Subject 11: The Suicidal Speculation Squad

Disambiguation

I kept quiet last week and let the dust settle a little on the Suicide Squad movie. Not every comic book related to a movie is going to become valuable. There's a huge amount of risk when it comes to speculation on a movie before it's released. It's always a gamble.

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Also, keep in mind, the movie was called “Suicide Squad”. If you have ever read any of the comics, especially the Adam Glass's New 52 run, you’ll know characters die all the time. The Suicide Squad by very definition is a squad that goes on missions that would be deemed suicidal…. So wouldn't speculating and investing in books for characters in that movie be equally suicidal?

deadshot-killer-croc-harley-quinn-every-suicide-squad-member-s-origin-story-in-less-tha-394449There was plenty of information in the trailers, IMDB and on various websites as to which Suicide Squad members would most likely make it out alive. As speculators, we don't have the luxury of not watching trailers because we don't want the film spoiled. We must watch those trailers. In many cases, a 15th viewing of the trailer could be the difference between making a good or bad investment.

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If you're a Common fan, that shouldn't be your sole rationale for buying copies of Green Lantern Vol 2 #23, SKIN GRAFT: THE ADVENTURES OF A TATTOOED MAN #1 or Green Lantern Vol 4 #9. This is a great example of why your research needs to extend beyond the comics. There were three red flags for Tattoo Man. First was his character's name change to Monster T in the film. Considering there are three iterations of the Tattoo Man, we had no idea which one, if any Common would be playing. He ended up just being a guy with tattoos.

The second was, he's not on any of the poster. While this isn't always an indicator, with a group film like this, it was a dead give away. Third, Common stated in a interview his character's involvement in the movie was “a deal with the Joker”. He wasn't going to be around very long if his connection was the Joker. Add it up, just a really bad idea for an investment.

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Fury of Firestorm vol 1 #28.  People who bought SlipKnot's first appearance… All I can say is it was painfully obvious he wasn’t going to be around for very long. SlipKnot was a prop or plot device, not even really a character. He was going to be the first to get the bomb detonated… I “think” that's directly lifted from the first meeting between Capt. Boomerang and SlipKnot.

El Diablo #1 (2008). I do feel for people who bought into this version of El Diablo's first appearance. Everything in the trailers made it pretty clear to me he would sacrificing his life for redemption. His reluctance to use his power was also a dead giveaway. He seemed to be the one member of the squad that would trade his life in order to stop the unnamed evil… Which ended up being Enchantress, shocker.

The bright side is there's only about 11,000 copies of the book. Also Jay Hernandez who played Diablo in the movie is campaigning to have his character brought back for the sequel.

Strange Adventures #187. Enchantress… While it wasn’t as obvious as SlipKnot, Tattoo Man or El Diablo, it was clear from the trailers she was not going on missions with the rest of the squad. After reading an interview with actress Cara Delevingneit was pretty clear she was going to play a major role. Since she isn't with the squad, it would have to be as the villain. Let's face it, in the trailers she doesn't have any scenes with the rest of the squad. So, if she’s the villain, it's unlikely she's going to be making it out alive. Regardless, it's a Silver Age DC key book, so there are worst things to be stuck with.

This scene from the trailer gave us a clue who “The Suicide Squad” was going to be. Rick Flagg, Deadshot, Katana, Harley, Killer Croc and Capt. Boomerang. It's also the line-up DC has been promoting with Rebirth cover art. While this can't always be an indicator… Sometime it can be helpful when the current comics reflect the movies, rather than the other way round.When you think about it, it makes sense for them to do it. Expect to see more of this type of foreshadowing from both DC and Marvel comics.

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The Brave and the Bold #25. Rick Flagg was the one character I thought for sure was going to buy it in the movie. Since Flagg is leading the squad in both the comics and movie it probably makes sense to hold onto this till the sequel… If you have it.

The Brave and the Bold #200. I kinda feel for the people who backed Katana's books. However, when she showed up on CW’s Arrow, there was very little movement on her first appearance. Katana’s day is not really over yet. Hold these books rather than dumping them on the market. She still have some life left in her… It just may be a while. WB/DC does seem to be interested in the character. She appeared on the short lived CG Beware the Batman animated cartoon a couple years ago. She appeared again on the Arrow TV show and now a bit part in the Suicide Squad. So it’s clear DC/WB is trying to use her. It’s just going to take a little more time. Patients is the key for Katana.

Flash #117. Captain Boomerang. I’ve always hated this character. He’s the one guy I wish they would kill off every issue of Suicide Squad but he manages to stay around. Hold onto this, much like Katana, his time hasn’t really come… After all, he should be in the sequel if nothing else. He's also a regular member of the Squad in the comics. He will get a Most Wanted type mini series like Deadshot/Katana had. Also in the film he's a “brony“, which is why he has the pink stuffed unicorn. I could see interest from the MLP community just from that little nod. Imagine “IF” the brony element carried over into the Rebirth version of Capt. Boomerang. Don't laugh, Brony's money spends like anyone else's.

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Batman #357. Not sure why people thought Killer Croc. was going to be a big thing, he never really has. I like the films take on him for the most part. Croc being one of Batman’s rogues and Jason Todd obviously makes this book a hold.  Since Croc made it out and appears to be part of the main squad now, we’ll see him in the sequel.

Legends #1. Amanda Waller. If you’ve got her first appearances, hold onto these. Waller’s not done in the DC Cinematic Universe, not by a longshot. As mentioned on the podcast, she's the DCCU's Nick Fury… Except meaner, she'll literally shoot you in the back.

Detective Comics #474. Deadshot. Same thing, hold these., we haven’t seen the last of Deadshot. Regardless if Will Smith returns to the roll, I can see Deadshot appearing again on screen. Also Deadshot has been a key member of the squad for a while.

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Batman Adventures #12, Batman:Harley Quinn #1, Mad Love, New 52 Suicide Squad #1. Harley’s one of the bright spot in the Suicide Squad movie. Her key books will be just fine regardless of how well the Suicide Squad movie does.

I'm a big proponent of the Harley getting free from the Joker, but I'm a huge supporter of a Joker that actually cares about Harley as the film presents. The Joker mounting 3 armed assaults to get Harley back, I thought that was the best part of the movie, personally. When has Joker ever lifted a finger to break Harley out of anywhere? Never.

There will always be time for Harley to break away of the Joker on the big screen. If you love the the character you should be happy something exists where her love for the Joker isn't completely one sided.

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As for the Joker… when has the Joker ever been a member of the actual Suicide Squad? When has the Joker appeared in a Suicide Squad comic not in connection to Harley Quinn? Once maybe twice? So why did anyone think for two second his role would be anything more than in support of Harley, or in flashback? I get that people are mad. I’m not saying you don’t have a right to be, but you should probably be mad at yourselves. Sorry, I never expected him to have a major role in the film. Harley was always promoted to be the star. Nobody should have expected more Joker than Harley, that was just delusional.

Speculation for Suicide Squad was always gonna be russian roulette. Just because you're a fan of a character, that isn't enough for their role to be larger than what logic would dictate. Analyze what is most probably based on the trailers and additional sources you have available. Some of that information is going to be inaccurate, but speculation in general is inaccurate and really just a big gamble. Whenever you gamble, there's always both winners and losers.

Till next week.

31 comments

  • Scott Robertson

    Great stuff, love the articles… nice work Skot

  • Thanks for your time and effort you put into this. . . fantastic article.

  • To be fair, the Joker was used in virtually every promotion for the film and his image was seen everywhere there was a mention of Suicide Squad and in its trailers. If I were a Joker fan — I’m not — I would be angry about his diminished role in the actual film as well.

    • Skot Whitman

      I understand you’re playing devil’s advocate. So, To be fair, people didn’t sue Godzilla because the trailers lead them to believe Bryan Cranston would be in it for more than 20 minutes… or the Godzilla would be in it for more than 15 minutes. Since it was called Godzilla after all.

      Had the movie been called Joker Squad and Jared Leto’s name appeared first on all the posters I could understand being upset, yes. But that wasn’t the case. People being upset over Godzilla have a way better case in my opinion.

      Thanks for commenting.

  • Don’t you mean completely useless role?

    Take the Joker out of the movie and it doesn’t affect the story in any way!

    The Joker being diminished to a barely supporting character who’se only reason of being in this movie is because he’s feeling lonely and misses Harley and will help her escape in the grand story of the movie is completely ridiculous.

    • Skot Whitman

      What’s ridiculous is without Harley there was no reason for the Joker to be in a Suicide Squad movie in the first place so I No I don’t feel he was useless, he served his purpose.

      Just because a bunch of Joker fans have some half baked idea of what “they” want his role to be doesn’t change it was exactly what it needed to be. The movie wasn’t called Joker Squad it was called Suicide Squad so folks need to just get over it already.

  • I must disagree. The joker in Suicide Squad was simply put there to insure it gets butts to the movie theater seats.

    Spending millions of dollars to make a movie based on a bunch of DC C listers + Harley Quinn, was a bargain Warners were not prepared to take.

    Add Batman and Joker and they get the green light.

    And let’s be honest… DC knows Batman is the only viable money maker they have in the DCU and they keep adding him in all their movies.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to troll Suicide Squad or anything, there are more than enough people doing that already where at this point it is just redundant, but if they had a good script and they had the right people in place they could have done a great movie without having to add Joker and Batman as insurance.

    Take for instance Guardians of the Galaxy. The movie was well done, it was very successful both critically and financially and they didn’t need to have Iron Man or Cap in it to make it so.

    I want DC to get their $h!+ together and make fun, entertaining well done movies because we as fans would all come out on top, but right now that’s not what is going on and it’s not just the critics being unimpressed but many fans as well and that cannot be a coincidence.

    • Skot Whitman

      I loved GotG, it’s probably my favorite Marvel movie, so we’ve got some common ground. I want DC to get it’s act together too, I’ve been waiting since the first Batman film in the 80’s. After the flaming trainwreck BvS, the Suicide Squad looks like a master piece… Which it’s not, but still, the Squads not the mess Critics and haters have made it out to be. Could it be better, sure, did DC learn anything, maybe, maybe not. The reality is if Justice League and/or Wonder Woman fails, WB/DC is in deep trouble and that will be the end of it.

  • If all this was so obvious why didn’t you stat that before that movie. Your so smart lmao

  • Also genius diablo stopped incubus or brother not enchantress

  • And batman is not dcu’s number 1 stunna not even close it will be 1. Harley 2. Batman

  • It’s not a masculine world we live in nowadays I also could see Wonder Woman passing batman one day. That being said I think the Wonder Woman movie will bomb. If I was investing in anything dcu wise it would be your b list characters that are fan and cosplay favs for example power girl.

  • Is el Diablo dead? I guess I was already so disappointed by that point I wasn’t paying much attention

  • Topher

    GOTG proves that a good script trumps all. It’s obvious that Gunn not only wants to define Marvel in space but he does so while paying homage to the rich history that Marvel has and by this I don’t mean naming a bank after the series writer. Gunn seems like a fan as much as he is a competent writer. That means something. Ayer said he made this movie for the fans. I don’t believe him. Write good characters and cast them well. Come up with an original story. Make it funny and dramatic. Suicide Squad did not of these things. I can watch GOTG for the hundredth time and still tear up when Starlord looks at Rocket’s back. It’s all about the writing and it’s a lesson DC needs to relearn. As far as Wonder Woman goes, I’d like to show her my french flipper trick.

    • Skot Whitman

      “GOTG proves that a good script trumps all”

      Not so much, if GotG proves anything, it proves knowing how to edit down 3 hours into 2 hours helps pacing and can create a far better movie. Multiple people involved with GotG said prior to the theatrical release the first cut of GotG was 3 hours before they started Editing it down. Sadly this seems to be the lessen WB/DC has learned and it’s not the correct one. I love GotG so I’m not saying it’s not a good movie and I’m not saying script isn’t important.

      David Ayers wrote Training Day, the film that won Denzel the Oscar. So the script was never the issue with the suicide squad.

      “It’s obvious that Gunn not only wants to define Marvel in space but he does so while paying homage to the rich history that Marvel has and by this I don’t mean naming a bank after the series writer. Gunn seems like a fan as much as he is a competent writer. That means something.”

      WTF are you talking about? You’re comparing apples and oranges here. By your flawed logic, Gunn really didn’t care about GotG because if he did than he would have used the 1975 version of the Guardians.

      But it’s cool to throw shade at Ayers because he used the New 52 line up of the Suicide Squad. Even though the story in the movie is lifted from a single issue of John Ostrander’s run, according to David Ayers. So Gunn’s can do no wrong making changes to Bendis modern version of the GotG but you crucify Ayer’s for using an Ostrander story with the modern version of the team. Whatever man, that’s another weak argument and you know it.

      “Ayer said he made this movie for the fans. I don’t believe him. Write good characters and cast them well. Come up with an original story.”

      David Ayers used the word “Fans”. He was talking about fans of movies, not necessary comics. Since in context it was in reference to critics of movies, not comics… and dammit Topher, again, you’re smarter than this and I know you know what he meant, but here you are twisting because it fits your argument.

      If people want to attack the studio for meddingling, that fine, but going after Ayers is a weak play, he was not the issue. I’m glad he didn’t use Ostrander’s version of the characters and went the Adam Glass new 52 route since what’s what got me back into comics.

      You know what, I got better things to do than bother with the rest of it. You’ll come up with whatever flimsy nonsense you want to support hating the movie, for the sake of hating it. That’s fine I’m not wasting my time debating it with someone who can’t put up a better argument than this.

      • Topher

        Wow. I think you might be taking your hostility towards other comments here out on me bro. My response was in no way hostile and I don’t think I attacked you in any way. Thanks for the toxic reply though. And yes, a good film takes many things including a good script, cinematography, casting and on and on. But these are all things GOTG did. If you don’t think Marvel took a huge gamble on Gunn and that film then you are a fool.

        Just because Ayer wrote training day does not mean he wrote a good script with SS. Ever see the Usual Subjects or Edge of Tomorrow? Both awesome screenplays. Well that guy also wrote the Way of the Gun.

        I think you misunderstood what I said about Gunn using Marvel’s rich history. I am not talking about adapting stories or the characters directly from the comics. Gunn did not do this. What he did do is pay attention to detail. From the aliens he uses to locations, his movie is accessible to diehards and casual viewers. SS is not. Snyder tried to do it with BvS but he failed, mostly due to a poor screenplay.

        Ayer used a revolutionary quote to respond to his critics and appears to be a hothead. He also refused to specifically tell media where his reshoots were done and in what parts of the film. He seems like a man who made a bad film, knows it and thanks to social media has fallen into the trap instead of ignoring the haters.

        I also think you can take his comment about the fans either way especially since the only people who are going to know who the hell most of these characters are will be fans of the comics.

        For the last time I am not a hater when it comes to this movie. A bad film is a bad film. I just think DC and Ayer can learn a lot from Marvel/Disney. Let the creators create and bring their vision to the screen. It seems to work.

        As far as you go I think you have to be prepared for responses you don’t like without being a Douche. Trust me, sometimes I have to do the same.

  • merlin

    Fantastic article, Skot. I think you were generous regarding future prospects for some of these books but overall your positivity is well within reason, likely because you’re willing to note when the emperor has no… legs. I don’t understand why speculators would be upset by a shortage of Leto…. Have people been stocking up on Batman 1 for this movie? Or were we expecting the already inflated and long desired classicjoker covers to see a bump? Sometimes I think I act like an a-hole until the real jerks come out of the woods. Still, I guess it’s time to sell all your male-fronted super hero books, it ain’t a masculine world anymore 😉

    • Skot Whitman

      Thanks for reading my friend. I think you’re right, people thought they we’re gonna bank on some classic covers with the Joker and now are all butt hurt they couldn’t gouge somebody. Typical.

      Masculine superhero books… just give it some time, once all the bubblegummers and posers fall away things will probably swing back. There’s a lot of people running their mouths all over the web that do not represent the actual, physical comic buying public. There’s also a ton of hype driving things into a frenzy right now. Once all the noise dies down we can all eat cheese cake again.

    • I’m wrong lol deadshot/ will smiths son is the face of a female clothing line. It’s called gender fluidity and it’s what Hollywood is pushing so until movies are shot in Indiana yes sell masculine books. Masculine is not me saying male lead. They will prob all be gay soon anyway it’s a terrible thing

  • Matt DeVoe

    Great article! Even more broadly, Almost every piece of comic book content has shown that selling at the first trailer or a few weeks before their releases is best. Holding seems to leave you holding boxes of devalued comics.

  • I’m still trying to figure out what all the references in the article to a “sequel” are about. This film isn’t close to being in the black yet and no sequels or spin-offs of any kind have been announced.

  • Suicide squad in any form is a sell yesterday if not now. Harley will not be in sequel if she is it will be a cameo.

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