DC’s new Cinematic Universe is in full swing! Following up Man of Steel and this year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, is one of the wildest-looking comic book movies in a long time: Suicide Squad!
The movie is loosely based on the premise of the comics of the same name, about a top-secret government project headed by Amanda Waller to form a team of super villains to take down an ever bigger bad. The line-up includes Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Will Smith as Dead-shot, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang and Jared Leto as The Joker!
Task Force X aka the Suicide Squad has gone through a number of incarnations since it’s first appearance back in The Brave and the Bold #25 (1959), but we’ve never seen anything quite like this line up! For those looking to brush up on some nerdy knowledge, here’s a rundown of all the characters and their comic book back stories…
First Appearance: “Batman: The Animated Series” (1992)
Alias: Harleen Frances Quinzel
Bio: Dr. Quinzel was a psychiatrist interning at Arkham Asylum when she first fell madly in love with one of the most dangerous inmates in Gotham: The Joker! The criminally insane Joker manipulated her feelings, gaining sympathy during their sessions and eventually used her to plot his inevitable escape. As his sidekick, she forged a new identity for herself: Harley Quinn.
The two had a passionate yet tumultuous crime spree, but Harley eventually realized that her ‘Mr. J’ didn’t really love her, that the joke was on her. After leaving him, Harley became an on-again-off-again anti-hero, eventually crossing paths with Poison Ivy and falling under her spell. Harley and Ivy were together for years, before Harley was inducted into the Suicide Squad where she met and began a relationship with Dead-shot, although she still harbors feelings for both Ivy and her ‘puddin’…
“Mad Love” by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm
“Harley and Ivy” by Paul Dini, Judd Winick and Bruce Timm
“Gotham City Sirens” by Paul Dini and Guillem March
First Appearance: Batman #59 (1950)
Alias: Floyd Lawton
Bio: Lawton is the world’s best marksman, an assassin for hire, part-time supervillain and estranged father. In the past, he’s teamed up with everyone from Checkmate to the Secret Six. He’s not exactly a ‘good guy’, but he’ll do anything to protect his daughter.
“Secret Six” by Gail Simone, Brad Walker, and Jimmy Palmiotti
“The New Suicide Squad” by Sean Ryan and Jeremy Roberts
First Appearance: The Flash #117 (1960)
Alias: George ‘Digger’ Harkness
Bio: Digger is an Australian career criminal and member of the Flash’s Rogues. He has a thing for trick boomerangs.
“The Flash” by Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul
“Suicide Squad” by Adam Glass, Federico Dallocchio and Ransom Getty
First Appearance: Batman #357 (1983)
Alias: Waylon Jones
Bio: Side-show wrestler turned cannibalistic serial killer, Waylon Jones has a rare skin condition that makes him appear scaly like a crocodile. He has since become gradually more animalistic, sharpening his teeth into fangs and undergoing genetic manipulation and physical enhancement.
“Batman: HUSH” by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee
Batman – The Animated Series
Arkham Asylum (Video Game)
First Appearance: Batman and The Outsiders #1 (1983)
Alias: Tatsu Toro
Bio: A former member of the Birds of Prey and the Outsiders, Katana wields the mysterious ‘Soultaker’, a Japanese blade that killed her husband, in her quest for vengeance.
“Suicide Squad – Most Wanted: Dead-Shot / Katana” by Brian Buccellato and Viktor Bogdonavic
“Katana: Soultaker” by Ann Nocenti and Alex Sanchez
“Birds of Prey” by Duane Swiercynzski
First Appearance: Strange Adventures #187 (1966)
Alias: June Moon
Bio: She was just a freelance artist until she stumbled upon a magical being in an old castle. Dzamor possessed her and imbued her with supernatural abilities. In using her abilities for good, she must be careful to keep her dark side in check.
“Justice League Dark” by Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin
First Appearance: All-Star Western #2 (1970)
Alias: Chato Santana
Bio: Over the years, many have donned the identity of El Diablo, the demon-possessed vigilante. Most recently, ex-criminal Chato Santana who gains the ability of pryokenesis!
“El Diablo” by Jai Nitz
First Appearance: The Fury of Firestorm #28
Alias: Christopher Weiss
Bio: A career criminal and adversary of Firestorm.
First Appearance: DC – Legends #1 (1986)
Alias: Code-name: White Queen, ‘The Wall’
Bio: Amanda Waller is a ruthless, high-ranking government official with a complicated history and a take-no-shit attitude. Besides being a total badass, Waller is thoroughly involved in meta-human affairs, between her work with ARGUS and leading CHECKMATE. She is the brains behind Task-Force-X aka The Suicide Squad.
“Suicide Squad: Amanda Waller” by Jim Zub
First Appearance: The Brave and the Bold #25 (1959)
Bio: The son of a war hero, Rick Flag joined the military in an attempt to live up to his father. After years of undercover work, Flag was tapped by Waller to head up the new Task Force X division. He reluctantly took charge as the leader of the Suicide Squad, a team of convicted criminals with a mission to take out larger threats to national security.
“DC – The New Frontier” by Darwyn Cooke
First Appearance: Batman #1 (1940)
Bio: Arch-enemy of the Dark Knight, The Joker is an insane criminal mastermind with little to no regard for human life and is apparently guided by his twisted sense of humor as an agent of chaos. Arkham Asylum psychiatrist, Dr. Harleen Quinzel is perhaps the only one he truly cares for, except for maybe Batman. Nothing is known for certain about his past, prior to his debut as the Clown Prince of Crime, but there are conflicting rumors…
“The Man Who Laughs” by Ed Brubaker
“The Killing Joke” by Alan Moore
“Arkham Asylum” by Grant Morrison
I’m personally hoping we see cameos from Death Stroke, Poison Ivy and / or Black Manta… Who is your favorite Squad-member? King Shark anyone?
Also be sure to check out the all new Suicide Squad series by Jim Lee!
Erik Slader is a blogger, barista, web tech, digital artist, gamer, comic book aficionado, history buff, part-time nerd, and full-time husband. Creator of “Epik Fails of History” (@EpikFails.com) and writer for SuperheroBeach.com, MovementMagazine.com and ComicZombie.net – check out his digital design portfolio at ErikSlader.com