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For those that don’t know Suicide Squad is a DC comic which first appeared (in this form anyways) in 1987. The basic concept, a black ops team made up of superpowered or highly skilled criminals working for a clandestine part of the U.S government. The team is overseen by Amanda Waller (played by Viola Davis in the upcoming film) a high ranking U.S official, the team is officially referred to as “Task Force X”. The team gained its other name due to the highly dangerous nature of the missions they are sent on which they are not expected to survive. Throughout the years numerous characters have featured in the squad with some like Deadshot becoming popular. DC relaunched the title recently as part of the New 52 with Harley Quinn, Deadshot, El Diablo and several other characters in the team.

One of the biggest assets that Suicide Squad has going for it though is it fits the “gritty” world setting far more than the woefully bad Man Of Steel did and will hopefully be less reliant on characters throwing each other into vehicles and then buildings in a poorly executed orgy of destruction. Taking the basis of the classic film The Dirty Dozen and reworking it as a Government black ops team made up of some of the worst and most dangerous criminals in DC’s universe is packed with potential. That the director and co writer is David Ayer, the writer of Training Day and writer/director of Fury and End Of Watch is yet more evidence that this could be one of the best films that DC has been involved with in years but how much the characters stay true to their comic origins remains to be seen.

The first trailer for the upcoming Suicide Squad was shown recently at SDCC but was inevitably leaked,with woefully bad quality video popping up on various websites. A short time later the suits at Time Warner after some standard blah,blah,blah about piracy being bad actually switched their brains on and released the trailer in HD. David Ayer’s film has a large ensemble cast playing a host of characters some more well known than others here’s some thoughts on a few of them.

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Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth throughout The Internet when the first shot of the cast in costume appeared. Those expecting the classic Harley Quinn (as originally seen in Batman The Animated Series before transitioning into comics due to the characters popularity) were left wanting and pretty much everyone else was left to complain about how the Harley Quinn as seen in the recent New 52 Suicide Squad wasn’t Harley Quinn anyways. This ignores the truth that characters in superhero comics change constantly in both appearance and often in abilities too.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Robbie ends up stealing the film. Robbie’s Harley is featured in the most memorable scenes shown in the trailer, including one that features her tearing through the streets in a car with Ben Affleck’s Batman holding on as she says “I hope you got insurance” flashing a big grin. Exactly what the origin of Harley is in the cinematic universe DC/Time Warner are making isn’t clear yet and neither is her relationship to another character namely The Joker. Much like The Joker Harley Quinn is criminally insane and shares his madcap sense of humour.

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Jared Leto as The Joker

Whether it’s the clowning of Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s 1989 film, “Where does he get those wonderful toys?”, or Heath Ledger’s unhinged turn in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight in 2008, “Let’s put a smile on that face!”, The Joker is the ying to Batman’s yang and Jared Leto faces the challenge of following two very different but very memorable takes on the character. One of the things that will set this take on The Joker apart is the character’s appearance which is a stark contrast with earlier depictions. An early shot of Leto’s as The Joker quickly generated a considerable backlash with many finding the characters appearance unintentionally comical.

What isn’t clear is exactly what the relationship between The Joker and Harley Quinn is in the cinematic universe DC/Time Warner is creating, anyone familiar with the characters will know that The Joker and Harley Quinn are connected originally having one of the most twisted relationships in comics before recent changes seperated the two characters with Harley setting out on her own path .

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Will Smith as Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot

The casting of Will Smith seemed somewhat at odds with the rest of the cast which is made up of relatively unknown actors. Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot is another of the most popular characters to feature in Suicide Squad but first appeared in Batman in the ’50’s. Lawton’s disregard for others and skills as a marksman make him an ideal assassin. The most recent comic had Deadshot as the leader of the Suicide Squad, a role which quickly grates on him, whether this will be his role in the upcoming film remains to be seen. Having Smith ,a charismatic actor who is associated with playing good characters, playing Deadshot is a bit leftfield given Deadshot is pretty much a sociopath.

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Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Waylon Jones aka Killer Croc

Originally appearing in Batman in the early 80’s Waylon Jones aka Killer Croc is one of the more interesting members of Ayer’s Suicide Squad and if the character stays true to his comic origins one of the few who has metahuman abilities. Killer Croc unlike most is more of a tragic and sympathetic character. Born with a variation of epidermolytic hyperkeratosis (bolstered by the presence of a metagene) Jones has the appearance of a reptile and various other associated attributes including enhanced strength, sense of smell and is adept at moving underwater. His appearance lead to being abused as a youth and beyond leading to a building sense of bitter misanthropy.

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Jay Hernandez as Chato Santana aka El Diablo

One of DC’s more obscure characters El Diablo has had several incarnations but this one, Chato Santana is a heavily inked former gang member with the ability to conjure and control fire. Much like Killer Croc El Diablo is another somewhat tragic character haunted by the innocent women and children he unintentionally killed after burning down a building whilst attempting to collect a debt he was owed. El Diabo is often consumed by self loathing and one of the more stoic characters often brooding and pensive contrasting with the likes of Harley Quinn.

Suicide Squad is set for release August 2016 check out the trailer below.