. While in Arrow, they appear as Task Force X in Season 2 and even manage to pull off a sneaky Harley Quinn cameo. There's enough live-action Squad material to keep you satisfied either before or after you see the movie.

Well, that's it for this entry. A big thank you if you made it all the way to the end. Like I said, I hope to finish my Aquaman entry sometime soon, but... I do this for free in my spare time so it'll be done when it's done. I hope you go see The Suicide Squad film and I hope you enjoy it. Hell, I hope I enjoy it. If it works out, maybe they'll do a sequel where they could use characters like Bronze Tiger, Nightshade, Dr. Light... okay, well, maybe not him... Anyway, The Suicide Squad has a rich history with a lot of great characters. I'm hoping things go well and they get the chance to explore it further. That's it. Catch you later!

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