Oh, sure, they know The Joker. I’m convinced children now come out of the womb knowing The Joker and that Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered in an alley when he was a child, so stop forcing that scene into every Batman movie, will ya?
Anyway, The Joker’s girlfriend, Harley Quinn, has some decent name recognition. But as for the rest of these guys and gals? Hoo boy!
So here’s your introduction to the characters of Friday’s “Suicide Squad”:
Alter ego: Floyd Lawton
Actor: Will Smith
First appearance: Batman No. 59 (June/July 1950)
Characteristics: Possibly the best marksman in the world, he trusts no one except his young daughter.
Actor’s quote: “Deadshot has a daughter he loves more than anything, and he wants desperately to be a great father,” Smith says. “But at the same time he keeps the lights on by being a hitman. He’s deeply conflicted by the paradox of his love for Zoe and the fact that he gets pleasure out of ridding the world of trash.”
Alter ego: Dr. Harleen Quinzel
Actor: Margot Robbie
First appearance: “Batman: The Animated Series” (September 1992)
Characteristics: She was supposed to analyze The Joker at Arkham Asylum, but instead was driven insane by him. Now, they’re the loves of each other’s lives.
Actor’s quote: “I was taken by the idea that people could really live their life for one person,” Robbie says. “And it turns out it’s not really about the person. It’s a compulsion like alcohol or drug addiction. Once I thought of her relationship with Joker in those terms, as an addiction, I had a world of empathy for her.”
Col. Rick Flag
Actor: Joel Kinnaman
First appearance: The Brave and the Bold No. 25 (1959)
Characteristics: Like Deadshot, he’s an expert marksman. Unlike him, Flag, the team’s leader, is no supervillain.
Actor’s quote: “They’re criminals, murderers, and his world view is black and white: Either you’re fighting for good or you’re fighting for bad,” Kinnaman says. “This whole idea of using them to do good? He doesn’t buy it.”
Alter ego: Chato Santana
Actor: Jay Hernandez
First appearance: El Diablo vol. 3 No. 1 (Sept. 2008)
Characteristics: The former gang member can create and manipulate fire, but he’s unable to control the flames when he’s angry. A tragedy has left him unwilling to use his powers.
Actor’s quote: “He’s a fighter, but he’s given up that life,” says Hernandez. “He’s backed away from criminality, away from aggression. He doesn’t want to be a part of society; he feels he belongs in a cage.”
Alter ego: Digger Harkness
Actor: Jai Courtney
First appearance: Flash No. 117 (December 1960)
Characteristics: He brings a bad attitude and an assortment of razor-sharp, incendiary and electrically charged boomerangs.
Actor’s quote: “There’s a cowardly quality to him,” Courtney says. “He’s not really interested in saving the day. He’s always looking for an exit, and he’ll put anyone on the path of destruction if it helps him find that route out.”
Alter ego: Waylon Jones
Actor: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
First appearance: Detective Comics No. 523 (February 1983)
Characteristics: Huge and powerful, he’s adept at surviving and maneuvering in the sewers. Also, he eats people.
Actor’s quote: “As a teenager, he developed this skin affliction where scales started coming out,” Akinnuoye-Agbaje says. “He became very reclusive, defensive. But then a friend advised, ‘You can either run or you can embrace it,’ and that’s what Croc decided to do. He started to own the scales. He joined a circus and started wrestling with crocs. He was loving the attention, telling himself he’s beautiful, but he was also developing the carnal urges of the creature.”
Alter ego: Dr. June Moone
Actor: Cara Delevingne
First appearance: Strange Adventures No. 187 (April 1966)
Characteristics: A wickedly beautiful witch as old as time, she possessed Moone, the love of Flag’s life, during an archaeological dig.
Actor’s quote: “June was looking for some excitement in her life, and she found it,” Delevingne says. “But be careful what you wish for. A woman who had always been in command of her life, she suddenly lost it all. It left her in a fragile state and looking for someone to help her.”
Actor: Karen Fukuhara
First appearance: The Brave and the Bold No. 200 (July 1983)
Characteristics: She became a samurai to avenge the death of her husband by wielding the Soultaker, a large sword that traps the souls of its victims.
Actor’s quote: “These guys are delinquents, they’re criminals,” Fukuhara says. “Katana has a moral code; she’s loyal but fights for justice. So she’s not there to make friends. She’s there to protect Flag the samurai way.”
Actor: Adam Beach
First appearance: Fury of Firestorm No. 28 (October 1984)
Characteristics: A master escape artist, he can climb anything with a series of unbreakable ropes of his own chemical design.
Actor’s quote: Slipknot is “a psycho who is very married to ropes,” Beach says. He “hates the world. He doesn’t want to be here.”
Contact Christopher Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @life_onthecouch