We now have less than a month until David Ayer's Suicide Squad hits theaters, and attempts to put the DCEU back on track. Unlike most of the comic book movies that have graced the silver screen in recent years, the upcoming blockbuster will shift the spotlight away from the heroes and give villains a chance to shine. One such baddie who will finally get a moment in the sun is a beloved Batman (Ben Affleck) rogue who spends most of his time dwelling in darkness, Waylon Jones a.k.a Killer Croc. He's one of the most vicious villains in The Dark Knight's rogues gallery, but it now seems that Suicide Squad will get inside the crocodile man's head and explain what makes him tick.
He's somewhat tortured and abused from his childhood. It dictates his reactions, from him wanting to go underground. He's always been ostracized and ridiculed for how he looks. What he's done is embrace that. Instead of saying 'I'm ugly', he's says 'I'm beautiful.' Instead of going underground as if he's hiding, he says 'this is my kingdom.' He's kind of reversed some of his childhood abuse into allowing him to become what he is, which is really the next threat to take over Gotham. That's really what his ultimate goal is. One of the reasons is probably because, obviously, power, respect but people liking him. And if you don't, you're going to have to, if he's got power. So all of those elements play into it.
Despite his horrific appearance, it looks like Suicide Squad wants to make Killer Croc a genuinely sympathetic character. Having lived with his physical deformity for years, he has come to embrace who he is as an individual and shirked all of his childhood abuse in order to take pride in what makes him different. However, that doesn't necessarily make him a good guy. He wants power and he wants control of Gotham because those things mean that he can leave his underground "kingdom" and dwell on the surface as a major player in the criminal underworld.
This characterization of Killer Croc already has ample precedent in the comic book world. Although the character has often found himself depicted as a mindless monster, his backstory (like many Batman villains) typically has a very tragic overtone. In a manner similar to recent comic book arcs like Geoff Johns' Batman: Earth One, Suicide Squad will paint Croc as a somber figure driven to villainy more by a desire to belong and less by greed or an inherent inclination towards evil. He even has a sensitive, artistic side shown through the way in which he decorates his underground cell in Belle Reve prison. In a movie populated by straight up bad guys like The Joker (Jared Leto), that's an important distinction to make.
As time goes by, it's looking more and more like Suicide Squad will take the time to thoroughly explore even the most vicious members of Task Force X. This incarnation of Killer Croc sounds fantastic, but we will know for certain once the film hits theaters on August 5.