Not to be confused with 2016’s Suicide Squad by David Ayer, The Suicide Squad by James Gunn dropped in 2021 as a sequel to its predecessor. Don’t know who the Suicide Squad are? We’ll catch you up and explain why they’re great!
The Suicide Squad (formally known as Task Force X) was put together by Amanda Waller as a team of incarcerated supervillains who could be dispatched on dangerous missions with zero risk of consequence—if they died along the way, who cares?
All of the supervillains captured by the government were put up for selection to the team, entirely at Waller’s direction. Upon being picked, bombs are placed in their necks; if they don’t comply with orders, they’ll be killed via remote detonation.
Several DC villains have been selected for Task Force X—whether willingly or not. Here’s our ranking of the best Suicide Squad characters from the two movies.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead for The Suicide Squad.
Mongal was killed after jumping onto a helicopter during the opening of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad—which, in turn, killed off other members of the squad. Utterly forgettable and did damage to more loved characters. Enough said.
Other than his suit that looks like a rejected Aquaman costume, there isn’t much that’s memorable about Javelin.
He gives Harley his weapon before dying, though she doesn’t understand his final words and becomes annoyed by the timing of his death. There just isn’t enough in the movie to make his character anything other than a passing afterthought.
The only memorable thing about Slipknot is the death he sustained testing Waller and Flag’s bomb threat. Captain Boomerang convinced him the bombs weren’t real, so Slipknot attempted escape; Flag detonated the device and blew Slipknot’s head off. Dumb.
Savant was a bit of misdirection from James Gunn. He was shown to be a new member of the squad for the follow-up film, only to last mere minutes before being killed by Waller for running away. While a funny move, we would’ve liked to see more of Michael Rooker!
Katana awesomely wielded a samurai sword that trapped the souls of its victims and was Rick Flag’s personal security. Unfortunately, Katana ended up completely underwritten and wasted in the first film.
And then Karen Fukuhara went on to star in Amazon’s The Boys, leaving Katana forgotten and abandoned. She had promise but went nowhere special, much like the first film itself.
14. Killer Croc
Another victim of the first movie’s awful execution, Killer Croc is a classic Batman villain introduced in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad that ultimately got reduced to background muscle.
The shame is that Killer Croc could have been much better with a solid future in the DCEU if Ben Affleck’s The Batman came to fruition.
The second movie introduced us to Weasel, an animal who almost immediately makes you laugh before apparently drowning as the team jumps into the sea. Of course, by the end of the film, he is shown alive and free… as he sets off into the forest.
Weasel could either be a more Howard the Duck-type character, making appearances here and there, or he could have a big future. Only time will tell.
Memorably played by Pete Davidson, Blackguard was another victim of James Gunn’s misdirection as he got killed within the opening act of The Suicide Squad.
However, during that opening act, at least Davidson did get some funny sequences as the laughing stock of the team. Though, it would have been nice to see more of him.
The Detachable Kid was unquestionably the funniest character in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, yet sadly he went nowhere.
His ability to detach his limbs and send them into battle was both strange and cool, but he ended up being just another casualty in the sequel’s opening act.
His bold determination to use his ability under fire was what set him apart from the others, though he didn’t get to show it off for long.
10. King Shark
Here we have a character who should get another chance to shine when another sequel arrives. Voiced by Sylvester Stallone, King Shark is a light-hearted eating machine and ended up being one of the second movie’s best surprises.
James Gunn clearly had a lot of fun with King Shark’s animalistic behavior and he’s great to watch, although in the end he doesn’t grow too much beyond a funny supporting character.
9. Polka-Dot Man
David Dastmalchian’s Polka-Dot Man is the best overall surprise in The Suicide Squad. His nervous humor and downcast attitude are enthralling to watch, as is his wonderfully imaginative superpower.
Though he makes it through most of the movie, we won’t be seeing him again—a real downside to the ending of James Gunn’s film.
8. El Diablo
El Diablo was the moral compass of the first film and one of the most regrettable deaths of the squad. His pain from being responsible for killing his family during a rage is brilliantly conveyed by Jay Hernandez, who gives an underrated performance in a film full of big hitters.
Though his final battle was cheesy, it’s only his lack of screentime that doesn’t push him further up this list.
7. Ratcatcher 2
The hero of the sequel and not really an evil person, Ratcatcher 2 is one of James Gunn’s most endearing characters. She gets mocked for seemingly having the worst power of the team, but in the end, her true strength shows itself.
Accompanied by her faithful rat, Sebastian, she wields great power with her army of furry friends—and gets a beautifully visceral backstory through the movie, which makes her come across to the audience in ways the others don’t.
6. Rick Flag
Rick Flag is the leader of the squad and the only member who isn’t actually a villain. His appearance in the first film was stifled by a hammy script and stereotypical direction. But in the sequel? He’s more fun, friendly, and watchable.
The look on Harley’s face when he tells her that they were about to rescue her shows what person he’d become. His death was a rough moment to take for fans, as many had come to bond with Colonel Flag.
5. Captain Boomerang
Unfairly killed during the opening act of the second film, Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang was one of the best aspects of the first movie. His sarcastic and manipulative attitude endeared him to the audience, who loved his quirky personality.
Gunn’s decision to kill him off was questionable, as he continued where he left off in the first film, but Boomerang’s death was by far the most meaningful in The Suicide Squad’s opening act.
John Cena’s Peacemaker is just a whole bunch of fun thrown in with a hateful agenda to duty. The hilarity that James Gunn’s script brought to Peacemaker was only made better by Cena’s delivery as he doesn’t understand there’s always room to make the right decision.
He’ll be back in his own series on HBO Max, which shows how good John Cena is in the role.
Will Smith’s Deadshot was a great element in the first movie. His pumped-up and assured performance is one of the best he’s given in years as he assumes the role of second-in-command of the team during its first outing.
It’s a shame that he wasn’t involved in the sequel, but his absence did have a balancing effect on the second film, allowing Gunn to make broader creative decisions.
Initially drafted to replace Will Smith as Deadshot, the character of Bloodsport was written so that Smith could later return as Deadshot. Thus, enter Idris Elba as Bloodsport.
He takes the mantle of leadership during the second film, and Elba’s natural accent makes Bloodsport’s dialogue so much more cutting. He’s more entertaining than Deadshot, as Bloodsport is open to more outwardly ridiculous ideas and not as serious in nature.
1. Harley Quinn
The star of the DCEU thus far, Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is by far the most successful character in the universe. Other characters in the DCEU have often struggled—even Affleck’s Batman isn’t universally accepted—but Robbie’s Quinn has the magic touch.
She survived some awful dialogue in the first movie and went on to garner her own movie (Birds of Prey) before returning to star in Gunn’s The Suicide Squad sequel.
Her escape from the palace is Harley’s version of Batman’s warehouse sequence in Batman V Superman, capturing her essence completely.