Captain Comics asks (and answers): Who will survive in 'Suicide Squad'?

The main cast members of Suicide Squad include (from left) Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Killer Croc), Karen Fukuhara (Kitana), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag), Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang) and Will Smith (Deadshot). Photo Credit: Clay Enos/ TM & (c) DC Comics

 

The biggest names in Suicide Squad are Will Smith (Deadshot) and Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn). Photo Credit: Clay Enos/ TM & (c) DC Comics

 

This sure looks like a scene in set in the past at Arkham Asylum, with Dr. Harleen Quinzel (Margot Robbie) and The Joker (Jared Leto).  Photo Credit: Clay Enos/ TM & (c) DC Comics

 

By Andrew A. Smith

Tribune Content Agency

 

Will the Suicide Squad survive?

I don’t mean at the box office, where the DC Comics’ supervillain team-up film will likely do very well when it premieres Aug. 5. I’m just wondering how many of the cast members will live to see a potential sequel.

Alarms are raised by Warner Bros.’ own description:

“Assemble a team of the world’s most dangerous, incarcerated supervillains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government’s disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity.  U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose will do.  However, once they realize they weren’t picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it’s every man for himself?”

That’s pretty much what Suicide Squad has been in the comics, too – and quite a number of supervillains have been offed in the pages of those comics. Death is part of the concept, so let’s take a look at who we know is in the movie, and what we know about them, to evaluate their longevity:

* AMANDA WALLER (Viola Davis): Introduced in 1986, Amanda Waller has always been portrayed as a duplicitous, ruthless, unlikable, high-ranking agent of DC’s various fictional government espionage agencies, all across DC’s superhero line. She was originally a heavy-set woman, nicknamed “The Wall” behind her back. But beginning with her appearance on TV’s Arrow, where she was portrayed by the slim Cynthia Addai-Robinson, her character-defining weight has been lost. She has been in charge of every iteration of the modern Suicide Squad, on comics and TV.

Likely Death: Zero Skulls (out of four). Every single supervillain has desperately wanted to kill Waller forever, but she’s always one step ahead. If she has a super-power, that’s it.

* RICK FLAG (Joel Kinnaman): The name Rick Flag goes back to the original 1959 incarnation of Task Force X-slash-Suicide Squad in Brave and Bold comics, when he was the field leader of a black ops team that had nothing to do with costumed characters. But that incarnation didn’t sell, and when the concept was revived years later, Rick Flag’s son – also called Rick Flag – became the no-nonsense field leader of a bunch of supervillains with bombs implanted in their heads to assure cooperation.

Likely Death: Two Skulls. A character named Rick Flag is just about the only constant in every iteration of Suicide Squad. But he’s really boring, so I hope he doesn’t make it.

* HARLEY QUINN (Margot Robbie): Originating on Batman: The Animated Series in 1992, psychiatrist Harleen Quinzel fell in love with her patient at Arkham Asylum, The Joker, and joined him in a life of absurdist (and lethal) crime as his sidekick, Harley Quinn. In subsequent comic book adventures, she was saved from death by occasional accomplice/girlfriend Poison Ivy, whose plant-based cure gave the Maid in Motley extra strength and stamina, and resistance to poisons and injury. Her white skin was once attributed to bleaching, but in recent years has been linked to The Joker pushing her into a vat of acid. (Take your pick.)

Likely death: Zero Skulls. Both Harley and Margot are far too popular to be axed. Even if Suicide Squad tanks, Harley Quinn will return in some form.

* DEADSHOT (Will Smith): Floyd Lawton first appeared in Batman in 1950, a professional assassin who never missed. He has been modernized over the years, and now wears an armored suit with wrist-mounted guns, whose death wish makes him an unpredictable opponent. He has a daughter, Zoe, whom he loves but avoids because his life is so violent.

Likely death: One skull. Will Smith is a pretty popular actor. And Deadshot has proved enduring, his strange disinterest in living a kind of catnip to comics writers, who have written him into various iterations of Suicide Squad, Secret Six (another supervillain team), various Bat-books and his own miniseries. Due to Zoe’s presence in the movie (played by Shailyn Pierre-Dixon) his death might be poignant, so he gets a skull.

* CAPTAIN BOOMERANG (Jai Courtney): George “Digger” Harkness was a small-time crook in Australia with an uncanny knack for using boomerangs who was hired in Flash #117 (1960) to be a spokesman for a Central City toy company that manufactured the weapon. He somehow learned to gimmick up his boomerangs for various purposes (like exploding), but was really no match for the Scarlet Speedster, despite appearing umpty-ump times. He has been a popular member of the Suicide Squad in most of its incarnations.

Likely Death: One Skull. If the movie version is as amoral, foul-mouthed and just plain fun as his comics counterpart, he’ll be too popular to kill.

* KILLER CROC (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje): First appearing in Batman comics in 1983, Waylon Jones has a rare skin condition that gives his skin a reptilian appearance, and possibly enhanced strength. Or maybe he just developed the latter wrestling alligators in Florida for a living. In some incarnations he’s depicted as having a taste for human flesh.

Likely Death: Two Skulls.He’s way too visually interesting to cast aside. Then again, strong guys are a dime a dozen. Probably depends on how much his F/X costs.

* ENCHANTRESS (Cara Delevingne) first appeared in Strange Adventures (1966) as a heroic alter ego for freelance artist June Moone (yes, seriously). After that, though, she was usually portrayed as evil, despite her presence on a couple of superhero teams (Shadowpact, Justice League Dark). She is a powerful sorceress, who can animate objects, walk through walls and other spooky stuff. 

Likely death: Two Skulls. Enchantress isn’t a particularly well-known character, nor are her powers or personality especially unique. Story-wise, she’s expendable. On the other hand, she’s being played in the movie by a young (23), attractive model/actress, and could be a box-office draw for years to come.

* KATANA (Karen Fukuhara): First appearing in 1983, Tatsu Yamashiro was a world-class martial artist and swordswoman, wielding a mystical katana that contained all the souls of those it had killed, including her husband Maseo. She fought alongside Batman and the Outsiders for many years, but after a 2011 reboot, most people don’t believe the weapon contains any souls, and that Tatsu is simply a nut who talks to her sword.

Likely Death: Two Skulls. Interesting character, yes, but sword-fights aren’t really all that compelling.

* El Diablo (Jay Hernandez): There have been three El Diablos in DC history, and Chato Santana is the third (and least interesting). He’s a pyrokinetic – a fire-starter – and former gang-banger.

Likely Death: I give this walking cliche at least Three Skulls.

* The Joker (Jared Leto): I don't need to describe this character, do I?

Chance of (permanent) death: Zero Skulls

Those are all the major characters, but the announced cast includes three more villains, whom I assume are cannon fodder. So hello to Monster T (Common), Slipknot (Christopher Weiss) and King Shark (Raymond Alubawale) – and goodbye.

As to actors Scott Eastwood , David Harbour and Adam Beach – announced as cast members, but whose characters are unrevealed – they could be heroes or villains, long-term players or cameo deaths. Like all the cast members of Suicide Squad, though, they probably shouldn’t start reading any continuing stories.

 

Reach Captain Comics by email (capncomics@aol.com), the Internet (captaincomics.ning.com), Facebook (Captain Comics Round Table) or Twitter (@CaptainComics).

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According to Comic Book Resources, King Shark was dropped in favor of Killer Croc:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/why-suicide-squad-replace...

When I first heard about this movie -not the comic but the movie- I thought of the Dirty Dozen.  It's only lightly similar but that's the first thought that came to me.  I agree there's no way Harley goes, but I think it depends on how daring the movie is going to be.  From the preview I saw I thought they were going to fight the Enchantress.

It depends if Will Smith wants to do a sequel or just do a Deadshot solo film.

The same goes with Margot Robbie and how well her star rises.

But I do prefer the cartoon-loony Harley to the sex kitten Harley.

There's a really good podcast called The Next Picture Show. Each installment is two parts -- the first part is an older movie, and then in the next part they talk about a new release that sent them to the old movie for context. In recent weeks they've done LA Confidential/The Nice Guys, Psycho/10 Cloverfield Lane, and Memento/Finding Dory.It's a great show...and for Suicide Squad, they're starting with the Dirty Dozen, which is the best excuse I'll ever have to rent it from Amazon. I'll be watching it later this week.

From what I recall, Squad creator John Ostrander has long called Suicide Squad "The Dirty Dozen with supervillains." It might even have been in his original pitch for the series.


Mark S. Ogilvie said:

When I first heard about this movie -not the comic but the movie- I thought of the Dirty Dozen.  It's only lightly similar but that's the first thought that came to me.  I agree there's no way Harley goes, but I think it depends on how daring the movie is going to be.  From the preview I saw I thought they were going to fight the Enchantress.

"Killer Croc goes in where the others have been!"


 Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

There's a really good podcast called The Next Picture Show. Each installment is two parts -- the first part is an older movie, and then in the next part they talk about a new release that sent them to the old movie for context. In recent weeks they've done LA Confidential/The Nice Guys, Psycho/10 Cloverfield Lane, and Memento/Finding Dory.It's a great show...and for Suicide Squad, they're starting with the Dirty Dozen, which is the best excuse I'll ever have to rent it from Amazon. I'll be watching it later this week.

From what I recall, Squad creator John Ostrander has long called Suicide Squad "The Dirty Dozen with supervillains." It might even have been in his original pitch for the series.


Mark S. Ogilvie said:

When I first heard about this movie -not the comic but the movie- I thought of the Dirty Dozen.  It's only lightly similar but that's the first thought that came to me.  I agree there's no way Harley goes, but I think it depends on how daring the movie is going to be.  From the preview I saw I thought they were going to fight the Enchantress.

...I wish to start a spoilered thread for it but I haven't time , likely , 2nite:-( - I did see it last week , did any other regular here ?

...I was not aware , Cap'n , of the ntended " Who will live ? " structure ~ And my memory may have faded a bit/not entirely noticed who , if any , of the SS did not survive to the fade:-(...

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I don't believe Slipknot, El Diablo or Enchantress* survived.

* But June Moone did.

We never see El Diablo's body!

...I see that , of course , Deadshot was not a black man in 1950 .

  Has he changed in the comics' depiction in the years since ?

  Had me made any post-New 52 DCU appearances before now ? 

  In fact , has he appeared even as of now in any DCU comic ?

  It would be fine by be if he did a permanent Nick Fury style , um , " tanning ":-) - BUT , if there has been a non-black today's DCU one shown he should be acknowledged and disposed somehow .

No need. The movies are the movies and the comics are the comics. Parallel Earths.

...Thank you now , and thank you before , a previous attempt at said TY having not gone up , CC...However , I was inquiring as to Deadshot's status in the comics now , that is what I meant !

  It has been argued that the fact that John Stewart's status as the most prominent in any media version Green Lantern prior to the 00s LA feature  led to some folks reacting to that feature with the thought that " they " had  whitewashed an established black hero , with adverse reaction .

  And , furthermore , if a hoped-for " new-to-comics-reader " picks up a Deadshot-featuring funnybook in the wake of the " SS " flick...

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