Even if the Suicide Movie sucks…
…it’s worth checking out the comic book universe on which David Ayer’s lackluster movie is based. It’s the perfect setup: a band of villains forced to reluctantly fight for good.
*PHILOSOPHICAL EXTRAPOLATION ALERT*
This is what’s ultimately amazing about Suicide Squad or any other villain-centered story, it forces us to think about those that we would normally write off as the bad guys. They’re not just bad guys. They’re three-dimensional human beings with their own wants, desires, and needs. Heck, even the killing machine Doomsday wasn’t always a mindless destructive force and the intergalactic dictator Darkseid has been presented in sympathetic moments. This is an absolutely essential function of comic books and of literature in general. To promote empathy even with those that one is least likely to empathize with. Well, especially with those that one is least likely to empathize with.
In learning to sympathize and empathize with the villains of comic books, we learn to sympathize and empathize with the darkest parts of our own society. From petty thieves to murderers and terrorists, and worse, it’s important to understand these are all human beings too. Am I demanding that we forgive them? No, not necessarily. But it’s important to understand where they come from and to give them the dignity of existing beyond their darkest moments.
The Killer Croc was born with genetic disorder that made him appear hideous to others. The disease also greatly diminished his cognitive capacities, making him more easily anger and more prone to aggression. Worse, he came from an upbringing of abuse, neglect, and social ostracism. The Killer Croc doesn’t want to be a rampaging monster, but he finds himself caught in a cycle of what he is capable of doing and how society treats him when he fails.
In our world, there are those who need help, who need the benefit-of-the doubt, who find themselves caught in a cycle of destructive behavior. They just don’t look like human crocodiles.