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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Lawrence Eden (Incubus)

incubusfilmThe second villain for Suicide Squad was quite a surprise, since he appeared being completely unannounced (and quite unexpected, after all the theories regarding who the big guy in the underground was): in the movie, upon her awakening the Enchantress seeks help from her long lost brother, Incubus, voiced by Robin Atkin Downes. The ancient demon takes possession of an unnamed businessman, portrayed by Alain Chanoine, and helps his sister to get rid of Amanda Waller‘s control, then he starts aiding her in accomplishing her plan to take revenge on humanity, guilty of betraying the ancient gods and of replacing them with machines. Incubus proves to be more than a match for the Suicide Squad, and only El Diablo seems able to directly damage him…for a while. In the comics, he surely is a magical villain, but he’s not Enchantress’ brother, since he’s related to another mystical heroine from the comics. Let’s see together.

Incubus as we know him was a being composed of two separate entities, but the story of both began in the Nightshade Dimension (aka the Land of Nightshades), a mystic realm not far from our reality. Two humans, Warren and Maureen Eden, ruled over that land, and they kept the Land of Nightshade peaceful, until a powerful demon known as the Incubus entered the realm, starting to kill and destroy apparently without reason nor logic, following the mysterious orders of his demonic master. Incubus single-handedly conquered the entire realm, albeit his powers were still not at their fullest, since he was an alien to the Nightshade Dimension, and he needed an indigenous vessel to fully express his potential. For a while he was helped by his mate, the Succubus, until she mysteriously disappeared, exiled in another realm…the same realm where Warren and Maureen Eden escaped, along with the princes Eve and LarryEarth. While Incubus continued his work of destruction, Larry Eden on Earth grew up totally unaware of his true origins, and his parents, who had found a parallel life on the new reality (Warren incubuscomics1was now a U.S. Senator) never told him nor his sister anything. When Larry was little, however, Maureen decided it was time her children learnt of their true heritage, and she opened a secret portal to the Land of Nightshades to show them where their true home was. This proved to be a grave mistake, as Incubus immediately knew of their presence, and attacked them: Maureen was mortally wounded, and Larry was kidnapped by the monster. Only Eve managed to come back to Earth unscathed, but not before promising her mother she would have come back to save her little brother. That, however, would have been pretty useless: Incubus had finally found the perfect host to dwell in the Land of Nightshades, and he killed the little prince, taking possession of his body. Now he had all the memories of Larry Eden, and all the powers of the malicious entity he was.

In the following years, Incubus adapted to the new body, and as Larry Eden became an adult, he grew stronger. He spent his time killing the remaining humans in the realm, preparing the arrival of his mysterious master. Only one thing was missing from his plan, and it was Eve Eden, grown up to become the superheroine Nightshade, who unexpectedly helped him in achieving it. Nightshade wanted to keep her promise, and after many solo attempts, she travelled back to the Land of Nightshades along with her friends from the Suicide Squad: DeadshotBronze Tiger, Duchess, Enchantress and Vixen, plus Captain Boomerang who didn’t want to come but was drugged and forced into the parallel dimension. She wanted to save her brother, but the being who mockingly welcomed her had nothing of Larry Eden left: Incubus ruled undisputed, and he was only waiting for his “sister” Even, on one side, and for his mate the Succubus on the other…and luckily enough, the being that had been merged with June Moon incubuscomics2to create the Enchantress was the Succubus herself, eager to join her mate once again. Incubus effortlessly defeated the entire Squad, mostly thanks to the fact that the Succubus abandoned June’s body and joined him, stealing the team’s greatest asset. Then, Incubus used his magic to try and force Succubus inside Eve Eden’s body, so that the two brothers could have united to conceive a cursed child, the incarnation of their mysterious demonic master, who would have brought chaos and destruction to all realms. Eve’s spirit was stronger than June’s, and when Succubus tried to possess her she reacted, overwhelming the demon and destroying her: as a result, she now possessed the Enchantress’ powers, being free from her madness. Using her new mystical abilities, Nightshade freed her companions and defeated Incubus…but she was unable to finish him, since she still saw her brother in him. Deadshot, however, didn’t have this kind of hesitation, and shot the mad tyrant in the head, putting and end to his realm of madness and death once and for all.

Larry Eden is a normal boy, innocent and cheerful as he can be, while Incubus is a totally malevolent being bent on chaos and destruction, who serves a mysterious master whose only purpose is harvesting souls by killing as many people as he can. The two merged together form an evil sorcerer, powerful enough to wipe away all life from an entire dimension all by himself, a vicious tyrant with a twisted sense of humor who uses Larry’s memories to psychologically torture his sister Eve. An extremely powerful magic user, Incubus uses his magic mostly to destroy and kill, and the only thing he’s able and willing to create is a heir, a body that can host his demonic master to allow him to walk in the physical realm once again, to bring the ultimate destruction to all dimensions.

Dzamor/Dhazmor

dzamorfilmOf course, Suicide Squad has been released in the meanwhile, and there are three more characters to speak about. Let’s start with the main villain, who in modern times is known as Enchantress, portrayed by Cara Delevingne, but who originally, according to the briefing papers Amanda Waller gives to her colleagues, is called Dzamor. In the movie, Dzamor is a magical entity who used to rule over a big part of South America, until the humans rebelled and locked her into a fetish; freed by archaeologist June Moon, she’s now ready to resume her old ways, and to destroy human race in revenge. Well, in the comics, Dzamor is not a malevolent entity, he is a male, and he is a separate being from Enchantress. And he doesn’t look so pretty. Let’s see together.

Not much is known about the entity who called himself Dzamor (or even Dhazmor at the beginning, hinting that these names are but an attempt to make comprehensible to humans a name spoken in a language far too alien to be intelligible). Dzamor had some connection to the Nightshade Dimension, a reality imbued with magic in which the residents could manipulate darkness at will…and many other things. Dzamor, an extremely powerful magical entity, somehow subdued The Succubus, a malevolent being from the Nightshade Dimension, and imprisoned her, bringing her along with him to Earth. Sure that even the Succubus’ power could be used for something good, Dzamor looked for a pure spirit, a host who could imbue the power of the Succubus and use it to protect instead of destroying. After many centuries of research, Dzamor finally found a shelter in an isolated castle, sleeping and waiting. The castle became known in the following decades as Terror Castle, and local legends wanted it to be dzamorcomics1haunted (something not so far from truth). One night, the wealthy importer Alan Dell organised a party in the castle, setting up several games for his guests; one of those guests was artist June Moon, who ended up getting lost in the castle’s dungeons. Dzamor awoke, sensing the pure spirit he had been looking for so long: at first, seeing the weird red face with limbs that sit on a throne in front of her, June believed it to be some sort of animatronic put in there by Dell, but the creature revealed himself, and bestowed the girl with the Succubus’ powers: any time she would have pronounced the word “Enchantress”, she would have transformed into a being of immeasurable power, a power she would have used to fight against evil. The Enchantress was born, and Dzamor’s quest was finally over…maybe.

The Succubus was truly a malevolent spirit, and if at first June Moon’s pure heart managed to keep her at bay, forcing her to do something good with her powers, the more June used magic the more the spirit grew stronger, making her lose her sanity and bringing her on the verge of darkness. Dzamor watched helplessly as the Enchantress went from super-heroine to super-villain, challenging even the champions of good like Supergirl and Superman. The two entities inhabiting the same body became aware one of the other, and started hating each other: Dzamor knew that this balance would have lasted only just as much as June Moon’s spirit did. When an ancient evil, the mystical creature Brimstone, awoke once again on Earth, Dzamor’s hopes could be rekindled, as the Enchantress willingly joined a team of criminals blackmailed by the government, the Suicide Squad, just for the purpose of taking the monster out, having a special deal with the Squad’s on-field leader, Rick Flag. Unfortunately, things dzamorcomics2didn’t go too well by the end of the adventure: in order to destroy Brimstone, the Enchantress used a lot of her magical powers, thus weakening June Moon’s control over the Succubus, and allowing the latter to resume her evil personality, turning against the rest of the Suicide Squad (luckily enough, martial artist Bronze Tiger had been keeping her in check since the very beginning, and knocked her out with a surprise attack). Dzamor knew that June wasn’t the perfect host he had hoped for, and fearing that she would have eventually lost control over her dark side he started looking for a replacement. This time, believing that humans were too weak for such a power, he looked into the Nightshade Dimension, which had been destroyed by the fearful Incubus: the royal family had survived, sending their two heirs on Earth, and Dzamor tracked down the princess, Eve Eden. Dzamor allowed June Moon to be stripped of her powers and gave them to Eve, just in time, as her brother Larry had been possessed by Incubus in the meanwhile. Maybe, this time, Dzamor had made the right choice…

Dzamor is an ancient and powerful being, a mystic entity of unknown origin who watches over many realities, and who uses his wisdom and knowledge to protect the dimensions. Despite his fearful and intimidating appearance, he’s a benevolent being, who constantly tries to convert evil power to good one. Also known as Dhazmor, he can use a vast array of mystical abilities, albeit the full extent of his power remains unknown: he was powerful enough to defeat and imprison The Succubus and to force her to do his bidding, and his powers surely surpass the ones of the Enchantress, who’s known to be one of the greatest sorcerers of her dimension. Eternally watching, eternally waiting, Dzamor is the hidden guardian of reality, who manipulates and controls forces far beyond human comprehension.

Jonny Frost

Johnny FrostA new, awesome trailer for Suicide Squad has been released, and in there we can take a little peek to one of the last remaining characters (at least, the ones we know about): Jonny Frost, portrayed by Jim Parrack. In the comics, he’s a short-lived yet central character who appeared only in the Joker graphic novel; in the movie, he’s not just “a” henchman of the deranged lunatic, he’s actually his right-hand man, and he’s seen in the midst of quite some action at the side of his boss. Now, hoping that he’ll end up better than most his predecessors did, let’s see briefly who the original Jonny Frost is.

Jonny Frost was a simple man born and raised in a complicated city, Gotham City. As many others like him, he became a low-life criminal, and his activity as a thug ruined pretty much everything in his life, including his marriage with Shelly, a woman he still loved, but who just couldn’t live with a man like him. Not even being abandoned by Shelly was enough to make Jonny change his life, and he kept working for this or that mobster…until he received the task of picking up a certain “someone” from Arkham Asylum. The man was the psychothic serial killer The Joker, and surprisingly enough, the madman took an immediate liking in Frost, and decided to use him as his driver and right-hand man in his upcoming mission of taking back his empire from all the vultures that preyed on it while he was in Arkham. At first, Jonny helped Joker take shelter in Killer Croc‘s lair, than he accompanied him to his formerly owned strip club, the Grin and Bare It: in there, The Joker made a public return, and after killing the current owner with the help of Harley Quinn, he recruited the attendants in his upcoming war to reconquer jonnyfrostcomics1Gotham. Despite the many new recruits, Frost kept his position as right-hand man, and helped his new boss in killing many thugs who had stolen money from him, and later in robbing a bank (the stolen money was then invested by The Penguin to recreate Joker’s lost wealth). Among the many criminals in Gotham, there was only one who refused to help The Joker, or even to just meet him: Harvey “Two-Face” Dent, more than willing to mantain his power and influence even with the Clown Prince of Crime back. In a rage outburst, Joker killed one of his henchmen and set fire to his strip bar, leaving Frost quite perplexed. Out alone, thinking, Jonny was met by Dent, who warned him against his new boss: he told him The Joker would have ended up killing him, and laughing of it, not because he didn’t like him or because Frost’s life had any meaning to him, just because death was the thing that entertained him the most. Jonny listened to Dent, but decided to stick with The Joker nevertheless. As a result, Dent kidnapped Shelly.

The appointment with Dent made Frost arrive late to Joker’s one with The Riddler, who gave Joker a mysterious briefcase. On their way back home, Joker and Frost were attacked by crooked policemen hired by Dent, and Frost managed to save the life of his boss. This was the final drop, and Joker started an all-out war with Two-Face. Eventually, the two bosses organised a meeting at the city zoo, and Frost accompanied Joker along with Harley Quinn; at the zoo, the content of the briefcase was revealed: informations about Dent’s double life…and double wife, data that the Joker could and would use as a leverage. The meeting soon degenerated, and while Joker attacked Dent and Harley killed his goons, Jonny managed to save Shelly…but The Joker immediately raped the woman, telling Jonny they were now even, since he had “cheated” on him first by meeting Dent in secret. Despite this, Frost stayed with his boss…until the end. Dent, in the meanwhile, had had a meeting with Batman, giving him information about The Joker: back to their apartment, Frost and Joker found the window shattered, and jonnyfrostcomics2the madman, who knew perfectly well what it meant, rushed back to the car, prompting Jonny to lead him back to Croc’s lair. Once there, however, Killer Croc and his gang had already been subdued by the Dark Knight, who was now on the duo’s trails. Jonny Frost and The Joker tried to escape to a nearby bridge, and as the latter kept screaming in fear, the first one found himself inexplicably laughing, laughing insanely. Of course, they eventually found Batman waiting for them on the bridge. The Dark Knight started taunting the Clown Prince of Crime, until Joker lost his temper…and shot Jonny Frost in the chin, for no apparent reason. While the two sworn enemies kept fighting on the bridge, Jonny Frost collected his remaining strength to climb on the edge, only to fall into the dark waters below. Eventually, Two-Face was right.

Jonny Frost is a cold and serious man, a small-time crook characterised by a rare devotion towards his employer. Living with The Joker for a while, Frost has learned to understand his deranged mind to a certain extent…and this clearly doesn’t mean anything good for his own mental health. Loyal to a fault, Jonny will follow the Clown Prince of Crime to Hell and back…and that’s exactly what he’ll be asked to do.

Christopher Weiss (Slipknot)

SlipknotFinally, time for the last character appearing in the group photo from Suicide Squad, and one of the lesser known guys in the team. At the far left of the picture, you can see a man with ropes hanging from his costume: that’s Slipknot, portrayed by Adam Beach. For his live action debut, Slipknot sports a more grounded look than in the comics, where he changed from a black full-costume to a purple one, but always with mask and everything. Not much is known about this secondary villain’s role in the movie, but it’s pretty positive he’ll serve as cannon fodder… Well, let’s wait and see. In the meantime, let’s see who he is in the comics.

Not much is known about Christopher Weiss‘ early life: he was born in the United States, and he lived and worked somewhere in the South. Pretty smart, he was a chemist working for a big company, and it was during his work that he developed and extremely powerful adhesive that, if applied to any substance, was able to make it harder and more durable than titanium. Weiss knew that, if he commercialised it, he would have earned from it just as much as his company allowed him to, so he decided to leave his job and to work as a free-lancer…but not exactly in the same field of expertise as before. With a hard training that made him a remarkable gymnast and martial artist, Weiss put himself on the market as an assassin for hire, using his adhesive on ropes to make them the perfect tool for murder. He also created the masked identity of Slipknot, knowing that a super name and a costume would have increased his chances of being employed. His schemes actually worked, and he was hired by the 2000 Committee, a secret group of extremely rich and influent people who aimed to the conquest of the United States by the year 2000. Slipknot answered directly to the slipknotcomics1orders of Henry Hewitt, one of the few named members of the Committee. When the heroes Firestorm and Firehawk started messing with the Committee’s business, Slipknot received the order to kill the first and to kidnap the latter, as Firehawk was the result of the Committee’s experiments. While other agents abducted Firehawk, Slipknot engaged Firestorm in combat, and managed to subdue the extremely powerful hero with his ropes, demonstrating  the strength of his adhesive. From inside Firestorm’s mind, however, renowned scientist Martin Stein found a flaw in Slipknot’s formula, so eventually the hero was able to defeat Slipknot and to run and save Firehawk. With his contract failed, Slipknot didn’t receive any payment, and lost his contacts with the 2000 Committee, losing this way also his most remunerative client.

Angered for his ruined “career”, Slipknot allied himself with Firestorm’s nemesis, Multiplex, who was gathering a team of villains to finally take on Firestorm. The battle was much shorter than Slipknot or even Multiplex imagined, and most of the villains ended up in police’s custody. Locked up in Belle Reve, Christopher Weiss was recruited by Amanda Waller in the new formation of her Suicide Squad, responding to a serious threat: the Manhunters, superpowered robots from space, had attacked Earth with the intent of “judging” and erasing human race. The Squad had the task of escorting Baby Huey (the nickname of an extremely powerful, experimental bomb) to the Manhunters’ base, to end the war once and for all. The enemy base was in the swamps, and some of the Squad slipknotcomics2members, the most untrustworthy, were given an explosive armband ready to explode if they tried to escape taking advantage of the chaos. Of course, Slipknot was among the ones with the armband. During the trip, however, Captain Boomerang told Weiss that the armbands were fake, just a psychological tool for preventing them to escape. Slipknot pretended not to believe his teammate, but now he had some doubts himself on the effectiveness of the explosive. When the team reached the Manhunters’ base, it was clear from the very beginning that Slipknot’s talents in strangling people was useless against non-breathing robots, and he decided to trust Boomerang’s words and to run away in the swamps. Unfortunately, Boomerang just wanted to see whether the armbands were real or not, and he had picked Slipknot as the perfect guinea pig to verify his theory: when Weiss got far enough from the others, the armband activated, and the explosion confirmed to Captain Boomerang that the explosives were actually real and functioning. Slipknot was later found by a teammate, the Duchess, barely alive and with his right arm missing: he was brought back to Belle Reve. His missing arm was later replaced with a bionic limb, and Slipknot was ready to go on mission again…not that Waller was eager to use him again on field: he would have rot in prison for a while…

Christopher Weiss is a brilliant scientist but a cruel and greedy man, driven by a limitless ambition and a vindictive character. As Slipknot, he’s a well-trained assassin with a remarkable ability in hand-to-hand combat, specialised in strangling his victims with ropes hardened by his special adhesive, that makes them stronger than titanium and just as durable, enough to bind even the nuclear man Firestorm. Mean, deceiving, coward enough to be dangerous if cornered, Slipknot is a ruthless killer, who has no regards for anything that is not his own personal gain.

Waylon Jones (Killer Croc)

Killer CrocAlmost at the end of the characters revealed in the first Suicide Squad official pic: this time, we’re speaking of the biggest one, Killer Croc, portrayed by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Not much is known about his role in the show, apart from the fact that he’ll be a mass-murderer recruited in the Suicide Squad (as most of his teammates, by the way). This is the first live action appearance of one of the most popular Batman‘s villains, one of the few ones who never made it to the big or small screen, apart from animation. The look resembles the very first one Croc had in the comics, while he still resembled a human being, albeit with fangs and scales (he would have later “evolved” in a humanoid crocodile, with tail and elongated snout): if he’ll suffer some other transformation during the movie, it remains to be seen. In the meanwhile, let’s see who Killer Croc is in the comics.

Life was never easy for Waylon Jones: he was born in Florida, in a slum in Tampa, and from his very childhood he developed quite a unique medical condition, a form of atavism that made him look like some sort of mammal-reptile hybrid, with his body covered with greenish scales. Waylon’s mother died during childbirth due to the baby’s unique conformation, and his father fled, abandoning him; the one who took care of the baby was Waylon’s aunt, a violent alcoholic who hated the child, and who often beat him and abused him, calling him “lizard boy” and similar. Even in school, young Waylon was constantly bullied for his appearance, and things got worse while growing up, since his body took unusual proportions, making him look even uglier. Once, after the umpteenth provocation from one of the usual bullies, Waylon snapped and attacked him: the killercroccomics1other child barely survived the experience, and Waylon was sent to reform school, where he spent eight years. Even there, he was mocked, ridiculed and abused by both the other children and the personnel, and his despisal towards “normal” humans grew. When he turned eighteen, he got out from reformatory, came back home, and killed his drunken aunt in cold blood. After some time spent in prison, he found a job in a moving carnival, where his appearance and his odd abilities made him a superstar: he became famous as Killer Croc, and spent his time wrestling with alligators for the joy of the public. In the circus, he even found the thing cosest to a family he ever knew, and for a time he forgot about his hatred for humanity as a whole. His soul, however, had been already corrupted by decades of abuses and despisal, and soon the simple life in the circus looked less and less appealing for him: Waylon wanted something more, he wanted money, he wanted power, and he wanted fear and respect from the ones who had always humiliated him. In that moment, he decided he would have become the greatest criminal ever seen.

Following the money, Killer Croc arrived in Gotham City, where he used his many talents (not only his strength, that was far above the one of a normal human, but also a keen intellect and a cruel determination) to make his way in the city’s underworld. Through fear and violence, he managed to create a real army of lackeys and henchmen, who he used to unbalance the forces already at work in Gotham; he committed many murders to make a statement (among these, he also murdered Joseph and Trina Todd, prompting their son Jason to become the new Robin). It was inevitable, however, that sooner or later he would have clashed with the city’s protector, Batman: when the Dark Knight first approached Croc, however, the latter was dressed with a heavy raincoat and a large hat, so that the hero killercroccomics2believed him to be just another crime boss like many others he had faced before. When Killer Croc showed his face, things became a little bit harder for Batman, and in their first fight Croc’s strength and brutality proved to be more than enough to submit even the Dark Knight. Their battle became quite a prolonged one, but eventually Batman got the upper hand, and managed to defeat the monstrous rival; Waylon Jones was arrested and sent to Arkham Asylum, where the personnel subjected him to a heavy electroshock therapy, that left him scared in both body and mind. From those days, Croc kept having terrifying nightmares, and his psyche suffered a major breakdown. The experiments had on Waylon also had the effect of making his mutation go further: Croc’s body kept growing bigger and bigger, with his scales becoming harder and his strength increasing, but he also lost contacts with his own humanity, and his intellect constantly diminished the more the reptilian part of his brain took control. Croc escaped from the prison thanks to Ra’s al Ghul‘s intervention, and he worked for him for a little while kidnapping Alfred Pennyworth following his scheme without questions; after that, he took refuge in Gotham’s sewers and abandoned subterranean highways, becoming the lord of the city’s underground (literally speaking). In his hideout, Killer Croc kept mutating, becoming more and more dangerous as his human self disappeared, leaving place to a reptilian, blood-thirsty monster…

Waylon Jones was a ruthless sociopath and a criminal mastermind, a violent man fighting his way to the top of Gotham’s criminality; now, he’s only a brutal killing machine, a cannibalistic monster who only aims at the top of the food chain. As Killer Croc, he’s extremely strong and durable, and his senses are much more evolved than human ones; he’s also an expert swimmer and a remarkable hand-to-hand fighter, able to make the better use for his body mass, sharp teeth and claws in combat. He also developed some sort of healing factor, much like a lizard’s one, that allows him to heal faster than usual and even to grow back lost limbs. One of Gotham’s most dangerous criminals, Killer Croc is a man-eating monster who turned the pain he had to suffer in pain he gladly and sadistically inflicts to others.

Chato Santana (El Diablo)

El DiabloNow, time for one of the one of the lesser known characters appearing in Suicide Squad, the tattooed guy on the far right of the group picture: El Diablo, portrayed by Jay Hernandez (you cold guess his name also by the logo on his jacket…quite a curious look for a character that has been around either dressed like a cowboy or half naked). Actually, he is also one of the “youngest” character, having appeared in the comics only in 2008, and finding some proper relevance only during the New 52 reboot of the DC Universe. Differently from most of the other characters, his biography remained more or less the same from New Earth (the world prior to New 52) and Prime Earth (the one following it), so his story can be told as a single one. Waiting to see what Hernandez will do with the character, let’s see together who he is in the comics.

Chato Santana wasn’t exactly what you’d call a nice guy: the leader of an infamous criminal gang, he was considered public enemy number one by the local police…and he was quite happy for this, since his power, his friends, his girlfriend, everything he had came from his criminal activity and from the fame he had obtained from it. Being at the top, however, exposed him to the envy of the ones close to him, and his right-hand man, his “compadre”, didn’t make an ecception. During a long-planned heist, Chato was betrayed by the one he believed to be his best friend, shot in the back, and left on the crime scene for the cops. Crippled and unable to defend himself, Chato was arrested. Brought to the hospital, he was constantly interrogated by the cops (both the honest ones who wanted him to tell them who his accomplishes were, and the crooked ones who had made a deal with Chato’s compadre to frame him for all the gang’s crimes), but he refused to tell them eldiablocomics1anything about his men. Unable to physically torture him, the cops put Santana in the same room of a comatose old man, famous in the hospital since anybody who had shared the room with him had died: Santana wasn’t scared by the superstition at all, and kept silent. In order to pressure him, the police spread the voice that Santana had talked, and that they were preparing to hunt down and arrest the rest of the gang: now, Santana could chose to betray his friends, hoping to be protected as a witness, or to wait for the others to kill him for a betrayal that never happened. Surprisingly, another choice manifested to Chato: the old man in his room appeared in his dreams, and presented himself as Lazarus Lane, a nearly two-hundred years old cowboy who had been possessed by a Spirit of Vengeance and transformed into El Diablo, a fiery vigilante. Lane offered Santana to take his place and to become the new El Diablo, losing his free will, or to stay simply Chato Santana, a crippled man in a hospital, and lose his life. Not much of a choice: as Chato’s would-be-killers approached his hospital room, the man chose the first option, and was embued with a part of Lazarus Lane’s demon. Together, the two El Diablos escaped from the hospital, and Lane started training his successor in the use of the demon’s powers.

Following Lazarus Lane’s guidance, Chato Santana learnt to control the powers of El Diablo, but Lane got killed before he could complete his training by Vorpal, the self-proclaimed nemesis of Santana, who started hunting him down all over the country. When Lane died, the entire curse fell upon Santana alone, and he struggled for control against the demon inhabiting him. Eventually, his ambiguous actions and nature put him against not only his old human enemies and his new demonic ones, but even against superheroes such as the Freedom Fighters (especially against their leader, Uncle Sam, who Chato saw as a hypocritical parody of the true American Dream he represented). With time, the new El Diablo learnt to control himself and to be “more heroic”, following Lane’s eldiablocomics2footsteps (and his ghost’s guidance). After the end of his feud with Vorpal and his ex-gang, El Diablo kept following the Spirit of Vengeance’s orders, punishing people around the country, often in brutal and lethal ways. One of the gangs he was after, one that Chato Santana knew since they owed him some money in his former life, owned a building, a building that El Diablo set on fire. Unfortunately, not only gang members were inside, but also innocent women and children, and they all burnt alive. Upon realising he had killed innocent people, El Diablo waited for the police and gave himself up; he was put on trial and condemned to the death penalty. While on the death row in Belle Rive, he awaited for the death he thought he deserved, but once again something unexpected prevented him from facing the Hell he was sure was waiting for him in the afterlife: his cell was filled up with sleeping gas, and he was brought away from Belle Rive. Upon his awakening, he found out a bomb had been implanted in his body, a part of the work conditions for his new employment: Amanda Waller, in fact, offered him a place in her new Suicide Squad, offering him a way not only to avoid death penalty (something Santana wasn’t so interested in), but to make amend of what he had done. It was time for the Spirit of Vengeance to ride once again…this time on a secret government-sponsored crusade.

Chato Santana is a violent and selfish man, who finally found a purpose for his existence. Being embued with the Spirit of Vengeance, he is now a relentless and pitiless force for balance, ready to punish the guilty with holy ferocity and unbreakable determination. As El Diablo, he possesses power over fire, an extreme form of pyrokinesis that makes him able to actually produce and manipulate flames in whatever shape, heat and intensity he prefers; he’s also extremely proficient with firearms (also old-styled guns, thanks to Lazarus Lane’s training) and is a good hand-to-hand combatant. Always struggling to mantain control over himself against the minor demon inhabiting his soul, El Diablo is a brutal vigilante, one that evil cannot hide from…and that right cannot entirely trust.