Name: Amanda Waller
Played by: Viola Davis
Shady government official Amanda Waller has a long-standing comics history going back to her first appearance in 1986. The film is faithful to her comics characterisation, in that she's best known as the originator of the Suicide Squad and is arguably more dangerous than any of the supervillains under her command. A deadly combination of ruthless efficiency and a total lack of empathy, accessorised with a steely glare.
Name: Rick Flag
Played by: Joel Kinnaman
Most likely to say: “Suicide Squad, assem- er...get together!”
Though he made his first appearance in 1955, military honcho Rick Flag's main comics history revolves around his leadership of the Suicide Squad, under the command of Amanda Waller. Flag has no super-powers or special skills other than several years of combat experience and a penchant for sacrificing himself for others (including getting apparently killed in a nuclear bomb blast before it turned out he teleported away at the last minute). Has a rivalry with Deadshot that is largely ethics-based.
Name: Deadshot (Floyd Lawton)
Played by: Will Smith
Special powers: Being really, really good at shooting things.
A Batman villain since his first comics appearance in 1950, assassin-for-hire Deadshot has no super-powers but is regarded as the best marksman in the DC Universe. The film faithfully replicates several elements of Deadshot's comic persona, including his red costume with its white mask and sight-attachment, and his devotion to his young daughter. Outside of comics, the character has made frequent appearances on TV's Arrow (played by Michael Rowe), including a Suicide Squad episode.
Name: Harley Quinn (Harleen Quinzel)
Played by: Margot Robbie
Weapons of choice: Giant mallet, baseball bat, hot pants
As the Joker's frequent sidekick and on-again, off-again girlfriend, psychotic former psychiatrist Harley Quinn is probably the best-known member of the Suicide Squad. Uniquely, she made her first appearance on Batman: The Animated Series (in 1992), after which the character proved so popular that she quickly became a comics staple. Robbie's version of the character (already a big hit on the cosplay circuit) is modelled after the recent “New 52” revamp (don't ask, it's a comics thing), which explains why she wears the hot pants and skimpy top combo instead of her iconic jester outfit from the cartoons.
Name: Captain Boomerang (George “Digger” Harkness)
Played by: Jai Courtney
Distinguishing characteristics: Absurd facial hair, Australian accent, fondness for pink unicorns
Captain Boomerang has been a villain in Flash comics since his first appearance in 1960 – the film briefly nods to this with a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance by The Flash (Ezra Miller) in Boomerang's intro scene. Raised in Australia, Harkness developed great skill with boomerangs, often fashioning novelty versions (exploding boomerangs, razor-tipped boomerangs etc.) to aid him in his criminal endeavours. He has been an official member of the Squad in the comics, but his personality is rather abrasive and no one seems to like him very much.
Name: Killer Croc (Waylon Jones)
Played by: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Previous job: Professional alligator wrestler
Killer Croc is one of Batman's better-known villains, thanks to his frequent appearances in Batman: The Animated Series. He was created in 1983, in a storyline that resulted in Jason Todd taking up the mantle of Robin after Killer Croc killed his parents. Born with a rare genetic condition that gives him a crocodilian appearance (and swimming ability), Waylon Jennings soon turned to crime, only to wind up a frequent resident of Arkham Asylum, thanks to Batman. Killer Croc also has mildly cannibalistic tendencies and once ate a doctor who failed to cure him.
Name: El Diablo (Chato Santana)
Played by: Jay Hernandez
Favourite song: Burning down the house by Talking Heads
Although there had been two previous versions of El Diablo (comics history being the complicated mess that it is), the current version, former gang member Chato Santana, only made his first comics appearance in 2011, when he was inducted into the Suicide Squad. Covered in scary-looking tattoos, El Diablo is possessed by a demon that allows him to control fire. He's also one of the few squad members (along with Harley Quinn) to have his own comics title, having renounced crime after his powers led to a personal tragedy. Responds well (or badly, depending on how you look at it) to taunting.
Name: Slipknot (Christopher Weiss)
Played by: Adam Beach
Introductory line: “This is Slipknot, he can climb anything”
Created in 1984, Slipknot is a trained assassin who is, um, a master in the use of ropes. He uses a special, self-created chemical adhesive that makes his ropes nearly indestructible. As a member of the Suicide Squad, Slipknot is known for a particular incident in the comics and, without giving anything away, let's just say that the movie is extremely faithful to comics history in that regard.
Name: Katana (Tatsu Yamashiro)
Played by: Karen Fukuhara
Why she's awesome: Her sword contains the essence of everyone it has ever killed, including her own husband.
Created in 1983, Katana was a martial arts expert who received samurai training and took up the mantle of Katana after the murder of her husband, after which she turned her talents to fighting crime. In the movie, she's employed by Amanda Waller and tasked with protecting Rick Flag, should any of the Squad get out of hand. Like Deadshot, Katana has made frequent TV appearances on Arrow, where she was played by Rila Fukushima.
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