Posted on Thursday, July 16th, 2015 by Angie Han
One of the buzziest trailers to come out of this year’s Comic-Con was Suicide Squad. As Russ put it, the footage teased “a viciously detailed film, with a real eye for keeping things grim and weird.” It won the interest of fans and non-fans alike. Which is all well and good for Warner Bros. — but if you fall into the latter category, you might’ve found yourself as confused by the trailer as you were intrigued.
While characters like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are familiar to just about everyone on the known planet, that’s definitely not the case with Suicide Squad. Fortunately, with over a year to go until the film’s release, there’s plenty of room to get your bearings, and with our help you’ll be caught up in no time at all. Hit the jump for our rundown of the Suicide Squad characters.
In broad terms, the Suicide Squad is a team made up of supervillains who carry out dangerous black-ops missions for the government, in exchange for commuted sentences. Their specific motivations vary, though, and even the “supervillain” part isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. Some of them are more like antiheroes, and at least one of them is typically a superhero in the comics.
But keep that last phrase in mind — “in the comics.” We’ll do our best to get you up to speed on Suicide Squad based on what we know from the books, but at the end of the day we don’t have a very good idea of what details have or haven’t changed in David Ayer‘s cinematic vision. And now that you’ve got that, here we go…
Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is the government agent who has rounds up and then oversees the Suicide Squad. Think of her as the gang’s version of Nick Fury — only, if possible, even more ruthless. It takes a ballsy sort of genius to even dream up the idea of employing supervillains, and Amanda Waller is that genius. Despite having no supernatural powers, she’s tough and sharp enough to keep this wicked group in line. Most of the time, anyway.
In the comics, Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) begins as June Moone, an artist who stumbles across a magical being in an old, secret chamber. The encounter leaves her with the ability to transform into Enchantress, a powerful sorceress who can heal and teleport, among other things. June struggles to keep her Enchantress side from growing unchecked and tipping over into the dark side, which is presumably why she looks so unhappy in most of the Suicide Squad trailer.
Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is the rare DC favorite who started out on the screen, not the page. She was invented in 1992 for Batman: The Animated Series. But it’s only in Suicide Squad that she’s making her live-action movie debut.
As her backstory usually goes, Harleen Quinzel was an Arkham Asylum psychiatrist who fell in love with one of her subjects, the Joker. In her insane devotion to him she refashions herself as Harley Quinn, his devoted accomplice and girlfriend. She’s exceptionally strong and agile (as demonstrated by her debut scene in the trailer). In some versions she’s also immune to toxins, thanks to the intervention of her BFF Poison Ivy. Alas, Poison Ivy doesn’t appear in Suicide Squad, or at least not that we’ve heard.