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Suicide Squad Isekai might be the DC antihero team’s best form

Joker, Harley Quinn, Peacemaker, and King Shark go full anime with help from Wit

Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

Will the Suicide Squad ever win over the hearts of the masses? The DC comic book team jumped to the big screen in 2016 with David Ayer’s lambasted Suicide Squad, which made for a better trailer than movie. Birds of Prey tried to give Margot Robbie her own moment, but that bombed. James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy touch was supposed to redeem the villains with 2021’s The Suicide Squad, but the half-reboot, dropped in theaters and HBO Max on the same date, didn’t exactly pop. Max’s Peacemaker and Harley Quinn animated series have found success in a sitcom-ier mode, but it’s hard to call either a true Suicide Squad vehicle. Pray for Rocksteady Studios’ Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, which looks like fun... despite a number of delays.

But there’s good news for anyone hoping the Squad can truly assemble in kick-ass form: Suicide Squad Isekai. A collab between Warner Bros. Japan and Wit Studios, the new anime finds Harley Quinn, Peacemaker, Clayface, Deadshot, and King Shark jumping into an alternate universe to fight and crack wise. Amanda Waller is once again pulling the strings, sending them through some kind of interdimensional portal to complete a mission that will end in blood, one way or another. Set to Tomoyasu Hotei’s “Another World,” it feels like the perfect vehicle for the characters.

Here’s the official synopsis:

In the crime-ridden city of Gotham, Amanda Waller, the head of A.R.G.U.S., has assembled a group of notorious criminals for a mission: Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Peacemaker, Clayface, and King Shark. These Super-Villains are sent into an otherworldly realm that’s connected to this world through a gate. It’s a world of swords and magic where orcs rampage and dragons rule the skies—an “ISEKAI”!

With lethal explosives planted in their necks, there’s no running or hiding, and failing the mission means a one-way ticket to the afterlife! Can Harley Quinn and her crew conquer this perilous ISEKAI realm?! Brace yourselves for the pulse-pounding saga of the elite task force known as the “Suicide Squad” as they embark on a jaw-dropping adventure!

Suicide Squad Isekai has quite the assembled crew itself: Working with Wit is director Eri Osada (Jujutsu Kaisen), writers Tappei Nagatsuki (Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World) and Eiji Umehara (the Vivy Prototype), and on character work, manga artist Akira Amano (Reborn!) and Naoto Hosoda (Digimon: The Movie).

As someone who enjoys John Cena’s zany Peacemaker in both Gunn’s The Suicide Squad and his Max series, I can’t argue with the potential of handing the character to over to seasoned anime artists. I mean...

Peacemaker in the Suicide Squad anime howling and wielding an axe Image: Warner Bros. Japan

Suicide Squad Isekai is expected to roll out in 2024.

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