The Suicide Squad, also known as Task Force X (the name of a closely related but independent supervisory organization), is a name for two fictional organizations in the DC Comics Universe. The first version debuted in The Brave and the Bold (vol. 1) #25 (1959), and the second in Legends #3 (1987).
The modern Suicide Squad (created by John Ostrander in Legends #3) is an antihero team of incarcerated supervillains who act as deniable assets for the United States government, undertaking high-risk black ops missions in exchange for commuted prison sentences. The group operates out of Belle Reve Penitentiary, under the directorship of Dr. Amanda Waller. The Suicide Squad's existence helps to explain why many convicted villains in the DC Universe roam free without having heroes tracking them down - until they, inevitably, attempt or commit another crime.
This entry covers the various incarnations of the Suicide Squad (and the 5 associated monthly Suicide Squad comic book series) that exist throughout DC Universe canon, from its origins in the Silver Age, to its modern-day post-Crisis reimagining, to the current version that was introduced in the wake of DC's New 52 continuity reboot, plus various television media and the upcoming Suicide Squad feature film, set to star Will Smith, Joel Kinnaman, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Viola Davis, and Cara Delevingne.
The team's concept self-consciously emulated the World War II film The Dirty Dozen and the television series Mission: Impossible. In addition, the Squad's existence was top-secret, creating much tension within the group, and leading the Squad to be targeted (unsuccessfully) by the likes of Lois Lane and Batman (the latter was forced to back off from his investigation when Squad leader Amanda Waller threatened to use her considerable government resources to expose Batman's secret identity). While some Squad members—such as Bronze Tiger, Captain Boomerang, and Deadshot—were permanent fixtures, the balance of membership comprised a rotating cast of often very minor-league villains. These villains would agree to tackle missions in exchange for commuted prison sentences; thus, the Squad served as a partial explanation for what sometimes appeared to be a revolving-door justice system in the DC Universe.
Suicide Squad (vol. 1) lasted 66 issues, along with one Annual and one special (Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad Special #1). After the series' cancellation in 1992, the Squad went on to make several guest appearances in titles such as Superboy (this Squad incorporated many of Superboy's enemies, as well as Superboy himself), Hawk & Dove, Chase, and Adventures of Superman.
Suicide Squad (vol. 2) was published in 2001, written by Keith Giffen, with art by Paco Medina. Though the series' first issue featured a Squad composed entirely of Giffen's Injustice League members, the roster was promptly slaughtered, save for Major Disaster and Multi-Man (whose powers make him unkillable). This prompted Squad leader Sgt. Rock to recruit new members—most of whom died during the missions they undertook.
Suicide Squad (vol. 3) (initially subtitled Raise the Flag in DC's solicitations) was an eight-issue miniseries published in 2007. It featured the return of writer John Ostrander, with art by Javier Pina. The story focused on the return of Rick Flag, Jr., and the formation of a new Squad for the purpose of attacking a corporation responsible for the development of a deadly bio-weapon. Along the way, the group had to deal with the treachery of involuntary Squad member General Wade Eiling, and—true to the series' form—several fourth-string villains died in the line of duty.
Suicide Squad (vol. 4) debuted as part of DC Comics' line-wide New 52 continuity reboot in 2011. The relaunched book was written by Adam Glass, with art by Federico Dallocchio and Ransom Getty. Amanda Waller once again directs the group from behind-the-scenes; Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and King Shark feature prominently on this version of the Squad. This series concluded in 2014, with issue #30.
New Suicide Squad, was launched in July 2014. Written by Sean Ryan with art by Jeremy Roberts, the new series continues to feature Deadshot and Harley Quinn, with Deathstroke, Black Manta, and Joker's Daughter added to the mix.
Suicide Squad Movie: August 5th, 2016
Suicide Squad (2016)
A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency and rescue the world from a powerful threat. The film introduces Deadshot, Joker, Harley Quinn, Amanda Waller, and the Suicide Squad to the DCEU.
In February 2009, prior to the development of the DCEU, Warner Bros. Pictures was developing a Suicide Squad film, with Dan Lin producing and Justin Marks writing the script. On January 1, 2014, Bleeding Cool's look at Marks' script showed that Deadshot was the lead character, with Rick Flag, Captain Boomerang, Vixen, Multiplex, Mindboggler and Amanda Waller appearing as members of the team.
In September 2014, David Ayer signed on to direct and write the screenplay for the DCEU film. Charles Roven co-produced the film. In November 2014, it was confirmed that Margot Robbie would appear as Harley Quinn, and in the following month, the rest of the cast was announced — Will Smith as Deadshot, Jared Leto as the Joker, Tom Hardy as Rick Flag, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, and Cara Delevingne as Enchantress. It was announced on December 16, 2014 that Viola Davis was cast as Amanda Waller. Tom Hardy had to drop out as Rick Flag because of scheduling issues with his film The Revenant. In January 2015, Jake Gyllenhaal was being eyed to replace Hardy as Rick Flag, but declined. Joel Kinnaman was chosen later on to replace Hardy. On February 13, 2015, "multiple individuals with knowledge of the project" told The Wrap that Kinnaman was cast in the role, though Warner Bros. did not comment on this. It was also reported that Jay Hernandez was in talks for a role, in which he was later confirmed to play El Diablo. In March and April 2015, it was reported that Scott Eastwood was cast in an unspecified role and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc and Raymond Olubowale in an unknown role. On May 3, 2015, Ayer tweeted out the first cast picture confirming the characters predominately featured in the film: Rick Flag, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, El Diablo, Killer Croc, Katana, Slipknot and Enchantress.
Suicide Squad was released on August 5, 2016.
Arrow: Suicide Squad
In Arrow season 2 episode "Suicide Squad", the team appears under the direction of Amanda Waller and consists of Deadshot, Shrapnel, Bronze Tiger, and Lyla Michaels. John Diggle was also a temporary member of the team, but left at the end of the episode, Harley Quinn was locked in her room and not called for duty, but is a member. Shrapnel is apparently killed by Waller as a result of him abandoning the mission. Diggle releases the team again in the season 2 finale "Unthinkable" to help him save Starling City from being bombed to stop Slade Wilson's army. In "Draw Back Your Bow" Oliver hands over Carrie Cutter / Cupid to Waller for the Suicide Squad to put her skills to a useful case, having taken pity on her. In "The Brave and the Bold" it is revealed that Digger Harkness was once a member of the Suicide Squad but his last mission became a failure and Michaels ordered the mission and him to be terminated, which proved to be unsuccessful. The team will appear in the episode "Suicidal Tendencies" with Deadshot and Cupid.
In July 2014, David Ramsey, who portrays Diggle on Arrow, indicated that the producers were looking into spinning off the Suicide Squad into their own series, saying, "They're talking about spinning Suicide Squad off. I don't know if they're going to really do it, but they've been talking about it," due to the positive fan reception. Ramsey also said a spin-off could potentially occur during Arrow 's mid-season hiatus, or during a two to three episode period during the third season of Arrow, as a "kind of connecting the tissue of the last season [two] to the beginning of the [third] season."
"Arrow" TV Series (2012-2015)
Arrow is an American television series developed by writer/producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg. It is based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow, a costumed crime-fighter created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp. It premiered in North America on The CW on October 10, 2012, with international broadcasting taking place in late 2012. Primarily filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the series follows billionaire playboy Oliver Queen, portrayed by Stephen Amell, who, five years after being stranded on a hostile island, returns home to fight crime and corruption as a secret vigilante whose weapon of choice is a bow and arrow. Unlike in the comic books, Queen does not initially go by the alias "Green Arrow".
The series takes a realistic look at the Green Arrow character, as well as other characters from the DC Comics universe. Although Oliver Queen/Green Arrow had been featured in the television series Smallville from 2006 to 2011, the producers decided to start clean and find a new actor (Amell) to portray the character. Arrow focuses on the humanity of Oliver Queen, and how he was changed by time spent shipwrecked on an island. Most episodes have flashback scenes to the five years in which Oliver was missing.
Arrow has received generally positive reviews from critics, and was the CW's highest-rated new series in five years. The series averaged about 3.68 million viewers over the course of the first season, and has received three awards and multiple nominations. To promote it, a preview comic book was released before the television series began, while webisodes featuring a product tie-in with Bose were developed for the second season. The first and second seasons are available on DVD and Blu-ray in regions 1, 2 and 4; a soundtrack was also released for the first two seasons. The third season premiered on October 8, 2014, with a spin-off series set in the same universe, titled The Flash, airing on October 7, 2014. On January 11, 2015, Arrow was renewed for a 23-episode fourth season.
Flash & Arrow All-Star Team-Up (2015)
Barry made his first appearance in the Arrow season two episode "The Scientist" as a CSI from Central City. He arrives in Starling City to investigate a suspect with super powers who might have connections to a case in Central City. He meets Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) after Queen Consolidated is burgled. Barry has an immediate rapport with Oliver's confidante, Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards). Oliver is immediately suspicious of Barry despite the needs of his forensic expertise; Barry's investigation of the theft allows Oliver and his partners to begin uncovering the Mirakuru plot orchestrated by Deathstroke (Manu Bennett). Barry reveals that he is not in Starling officially, and his quarry may have been involved in the murder of Barry's mother. In addition, Barry hopes to meet the Arrow during his time in Starling City, as he has been reading the hero's exploits as a fan and seeks his help in solving his mother's murder.
He is ordered to return to Central City, but Felicity and John Diggle (David Ramsey) bring him to their hideout when Oliver is poisoned. In the following episode, "Three Ghosts", Barry saves Oliver's life, and continues to assist Felicity in hunting Cyrus Gold (Graham Shiels), a test subject of Sebastian Blood (Kevin Alejandro), after proving that he can be trusted. In a gesture of friendship, he leaves a custom-made domino mask for Oliver to improve his disguise. Returning to Central City, he is hit by lightning while in his lab at the same time that the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator explodes across town. In "Blast Radius", it is revealed that Barry was left in a coma following the lab accident. In "The Man Under the Hood", Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon take inventory at the Starling City facility of S.T.A.R. Labs prior to its shutdown by Harrison Wells; they are interrupted by Deathstroke. Caitlin and Cisco later help Felicity create an antidote for the Mirakuru drug.
In March 2014, it was announced that Gustin would not appear in a third episode of Arrow as originally planned. However, Danielle Panabaker and Carlos Valdes appear in the Arrow episode "The Man Under the Hood" in their roles as Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon, respectively. Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim stated, "This was something that really came about because obviously Barry is in a coma at the end of ["Three Ghosts"]. That pretty much made it impossible for Barry to appear in [the third episode, as originally planned]... The idea of bringing in [Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon] really, really appealed to us because it allowed us to honor our original intention [of] doing something Flash-related around episode 19 or 20 [of season two] without having comatose Barry and basically paying Grant Gustin a lot of money to sit around with his eyes closed just unconscious the whole episode... It allows us to further flesh out the Flash universe in Arrow."
In May 2014, it was revealed that Amell appears as Oliver Queen / Arrow in the pilot episode. In July 2014, Kreisberg stated that Rickards would appear in the fourth episode as Felicity and that a crossover event would occur in episode eight of The Flash and the eighth episode of Arrow season 3. In August 2014, it was announced that previous Arrow nemesis William Tockman/The Clock King (Robert Knepper) would be making an appearance in the first season's seventh episode. Members of The Royal Flush Gang, who previously appeared on Arrow, made a cameo appearance in the eleventh episode of the series. In early January 2015, The CW president Mark Pedowitz announced the intention to do a Flash/Arrow crossover every season, while later that month, it was revealed that Rickards and Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer would appear in the eighteenth episode, "All-Star Team-Up".
"The Justice League" Part One
In Theaters November 17th, 2017
Motivated by Superman's selfless sacrifice, Batman and Wonder Woman assemble a team of metahumans to face a new catastrophic threat. The film introduces Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, James Gordon, Mera, Nudis Vulko, and Iris West to the DCEU.
The new Justice League film will be starring: Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Henry Cavill (Clark Kent / Superman), Jason Momoa (Arthur Curry / Aquaman), Gal Gadot (Diana Prince / Wonder Woman), and Ray Fisher (Victor Stone / Cyborg).
In October 2014, Warner Bros. announced the film would be released in two parts as the fifth and ninth installments of the DC Comics' shared universe films, with Part One releasing in 2017, and Part Two in 2019. Snyder will direct both films. It is expected that Fisher will appear as Cyborg, and Jason Momoa will appear as Aquaman.
On January 19, 2016, concept art was released for the film confirming Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, and the Flash as the official lineup, though Geoff Johns hinted that a Green Lantern and the Green Lantern Corps will eventually join the roster and appear in the movie. Snyder later discussed that Doomsday, and his mythological origins will be more greatly detailed within the Justice League films after his debut appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In March 2016, it was announced J. K. Simmons would play Commissioner Gordon in the series. That same month, Heard confirmed with Entertainment Tonight that she will indeed be portraying Mera. According to writer Chris Terrio, the film will not be as dark as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and will instead feature a lighter tone. Filming for the movie started on April 11. In April 2016, Willem Dafoe was cast as Nuidis Vulko, an advisor to Aquaman. That same month, Eisenberg confirmed that he would reprise his role as Lex Luthor. In June 2016, Johns revealed the title for the film would be Justice League.
"Justice League" Part 2
in Theaters June 14th, 2019
The Justice League sequel will be starring: Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Henry Cavill (Clark Kent / Superman), Jason Momoa (Arthur Curry / Aquaman), Gal Gadot (Diana Prince / Wonder Woman), and Ray Fisher (Victor Stone / Cyborg).
In October 2014, Warner Bros. announced the film would be released in 2 parts as the 5th and 9th installments of the DC Comics' shared universe films, with Part One releasing in 2017, and Part Two in 2019. Snyder will direct both films. A Justice League movie sequel was scheduled to be released on June 14, 2019, but has since been delayed to accommodate the release for a standalone Batman movie that will be directed by Ben Affleck.
Suicide Squad 2 (2020?)
In March 2016, it was reported that a Suicide Squad sequel is in development. Ayer has expressed interest in making it R-rated. In December 2016, it was reported that development of the sequel was ongoing.
In March 2016, it was announced that Warner Bros. would bring Ayer and Smith back for a sequel, to be shot in 2017. The following month, Ayer expressed an interest in making the sequel R-rated. Fukuhara has stated that she wants to explore Katana's backstory in the sequel, and Courtney has stated about his hopes of reprising his role as well.
In addition, it was later announced in September that Warner Bros. was planning a film focusing on Harleen Quinzel / Harley Quinn, with Robbie serving as executive producer and Christina Hodson serving as the screenwriter for the solo film. In December 2016, The Hollywood Reporter stated that Ayer was in discussion to direct Gotham City Sirens, a film based on Harley Quinn and other female villains. That same month, it was also revealed that the studio is looking to produce a solo film focusing on Floyd Lawton / Deadshot, which would potentially star Will Smith.
In December 2016, it was announced that Warner Bros. are developing a Deadshot solo film as a spin-off of Suicide Squad.
Gotham City Sirens (2020?)
In May 2016, it was reported that a Harley Quinn -focused spin-off film, which will feature other DC Comics female characters, was in development. Robbie will reprise her role as Quinn and serve as a producer as well. As of September 2016, Robbie's newly created studio LuckyChap Entertainment will help develop the upcoming film. In November 2016, it was confirmed that Christina Hodson will serve as the screenwriter the film. In December 2016, it was announced that David Ayer will direct the spin-off film, entitled Gotham City Sirens, from a screenplay by Geneva Robertson-Dworet.