For Part 1, click here.
Wow, when I say “I’m not promising anything.” I really mean that I’m not promising anything, huh?
Anyway, in between studying, contemplating suicide and occasionally sleeping, I was somehow able to workshop the next installment of my DeathMatch series, which has been on hiatus since December of last year, when I had the villains from the TarantinoVerse clash that left only one man/woman standing. Character profiles can be found here while the actual fight can be found here.
So, who are the characters who will bloody and slaughter themselves on the whim of a bored teenage nerd? Well, considering that it’s Halloween, and we’re fast approaching 2016, the year in which Marvel and DC will finally duke it out for box office supremacy (Which is great. Don’t give me the “superhero movies are dying” bullshit. If that was gonna happen, it would’ve happened by now), I thought I would have a fight between some of the best villains that both comic companies have to offer. However, to pump up the character count, I’ve decided to make the fight between two seven-person teams of super villains: the Injustice League from DC Comics, and the Dark Avengers from Marvel.
This week and the next will be devoted to profiling the two teams of fighters, who will each have their equivalent on the other team as their adversary. After each fighter has dispatched their opponent (In the most brutal way possible for the written word), I’ll take a look at the results and decide which team would win in a brawl. However, in the two (Weekly???) posts before the actual fight (Including this post) I’ll take some time to profile both teams, so you don’t need to look up information from some of the lesser-known characters…
…Yeah, that’s about it! Let’s get into reviewing the first team of evildoers: the Injustice League from the Forever Evil storyline!
First appearance: Forever Evil #3
Origin: During a particularly confusing time for Earth’s Heroes (Known as the Trinity War) Earth is invaded by a supervillain team from an alternate universe known as the Crime Syndicate, who are essentially evil, sociopathic versions of the Justice League. They immediately get to work, taking out the three weakened Justice League teams by imprisoning them inside Firestorm (Yeah, I dunno) and teaming up with an enormous cabal of villains known only as the Secret Society.
These maniacs take over the world with little-to-no resistance and with no heroes to turn to, humanity must turn to its greatest hope: a group of murderous assholes with saviour complexes led by Lex Luthor!
Lex Luthor (Leader)
First appearance: Action Comics #23 (April 1940)
Villain for: Superman
DeathMatch Opponent: Iron Patriot
Origin: An arrogant, sadistic, small town boy with enormous ambitions, Alexander Luthor moved away from Kansas as an adult to the metropolis of, uh, Metropolis and, thanks to his ruthlessness and powerful intellect, he became one of the most powerful people in the city through his corporation, LexCorp. Lex relentlessly pursued more and more wealth and domination no matter who got in the way through whatever means necessary, whether that be through intimidation, robbery or straight-up murder.
When a certain superpowered Boy Scout arrived in Metropolis, Luthor immediately distrusted him, claiming that if humanity started relying on Superman, we would become weaker overall as a species. Of course, the fact that he’s a cruel jerkass with a Saviour Complex didn’t exactly help. Regardless, one of Comicdom’s most enduring rivalries was formed.
Equipment: Luthor generally doesn’t like to do any of his dirty work, preferring to stay behind the scenes, pulling the strings. However, when he feels like he needs to get personally involved, his weapon of choice is a goddamned War Suit designed by goddamned Darkseid.
Designed for the purpose of taking down You-Know-Who by freaking Darkseid, the War Suit provides Lex with superhuman strength (Enough to hold its own against Superman), flight, and a friggin’ force field, which lets him leave his self-absorbed face unprotected. As if that shit wasn’t enough, the suit can also fire Kryptonite energy beams, produce an ax made of Kryptonite energy, and comes equipped with flamethrowers, because why the hell not?
But wait! There’s even fucking more!
Lex has satellites positioned all around the globe for the purpose of, when necessary, WIPING PEOPLE OFF OF THE FACE OF THE EARTH WITH SPACE LASERS.
Strengths: While he’s not exactly a limber character, Luthor’s Warsuit provides him with enough strength and defense to both take multiple hits and bludgeon any opponents into submission. The fact that he is easily one of the smartest human beings in the DC Universe doesn’t exactly hurt, either. Also Space Lasers.
Weaknesses: As mentioned, while his Warsuit apparently lets him fly, it also impedes his speed. His arrogance and pigheadedness can sometimes get into the way of his success (Such as when he insisted that, even with evidence to the contrary, that Clark Kent wa not Superman, because he scoffed at the notion that Superman would ever want to appear normal). Perhaps most glaringly, his Warsuit is more specifically designed to take down Superman than anything, what with all the kryptonite weapons and such, and could leave him prone to powerful, non-Kryptonian foes.
“We stopped trying to solve our own problems and instead looked up into the sky… staring at those bright colors. That’s why the world is doomed.”
-Lex Luthor, Forever Evil #1
Leonard Snart/Captain Cold
First appearance: Showcase #8 (June 1957)
Villain for: Flash
Deathmatch Opponent: “Spider-Man”
Origin: The unfortunately named Leonard Snart grew up in an abusive household, where his only respite from his father’s drunken beatings was the ice cream truck his grandpa took him to, the only place he felt safe. Eventually running away from home and turning to a life of crime, Snart eventually got put away by the Flash. Looking for a way to counteract Flash’s speed, Snart, a gifted mechanical mind, apparently (Despite being a high school dropout. I dunno) created his iconic (???) cold gun, which does exactly what it sounds like it does.
The newly-christened “Captain Cold” went on to become one of the more prolific, and uncommonly non-murderous, Flash villains, forming an alliance of thieves and Flash villains called the Rogues and becoming, without a doubt, DC’s second or third best-known ice-based villains.
Equipment: Snart’s signature piece of gear is his cold gun. Despite outward appearances, this contraption doesn’t merely shoot ice. That would be silly. Instead, the gun actually slows the atoms of its target to a halt, immobilizing them and causing said target to become incredibly cold. His strange-looking goggles help protect his eyes from the flashes of energy that the gun produces when used.
Strengths: For essentially being a glorified street tough, Snart sure has a pretty good brain on him, having created an extremely advanced piece of weaponry in the Cold Gun, and having full knowledge of how to use it. It’s not just mechanical prowess either, as he has a good tactical mind, and has been a an effective leader of a supervillain group, the Rogues.
Weaknesses: While he is in good physical shape, there really isn’t much to Captain Cold once you get past his powers.
“[You’re] a kid who wasn’t out to hurt anyone. Sure, you’ve done your fair share of armed robbery, grand theft, destruction of property, kidnapping… But you never wanted to start a new ice age or turn people into popsicles.”
-Jake Shell (Snart’s probation officer), Justice League #30
- Slade Wilson/Deathstroke
First appearance: New Teen Titans #2 (December 1980)
Villain for: Teen Titans, Green Arrow, Batman
DeathMatch Opponent: “Hawkeye”
Origins: When Slade Wilson was sixteen years old, he lied about his age and joined the U.S. Army, because as we all know, there is no demographic on this planet more willing to die for their country than teenaged American boys.
Wilson excelled in the army, quickly moving up to the position of Major, and in probably one of the most unlikely meet-cutes known to mankind, met his future wife, Captain Adeline Kane. If you think this love story ends in anything other than tragedy than congratulations! You’ve clearly never read a comic book before!
Within a year, Slade became a master of multiple forms of combat and guerilla warfare, and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Six months after his promotion, he married Adeline, and they later had two kids, Grant and Joey.
Some time later, Wilson volunteered for a medical experiment designed to stimulate his adrenal gland in the hopes of increasing his ability to resist truth serums. Because shit like this never works out as planned, Slade fell into a coma upon completion of the treatment. He wasn’t out for long, though and when he woke up, he found that he could now think nine times faster than the average schmuck, and had developed levels of strength, speed and durability that would put any Olympic athlete to shame, as well as a healing factor and enhanced senses. When the army denied his request for reinstatement (Because apparently, the army is composed of just the most fucking idiotic people), Slade became a world famous safari hunter by day, but also moonlighted as a world-renowned assassin, Deathstroke the Terminator.
When a group of fellow mercenaries decided to get even with Slade, they broke into his mansion and kidnapped Joey. Forced to reveal his double-life as Deathstroke to Adeline, Slade went after the mercenaries and was able to rescue his son. Unfortunately, Joey’s vocal cords were slit in the process, rendering him mute. The combination of having a secret assassin for a husband and having her son’s throat get cut as a result of Slade’s career caused Adeline to lash out at Slade, and she shot him in the head, destroying his right eye. Deciding that maybe this was the best possible time to flee his rageful wife, Slade Wilson devoted himself to assassinating people full-time and has enjoyed increased popularity in DC Comics ever since, debuting as a major villain (And part-time ally) of the Teen Titans, Batman and more recently, Green Arrow (Thanks in big part to the Arrow TV show).
Equipment: As would be beneficial for any mercenary, Deathstroke always has a boatload of weapons on him. More often than not, he carries an assault rifle of some sort on his person, an energy lance that fires concussive energy blasts, and a “super bomb”, which is essentially a flash grenade with bits of kryptonite inside. As you’re assuming right now, yes, this is a weapon meant to take down Superman.
His favourite weapon, though, is his Promethium broadsword. All you really need to know is that it’s essentially a katana made out of one of those bullshit metals that are stronger than titanium (It does bear mentioning that promethium is an element that exists, it’s just used for a completely different reason).
Speaking of which, his armour is made of Nth, a metal from the planet Thanagar, the home of Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Surprisingly lightweight, Nth metal provides Deathstroke with excellent defense as well as augmenting his already astounding physical abilities.
Strengths: Deathstroke is nothing short of a tactical genius, easily on the level of, if not superior to Batman. Even without his superhuman enhancements, Deathstroke would easily rank among the best hand-to-hand in the DC Universe along with (Again) Batman, Nightwing and Lady Shiva.
With his enhancements though, he’s easily the strongest of them all in terms of sheer combat ability. Shit, he’s even agile enough to elude fucking Superman and can see at a goddamned subatomic level. And his healing factor is near-Wolverine level, as his aging is slowed (He’s about eighty, but looks to be in his fifties) and he has had his brains shot out, only to come back to life hours later. That;’s just silly.
Weakness: When in extreme pain, Deathstroke can go into a bloodthirsty rage that makes him stronger, at the expense of his own humanity. Yes, this is what passes for a weakness with this beast of a man.
“I am the thing that keeps you up at night. The evil that haunts every dark corner of your mind. I will never rest. And neither will you.”
-Slade, Teen Titans
First appearance: Green Lantern #7 (August 1961)
Villain for: Green Lantern
DeathMatch Opponent: “Ms. Marvel”
Origins: Anthropologist Thaal Sinestro of the planet Korugar was chosen to be a Green Lantern (Think Space Cop) by the Guardians of the Universe for his honourable conduct and fearlessness in combat. Under his protection, Sector 1417 became one of the safest in the universe, and the Guardians trusted him to train many rookie Lanterns, including Hal Jordan, the successor to his late best friend and brother-in-law, Abin Sur. While the two became fast friends, Jordan was horrified when he learned that Sinestro had imposed a draconian personality cult on his home planet of Korugar. The two had a falling-out that resulted in Sinestro being imprisoned and swearing revenge on Jordan and the Guardians.
To counter the Green Lantern’s Green Power Rings of Willpower, Sinestro had a Yellow Power Ring forged, which drew upon not Willpower, but Fear. Setting out to make life miserable for Jordan, Sinestro eventually formed his own Lantern Corps, the Sinestro Corps.
Equipment: The only piece of equipment that Sinestro really needs is his Yellow Power Ring, which can create whatever Sinestro can imagine, from concussive energy blasts to force fields. It can also help him manipulate and manifest other people’s deepest fears, allow him to phase through solid objects, heal himself, fly, and turn goddamn invisible, because of course it can.
However, the Power Ring’s energy has a limit, and when drained, it requires a recharge, which is done by holding the ring up to a Wellow Power Battery and reciting the Sinestro Corps oath.
Strengths: Dude, did you read what the Power Ring can do?
Even without the Power Ring, Sinestro is a master of manipulating people’s fears, and possesses a genius-level intellect, and an ego to go with it.
Weaknesses: When you get beyond the Power Ring, there isn’t much to Sinestro besides being a super-smart, manipulative egomaniac. That is, is you were to pit him against a well-trained human being, he might give you a hard time (As he does know some basic combat techniques), but he wouldn’t be that much trouble.
“In Blackest day, In Brightest night, beware your fears made into light. Let those who try to stop what’s right burn like his power – Sinestro’s might!”
-Sinestro Corps Oath
First appearance: Superboy #68
Villain for: Superman
DeathMatch Opponent: Ares
Origin: When Lex Luthor decided to create his Pet Clone of Superman, he did so through flexing his Mad Scientist. Abducting a teenager named Bobby, Lex spliced human DNA and DNA from the Man of Steel himself and injected the result into Bobby. The result was a failure (Subbed “Subject B-Zero.” Get it?), and Luthor destroyed the clone, but took samples and tried the experiment again.
When the Crime Syndicate invaded Earth and incapacitated the Justice Leagues, they instigated a global power outage in order to easily take over the planet. Lex Luthor, realizing that he needed somebody comparable to Superman to take back the planet, decided to revive the new Subject B-Zero. Unfortunately, the power cut had caused the machinery taking care of B-Zero to fail, resulting in a very imperfect clone of Superman, aesthetically, mentally and practically. Showing extreme loyalty to Luthor from the start of its life, B-Zero named himself “Bizarro” (He took that name upon not realising that Luthor was insulting him) and dedicated itself to presenting its jerkass daddy.
Strengths: Since Bizarro is a clone of Superman, one would assume that his skillsets are similar to those of the Man of Tomorrow, and one would be right. While he’s not as strong as Superman, he possesses comparable speed, both on land and in flight. Bizarro is invulnerable to every known form of physical force, and he has no need for rest or sustenance.
True to his classic power set, Bizarro also possesses flame breath (As opposed to Superman’s freeze breath) and freeze vision (As opposed to Superman’s heat vision). Seeing as he’s Superman Lite, what could possibly-
Weaknesses: Bizarro is stupid. Like, REALLY stupid. He had barely developed the ability to speak at the end of the Forever Evil arc, and is single-minded in his love and devotion to Lex Luthor. Also, while he can’t perceive pain and can’t be injured, his body can be worn down by consistent pressure, which isn’t good when he is incapable of realizing when he’s getting his ass kicked.
First appearance: The Marvel Family #1 (December 1945)
Villain for: Shazam
DeathMatch Opponent: Sentry
Origin: Teth Adam was born a slave in Kahndaq, an African country located in between Jordan and Egypt. His family nearly exterminated by the tyrannical rulers of Kahndaq, his only relation left was his nephew, Aman. After the two of them escaped from slavery, they found themselves at the Rock of Eternity, where the Wizard Shazam declared Aman to be pure of heart, and therefore worthy of the role of being the Wizard’s Champion. Bestowed with superhuman powers, magical in their origin, Aman shared his power with his uncle, who encouraged him to use his power to destroy the dictators who had caused them unimaginable pain. Aman, on the other hand, just wanted to stop the bloodshed through nonviolent means. Anticipating the failure of this plan, Adam killed his nephew for what he believed to be the Greater Good-
-and went about murdering the dictators and taking control of Kahndaq. After being sealed away by the Wizard, Black Adam remained incapacitated until he was awakened in the present-day.
Strengths: Through the Wizard’s empowerment, Black Adam gained a metric shit-tonne of powers that I’d rather just list in bullet-point form, all things being equal.
- A healing factor
- Photographic memory
- Magic resistance
- Superhuman intellect
- Strategical genius
- Superhuman speed, agility, stamina, reflexes and strength
Weaknesses: Arrogance. Hubris is the downfall of man, yadda yadda yadda.
-Black Adam. Constantly.
First appearance: Aquaman #35 (September 1967)
Villain for: Aquaman
DeathMatch Opponent: “Wolverine”
Origin: Very little is known about the man known as Black Manta except that his father was accidentally killed by Aquaman when Aquaman was trying to avenge HIS father, who had been killed by Black Manta. Small world!
Dedicating himself to avenging his father, Black Manta became an emotionless killing machine, murdering Aquaman’s allies to get to Aquaman. In fact, the only reason he joins the Injustice League is because he wants to kill Ultraman when it looked like Aquaman had died, as he had wanted to kill Aquaman himself (And also, because Ultraman had destroyed his father’s grave in a flood).
Equipment: His suit is engineered so that he retains his abilities underwater. It also helps him acclimate to the atmosphere around him. He also wields twin knives to assist in close-range combat.
Strengths; While he doesn’t have any superhuman abilities, at least in the current canon, Black Manta’s hand-to-hand combat skills are such that he is able to go toe-to-toe with Aquaman. He is also highly intelligent, albeit not a genius.
Weaknesses: Black Manta isn’t anything special when it comes to actual abilities, and while he is intelligent, he can be single-minded and obtuse, focusing only on murdering his nemesis, Aquaman.
“The only thing I want is the death of Aquaman.”
Continued in Part 2…
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…
“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!!!
Last week, likely in response to Marvel’s announcement of the plot details to Captain America 3, Warner Bros. decided to go one further by announcing all of the movies planned for the DC Cinematic universe up to the year 2020, along with some casting details and a couple director announcements. So, was this really a hasty, impulsive announcement that doesn’t really bode well for DC’s ongoing rivalry with Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, or is this a genius publicity move by WB that will get people to forget all about the MCU?
Definitely the former. That doesn’t mean I’m not interested though. So, after getting through the last of my TV reviews until this week’s Legend of Korra episode, I decided to take a quick look at the movie announcements, with each movie accompanied by a short blurb. Let’s do this!
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Release date: March 25, 2016
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Produced by: Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder
Screenplay by: Chris Terrio (Argo)
Story by: David S. Goyer
Cast: Henry Cavill (Superman/Clark Kent), Ben Affleck (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman/Diana Prince) Amy Adams (Lois Lane) Laurence Fishburne (Perry White) Diane Lane (Martha Kent) Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor) Jeremy Irons (Alfred Pennyworth) Holly Hunter (U.S. Senator) Tao Okamoto (Mercy Graves)
Cameos: Jason Momoa (Arthur Curry/Aquaman) Ray Fisher (Cyborg/Victor Stone)
This is the movie that we currently have the most information on, as it’s currently the only movie that’s in production. Really, there isn’t much more to say about it. I still liked Man of Steel more than most and think that the returning cast from that movie could do a great job, I still have faith that Ben Affleck can pull Batman off (Even more so now that the photos of him in the batsuit have been released), and Jesse Eisenberg is still kinda iffy for me. I guess this is where you pull the Heath Ledger card on me, because “You don’t now if he’s gonna be great until you see him.” That’s true enough, I suppose. I guess we’ll just wait and see.
Also, high fucking time that Wonder Woman appears on the big screen. We had a damn Steel movie with Shaquille O’Neal and no Wonder Woman? Bullshit.
Release date: August 5, 2016
Directed by: David Ayer
Screenplay by: Justin Marks
This…. This announcement really threw me off.
I just don’t get it. There was no solo Batman or Superman movie announced, and yet, a Suicide Squad movie?
The only possible reason that I can imagine why this was green-lit is that Warner Bros. saw Marvel and Disney make all the money because of Guardians of the Galaxy and thought “Hey, we can make a movie starring charming criminals who become reluctant heroes!!! Let’s do that!”
Regardless, I’m still pretty pumped about the movie, although I’m kinda pissed off that it doesn’t look like Harley Quinn’s gonna be in it as, morbid sexual attraction aside, I think she’s a great character. But hey, Deadshot’s gonna be there, and even if he’s got a bunch of nobodies behind him, they’re in negotiations to bring in an A-list cast of Will Smith, Ryan Gosling, Tom Hardy and Margot Robbie (Who, just saying, would be a great Harley Quinn). Also, David Ayer is a pretty highly regarded director, having helmed movies like Fury and End of Watch. I dunno, it’s bizarre, but it could pay off.
To be continued…
Okay, so we’re officially four episodes into Gotham, so, going by general television rules of thumb, we should have a pretty good handle on what exactly this show is about. And so far, Gotham has been pretty….. All over the map, to say the least. So far, it’s been two good episodes (The pilot and “Arkham”) and two mediocre episodes (“Selina Kyle” and “The Balloonman”). Since we’re around this TV milestone, I figured I’d use this entry not so much to focus on the two recent episodes, but to underline one strengths, one weakness and one mediocre trait that the show has displayed so far. I’ll still talk about the individual episodes, but… Yeah, I guess you get the idea.
The Tim Burton Batman movies and the Christopher Nolan trilogy both had different ideas on what the look of Gotham City should be. Burton definitely had a ton of creative input in his movies, especially Batman Returns, as his Gotham is appealingly ugly and highly stylised. One could almost say it’s more faithful to the comics, but that would imply that Burton actually read the comics, which he didn’t. Nolan’s Gotham always reminded me of the rust belt, matching the gritty, realistic tone of the movies. Gotham successfully succeeds in combining the best elements of both Gothams to create a city that looks to be straight off the pages of DC Comics. Props to whoever was in charge of that.
Oh boy, oh boy. Holy shit does this show have some problems here.
With the exception of the Nolan movies, which were ultra-modern, and the ultra campy iterations, Batman stories have always had somewhat of a timeless feel to it. The 1989 movie brought a lot of fashion, images and dialects straight from the early-to-mid 20th century, as did the animated series, mixing them with more modern technologies like literally anything in Batman’s utility belt. It may not have made the most sense when you think about it, but hey, it was charming, or at least I found it to be.
While I also really enjoyed the tone of the new movies, and the campy movies had…. Actually they all sucked, but my point is that Gotham tries way too hard to be a balanced mix of all of these styles, which just ends up coming across as stilted and jarring. At times, it wants to be very dark and realistic, but there are other times when the over-the-top villains and cartoonish violence just take me out of it (I’m looking at you, Balloonman. Jesus Christ, wasn’t that a fucking stupid concept?). Black comedy and camp can be put to good use, but that’s not really the case in this show.
I should be the first to admit that I was a little high on the actors in my review of the pilot episode. And I’ve still gotta be honest, I haven’t seen a straight-up bad performance just yet. Robin Lord-Taylor as Penguin is still my favourite performance, even if his arc is really improbable. I really like John Doman in the limited screen time he gets as Carmine Falcone, as is Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth. I also really like Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue, even if McKenzie can sometimes be overly stoic for my taste. Jada Pinkett-Smith as Fish Mooney and Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma are also fine, even if neither has done much, and the showrunners can’t seem to help drilling the fact that Nygma becomes the Riddler into our brains ever so much.
A lot of the characters just seem to be there for the sake of being there, though. Montoya, Allen and Barbara are all boring as hell. I have yet to feel a twinge of interest towards any of them. And, while they aren’t bad actors per se, I would argue that they’re better than most other child actors out there, David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova as Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, respectively, jus don’t have interesting enough stories for me to really get invested.
That’s all for now. Hopefully the show picks up, because at the rate it’s going, it’ll fall off of my review list after this season. This last episode was better than the two before it though, so maybe that’s a sign it’s trending in the right direction? I sure hope so.
“The Balloonman”: 2.5/5
The season so far: 6.5/10