For Part 1, click here.
Almost three years ago, the world was blessed/cursed (decide for yourself) with Zack Snyder’s reboot of the Superman franchise: Man of Steel. Man of Steel proved to be… Uh… Let’s succumb to massive understatement and say it was divisive. Some people (myself included) really liked it. Others think it was the worst thing to happen to the character since The Quest for Peace, a movie so atrocious it single-handedly crippled Christopher Reeve’s career.
Despite the mixed reaction, Man of Steel made enough money to get a sequel greenlit, which was originally announced as being another Superman movie, but was eventually revealed during Comic-Con as being both a Batman and Superman movie. This was huge news. Even people who have never entered a comic book store can tell you the basic plot points of Superman and Batman’s origin stories. Shit, even people in North Korea can tell you that the two characters were both created by Kim il-Sung as satires of Western imperialism so subtle that our backwards capitalist lizard-brains have yet to notice them as being anything other than cool characters who dress funny. This movie was going to make BANK, regardless of whether it was actually good or not. And now, in 2016, here we are, almost one month after the movie’s release. And boy, was it ever…. Well, it was something.
Now, I’ve seen Batman v Superman: World’s Finest (See Warner Bros.? That’s a GOOD title. And not much sillier than Dawn of Justice, either!) multiple times, and I’ve given myself some time to process my feelings on the film. I know that everybody who didn’t love the movie is kinda sick about hearing about it at this point, but oh well.
SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT
“Why Kenny” you may be asking, “What’s up with this horrid new background colour?”
My response: I don’t fucking know, why don’t you ask WordPress? They’re the ones who changed it without consulting me, and won’t let me change it without upgrading to WordPress Premium!
I spent two hours raging at the hand that feeds, even writing a couple snippy tweets to post @Wordpress when I could’ve been writing this post or catching up on one of the many shows that I’m behind on (Follow me on Twitter here, please and thank you!!!).
Ah well, such is life. Part 1 (Where I talked about the ever-ubiquitous characters of El Diablo, Slipknot and Katana) can be found here if you missed that. For now, let’s just get on with it.
First appearance: The Brave and the Bold #25 (1959)
Created by: Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru
Portrayed by: Joel Kinnaman (The Killing, RoboCop, Run All Night) (Fun fact: It was originally gonna be Tom Hardy, but he dropped out due to his commitment to The Revenant)
Other portrayals: Adam Baldwin (Justice League Unlimited, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate) Ted Whittall (Smallville) Lex Lang (Justice League: The New Frontier)
There are a grand total of three Rick Flags in the DC Comic Universe, and as far as I know, it hasn’t been specified which one appears in Suicide Squad, exactly, but it’s a pretty safe assumption that the Rick Flag appearing into this movie is the second one, Rick Flag, Jr.
Flag’s dad, the original Ricky F, was the leader of an elite squadron of soldiers named the Suicide Squadron (No real relation). He married Sharon Race, and had a kid who, in a shocking turn of events, was also named Rick Flag. Little Ricky’s presumed happiness was short-lived when his mom was killed saving him from oncoming traffic, and his dad sacrificed himself to save an entire town from annihilation. Flag then devoted himself to the military, and was eventually recruited into the Suicide Squad.
And that’s the story of Rick Flag….. Or is it?
See, there’s a chance that Flag’s real name is actually Anthony Miller, and that he was tortured by General Wade Eiling (Another DC supervillain) and brainwashed into thinking that he’s the son of Rick Flag. So, yeah, intrigue!
Flag doesn’t have any superpowers, but he is in peak physical condition, and is a master soldier, pilot and has terrific leadership skills, being the field leader for the Suicide Squad until his character was phased out in recent years, replaced by Deadshot. He is not without his flaws, though, as he has a history of mental instability, even leading an entire Suicide Squad to their deaths during a poorly thought out mission. He doesn’t appear to be the field leader of this iteration of the Squad, due to him being both A) a lesser-known character in the comics nowadays and b) not Will Smith.
First appearance: Strange Adventures #187 (April 1966)
Created by: Bob Haney, Howard Purcell
Portrayed by: Cara Delevingne (Paper Towns)
Other portrayals: N/A (Appeared sans lines in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox)
Freelance artist June Moone was visiting a creepy old castle when she wandered into a place that should’ve been left well alone, where a strange being granted her magic powers. Taking hints from Shazam, the only way that she can summon her power is by saying the word “Enchantress”, upon which an unknown, malevolent entity known only as Enchantress takes control of her. While June Moon is a sweet, innocent human being, Enchantress is cruel and ruthless, taking joy in spreading fear and chaos throughout the world. After a couple stints as a hero, her amoral, power-hungry nature got her in a conflict with Supergirl, and she was portrayed as either a villain or, at best, a jerk anti-hero.
While Enchantress was a member of the Squad for a time, I don’t know if she’ll actually be part of the team in the movie, since she only appears with the other Squaddies in the one poster, and not at all during the trailer. We’ll see, I gue-OH MY GOD!!!!!
Waylon Jones/Killer Croc
First appearance: Batman #357 (March 1983)
Created by: Gerry Conway and Gene Colan
Portrayed by: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (The Bourne Identity, Lost, Game of Thrones)
Other portrayals: Aron Kincaid (Batman: The Animated Series) Brooks Gardner (The New Batman Adventures) Ron Motherfucking Perlman (The Batman), Stephen Root (Batman: The Brave and the Bold), Wade Williams (Beware the Batman), Fred Tatasciore (Son of Batman), John DiMaggio (Batman Unlimited:Animal Instincts), Steven Blum (Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City), Khary Payton (Batman: Arkham Origins)
Waylon Jones was a poor orphan from the slums of Tampa, Florida (Although he has occasionally been portrayed as being a Louisiana Cajun), so his upbringing would’ve been shitty enough even when you discount the fact that he was born with some sort of atavistic disorder that gave him a slightly reptilian appearance and personality. He moved in with his shithead aunt to Gotham City, which is a very slight step up from Tampa, I suppose.
His aunt bullied and abused him as a teen, so much so that he ended up murdering her, and turned to a life of crime. Repeated run-ins with Batman and multiple stays in the hellhole that is Arkham Asylum turned him into a hardened murderer. In addition to that loveliness, his atavism progressed to the point where he has crossed the line from “Human being that looks kinda scaly to- AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!
I’m so relevant.
Anyways, besides his appearance, another thing that changed was OH MY FUCKING GOD TROY TULOWITZKI IS A TORONTO BLUE JAY?!?!?! WHAT FUCKING PLANET AM I LIVING ON!?!?!?!
Ahem. Sorry. Sports stuff.
Anyways, Jones’ low intelligence and tendency for primitive behaviors manifested itself into sociopathy and a taste for human flesh. I challenge Warner Bros. to make THAT PG-13.
Next Time: Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and Amanda Waller!!!
During this year’s Comic-Con International presentations in San Diego, the world was set on fire by four different superhero movie trailers, one of which was released officially after the presentation, another of which was released officially after the trailer leaked, and the latter two, of which we only have blurry, shitty leaks to tide us over.
Considering the fact that the X-Men are a well known property, Deadpool has infected every facet of the internet and babies come into this world already knowing the origin stories of Batman and Superman, the comparative underdog, in terms of audience recognition, is the David Ayer-directed Suicide Squad, a movie about a group of supervillains named Task Force X who are recruited by a shady figure named Amanda Waller to do the government’s dirty work. That way, if they succeed, they get lessened jail sentences, but if they fail.. Well A) they’re probably already dead, and B) the government claims total innocence, as, you know, people just assume that the bad guys went on a rampage again, and the government remains blameless.
You’ll notice that I said “bad guys”, and not “charming anti-heroes”. This isn’t Guardians of the Galaxy. These people are psychopaths, murderers and all-around genuinely evil. It’s just that the guys they go up against are even worse.
For proof of the fact that I’m not exaggerating that last point…
You will never hear the Bee Gees the same way ever again. You’re welcome.
The problem, in terms of mass appeal, anyways, is that a lot of these characters aren’t exactly superstars. In fact, some of them couldn’t really be considered Z-list. they’re that low on the totem pole.
Thankfully, for those of you who don’t have extensive comic book knowledge and haven’t gone ahead and Googled them yet, I have decided to do a quick three-part 101 on the members of the Suicide Squad, because content pays the damn bills (I wish), and I actually am a pretty big fan of some of these characters, at least. While I highly doubt that all of these backstories will be exactly the same in the movie, at the very least, this will provide a brief background of the characters.
With that said, let’s get the three most obscure of these guys out of the way first. Who we got here? King Shark? Black Spider? Catma-WHO THE FUCK IS THIS???
First appearance: Fury of Firestorm #28 (October 1984)
Created by: Joey Cavalieri, Gerry Conway, Rafael Kayanan
Portrayed by: Adam Beach (Smoke Signals, Flags of Our Fathers, Arctic Air)
Other portrayals: N/A
Oy gevalt. What the fuck am I supposed to say about this guy other than he shares a name with a mediocre metal band that’s full of assholes (Look up their treatment of Jay Weinberg and Alessandro Venturella) and that he’s probably going to be the first one to die?
Okay, I guess I can just parrot the Wikipedia page.
Christopher Weiss was a chemist who used his talent with chemicals to develop trick ropes. He then became an assassin, and eventual member of the Suicide Squad, who used “trick ropes”, like the fourth-rate Hawkeye clone he is.
I do like that Adam Beach is playing him though, because A) he’s a fine actor despite Joe Dirt and B) It’s absolutely a good thing to have First Nations representation in a big Hollywood movie that isn’t caricaturized, or played by Johnny Depp.
First appearance: The Brave and the Bold #200 (July 1983)
Created by: Mike W. Parr and Jim Aparo
Portrayed by: Karen Fukuhara (First film role)
Other portrayals: Vyvan Pham (Batman: The Brave and the Bold), Sumalee Montano (Beware the Batman), Rila Fukushima (Arrow)
Katana is actually probably the only one of these characters who could actually be considered a good person. In fact, she wasn’t actually affiliated with the Suicide Squad in the comics, although she was part of the Amanda-Waller-led Justice League of America as a counter to Wonder Woman.
Anyways, Katana was born in Japan (Shocker, I know), and was an average Japanese girl, besides the fact that her parents made her get proficient in martial arts, because God forbid a girl learn self-defense of her own volition. Two brothers, Maseo and Takeo Yamashiro, both professed their love for her, but, though she loved them both, she chose Maseo. While Tatsu and Maseo lived on happily, Takeo went through a downward spiral, joining the Yakuza and rising through the ranks, eventually receiving a pair of twin katana, with the ability to capture the soul of every being it kills and communicate with that soul.
One day, Takeo went to Maseo and Tatsu’s place and challenged his brother to a duel for Tatsu’s affections (Because DC Comics apparently thinks that Japan functions like a bad anime). In the ensuing battle, Tatsu defeated Takeo, but not before Takeo killed Maseo with the magic sword, and the happy couple’s house was burnt down, killing their twins, Reiko and Yuki. With nothing left for her in Japan, she ventures off, determined to use her lethal talents to fight for justice, along with Takeo’s magical sword, which is now possessed by the soul of her dead husband.
El Diablo/Chato Santana
First appearance: El Diablo vol. 3 #1
Created by: Jai Nitz, Phil Hester, Ande Parks
Portrayed by: Jay Hernandez (Crazy/Beautiful, Hostel, World Trade Center)
Other portrayals: N/A
So obscure, Jesus Christ.
Anyways, Chato Santana is an ex-criminal who possesses the power of pyrokinesis, that is, manipulation of fire. One day, when trying to collect on a debt owed to him by some gangbangers, Santana burnt down the scumbags’ apartment building, killing everybody inside. Upon learning of the many innocents who lost their lives, Santana quietly turned himself in to the police.
On Death Row, El Diablo (Literally “The Devil” in Spanish, for all one of you who didn’t know that before) was spirited away by Amanda Waller, where she tortured him to ensure total loyalty, and enlisted him in the Suicide Squad. You’ll find this to be a recurring theme among these characters, by the way.
Next time: The not-so secret origins of Rick Flag, Enchantress and Killer Croc!!! OH, THANK GOD, THEY’RE ONLY SEMI-OBSCURE!!!