So it’s finally come to this. The last four members of the Suicide Squad (Or, as it’s officially known, Task Force X), three of whom are probably going to be the main focus of the movie (Because shoving more than three origin stories into one movie might be kinda impossible).
George Harkness/Captain Boomerang
First appearance: Flash #117 (December 1960)
Created by: John Broome, Carmine Infantino
Portrayed by: Jai Courtney (Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Unbroken, Jack Reacher)
Other portrayals: Donal Gibson (DC Animated Universe), John DiMaggio (Batman: The Brave and the Bold), Nick Tarabay (Arrow), James Patrick Stewart (Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox), Greg Ellis (Batman: Assault on Arkham)
Trying to find bright spots in Jai Courtney’s filmography is… Well, it’s something.
Anyways, George “Digger” Harkness was born in Kurrumburra, Australia, the illegitimate son of an American toymaker and an Australian woman. Harkness’ life in the wilds of small-town Australia was complete and utter shit, as he was growing up poor, and under the thumb of his abusive stepfather. Harkness turned to crime, committing robberies with the help of his trusty boomerang, a traditional Australian weapon that he had grown extremely proficient with, because what the fuck else are you supposed to do when you’re a teenager growing up in the Australian Bush?
When a robbery goes horribly wrong, his stepfather kicks him out of the house, so his mom sends him to America to start over… And when he gets to the States, he immediately begins a career as a criminal, coming into conflict with the Rogues, a group of supervillains dedicated to taking down the Flash, and eventually the Suicide Squad.
While he is likely the least completely in sane of most iterations of the Squad, he shouldn’t be mistaken for a good person. He has little to no regard for human life (At one point leading his teammate, Mindboggler, to her death, solely because of petty differences), is just about completely amoral, and, if that wasn’t enough, he’s fond of sexual harassment, and is also overtly racist, making him one “That’s not a knife, this is a knife!” away from being the evilest possible version of Crocodile Dundee.
Hopefully, Jai Courtney is a better actor when he’s using his natural Australian dialect. I mean, he’s a Hollywood actor, there must be talent and charisma buried somewhere under the mountainous lack of appeal, right?
I’m being awfully critical for someone who doesn’t have the courage to use his real name online, aren’t I? I dunno, he’s probably a super nice guy.
First appearance: Batman #59 (June 1950)
Created by: David Vern Reed, Lew Sayre Schwartz
Portrayed by: Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of– Oh, fuck this, if you don’t know who Will Smith is, why are you even here?)
Other portrayals: Michael Rosenbaum (DC Animated Universe), Tom Kenny (Batman: The Brave and the Bold), Bradley Stryker (Smallvile), Michael Rowe (Arrow), Jim Meskimen (Batman: Gotham Knight), Neal McDonough (Batman: Assault on Arkham), Chris Cox (Batman: Arkham City, Batman: Arkham Knight)
Unlike the majority of the Squaddies, Floyd Lawton had a fairly privileged upbringing, growing up with insanely wealthy parents and an older brother, Edward, whom he adored. While his parents also adored Edward, they neglected Floyd, treating him poorly, because you can’t have a member of the suicide squad without family issues, apparently. His dad, being a neglectful asshole, was cheating on his mom, so Mrs. Lawton, giving vindictiveness a whole new ordered her sons to murder their dad. .While Floyd was appalled, and attempted to warn Mr. Lawton, Eddie was, disturbingly enough, all for it, locking Floyd in the bathroom and going off to do the deed. By the time Floyd broke out of the room and grabbed his rifle, Eddie had already paralyzed his dad from the waist down. In the ensuing fit of rage, Floyd shot Eddie in the face. Psychologically disturbed by this incident (Duh), Floyd trained as a marksman, and became a master assassin, becoming a semi-frequent opponent of Batman’s, and a staple of the Suicide Squad.
While not as batshit insane or downright monstrous as the others, Deadshot is still fairly crazy, having an extremely short fuse, an indifference to the lives of the people he harms, and an intense hatred of Batman solely for being one of the few people to make him miss a shot.
He also has an intense death wish, and it is suggested that the sole reason that he is a member of the Squad is because he secretly hopes that he will die as a result of a mission. And who says DC is dark?
Lastly, if you’re one of those people who has an issue with Will Smith playing a character that is traditionally Caucasian, you need to seriously consider removing yourself from the gene pool for the good of humanity.
Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn
First appearance: “Joker’s Favour” (Batman: The Animated Series)
Created by: Paul Dini, Bruce Timm
Portrayed by: Margot Robbie (Pan Am, The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus)
Other portrayals: Mia Sara (Birds of Prey), Hynden Walch (The Batman, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Batman: Assault on Arkham) Meghan Strange (Batman: The Brave and the Bold), Tara Strong (Arrow, Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles, Batman: Arkham City, Batman: Arkham Origins, Batman: Arkham Knight, Injustice: Gods Among Us), Arleen Sorkin (DC Animated Universe, Batman: Arkham Asylum)
The most effective poster girl for Hybristophilia since Bonnie Parker, Harley Quinn is a special case in that she didn’t actually debut in the comics. In fact, she debuted on the fantastic cartoon from the Nineties as Joker’s bubbly sidekick, and skyrocketed to prominence since then, for, uh, reasons.
Born Harleen Quinzel in the city of Brooklyn (Her accent is as much a part of her character as insanity and a black-and-red colour motif, Harley excelled in her education, getting a job as a psychologist at Arkham Asylum in Gotham City, which is a place where most Batman villains go in between prison breaks. Why anybody would willingly move to Gotham City in the first place is belong me, but whatever.
Fascinated with psychopaths, she was naturally drawn to the biggest psycho of them all, the Joker. Convinced that he had been misdiagnosed by the other shrinks, Harley continually visited him, trying to get inside his brain and learn what makes him tick.
While Dr. Quinzel was smart, she wasn’t as smart as the Joker. Manipulating her with a couple of well-placed sob stories, she eventually felt so sorry for him that she fell hopelessly in love with him.
Believing that they were meant to be together, Quinzel adopted a jester-like persona and helped bust Joker out of prison. Overjoyed, the Joker took her to Ace Chemicals, the place where he became the Joker, and shoved her into one of the same vats of unnamed chemicals that he fell into. The chemicals have a similar effect on her as well, colouring her hair, bleaching her skin, and driving her completely bananas. Becoming Joker’s sidekick, the reborn Quinzel adopted the moniker of Harley Quinn, and took her place by Joker’s side.
Becoming Joker’s on-and-off girlfriend and sidekick, the newly christened Harley Quinn’s life became a cycle of ultraviolence and abuse, happily plotting and murdering with her “Puddin'” or “Mistah J” one day, while getting mentally abused and smacked around by him the next, even getting shoved out of a building by her homicidal boy toy at one point for trying to kill Batman without him.
Lately though, she’s established a separate identity from Mistah J, leaving him and becoming a little more morally ambiguous than straight-up evil since joining the Suicide Squad, though she’s still prone to the occasional murder spree.
Fun fact: Harley Quinn’s big-screen debut was originally supposed to come in the sequel to the infamous Batman & Robin, Batman Triumphant. She was going to be the co-villain along with Scarecrow. This version of the character was written as being the daughter of Jack Nicholson’s Joker from Tim Burton’s Batman, who would’ve had cameos in Batman’s flashbacks (As a result of Scarecrow’s neurotoxin). After Batman & Robin ruined the franchise (At least until Batman Begins), Triumphant was cancelled.
That’s not all though: Do you know who was rumoured to be playing such a psychologically complex character?
First appearance: Legends #1 (November 1986)
Created by: John Ostrander, Len Wein, John Byrne
Portrayed by: Viola Davis (Doubt, The Help, How to Get Away With Murder)
Other portrayals: C.C.H. Pounder (DC Animated Universe, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Batman: Assault on Arkham, Batman: Arkham Origins), Sheryl Lee Ralph (Young Justice), Pam Grier (Smallville), Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Arrow), Penny Johnson Jerald (Justice League: Gods of Monsters), Angela Bassett (Green Lantern)
If this series of mine has taught you one thing, it’s that, aside from Katana and Rick Flag, the Suicide Squad are awful people. Murderers, psychopaths, even a cannibal that looks like a giant crocodile. And yet, the worst person out of them all may be their leader, a non-superpowered, physically unthreatening civilian named Amanda Waller.
Born in Chicago, Waller married young and had a large family with her husband. All was well until their son, a basketball prodigy, was murdered in a mugging, and their daughter was raped and killed in an alleyway on her way home from church. Her husband set out to find the rapist, and both men were killed in the process. Understandably hardened by this experience , Waller devoted herself to her studies, earning a political science degree and earning a job in politics. Working her way to the highest levels of the US government thanks to her ruthlessness and cruelty, Waller discovered the files of the very first Suicide Squad (The one that Rick Flag’s dad was a part of) and convinced the president to re-open the program. Waller essentially took control of Belle Reve Prison, and spirited away the more dangerous supervillains for use in the program. Fixing them with remote-controlled detonation devices to prevent rebellion, she forced the Squaddies to carry out black ops missions for the US government, assassinations and the sort, and in return, they would earn reduced sentences.
Will this origin be the same in the movie? Almost certainly not, but hey, this isn’t an exact science, this is just meant as kind of a background for the characters.
Speaking of them, there’s still a few actors (Scott Eastwood and Common among them) whose characters haven’t been announced, and at that time, I’ll do another profile for their characters, but until then,uh, (Insert appropriate quote from the trailer).
To be continued… Probably…