Phil trawls through the history of DC Comics to present five characters who would make great additions to James Gunn’s new look Suicide Squad
Love it or hate it, David Ayer’s Suicide Squad was packed full of awesome characters. Jai Courtney produced a hilarious performance as Captain Boomerang, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje made a positively monstrous debut as Killer Croc, Will Smith provided us with a fantastic on-screen debut for Deadshot and of course, Margot Robbie emphatically nailed her role as Harley Quinn. Not to mention the pure awesomeness of Viola Davis as the deliciously lethal Amanda Waller. But the movie also had its fair share of failures.
Following the departure of Tom Hardy, Joel Kinnaman was cast as Rick Flag and felt out of place for the entire runtime, Jay Hernandez offered little more than roster padding as El Diablo, and finally, Jared Leto’s incarnation of The Joker proved to be one of the most divisive performances of his career. Despite offering an enigmatic “scene-stealing” quality, the alteration of The Joker’s quintessential characteristics split the fans down the middle and his overall lack of screen time only served to exacerbate the situation.
Sadly, David Ayer has since relinquished the reins of helming the sequel instead opting to focus his energy into a Gotham City Sirens movie which sadly, may never see the light of day following Warner Bros’ DCEU shake-up. Ayer’s departure from Suicide Squad 2 has curtailed his chances of correcting the failings of his previous outing and that is our loss. On reflection, he was successful in producing an action-packed and unapologetically audacious movie full of some fun characters, great performances and a bold plot. But in contrast, it was teeming with fundamental character flaws and bad casting choices that divided its audience despite claiming a $746.8 million reward from global box office receipts.
The Suicide Squad:
Fast forward to the present and Warner Bros. has officially announced a relaunch of the series entitled The Suicide Squad. Set to be written and directed by Guardians of the Galaxy supremo James Gunn, the movie is intended to serve as a reinvention of the Taskforce X narrative bringing it in line with Warner Bros’ new post-Aquaman philosophy.
Fortunately, Margot Robbie has been confirmed to return as Harley Quinn following her involvement in Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), and thankfully, the wonderful Viola Davis has been mooted to be reprising her role as the delightfully sinister Amanda Waller. However, news has emerged that Will Smith will not be reprising his role as Deadshot. Sadly due to a scheduling conflict, Smith will not be returning to lead the team of misfits which has forced Gunn into clearing the decks and opting to bring in a mostly new team of criminals. Smith’s departure has left the project with a large hole to fill. His performance as Deadshot was one of the highlights of the original Suicide Squad and his loss is a significant blow to its successor.
Without Deadshot, and many of his partners in crime, who will James Gunn call upon to refresh the roster of Taskforce X? Will Jai Courtney return to deliver another charmingly hilarious performance as Captain Boomerang? Will Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje bring his interpretation of Killer Croc back to the fore?
Given these questions, I have narrowed the roster to five suggestions, a wish list if you will for James Gunn to consider which will undoubtedly appease fans everywhere and deliver an utterly fantastic sequel, we can all embrace with glee.
King Shark/Gorilla Grodd
James Gunn has had notable success with CGI incarnations of Rocket Racoon and Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy and that trend of delivering fantastically realistic animated characters should continue with The Suicide Squad. King Shark would be a welcome addition to the team and was destined to join the ranks of David Ayer’s original before Killer Croc was cast. King Shark’s augmented flesh provides protection against the pressures of the deep and physical attacks. His shark-like physiology includes teeth and claws, which are used as weapons, and gills that allow him to breathe underwater. He can swim at great speeds and is resistant to cold, has enhanced strength and endurance, and he can also regenerate lost bodily tissue.
Gorilla Grodd is a bold choice. The super-intelligent Gorilla ascends to become the ruler of his own primate city and would be a lethal addition to The Suicide Squad. Grodd’s psionic abilities allow him to place other beings under his mental control and transfer his consciousness into other bodies. Grodd also has vast telekinetic abilities ranging from force beams, telekinetic transmutation of matter and lifting thousands of tons mentally. He is a scientific genius who has mastered Gorilla City’s advanced technology and who has created many incredible inventions of his own.
Doctor Cyber could bring a toxic quality to Taskforce X. As the head of a vast global criminal and terrorist group, Cyber is a beautiful and elegantly-attired woman but has enhanced her attributes by utilising a technologically advanced full-body exoskeleton. In the original 1968 comic, the armoured suit allowed her to combat Wonder Woman on near-equal terms. The suit enhanced her strength and endurance and allowed her to redirect energy when fired at the suit. She also used a variety of weaponry that included laser pistols, mind control serum, an invisibility screen, rocket sledges, and myriad robot assassins.
The Suicide Squad just wouldn’t be the same without a quintessential Batman villain and my rogue of choice would be Professor Jonathan Crane. The Scarecrow is unquestionably one of the most underrated villains in Batman’s rogue’s gallery and his ability to produce fear-inducing toxin would be a chilling addition to Taskforce X. Jonathan Crane is a brilliant psychologist who specializes in fear and phobias. With this knowledge, he knows how to use words to affect a person’s actions and bringing his talents to bear on Taskforce X’s enemies would be a delightful spectacle for the fans.
There have been several incarnations of Killer Frost in the DC Universe to date, however, they all share the equivalent powers. All previous versions of the character have shown the ability to absorb heat from external sources and transmute it into waves of cold. Using these powers, Killer Frost can create an ice-sheen across her entire body that grants her increased durability, cause intense blizzards that can instantly freeze the target and generate objects composed completely of ice, such as projectiles in the form of ice shards and defensive walls or shields. She can also instantly freeze animate matter through physical contact.
With Deadshot not returning to lead the team, his perfect replacement is Deathstroke. Joe Manganiello portrayed the character during the post-credits sequence in Justice League and was scheduled to play an intricate role in Ben Affleck’s Batman solo adventure. However, with Ben Affleck bringing his tenure as the Dark Knight to an end, Matt Reeves has opted to rewrite the entire script leaving Deathstroke criminally short-changed. To that end, the perfect solution for all parties is to call upon Slade Wilson to bring his lethal skill set tto lead The Suicide Squad.
Slade Wilson’s physical and mental attributes have been enhanced as a result of the experimental serum he was given; he possesses heightened strength, agility, durability, and reflexes, and can utilize up to 90 per cent of his brain capacity. Deathstroke also possesses a regenerative healing factor that enables him to recover from physical injury much more rapidly than a normal human; it does, however, have its limits, as it could not heal his missing eye, nor can it regenerate lost limbs. In addition to being a tactical virtuoso with years of military experience, Deathstroke is an expert in unarmed combat and martial arts and is highly proficient in the use of various firearms and melee weapons.
Throughout comic book history, the roster of Taskforce X has changed with almost every new instalment. In fact, the only ever-present characters in the line-up have been Rick Flag, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot and Amanda Waller. Should James Gunn call upon any of these awesome super-villains from this shortlist and integrate them alongside Harley Quinn, Katana, Rick Flag, Amada Waller and Jai Courtney’s hilarious Captain Boomerang then The Suicide Squad has every chance of appeasing the fans and earning a gluttonous return at the global box office. The spectacle of its predecessor has laid the foundations for an immensely successful franchise and with Deathstroke already introduced into the DC Cinematic Universe, the timing couldn’t be better for Joe Manganiello to bring his lethal super-villain back to the big screen.
Of course, this is nothing more than a dream line-up, however many of these awesome characters have already been integrated into either the DCEU, the Arrowverse, DC Games or into one of the many animated adventures emerging from Warner Bros. Animation. So, it wouldn’t take much to bring them to the fore in The Suicide Squad.
Here’s hoping. But stranger things have happened!
Who would you like to see join the ranks of Taskforce X? Drop us a line and share your thoughts.
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