“We’re bad guys, it’s what we do!”
The new trailer for Suicide Squad dropped last night and people are already touting it as DC‘s answer to Guardians of the Galaxy. In case you don’t know the premise, Amanda Waller head of the government agency A.R.G.U.S., has proposed the creation of a task force comprised of the worst convicts in the system. In return for going on a mission that will likely get them killed, the survivors will have their records wiped clean and released, if they survive. Of course, that’s when everything goes wrong.
While this is a very simple analysis of the plot, it gets the job done: these are bad guys, forced to do a good deed in order to obtain their freedom. Though this may seem to have echoes of a certain film with a talking Tree and Raccoon, that’s about where the similarities end. As this is one of my favorite comics in the DC universe, I thought it might be fun to sit down and go over some notable items. So let’s do a breakdown of 20 key moments from the Suicide Squad trailer.
20. Bright Is The New Dark
Since the announcement of the film, Warner Bros. has touted Suicide Squad as a movie that would feel drastically different than Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. From the color palette alone, we can see that they are not exaggerating. Instead of a dark canvas with muted colors and a sepia environment, the Suicide Squad is flush with a bright color palette that seems to embrace it’s comic roots.
19. Bohemian Rhapsody
The classic Queen song “Bohemian Rhapsody” has been used in advertisements a lot lately. The resurgence of Freddy Mercury and Company in popular media seems like a double edged sword. While we like that Queen is getting some geek love from a new generation, over saturation can be a risk. Fortunately for us, this isn’t the case for Suicide Squad. “Rhapsody” deals with a youth who murders a young man and is arrested for murder. The song weaves a tale of someone who is not necessarily sorry for the crime so much as the loss of youth and potentially their life. This has a stark resonance with the themes at work for the Squad who is offered a chance at freedom, something they’d never get otherwise. These are bad people from the dark underbelly of the world, given a chance to walk free. Tonally it’s perfect, plus the song is awesome and accompanies the visuals in a wonderful manner.
18. She’s Called ‘The Wall’
In the history of comic books, there has rarely been a figure more imposing or threatening than Amanda Waller. The reason for this is because she’s one of us: an average, everyday human, who is the mastermind behind Task Force X. Through guile, heavy handed blackmail, and a little bit of government sanctioned murder, Amanda Waller has punched out Batman, threatened Superman with deportation and is a name that sends shivers down the collective spines of the supervillain community. Nicknamed “The Wall”, the leader of the Suicide Squad is someone you never want to meet unless you absolutely have to.
17. El Diablo Has Regrets
So here’s an interesting twist. El Diablo is one of the few penitent members of the Squad. His incarceration was a result of a local gang squabble. While trying to collect a debt, El Diablo burned down a local gang hideout. In the aftermath, it was discovered innocent people died in the fire. Racked with guilt, El Diablo turned himself into the local authorities and has been a pacifist ever since. Yeah, you heard me. He’s a pacifist. How’s that going to work with a bunch of murdering maniacs and psychopaths? I have no idea.
16. Souls Of The Damned
One of the weirder additions to the Suicide Squad would be that of Katana. Generally Katana is depicted as a hero and ally of the caped crusader but here, she’s on the Squad. While we may not know why, we can take some guesses. Katana possess an ancient sword of immense power, each person she kills with it becomes trapped inside of the blade and gives her access to their memories and skills. She can literally call upon hundreds of lifetimes to help her out of any situation. The impetus for taking up a mask though was the murder of her husband. After he was killed by his own blade, Katana took up her husbands sword and swore revenge. It’s a fair bet she got it, but she also earned a life sentence by getting caught.
15. Killer Croc Wants Dessert
One of the more esoteric Batman villains, Killer Croc is about as bad as they come. Suffering from a rare skin condition, Croc became an outcast who shuns the world. Hiding out in the sewers he sees humanity as a food source and hobos, criminals and other hapless victims. Constantly angry over his isolation and continually hungry for more people to eat, you can bet Killer Croc is going to be a difficult squad member to control.
14. Boom Goes The Dynamite
Speaking of control, it should be stated in no uncertain terms, that the Suicide Squad does not have a choice in the matter. You see, most of you might be thinking “why not just make a break for it the first chance they get?” Well Waller thought of that. Each member of the Squad is implanted with a small explosive device that can be remotely detonated at any time. To make matters worse, they can also be set on a timer, so if the villains take too long: boom goes the dynamite. The Squad is full of disposable assets, don’t expect them all to survive.
13. Enter Rick Flagg
To be fair, explosive deterrents are a good way to keep your band of misfits in line, but can you really trust them alone in the field? The short answer is no. In the comics, the Suicide Squad always had a liaison between the super powered villains and Waller. Enter Rick Flagg. A military captain with a history of black bag operations, Flagg’s job is to keep an eye on the Squad, bark orders and report back progress to home base. In the movie Flagg seems to be outfitted with an attachment of soldiers and military hardware to help the Squad but we all know that just means things are going to get way worse before they get better.
12. It’s Not All About Fancy Powers
While you have quite a few supernatural characters, over half of the Suicide Squad consists of average humans such as Slipknot and Captain Boomerang. So yes, they may have a gimmick, but these are just regular guys with “a certain set of skills” and they’re anxious to use it.
11. Gunplay Is King
Bullets, bullets and more bullets. This trailer is covered in shell casings and gun fire, so of course you have to include Deadshot. A master marksman, Deadshot is a man looking for the next score. It doesn’t matter who he has to kill, so long as you pay. A fierce combatant in any situation bringing along the world’s best gunslinger only makes sense if you want to ensure success.
10. Insanity is Queen
Part of what makes the Suicide Squad so much fun is that there’s always a dose of madness in the air. In the comics, this is shown in a number of ways, but one of the more recent (and popular) choices was the inclusion of Harley Quinn. A fan favorite, Harley is known for being mischievous, cunning, loyal and absolutely insane. So far it looks like they’ve nailed that personality down in Margot Robbie. You never know what you’re going to get with her, but it’s a sure bet the end result will entertaining.
9. Joker Isn’t On The Squad
This is more conjecture than anything else, but I have a sneaky suspicion that The Joker isn’t actually on the Squad, but is in fact one of the objectives of the mission. In fact, it stands to reason that the Squad is assembled specifically to combat the Clown King of Crime. I’m calling it now people, Joker is the mission.
8. Mad Love
It’s clear that the relationship between Joker and Harley Quinn will be one of the central themes of the movie. A lot of people are theorizing that the birth and death of “mad love” will a major plot point. To back this up, one of the more recent stories of the Suicide Squad book has been Harley Quinn‘s liberation from Joker. While she may enjoy the madness of chaos, his numerous attempts to murder her have snapped her out of her puppy love and made her realize how dangerous Joker really is. In fact, she’s gone out of her way to find Joker in order to take him down and break his hold over her. While the end result is madman obsessed with a former lover, it shows that Harley Quinn won’t be defined by Joker any more. I definitely think we’ll see that played out here in glorious neon. The Birth of Harley, The Betrayal of Harley and The Rebirth of Harley (sans Joker).
7. So Who Did This?
If Joker is the reason why the Suicide Squad is formed, who created this carnage? I mean, come on, Joker is crazy good at blowing things up and whacky death traps but this is some next age, full on super powers of doom, stuff here.
6. Meet Enchantress
Enchantress is a villain with a very strange power set. Gifted with the ability to tap into the primal magic of the universe, Julie Moon has extraordinary cosmic powers. Unfortunately magic is not to be trifled with and can overwhelm Julie easily which causes her to slip into a dark personality known as Enchantress. Like Joker, Enchantress is all about chaos and madness. A true student of anarchy, this magically powered uber-witch can level cities. This has to be very tempting for someone like Joker. Expect a team up of the most vicious kind. Unkempt cosmic powers being driven by a madman dressed like a clown.
5. Don’t Forget The Funny
One of the key ingredients to Suicide Squad is the fact that it can also be fiercely funny in that “gallows humor” kind of way. Take this moment for instance: Captain Boomerang ducks behind a car in the middle of what we can only assume is a massive firefight to sneak a beer. This is pitch perfect Suicide Squad. The characters are self centered and amoral. They have no problem accomplishing the mission with as little effort as possible and if you happen to die in the process, who cares? Expect a lot of dark jokes as a result.
4. A Shadow This Way Falls
Speaking of dark, don’t let the bright neon fool you. This stakes here are going to be high. My guess is that, despite the rampant chaos sewn in the streets, Joker and Enchantress have a plan. Something that possibly turns regular folks into mindless minions? I’m not sure, all I know is that these guys look like super charged lackeys of doom and I don’t wanna be in their way.
3. Big Changes Are Coming
One of the great things about using characters that are generally unfamiliar as a whole is that people can take chances. Characters can change in big ways., such as a certain pyrokenetic forsaking a vow of pacifism in order to redeem himself. That means that you should…
2. Expect The Unexpected
This screen cap encapsulates a lot what I’m feeling when it comes to Suicide Squad. There is some serious thought, awe at the scope, and giddiness at the potential. There are no rules for these characters, they can do whatever they want so long as they get the job done and that means that we’re probably in for a wild and unpredictable ride.
1. Don’t Forget, They’re Bad Guys
The best part about this, and what will mark it as such a departure from other “hero” movies is that these are the bad guys. With one or two notable exceptions like Katana and El Diablo, don’t expect these characters to repent. They’re bad guys. They like being bad guys. They’re gonna continue to be bad guys. That’s what makes them so damn watchable. When you know these people are 100% irredeemable, you begin to root for them, see how far they’ll go and ultimately, what it will take to bring them down. While it won’t be as a nuanced as, say Breaking Bad, it is fair to draw comparisons between these two projects. This isn’t about the villain turning over a new leaf, this is about seeing just how bad things get before it ends.
Suicide Squad Arrives August 05, 2016.