With a seemingly neverending array of disposable rouges to kill off, the DC Extended Universe made an unsurprising comeback with Task Force X this month. As the disturbingly brilliant mind of James Gunn got to work on a reboot of David Ayer’s previous critical flop, The Suicide Squad was bound to be a bright success packed with misfits who would receive glory and outcasts who would be instantly shamed. From the worst to the best, this ranking is based on a critical perspective of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad members.
*** Spoilers ahead! ***
For a war-mongering alien that is supposed to be a threat, Mongal at least has an opportunity to get in on some action before being offed by her own stupidity. She is absolutely used only as a joke, set piece, and set-up rather than that of a real character. On the outside, Mongal may look menacing but the reality of Mayling Ng’s one-line character is that she is definitively the most underdeveloped character of The Suicide Squad. Coming in with less than thirty seconds of actual screentime, Mongal has nothing going for her. On top of this, considering the fact that she is the reason for the death of Captain Boomerang, there is no reason to explain why audiences feel nothing for the character.
13. Richard Hertz, Blackguard
What is there to even say about Pete Davidson’s portrayal of a sellout? Outside of being a villain for Booster Gold and once opening a bar with a Green Lantern in the comics, Blackguard has had almost no real characterization throughout his DC legacy. Out of all The Suicide Squad’s most disposable members, Richard Hertz was no doubt going to be one of the first to go — and just like his original comic book appearance, he was. Blackguard is instantly killed off upon his first few minutes into Amanda Waller’s latest mission for the United States Government; the villain’s comic book history was practically translated right to the big screen.
12. Cory Pitzner, The Detachable Kid
Never even a member of the Suicide Squad in the comic books, The Detachable Kid [T.D.K.] is the oddest player of Gunn’s chosen bunch of characters. Even as pathetic as Nathan Fillion’s character is, perhaps he is just a perfect way to introduce the director’s concept of an oddball team of disposable villains. With the power to detach his limbs from his body, the only thing the audience will be wondering after seeing his powers in action is how far he will survive in a firefight? The answer is not too long as T.D.K. bleeds out during the opening onslaught.
11. Digger Harkness, Captain Boomerang
When Suicide Squad premiered back in 2016, Captain Boomerang unsurprisingly managed to nab a spotlight as David Ayer’s original title was cherry-picked to the stem for anything good by critics and audiences alike. Out of all the first film’s victories, Jai Courtney’s performance as Captain Boomerang was one of the many few. While he may be killed off in the introduction of the film, at least Boomer gets to briefly reunite with his former teammate Harley Quinn for some laughs and throw down some sick slices with his iconic weaponry. If any character were to piss audiences off during the opening beach landing, Digger Harkness’ death undoubtedly sets Gunn’s all-rules are off atmosphere for what was to come.
Being the big joke character of the film, Sean Gunn’s Weasel manages to score one of the best laughs and realizations for the audience before Task Force X can even see any action. While his fakeout demise might double down for two hilarious bookending scenes, it certainly shows the dark reality of the Suicide Squad’s purpose. Upon first impressions, it is easy to understand the actuality that Amanda Waller will quite literally throw together anyone for a suicide mission no matter how fit they are for the mission. Weasel provides a great step into the film’s drastically different tone from its predecessor as Gunn utilizes the character to set a cruel standard: the upcoming mission will be an absolute bloodbath.
9. Gunter Braun, Javelin
Character-wise, Flula Borg’s Javelin is the first villain on this list who actually plays a significant overarching role in the film when it comes to affecting the rest of the cast — at least a part of him does. Outside of his amazing accent and some great opening banter between the team, the javelin he gives Harley Quinn during his dying breath is later used to deliver the final blow on Starro the Conquerer. He may have gone out with a joke, but Javelin provides a necessary jab into helping the female lead later develop. The passing of his signature weapon is a moment that motivates Quinn to later help Bloodsport destroy Corto Maltese’s alien threat. Even if he may have quickly perished in combat, Javelin helped the Suicide Squad carry on to victory.
8. Brian Durlin, Savant
Michael Rooker may have only gotten one chance to showcase the power of Savant, but the hopeless villain certainly does act as a fascinating perspective to walk into The Suicide Squad with. After killing an innocent bird whose same species would later pick out his remaining brains, the Birds of Prey comic book foe slowly devolves into a coward not ready for the realities of war. Before team two’s introduction that features the main cast, Savant is used to set the standards of the film’s severity as audiences see the first battle against the Corto Maltese government through his point of view. The terrified marksman may get his brains blown out after committing desertion, but his fear is one of the first instances in the film where audiences will sympathize with the gang of mostly doomed misfits.
7. Nanaue, King Shark
Said to be the descendent of an ancient shark god, Nanaue is an important piece of The Suicide Squad’s heart that sadly does not get too much to actually do. King Shark’s portrayal in the film is neither like David Hayter or Ron Funches’ previous outings as the sea creature, however, it does mix some of their characteristics together for a rather wholesome albeit terrifying interpretation. Despite his lack of communication skills, Sylvester Stallone’s and Steve Agee’s King Shark is far from incompetent. As he is just learning the ropes of humanity, you can not help but feel for Nanaue as he comes to the realization of who his real friends are — even if he may have tried to eat the one who saved him.
6. Colonel Rick Flag
Of all the returning veterans from David Ayer’s Suicide Squad film, Colonel Rick Flag had the most unexpected redeeming turnaround. Originally shouting exposition and acting as the humorless uninspired leader of Task Force X, Joel Kinnaman’s soldier was a comic book fan-favorite returning viewers would probably wave red flags over before giving him a chance. Ditching his complete military look and double down on a charismatic attitude, Rick Flag instantly became a highlight of The Suicide Squad as he seeks his own justice. Even when he was down to his last moments against Peacemaker, there was no denying that Kinnaman’s rebooted portrayal of the Suicide Squad leader was nothing short of exceptional. Despite the director’s warnings, it was hard to not become attached to his character this time around.
5. Christopher Smith, Peacemaker
John Cena’s Peacemaker makes a perfect character foil for Idris Ebla’s Bloodsport. Christopher Smith and Robert DuBois may have the same physical qualifications to be worthy of spearheading the Suicide Squad, however, the former’s corruption seeps through his own flawed cracks. From his attitude to his actions, Peacemaker is a perfect example of a villain who may strive for a universally wanted goal, yet he definitely is not at all in the right mindset. Between the constant humor he presents and a serious attitude despite wearing a toilet bowl, John Cena steals the spotlight for The Suicide Squad’s most likable criminal. Peacemaker has a lot to answer for when he returns early next year on HBO Max.
4. Abner Krill, Polka Dot Man
When James Gunn searched “‘who’s the dumbest DC character of all time?”, audiences should have expected the Polka Dot Man to become one of the film’s absolute best team members. Harley Quinn may come close in terms of her mistaken perception of the world, but no other character in The Suicide Squad presents the dangers and reality of mental health more so than David Dastmalchian’s melancholy showcase as Abner Krill. Once again, Dastmalchian takes the role of the DC Universe’s shining trump card that never lets down as he helps turn’s one of comic history’s biggest face slaps into one of the film industry’s greatest anti-hero portrayals. Who would have thought throwing polka dots could be so awesome?
3. Harleen Quinzel, Harley Quinn
If there was one character the first live-action Suicide Squad movie screwed over, Harley Quinn deserved justice and James Gunn absolutely delivered. Continuing her storyline from the last appearance she made in DC’s Extended Universe, former psychiatrist and girlfriend of the Joker Harleen Quinzel rejoins the Suicide Squad after a road rage bank heist incident. Whereas Colonel Rick Flag received redemption for his last lackluster appearance as he donned a completely different attitude, Harley Quinn is notably able to bounce off her prior kooky misdoings as she flaunts more character progression. On top of it all, The Suicide Squad might be one of if not Margot Robbie’s best performance in terms of both speech and physicality — that key stunt was seriously impressive!
2. Robert DuBois, Bloodsport
Originally intended to be Deadshot’s replacement, Idris Elba stepped in for Will Smith’s role and walked out with an even better villain. Bloodsport may draw a lot of similarities to Deadshot, however, Robert DuBois came out on top over Floyd Lawton in every conceivable way. Bloodsport was the perfect leader for the newest Task Force X as his stake in the mission is able to resonate with his close allies. Out of the entire cast featured in the film, Bloodsport is definitely the villain that audiences will root for the most as he does not need any bloody action sequences to convince viewers that his emotions are in the right place. His quality of accepting others who yield heart-wrenching problems only helps him further form the best interpretation of Task Force X viewers will likely get to see on the big screen.
1. Cleo Cazo, Ratcatcher 2
Ratcatcher 2 is absolutely the heart and soul of The Suicide Squad that keeps on giving. Daniela Melchior’s appearance as Cleo Cazo arguably is the most important character part of the new Task Force X as she brings the unlikely villains altogether through her emotions. Throughout the film, Ratcatcher 2 is constantly connecting with the other squad members as her unfortunate past, misunderstood desperations, and heart-warming appreciation for animals inevitably grow to be the team’s intertwining roots. Ratcatcher 2 may not be at the center of the film as there is technically no main protagonist, however, she is undoubtedly and unexpectedly The Suicide Squad’s surprise underdog. Viewers will sympathize with Ratcatcher 2 the most as she upholds the salvation and redemption of The Suicide Squad’s worst.