So the Comic Con to end all Comic Cons has come and gone. It goes without saying that despite being the debutante; Star Wars won hands down with perhaps the best after-party that San Diego has seen in a long time. DC and Warner Bros arguably came a close second with a trailer for Batman v. Superman that converted many a naysayer. They also managed to wow crowds by giving us our first glimpse at footage from the Suicide Squad film. Although initially reluctant to release the trailer online, leaks forced DC’s hand as they are want to do. Having watched the trailer in all its HD glory, it seems like the perfect time to look at five things that we need to see in Suicide Squad in our latest Panels to Pictures.
1) Amanda Waller being a Bad-Ass
The DC animated universe has in many ways spoiled this generation of comic book and superhero fans. To say that many consider it the definitive version of theses characters is an understatement and it shouldn’t be hard to understand why given the dedication that Bruce Timm and Paul Dini’s put into their work. They understood that Amanda Waller has to be imposing on an intellectual level. She is more than just a handler for Task Force X, she is a political powerhouse and a woman who puts even the toughest DC characters in their place. All it should take is her word to drive the fear of God into the hardest of criminals.The New 52 initiative made a grave mis-calculation in its approach to Waller. Much of what makes Waller great is that she isn’t physically imposing in the classic sense. She doesn’t look like someone you should be afraid of, she’s someone who is underestimated because of her size, stature and gender. She is the anti-thesis of what is expected of her. The Skinny Waller re-design turned her to an archetypal femme fatale with only the slightest of hints towards the true brilliance of her character. The purpose was to show that Waller could be an action heroine, but she doesn’t need to be, that’s somebody else’s job. That isn’t to say that Waller is afraid to take matters into her own hands when needs be, but as the puppet-master she shouldn’t have to. The casting of Viola Davis in the role is a big step into doing the character justice and what little we get of her in the trailer is certainly promising. All we need is a scene of her successfully staring down Batman and we should be good to go.
2) The Harley Quinn/Joker Relationship
If purported leaks from the set are to be believed, then the film will see the Suicide Squad charged with taking down the Joker himself. Inevitably this will lead to a clash between the Clown Prince of Crime and his disciple(and occasional girlfriend), Harley Quinn. Their relationship is as classic as it is tragic. While Quinn as a young psychologist attempts to exploit the Joker to further her own careers, the tables are quickly turned as he lures her into chaotic web. Harley’s inability to break free from the Joker’s control, despite her best efforts, is central to who she is and its unfortunately an experience that many victims of domestic abuse are all to familiar with. The film-makers would do well to hint at the origin featured in “Mad Love”, but to focus on modern Harley’s almost bi-polar attitude towards the Joker. They must walk a fine line between ensuring that Harley is an agent in her own right, while also demonstrating the power that Mister Jay has over her. We must be both charmed and horrified by Harley in equal measure, that’s what makes her endearing.
3) Each member of the Squad has to have a purpose
While an ensemble movie is nothing new, the amount of characters set to feature in Suicide Squad is astounding. Squad members alone include Waller, Harley, Deadshot, Killer Croc, Katana, Rick Flag, Boomerang, El Diablo and Slipknot. With so many characters and a limited run-time, the risk of overlooking characters is high. In order to justify their presence on the Squad outside of cannon fodder duty, the film should structure itself like a heist movie with each member chosen for a specific tactical reason. This would allow us some insight into the Squad’s own back-stories while also fleshing out Waller’s character and demonstrating her sharp strategic mind. Additionally it would allow for each character to have their moment in the limelight.
4) Treat Deadshot with the respect he deserves
Those of you wise enough to have read Secret Six know that Deadshot aka Flyod Lawton has potential to be the breakout character of a film which arguably exists as a platform to launch Harley Quinn and the Joker into the DC Cinematic Universe. It is fair to say that his origin story has been retconed to death over the years, but at the heart of the character is father whose lifestyle has lead to him becoming estranged from his daughter. Deadshot takes pride in his skills, but sees them as a means to an end. His relationship with Batman is something that is worth exploring as Lawton finds himself subconsciously pulling his shots around the Dark Knight. It is no accident that Will Smith was cast in the role. While one of the most charismatic actors on the planet, Smith also has the ability to bring a lot of nuance and emotion to a character as evidenced by his role in the Pursuit of Happiness. Deadshot much like Deadpool is as witty as he is deadly, but he also cares deeply about providing for his family. This is something that Arrow’s version of the character (portray by Michael Rowe ) did this very well and the character became a fan favourite because of it. Director David Ayer would do well to take notes.
5) Someone shouldn’t be returning for the Sequel
The number of characters featured on team is ever changing. The nature of the missions they go demands that the stakes are high. In order to fully realise its potential and sell the concept, the Suicide Squad has to live up to its name and that means that one of the core cast members is going to have to be killed off. Be it as a power play by Waller or a stray bullet in a fire-fight, one of our villains is going to have to bite the dust. For it to have any meaning whatsoever, the character must be more than a stereotypical red-shirt, doomed to die. The death should take us by surprise, it should be one of the leads and we should care about them. By all means kill off an expendable character early on to raise the tension, but that won’t be enough. The courageous decision story-wise would be to kill off Will Smith’s Deadshot, but it would probably be a mistake from a business perspective which would make Boomerang the most suitable candidate for the chop. Regardless, if DC wants us to believe that this is a movie and franchise in which anything goes, this is what will be required.
For my money, the best possible Suicide Squad movie has already been made with the 2014 animated feature, Batman: Assault on Arkham. For those of you looking to brush up on your Suicide Squad knowledge, there is no finer starting point.
What do you think? What would you like to see in the Suicide Squad film? Let us know in the comments below.