The Comic Book You Need To Read for Every Suicide Squad Character
On August 5, movie-goers are going to get their first introduction to DC’s Suicide Squad. From the looks of trailers, stills, and other behind-the-scenes content, I am really hoping that it will be a good one.
“Who’s in the Suicide Squad?”
Huh? Are you kidding? You don’t know every member of the Suicide Squad or the best comics to read to learn up on you Suicide Squad lore?
Honestly, when the first buzz about the movie hit the internet, neither did I.
Since then I’ve done a little homework and now can safely write a blog post in which I explore the makeup of the Squad and list a comic that you should read for each member of it. See below.
Note: The Suicide Squad features a rotating cast of baddies. The below list is of those that are featured in the upcoming motion picture.
Double Note: The nicknames are of my own ingenious creativity and are in no-way official cannon…yet.
Rick Flag AKA The Babysitter
Technically the names of three characters in the DC universe (Rick Flag Sr., Rick Flag Jr., and Rick Flag III) the one thing that all the characters have in common is their participation in the Suicide Squad. The original Rick Flag was a World War II soldier who was the sole survivor of a special ops forced called the Suicide Squadron. So when the world is hurting for superheroes in the 50s, and President Truman creates Task Force X to help fill the gap, and Truman appoints Flag to lead the domestic portion of that team, what do you think Flag calls it?
Eventually Flag sacrifices himself for the greater good and his son Flag Jr. steps up to fill his shoes. Jr. has a bit of a “hiatus” away from the Squad, but he then he gets tapped by Amanda Waller to lead the new Suicide Squad. Jr. is the Movie’s Rick Flag.
For more on Nick Flag Sr., check out: The Brave and the Bold #25
For more on Nick Flag Jr., check out: Suicide Squad #1
Harley Quinn AKA More than just the female Joker
Fun fact: Harley Quinn originated with the animated series, not the comic book! Most fans would agree that Harley Quinn is one of the most energetically enigmatic characters. Margot Robbie is definitely not hard on the eyes, but even the animated incarnations of Quinn have always held an allure to them. Beneath the surface, lies a very intricate piece of psychopathic hardware. Before she became Harley Quinn, she was a doctor at Arkham Asylum. It was there, while treating the Joker, that her version of sanity became liberated from everyone else’s. She’s completely unpredictable. Can be tender at one moment and murderous the next. Throughout all of her antics, Harley possesses a carefree attitude that just makes her plain fun.
For more on Harley Quinn, check out Batman Adventures: Mad Love
Deadshot AKA Not Deadpool
Deadshot has deadly accurate aim with weapons. He also has a bionic eye. And a tragic past. In the original comics, Deadeye accidentally shoots his brother when trying to save him from his abusive father. In the New 52, his parents get slaughtered by gunmen and he gets saved by a book. Who knows what sort of tragedy his origins will take in the film.
For introduction to this sad, sad man, check out Deadshot Beginnings. Although not the best book, it is one of the saddest.
El Diablo AKA The Reluctant Criminal
You know the Human Torch? Or X-Men’s Pyro? El Diablo is kind of like that. But don’t let those similarities fool you. El Diablo has his own completely unique individuality and story arch, man. His real name is Chato Santana. After doing some pretty bad stuff with a gang, Santana turns himself into the police. Filled with remorse, Santana is resigned to his death sentence. And then, he gets tapped to join a special team…
For a look at the origins of this Squaddy, check out El Diablo Vol. 3 #1.
Killer Croc AKA Giant Scaly Guy
Due to a birth defect, Killer Croc isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but he has reptilian characteristics that allow him to mess up anyone who tries to make fun of him. Honestly, he has a really tragic backstory filled with abuse, negligence, bullies. It’s no wonder he turned to crime. Killer Croc fascinates me, as he serves as one of the best examples for how the social context of an individual can lead to criminal behavior.
For a look at this guy’s tragic origins check out Batman #358 and Detective Comics #525.
Enchantress AKA Bewitched
Like Jean Grey, the enchantress is one powerful, near god-like BAMF. Also like Jean Grey, she’s not quite in control of her own powers and her first name starts with a J and both her first and last name are monosyllabic. June Moone has a number of different origins, but all you need to know is that she’s well-intentioned, but not one hundred percent in control of her powers. A pattern that runs through several of the Squaddies.
Check out Strange Adventures Vol. 1 #187 to get the original origins of this Squaddy.
Katana AKA The Honorary Member
Katana is by far one of the straight up BAMFy of the BAMFed up roster of the Suicide Squad. Born Tastu Yamashiro, Katana has had experience with martial arts ever since she was a kid. Surprise, surprise: Katana has a fairly tragic origin story of her own including the deaths of her parents, husband, and children. Wow. Right? Needless to say, she brings a lot of vengeance and skill to the table. In the comics Katana isn’t an official member of the Squad, but she does have briefly brush past them.
Check out Katana #1 for a look into this awesome Squaddy’s backstory.
Slipknot AKA Guy with Rope
No. Not the band. This Slipknot is a real jerk of an assassin who uses a chemically engineered rope to do his dirty work. In the comics he gets tricked into trying to escape the team, triggering his explosive bracelet to blow off one of his arms and presumably killing him. Wonder if that will happen in the movie…
To experience Slipknot getting tricked into blowing up his arm, check out Suicide Squad Vol 1 #9.
Boomerang AKA The Aussie
Nevermind the previous incarnations of Boomerang as “Captain Boomerang”. Honestly, he was pretty lame. For our purposes, the Boomerang that we’re interest in is George “Digger” Harkness’ is the boomerang-wielding mercenary. The original Captain boomerang had mysterious origins. Harkness’ origins are much more mysterious. Like many of his fellow squaddies, Harkness is a loose cannon with a proclivity for the insane.
For a good intro to Harkness, check out Identity Crisis Vol. 1 #1-7.
Joker AKA One of the Greatest Villains of All Time
Forgive me for not spending more time on this one, but I figure most folks have heard of this Joker fellow. If you don’t know much about the Joker, I’d recommend you check out The Killing Joke or Under the Red Hood. It’s also be adapted into a film (this one animated), and does a great job of painting the psychology of the madman.