Dexter Tolliver

dexyertolliverfilmLast character appearing in Suicide Squad (if I missed somebody just tell me in the usual place, DC movies often play the “blink and you’ll miss it” game) is Dexter Tolliver, portrayed by David Harbour. In the movie, he appears as an officer of the US Government who questions Amanda Waller‘s decision to form the Task Force X, but he’s also the first one to change his mind and to support her the moment the Enchantress recovers in a matter of seconds some secret Iranian papers the intelligence was after for months. In the comics, Tolliver works for the Government as well, but he’s much more present in the life of the Suicide Squad, being their official liaison (albeit he’s sometimes called Derek Tolliver instead of Dexter). Let’s see together.

Dexter (or Derek) Tolliver’s early life was pretty much unknown: he was American, but his family and birth place remained a mystery. He had however a number of important connections, as he managed to obtain a job in the Government, working for the United States National Security Council. For some unknown reason, he was assigned to be the liaison between the NSC and Task Force X, a secret black ops unity composed of some of the worst criminals in the world, forced to cooperate via an explosive device implanted in them and ready to detonate in case of disobedience, and commanded by Amanda Waller, an unscrupolous and determined government officer. Tolliver didn’t trust Waller nor her men, but he found them to be quite a useful tool in certain situations, and followed the team’s progresses with interest. When the superhero Firestorm demanded the destruction of the entire world’s nuclear arsenal, the Government decided he was a threat more than an asset, and Tolliver was ready to dexyertollivercomics1send the Suicide Squad against him to take him out. For the occasion, aiming at the maximum deniability, Tolliver ordered Waller to recruit some known recurring foes of Firestorm, so SlipknotKiller Frost and Multiplex joined the core members Deadshot and Captain Boomerang in assaulting the hero. Things became complicated when the Justice League International joined the battle: panicking, Tolliver ended up releasing another powerful villain, one that wasn’t exactly under his total control differently from the others, the Parasite. The fight grew in scale until it became a small war, but eventually the presence of the JLI proved to be enough to repel the Suicide Squad and Firestorm survived the experience, even reaching a deal with the government regarding nuclear weapons. Despite losing the game, Tolliver realised that the Task Force X could be used for a variety of goals, and decided to exploit the situation in his own favour, using the many leverages he had at disposal.

Tolliver had started a mutually beneficial relationship with a US Senator, Joseph Cray, a corrupt politician who had assured a number of advantages to him in case of reelection. Considering his precedents, it was highly unlikable that Cray got reelected, but Tolliver had just what he needed to assure his new friend the result: he contacted Amanda Waller, and told her he would have exposed the existence and the deeds of the Suicide Squad if she didn’t order her “pet criminals” to kill all of Cray’s adversaries. Unfortunately, Amanda wasn’t a woman who got along quietly with blackmail, and she was also one of the leaders of Checkmate, a secret intelligence agency. Needless to say, Tolliver had many skeletons in his closet, and it took little time to Checkmate agents to discover the tastiest ones: Waller blackmailed Tolliver in return, promising she would have brought him down along with her if he only whispered the name “Suicide Squad” near the press. Cornered, Tolliver couldn’t do anything but abandon his ally, and Joseph Cray was left alone to face his campaign. The story with Task Force X however was far from over: the Squad’s on-field leader, Rick Flag, had overheard Waller’s conversations with Tolliver, and he had resolved to go down the entire line to protect his men. Flag shared the informations he had only dexyertollivercomics2with some of his most trusted teammates, and conceived a plan to save the Task Force X: while Deadshot killed Senator Cray, he personally confronted Dexter Tolliver, and ended up killing him, thus making sure he would have not put in jeopardy the team ever again. The problem wasn’t buried with Tolliver, despite Flag’s and Deadshot’s efforts: a corrupt police officer found the liaison’s papers on the Squad, and sold them to the Daily Planet, thus exposing the team’s existence. From his grave, in some hell, Dexter Tolliver was probably laughing at his enemies, who had framed themselves with their own hands…

Dexter (or Derek) Tolliver is a greedy and corrupt man, who uses politics to obtain personal wealth and power. Quite clever, he’s however not nearly as smart as he believes himself to be, and his arrogance will be his downfall in dealing with an actual shark like Amanda Waller.


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  1. […] Dexter Tolliver […]

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