Crashing into cinemas on Friday (July 30), The Suicide Squad follows a posse of imprisoned supervillains on a mission to save the world – or at least America’s blushes – in exchange for reduced sentences.
Here’s a guide to some of the charismatic key players taking us on the wildest of cinematic rides.
Robert DuBois / Bloodsport (Idris Elba)
A tough-as-nails mercenary with a technologically-advanced suit and weapons that only he can use
Where’d they start? The Superman vol.2 comic book of April 1987, where Bloodsport is introduced as an adversary for Superman. This longtime rivalry forms part of his backstory in the movie.
What does he do in The Suicide Squad? Blackmailed by Squad boss Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), Bloodsport becomes its reluctant leader as they venture to a remote South American island to destroy a very sinister laboratory.
If he were a rock or pop star, he’d be… Mick Jagger. Stubborn and independent, but with a hidden sentimental side.
Dr. Harleen Quinzel / Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie)
You know who she is: the brilliantly unpredictable breakout star from the original Suicide Squad movie
Where’d they start? Quinn was created as a love interest for the Joker in 1992’s Batman: The Animated Series. She’s become such a DC icon over the years that she even got her own solo movie, last year’s Birds of Prey.
What does she do in The Suicide Squad? Harley’s wildcard instincts prove useful at key moments in the mission. She also has a brief encounter with a surprisingly romantic South American dictator.
If she were a rock or pop star, she’d be… Harley Quinn is a rock star in her own right, but we’d love to see her duet with fellow rebel Miley Cyrus.
Christopher Smith / Peacemaker (John Cena)
A jingoistic killer who believes in keeping the peace at all times – even if this means killing a shedload of innocents in the process
Where’d they start? Peacemaker first appeared in November 1966’s Fightin’ 5 #40 comic book, but The Suicide Squad marks his cinematic debut. Cena will reprise his role in a Peacemaker HBO Max series coming next year.
What does he do in The Suicide Squad? Peacemaker is drafted in by Amanda Waller because he’s a deadly marksman with even deadlier instincts. Just don’t expect him to see eye-to-eye with his colleagues.
If he were a rock or pop star, he’d be… Bruce Springsteen. He’s just as buff and all-American, but with a much more questionable moral code.
Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman)
The heroic on-the-ground leader of The Suicide Squad who has a strong moral core
Where’d he start? Three Rick Flags have appeared in the DC Comics universe: father, son, and grandson. The OG made his comic book debut way back in 1959.
What does he do in The Suicide Squad? Rick Flag is never far from the heart of the action. He also works hard to keep Peacemaker in check.
If he were a rock or pop star, he’d be… Jon Bon Jovi. Solid, strong and dependable, but able to deliver some ‘Bad Medicine’ when necessary.
George “Digger” Harkness / Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney)
A troublemaking Australian thief who wields his boomerangs as a weapon
Where’d he start? Captain Boomerang first appeared in December 1960’s The Flash #117 comic book. He’s also been a key Suicide Squad player since its second iteration in the late 1990s.
What does he do in The Suicide Squad? Courtney has described the character as a “shitbag liability”. Glean from that what you will.
If he were a rock or pop star, he’d be… A loveable rogue like Mötley Crüe’s Tommy Lee.
Nanaue / King Shark (Sylvester Stallone)
A hulking fish-human hybrid whose mind isn’t quite as sharp as his teeth
Where’d he start? King Shark made his debut in November 1994’s Superboy #0 comic book, where he was introduced as an adversary for – who else? – Aquaman.
What does he do in The Suicide Squad? Once he learns not to eat his squad mates, he becomes a gutsy and physically imposing fighter.
If he were a rock or pop star, he’d be… Left Shark from Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show. Obviously.
Cleo Cazo / Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior)
A resourceful bank robber who inherited the ability to manipulate rats from her dads
Where’d she start? Ratcatcher 2 has been created especially for this movie, but her dad – the original Ratcatcher – debuted in the April 1988’s Detective Comics #585.
What does she do in The Suicide Squad? Her power to summon a massive army of rats on command proves incredibly useful. Equally important is her ability to prick Bloodsport’s conscience.
If she were a rock or pop star, she’d be… Billie Eilish. Like the ‘Bad Guy’ singer, she’s a cool and unique figure you’ll end up rooting for.
Abner Krill / Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian)
Thanks to a botched experiment, he can spew deadly polka dots from his body… yes, really
Where’d he start? He’s been an adversary for Batman ever since debuting in February 1962’s Detective Comics #300.
What does he do in The Suicide Squad? Polka Dot Man has serious mummy issues, and Bloodsport knows how to harness them for the good of the mission.
If he were a rock or pop star, he’d be… A backing dancer at Lady Gaga gigs, thanks mainly to his natty polka dot suit.
Not every member of the squad lasts the distance, so find out who plays a key role in the thrilling final battle when The Suicide Squad hits cinemas on Friday, July 30.