There are some superhero names that the general public just knows, because they’ve been ever-present for decades. Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Captain America, every kid in the world knows these characters, and they represent the best of humanity.
On the flipside of that, there are some characters in the world of comics that relatively few regular joes know off the top of their head who also happen to represent the worst of the worst, like the Suicide Squad.
Warner Bros. will be putting their weight behind this group of ne’er-do-wells in a big way in 2016 as it will be their first DC Comics film released after
. There’s plenty of time between now and the release of the film to familiarize yourself with Task Force X and what better way to get it started than with a handy Origins & Evolutions piece? Check it out below! Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
will open in theaters on August 5, 2016. Suicide Squad
Click Full Screen to read each entry!
Origins & Evolutions: Suicide Squad
Original Suicide Squad
Created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru, the first Suicide Squad was a group of adventurers, without super powers, going on adventures that pitted them up against foes with super powers and enemies such as dinosaurs, yetis, and giants. Rick Flag, Jr. was its leader for some time, but it was later revealed that the “actual” first Suicide Squad was an army battalion who went on particularly dangerous missions, which where led by Rick Flag, Sr.
The Re-Invented Suicide Squad
30 years after their debut in the pages of "The Brave and The Bold," writer John Ostrander reimagined the group as something else: former villains given a second chance at redemption by completing the most harrowing tasks and missions for the government to earn their freedom. The initial team featured Rick Flag, Jr., Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, Enchantress, Captain Boomerang, and Blockbuster in the pages of DC's “Legends” before the self-titled series debuted. Ostrander cemented a lot of defining qualities of the team that are still used today, such as their operating out of the Belle Reve Penitentiary, using obscure villains as members, and killing off members after perhaps only one issue. The series lasted 66 issues.
Suicide Squad Volume 2
Ten years after the end of Suicide Squad, the group would get their own series once again, though they remained active in the decade-long absence. Writer Keith Griffen penned the series, which lasted twelve issues and featured a roster that shifted nearly every issue as members perished with some frequency. The series featured the Suicide Squad taking on their own enemy group known as The Onslaught/The Jihad, in addition to other stories such as a flashback to the original Suicide Squad.
Between Volume 2 and 3, Amanda Waller continued to run the Suicide Squad, which was heavily involved in the weekly series 52. The team also had a minor plot thread in attempting to stop Lois Lane's investigation about Lex Luthor's presidency. Just before the team officially returned, the crew could be seen in the pages of "Countdown to Final Crisis" gathering various other villains to create a new squad.
Suicide Squad Volume 3
Five years later, John Ostrander would return to the team he helped conceive with an 8-issue series featuring much of the same team he put together for his first Volume. Typically, the Suicide Squad consists of six members, but during Ostrander's return the team inflated to 14 active members at one point. A rather interesting retcon is issued during this Volume that the present Rick Flag, Jr. is not in fact who he thinks he is, but a soldier brainwashed into thinking he's Rick Flag, Jr.
Suicide Squad Volume 4
Suicide Squad was included as one of the original books in DC's “New 52” relaunch. Though an entirely new continuity, it featured former members King Shark and Deadshot on the team as well as newcomers El Diablo, Savant, Voltaic, Black Spider, and Harley Quinn. The series ran for over 30 issues and, as expected, featured a number of roster changes. After ending, it was relaunched as "New Suicide Squad" (Volume 5) with Deadshot and Harley Quinn joined by Deathstroke, Black Manta, and Joker's Daughter.
Justice League Unlimited
The 17th episode of "Justice League Unlimited" was titled “Task Force X” and featured the titular team attempting to break into the Justice League's headquarters to steal the Annihilator suit. Members of the team in the episode include Rick Flag, Jr., Deadshot, Plastique, Clock King, and Captain Boomerang. Amanda Waller even makes an appearance at the end of the episode.
The group appeared in a brief arc in the final season of the hit series “Smallville,” targeting Clark Kent, Oliver Queen, and Carter Hall after having learned their identities. In addition, they went after Lois Lane's father General Sam Lane due to his support of the Vigilante Registration Act. The team consisted of Rick Flag, Deadshot, Plastique, Warp, and Icicle.
Batman: Assault on Arkham
Between the events of the video game "Batman: Arkham Origins" and "Batman: Arkham Asylum" comes the animated film "Batman: Assault on Arkham," which features the “Arkham” version of the Suicide Squad making their debut. In the film, the group breaks into the hospital to kidnap The Riddler, who was threatening to expose the Suicide Squad to the public. The team in the film consisted of Black Spider, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Killer Frost, KGBeast, and King Shark.
Task Force X has been alluded to countless times on The CW's hit series, but they did get one episode all to themselves where they were tasked with stopping a warlord from releasing a nerve agent. The team at the time consisted of Bronze Tiger, Deadshot, Shrapnel, Freelancer (John Diggle), and Harbinger (Lyla Michaels). An allusion to Harley Quinn was also included in the episode. Since then, hints have been made about the team including that Captain Boomerang was a previous member and that Cupid would be taking Harley's place on the team.
Suicide Squad (2016)
Long rumored to be in development, WB has revealed that the Suicide Squad film will debut in 2016 with David Ayer writing and directing. The members of the team in the film include Rick Flag, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Enchantress, Harley Quinn, and The Joker. Amanda Waller is also set to appear in the film with potential for Lex Luthor as well.
Waller was created specifically as the character to run the Suicide Squad when John Ostrander retooled the title. A powerful political figure, Waller became aware of the original squad when looking through old files and was tasked with restarting the program. Amanda is nicknamed “The Wall” due to her unwillingness to compromise with anyone and her size.
Movie Amanda Waller
Viola Davis is reported as playing the character, though that remains unconfirmed by the studio at this point. She was previously played by Angela Bassett in the 2011 film
(Photo Credit: Brian To/WENN.com)
Since his debut, Flag has been tied to the Suicide Squad as its de facto leader. The team's original incarnation only appeared in a handful of issues in DC's “The Brave and The Bold” originally. However, just before the resurgence of the squad, Flag was a member of the Forgotten Heroes who helped Superman take down Vandal Savage. Flag was last seen in the third volume of the Suicide Squad and has yet to appear in the “New 52” version.
Movie Rick Flag
Tom Hardy is set to play Flag in the upcoming film, which marks the second member of the Suicide Squad he will have played on the big screen having previously appeared as Bane in
The Dark Knight Rises. This marks Flag's debut on the big screen, though he was played by Ted Whittall on “Smallville.”
(Photo Credit: Anthony Stanley/WENN.com)
Deadshot has long been known as a seminal member of the Suicide Squad, but he was active in the pages of DC Comics for decades before joining the team. Created by David Vern Reed and Lew Sayre Schwartz, his first appearance was in "Batman" #59, in which he acts as a masked vigilante whose schtick was never missing his targets. He feuds with Batman and is later arrested for trying to kill the dark knight. Almost 30 years later Deadshot would reemerge as the mercenary with the token costume we know him as now.
Deadshot Suicide Squad
Deadshot has been a member of the Suicide Squad since it was retooled and he has done a number of heinous things in pursuit of his freedom, including killing sitting senators. Deadshot has also taken part in other teams such as the Killer Elite and Secret Six.
Will Smith will play Deadshot in the upcoming film, an interesting choice given Smith's family friendly filmography and Lawton's stone cold killer persona. In addition, given Deadshot's history as a Batman villain, we're curious to see if Smith's Floyd Lawton will resent Batman like he does in the source material.
(Photo Credit: Michael Carpenter/WENN.com)
A man who needs no introduction, Batman's nemesis has been a part of a few sinister teams in his 70-year history, including The Club of Villains and the Injustice League, but he has never been a member of the Suicide Squad in the source material.
In the film, The Joker will be played by Jared Leto, making him the fourth person to play him on the big screen after Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, and Heath Ledger. Previous reports on Ben Affleck's Batman have revealed he will have been the Caped Crusader for a number of years before the events of the upcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which means he's no doubt gone toe-to-toe with The Joker countless times before. It will be interesting to see Leto's portrayal given the lengthy history that will be implied between his and Affleck's characters.
(Photo Credit: Alberto Reyes/WENN.com)
Harley Quinn Origin
Quinn made her DCU debut in "Batman: The Animated Series" in the early '90s as an original character but was brought into the fold of the actual DC Universe with the comic book “Mad Love,” detailing her relationship with The Joker. Like Mr. J, Quinn was never a member of the Suicide Squad until.....
Harley Quinn Suicide Squad
..DC rebooted with The New 52 and Quinn was one of the primary members of the team. Not only was she given a spot on the team, but a brand new costume was created for the character using the same color pattern albeit with a little less fabric.
Movie Harley Quinn
Margot Robbie of "The Wolf of Wall Street" will play Quinn in the feature film, which marks the character's debut for a feature film (though she was previously played by Mia Sara on the short-lived CW series “Birds of Prey”). Quinn and Joker's relationship is one of the most... peculiar in the realm of the DCU, so it will be interesting to see how its captured for the film.
(Photo Credit: Dennis Van Tine/Future Image/WENN.com)
Captain Boomerang Origin
George "Digger" Harkness first appeared in the pages of The Flash in 1960, in which he was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino. A low level thief, whose boomerang schtick managed to cause a lot of trouble in the world, Harkness was previously a member of “The Rogues” before jumping to the ranks of the Suicide Squad and sometimes after.
Captain Boomerang Suicide Squad
When John Ostrander retooled the Squad, Harkness was one of the first “recruits” added to the roster. A tactician, though a different breed from Deadshot, Harkness has proven useful to the squad throughout the years. At one point, Harkness was captured by Glorious Godfrey who plans to execute him on television, though Harkness reveals he will expose the Suicide Squad unless they save him, which they do.
Movie Captain Boomerang
Jai Courtney is set to play Harkness in the film, making him the second person to play the character after Nick Tarabay on “Arrow.” Like Deadshot, it will be interesting to see how much of the character's history is alluded to in the film given his association with The Rogues and The Flash, who will be played by Ezra Miller on the big screen but not until 2018.
(Photo Credit: Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.com)
In a classic case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, artist June Moon was possessed by the magically-powered Enchantress in the pages of "Strange Adventures" #187. June and The Enchantress are two sides of the same coin with The Enchantress being the “evil side.” The character tows the line between good and evil, sometimes taking on both roles, but June Moon is always trying to overpower her darkness.
Enchantress Suicide Squad
June is recruited to the Suicide Squad with the promise they can teach her to control her dark side and use her magical abilities for the greater good. She worked with the squad from a number of years but left its ranks after having The Enchantress ripped from her body.
Model and actress Cara Delevingne will play the character on the big screen, which is interesting given WB's pseudo competition with Marvel as it will introduce magic into the DCCU and a character named the Enchantress (a name used by one of Thor's nemeses in the Marvel Universe).
(Photo Credit: WENN.com)
Former president and sworn enemy of Superman, Lex Luthor has been a member of lead countless villain teams in the DCU including the Superman Revenge Squad, Injustice Gang, Secret Six, and even recently the actual Justice League. You might be wondering why he's on this list despite not being a member of the Suicide Squad, which leads us to.....
Movie Lex Luthor
Jesse Eisenberg will play Lex Luthor in the upcoming
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and it has been widely reported the studio is negotiating with him to make an appearance in Suicide Squad. In what capacity will he appear though? Will Luthor be arrested at the end of “Dawn of Justice” and decline a spot on Task Force X? Or will he be sitting in the Oval Office and start up the Squad himself? Time will tell.
(Photo Credit: Daniel Deme/WENN.com)
Though these characters have been confirmed to appear in the film (save Luthor), there are countless other members from the Suicide Squad's history that may or may not appear in the film including: Atom Smasher, Bane, Black Adam, Black Orchid, Captain Cold, Cluemaster, Copperhead, Count Vertigo, Doctor Light, Killer Frost, Mirror Master, Multiplex, Penguin, Plastique, Poison Ivy, and Solomon Grundy, among many others.