After months of speculation and rumors, DC’s latest blockbuster Suicide Squad finally revealed (most of) its cast. The fictional band of super villains hired on by the government to take on impossible tasks is coming to the big screen and has taken on a list of A-list actors to portray its iconic baddies. Among the list of stars is Jared Leto as the insane Joker, Will Smith set to take on the role of the mercenary Dead Shot, Tom Harday as the leader Colonel Flagg, Margot Robbie and Jai Courtney will each play a significant major role, and Cara Delvingne will play the schizophrenic Enchantress. Jesse Eisenberg is rumored to continue his portrayal of the millionaire-business man Lex Luthor. Even Oprah may take on the role of the team’s leader Amanda Waller. The full cast is still in the works of being revealed, the core team is definitely confirmed.
Since Marvel’s reigning lead over the box offices these past few years in the superhero movie category, DC has scrambled to pick up the pace. Marvel’s phase three announcement during Comic Con only made the competition more serious. The announcement of the Suicide Squad movie came as a welcomed surprise to fans. Suicide Squad, also known as Task Force X, has been apart of the DC universe for over 50 years and is one of the most recognizable teams. Over the past few decades, the team has gone through major changes in its roster, as well as, the creative team behind it.
Making their first appearance in 1959 in an issue of the Brave and the Bold, the Suicide Squad was a small team of heroes formed to take the place of the Justice Society of America during the McCarthy era. Originally created by Ross Andru and Robert Kanigher, the team did not retain their official name until they were resurrected in a new comic series in the 1980s. The group of villains looking to buy their way out of way jail by completing “suicide missions” was DC’s answer to the anti-hero genre that was making its way into mainstream comics. Written by John Ostrander, the top-secret squad was backed by the government and tasked with taking on missions that were surely going to get them killed.
Considering that many of the missions were guaranteed to at least have one or more member not return, the team has gone through a considerable amount of roster changes. The original, 1950’s, team comprised of characters Karin Grace, Rick Flag Jr., Jess Bright, and Dr. Hugh Evans. The roster got an overhaul and revamp during the critically-acclaimed run of Ostrander and consisted of members Bronze Tiger, Rick Flag Jr., Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Blockbuster, and Enchantress. Each member forcibly stayed with the team due to a bracelet that would kill them instantly if they attempted to flee. The Suicide Squad series continued on for 66 issues and was later canceled in 1992 then relaunched in 2001. The roster for the new millennium team was a little bit darker-toned, and aggressive to match the modernized theme but still incorporated the same concept of villains becoming heroes. The Suicide Squad consisted of Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Black Spider, El Diablo, Voltaic, King Shark, and other minor villains. Over the course of the series the roster continued to change as the mortality rate increased and their leader, Amanda Waller, showed favoritism towards some members. The current line-up is composed of Black Manta, Joker’s Daughter Duela Dent, Harlequin, Deadshot, and Deathstroke.
Though filming for Suicide Squad is not set to start until early next year, this is a bold move by the DC cinematic universe to compete with Marvel. Taking on an anti-hero team and enlisting a full cast of top actors and actresses to play these villains turned heroes should definitely prove to be an interesting watch. For now fans will just have to wait patiently to see if any more characters will be added to the roster and newcomers can update on their knowledge before the August 5,2016 release date. Director David Ayer may have some pressure to deliver a great movie that can showcase a well-written plot with some good action, but, from the looks of the cast, he is on the right step.
By Tyler Cole