Part of the fun of a movie like The Suicide Squad is the idea that no one is safe. The premise — a team of convicted super-criminals go on impossible missions with bombs in their necks to keep them in line — is great for high-stakes action and surprising twists. It’s also good for making public predictions that you can be smug about later.
Because I thought it would be fun, I made a list of characters that I think would die in The Suicide Squad and showed it to my bosses and coworkers, partly to keep me honest and also to give them ample time to think of a creative punishment if I get this super wrong. Most likely nothing will come of that, except maybe a mildly embarrassing update to this blog.
Some notes on parameters here: I’m writing this before I see The Suicide Squad, having only seen the trailers and not read any reviews ahead of time. Given that there are reviews out there, I have seen Tweets about reviews, and because of that I’m aware that the movie is “violent” and “funny,” two things I figured would be true roughly since the movie was announced. I haven’t interviewed anyone nor spent any more time thinking about the Suicide Squad than I normally do (which is, uh, not much) and my only expertise is a working knowledge of the seminal comics run by John Ostrander, Kim Yale, et al., as well as a passing familiarity with the last decade of their DC comics exploits.
I have also “seen” the first Suicide Squad film, but only as much as anyone else has: with painkillers and an extra seat on both sides of me to accommodate my growing disbelief. In other words, I am going into this about as cold as any comic book fan and movie critic can be. Which means that I am going to disqualify a few characters up front.
First: Harley Quinn. Allow me to court controversy and say that she is, at this moment, more popular than Batman — or at least, close enough that keeping her around is a no-brainer in our franchise-driven movie landscape.
Similarly, John Cena’s Peacemaker is set for an HBO Max spinoff, so he’s off the table, too.
Also, there’s no Suicide Squad without Amanda Waller, so I won’t weigh in on her fate either. I’m also prepared to eat my shorts over this entire paragraph.
One final thing: Because I’m going into this as cold as possible, and because this movie is jam-packed with characters, I don’t really know who is super important and who is not. I tried to guess, but it’s completely possible I’ve listed a character that doesn’t really matter, or omitted one that was super important.
Now for the verdicts, which I will kick off with a quote from Alfred Pennyworth: Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?
Col. Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman)
Often the straight man to the more outrageous villains, you don’t really need Rick Flag, just someone in his role. In the comics, Flag is the government agent responsible for keeping the Squad in line in the field, and almost always present. I, however, believe that since “Rick Flag” sounds like a fake name to begin with, moviegoers would not miss him. He will die to save Harley Quinn.
Status by the end: Goner.
Bloodsport (Idris Elba)
We are, as a nation, putting behind us the days where we disrespected Idris Elba by casting him in films like The Dark Tower. Idris lives.
Status by the end: Survivor.
Savant (Michael Rooker)
James Gunn killed Michael Rooker in his last movie.
Status by the end: He lives.
T.D.K. (Nathan Fillion)
An original character made just for the film whose powers may constitute a spoiler, I’m gonna go ahead and say he is a joke, one where the best punchline is probably a comedically gruesome death.
Status by the end: He bites the dust.
Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney)
This is the role Jai Courtney was born to play. I don’t particularly care if you consider that praise or an insult.
Status by the end: He goes the distance.
Javelin (Flula Borg)
Remember Flula? Dying is probably the only point of his character, whom I will not look up.
Status by the end: Unsubscribed (that means “dead”).
Blackguard (Pete Davidson)
Pete Davidson has other stuff to do, even if his whole deal is looking like he never does anything.
Status by the end: Sorry Blackguard, you’re toast.
Calendar Man (Sean Gunn)
I love Calendar Man. James Gunn loves casting his brother in bit parts. All parties agree: Every day is Calendar Man Day.
Status by the end: He lives, but after considerable humiliation.
Nanaue/King Shark (Sylvester Stallone/Steve Agee)
Come on, who’s gonna kill King Shark.
Status by the end: He lives.
The Thinker (Peter Capaldi)
The Twelfth Doctor plays a character that might as well be a Doctor Who villain, a twist no one saw coming. I, however, can see his end coming.
Status by the end: Lol fuckity bye (he’s dead).
Polka-Dot Man(David Dastmalchian)
Polka-Dot Man is a pull so deep that he’s either radically different and weird or a throwaway gag. Given that he’s played by David Dastmalchian, a man who specializes in weird vibes, I’m putting my money on the former, but not so much that I think he’ll be one of the last villains standing.
Status by the end: Dies, but in a heartbreaking way.
Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior)
It would be too cruel to have a Ratcatcher 3.
Status by the end: Lives
Mongal (Mayling Ng)
As far as I can tell, Mongal’s whole deal in DC Comics is being like Mongul, the Superman villain, but a girl. I don’t really know why you’d have either in a blockbuster film in 2021 unless you intended to kill them.
Status by the end: Mon-gone.
Those are my picks. Make some of your own before you see The Suicide Squad, it’ll be fun! Or just make fun of mine. That might be more fun.