As the movie edges closer to production, the first real details about James Gunn‘s planned The Suicide Squad for DC Comics have begun to trickle out this week — among them, six characters who will reportedly make up the Squad for a mission.
The film will apparently be a kind of soft reboot of the franchise, with few returning characters and only a tenuous connection (if any) to the story of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, which was a critical dud but a financial success. With Ayer in demand (he is currently working with Will Smith on a sequel to Bright, his Netflix fantasy movie) and the studio itching for a change, Warner Bros. picked up Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn after he was let go at Marvel amid a controversy about offensive tweets from 10 years ago.
Keep in mind, this lineup could change by the time the movie goes into production later this year. Any tweaks or rewrites could significantly alter the roster and nothing is final at this time.
Floyd Lawton is a gun for hire who never misses.
Played by Will Smith in Suicide Squad, the character is one of the antiheroes/villains most commonly associated with the Suicide Squad in the comics. He has also had his own series before, which largely dealt with the struggle he has between his “real” life as a father who feels like a failure to his family, and the work life that pays for that lifestyle while also making him that failure.
The character is rumored to be the de facto field leader of the team in the second film, and will reportedly be played by Idris Elba.
The ex-girlfriend of The Joker, Harley Quinn is one of DC’s best-selling female characters in the comics, and was so popular in the Suicide Squad movie that Margot Robbie will have a fairly minimal role in the follow-up, after breaking away to do a Birds of Prey movie that seemingly centers around her almost entirely.
Set photos from Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn have depicted the character with altered tattoos to remove traces of the Joker’s permanence in her life, and shown her carrying boxes in that distinctly “I’m moving out in a hurry” way you see in movies and TV so often.
Once employed as an actual rat catcher in Gotham City, Otis Flannegan found that he could actually control rats, and began using the bizarre ability to stage a variety of crimes.
Of course, as with any good supervillain, Flannegan would eventually try taking over the city with an army of rats. That didn’t work, but going to jail doesn’t put that much of a damper on the lifestyle of a person who is used to living in dank, damp environments and who can use the rats in and around the prison to ferry messages and goods in and out.
This might make the (reportedly gender-swapped) Ratcatcher a fairly powerful figure within the prison, because in the context of the movie she could probably be a person who can get or do things others under lockdown cannot.
In another twist that might suit the needs of a Suicide Squad story, a more recent take on Ratcatcher at least somewhat reformed the character. Living in a basement below a superhero’s lair, Ratcatcher forced his minions to attack and disfigure a supervillain who was trying to kill Mother Panic.
Abner Krill’s powers are all technological in nature: he has a costume that features a polka-dot pattern. The dots were each wired from inside he suit, and once removed could be used as weapons or for other tactical reasons. Many of them would expand or enlarge when deployed.
Per the DC Wiki:
Gimmicked dots used by the Polka-Dot Man included:
- Flying Buzzsaw Dot, a red polka dot designed as a projectile. The dot had a rotating interior mechanism upon which a circular saw blade was mounted.
- Flying Saucer Dot, a yellow polka dot which expanded rapidly into a flat, man-sized glider. It was steered by a series of buttons or switches on the Polka-Dot Man’s belt.
- Sun Dot, a gold polka dot designed as a projectile. It was gimmicked to resemble a model of the sun and emitted a blinding, disorienting light similar to a flare.
- Bubble Dot, a white polka dot which expanded into a translucent capsule capable of flight. Like the Flying Saucer Dot, it was steered by a belt apparatus.
- Fist Dots were red, yellow, and orange polka dots designed as projectiles. They were thrown at once and gimmicked to resemble human fists. When bounced off opponents at close range and in concert, these dots could produce concussive effects.
- Hole Dot, a black polka dot simply referred to as a “hole” by the Polka-Dot Man. It opened up what appeared to be a teleportation transport system and was presumably developed with assistance from Immortus.
King Shark, who is literally just a giant shark-man in the same vein as Killer Croc, who appeared in the first movie, has already had a pair of live-action near-misses with the Suicide Squad.
According to images recently made public by concept artist Peter Mitchell Rubin, the aquatic King Shark was nearly part of the film. The movie version would have been based on the more recent reimagining of the character, in which he looked more like a hammerhead shark than a great white, the appearance he takes on in the DC TV universe.
In “King Shark,” the 2016 episode of The Flash, Amanda Waller had King Shark in custody and wanted to use him for her Suicide Squad program. Ultimately, it did not work, because he got out of their control and ended up battling The Flash.
While he didn’t get to see action in the Suicide Squad in the movies or on The Flash, King Shark has been a member of the Squad (and the Secret Six) during his time in the DC Comics Universe, meaning that Waller’s nefarious plans to weaponize him weren’t entirely unprecedented.
Reportedly, Gunn is looking at Dave Bautista to play Peacemaker, a soldier who goes to extreme measures to — what else — make peace. The character is a somewhat deep DC Comics cut, coming from the Charlton publishing line that included Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, the Question, and Huntress.
Those characters were used as the archetypes for Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen, with Peacemaker being the basis for the Comedian.
To bring it all full circle, one of the most recent prominent appearances for Peacemaker in a recent comic was the 2014 Multiversity issue “Pax Americana” by Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, and Nathan Fairbairn, in which the soldier was hired to assassinate the President in a complex scheme to bring about a peaceful era. That comic was considered to be a spiritual successor of Watchmen, trading the nine-panel grid formula for eight panels per page, and telling a story that was anything but linear.
Peacemaker might fill the role of a Captain Boomerang or Rick Flagg character, either being a wild card or someone dedicated to authority, but still with a few screws loose. The latter is something that has been played with a lot in the DC Universe since Watchmen changed the way creators and the audience viewed the Charlton characters.
A version of the character who wore basically no costume and struggled to deal with civilian life outside of a “war” on crime appeared during the most recent volume of Blue Beetle.