Four Color Comments: Who Is The Suicide Squad?

A novice guide to the team and characters in the upcoming Suicide Squad film. This week, Warner Bros will be releasing the Suicide Squad film starring Will Smith, Jared Leto, […]

A novice guide to the team and characters in the upcoming Suicide Squad film.

This week, Warner Bros will be releasing the Suicide Squad film starring Will Smith, Jared Leto, and Margot Robbie. From what we can tell in the trailers, it does look like a fun and action packed film. Unless you’re a comic reader, you might not be familiar with who are the Suicide Squad. The Suicide Squad has appeared on the TV shows Smallville, Justice League Unlimited, and Arrow. But to the general public, not a widely known as other DC Comics characters.

So who is the Suicide Squad?

The Suicide Squad first appeared in Brave and the Bold # 25, back in 1955. Created by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Ross Andru, the first squad was made up of three men and one woman, lead by Rick Flag. They were called the Suicide Squad because of the nature of threats they took on. Four non-powered humans battling aliens, dinosaurs, and other monsters. Eventually, this team just faded away as the Silver Age of Super Heroes was ushered in.

Jump to 1986, in the mini-series Legends, writer John Ostrander reintroduces the Suicide Squad, but with a twist. Instead of people willing to serve their country, this new Suicide Squad forced costumed villains to pay their debt to society, by running fatal missions. To keep the villains in line, they wore an explosive bracelet. This was eventually changed to an explosive implant.

Rick Flag returned as mission leader, but the real person in charge of the squad was a very imposing woman named Amanda Waller.

Shortly after the Legends mini-series, the Suicide Squad got their own comic that lasted for 66 issues. After the series, they would continue to pop up in various comics in the DC Universe. And when the New 52 happened, the Suicide Squad got a new monthly comic.

So who are the members of the Suicide Squad that appear in the movie? All the background information on the character is from the comics and not the movie. It’s just to give the reader a little history about each character:

AMANDA WALLER

Created by John Ostrander, Len Wein, and John Byrne. Played by Viola Davis. First appearance: Legends #1 (November 1986)
Amanda Waller is in charge of the Suicide Squad, AKA Task Force X. She is a high-ranking government official with years of service in various branches of the intelligence community. While she is the commander of the Suicide Squad, she doesn’t participate as a field agent. She runs things from behinds the scenes. Her nickname is “The Wall”, but it’s not due to her size, it due to her being a hard-nosed, take no prisoners, take no bs, individual. She sees the use of super-powered criminals as perfect expendable agents.

RICK FLAG

Created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru. Played by Joel Kinnaman. First appearance: The Brave and the Bold #25 (1959)
Rick Flag is a soldier that is more than willing to serve his country any way he can. Flag was part of the original Suicide Squad and was taken aback by Waller’s use of super-villains in the new Squad. Flag reluctantly serves as field commander on the Squad’s actual missions. And he finish the mission at any cost.

HARLEY QUINN

Created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. Played by Margot Robbie. First appearance: Batman: The Animated Series episode “Joker’s Favor” (September 1992)
Harley Quinn first appeared in the Batman cartoon in 1992 and didn’t actually show up in the DC Comic universe until a year later. Dr. Harleen Quinzel served as a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum. It was there where she became obsessed with the Joker. Quinn eventually succumbs to the Joker’s charms and end up becoming his lover and partner-in-crime. Quinn is highly intelligent, extremely agile, and totally unpredictable. She’s a real wild card.

DEADSHOT

Created by Bob Kane, David Vern Reed, and Lew Schwartz. Played by Will Smith. First appearance: Batman #59 (June/July 1950)
Like his name, Deadshot is an expert shot and a deadly assassin. When he first appeared, Deadshot posed as a crime fighter but was actually a villain. After time in jail, he revised his costume to include wrist-mounted guns. Deadshot has been a constant in the second incarnation of Suicide Squad. He’s also developed a death-wish, and doesn’t care if he lives or dies, just as long as he gets the job done.

CAPTAIN BOOMERANG

Created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino. Played by Jai Courtney. First appearance: Flash #117 (December 1960)
Captain Boomerang grew up in Austrailia where he learned how to make and throw boomerangs as weapons. He eventually traveled to America, where he would take up live of crime. With trick boomerangs like razor ones and exploding ones, he went on to terrorize the citizens of Central City. This caused him to run afoul of the Flash. After many defeats by the Flash, he was eventually “drafted” into the Suicide Squad. He is one of the most useless members of the Squad and will do anything to save his own life.

KILLER CROC

Created by Gerry Conway and Don Newton. Played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. First appearance: Batman #357 (March 1983)
Kill Croc was born with a rare condition that gave his skin a reptilian appearance. He became a sideshow wrestler due to his massive strength. He ended up killing his abusive aunt and became a criminal. In his first appearance, he tried to take over the Gotham City Underworld but was thwarted by Batman. Killer Croc went on to become more animalistic in appearance and personality. He would eventually become a cannibal. Killer Croc is one of Batman’s more fearsome foes.

EL DIABLO

Created by Jai Nitz, Phil Hester, and Ande Parks. Played by Jay Hernandez. First appearance: El Diablo vol. 3 #1
(Sept. 2008)
El Diablo was a street gang leader that ended up gaining pyrokinetic powers. After a rival gang sold drugs on his turf and refused to give him a cut, El Diablo attacked them at their home, setting the building ablaze. Entering the building, he found that not only the gangsters but also a woman and children had died in the blaze. Distraught, he allowed himself to be taken into custody.

KATANA

Created by Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo. Played by Karen Fukuhara. First appearance: The Brave and the Bold #200 (July 1983)
Katana was an average Japanese girl that excelled at the martial arts. When she was younger, two brothers, Maseo and Takeo, were in love with her. Katana chose Takeo, and Maseo disowned his brother and joined the Yakuza. Katana and Maseo married and had two children. During this time Maseo was presented with the “Soultaker” sword, which could like its name, take the soul of its victim. Maseo, fueled by jealous, murdered Takeo and the children. Katana overpowered Maseo and took the “Soultaker” from him. She then trained as a samurai. When her training was finished, she traveled to America, to use her talents for justice.

ENCHANTRESS

Created by Bob Haney and Howard Purcell. Played by Cara Delevingne. First appearance: Strange Adventures #187 (April 1966)
June Moon, while at a party at an old castle, is contacted by a mysterious being. The being gives June magical powers to fight evil. When June says the words “Enchantress”, she becomes the mystic hero known as the Enchantress. Over the years, the magic starts to corrupt her, until she becomes fully evil. June Moon and the Enchantress are two separate persons sharing the same body. June joins the Suicide Squad when Amanda Wallers promises her to help keep the Enchantress in check.

SLIPKNOT

Created by Joey Cavalieri, Gerry Conway, and Rafael Kayanan. Played by Adam Beach. First appearance: Fury of Firestorm #28 (October 1984)
Very little is known about Slipknot’s background. While working for a chemical company, Slipknot developed a chemical that would make his ropes strong as steel and nearly indestructible. Slipknot is a skilled assassin and excellent in using his ropes to strangle, grapple, and hold down his opponents.

THE JOKER

Created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson. Played by Jared Leto. First appearance: Batman #1 (April 25, 1940
This culturally iconic villain really needs no rundown. After being around for 75 years, in various forms of media, if you don’t know who the Joker is, I’m sorry but you’re on your own.

So there you have it. Those are the major players of the Suicide Squad. As I stated before, the background I provided is mainly from the comics, so the movie counterparts might be altered a little. But don’t let that from stopping you from enjoying the film.

Suicide Squad opens nationwide on August 5.

Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

About Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

An avid comic collector/reader for over 40 years and self-proclaimed professor of comicology, Brian original started up the site Pendragon's Post to share his voice. Well that voice has been shared, and evolved into The Fanboy Factor. Brian is an advocate for remembering comic roots, and that we don't forget what was created in the past, and encourage everyone to read it as well. When not swimming in geek culture, he can be seen corrupting..introducing his young son to comics, much to his wife's chagrin.