SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains what some might perceive to be spoilers from Suicide Squad. If you wish to go into the movie knowing as little as possible, please click away to another one of our wonderful articles.
Marvel and DC have taken very different paths toward building their cinematic universes. The former methodically structured its universe around individual building blocks that led to an all-star Avengers movie. The latter has been stockpiling large-screen ideas, hoping to catch up. But coincidentally, this year, both studios are introducing an important mystical element, with roots in the comic books, that drastically changes the types of stories that can be told in the future. They're both choosing now as the moment to play with magic.
Before Doctor Strange dabbles in magic for the benefit of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, David Ayer's Suicide Squad is going to double down on the powers of sorcery by introducing the terrifying Enchantress (played by Cara Delevingne). Enchantress, according to the comics, is a centuries old witch who takes over the body of a petrified June Moore, giving her incredible -- and incredibly dark -- powers. Her origins trace back to 1966, when she appeared in the pages of Strange Adventures. During a recent press event for Suicide Squad, I talked with director David Ayer about introducing magic to the DC universe, and he explained:
Well, it's interesting because magic has been around. Magic is ancient. Magic has been around forever. There's magic in the Bible, and most ancient texts talk about magical wonders, so it's nothing new for people in history. It is new for the DC cinematic universe, but when you look at the canon, it's all throughout it, [so it's] fun to be the first to tackle that. It's a challenge because you need rules. You need to ground it as much as you can, and help the audience understand the mechanics of it, but it was a fun challenge.
What I find most interesting about where Suicide Squad fits into the growing mythology of the DCEU is that, between Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the studio has spent a good amount of time establishing man's fear of this alien god (Superman) who suddenly arrives on our planet. With the introduction of Enchantress, the government -- personified by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) -- has completely new threats to consider. There's a line from the trailer about our politicians being afraid if Superman decided to fly to the White House and steal the president. Who would stop him? Well, Enchantress presents new challenges for the DCEU, and it looks like it'll be up to the Squad to stop her.
How? I'll leave that for you to discover when Suicide Squad opens in theaters on August 5.