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The summer blockbuster season has begun to draw to a close, and that means the worst heroes ever have finally landed at the box office. David Ayer's Suicide Squad blasted into theater this weekend, and while it has been met with some mixed reviews, the critics and fans seem united around one thing: the characters absolutely rock. Regardless of any problems the film may have, that's one area where they nailed it.
Adapting comic book characters to the silver screen can present an interesting challenge, as certain changes almost always have to be made. From top to bottom Suicide Squad does a fantastic job of faithfully adapting the members of Task Force X, but some villains came out better than others. With that in mind we've ranked the members of the Suicide Squad in order from least comic book accurate to most comic book accurate. Out of all the villains, let's get the ball rolling with Suicide Squad's big bad...
While Suicide Squad gets the basic elements of Cara Delevingne's Enchantress right, the film also makes some severe alterations to the character in the process. Chiefly, her appearance has been radically altered to look closer to a demon than the cleaner witch we know from the source material. June Moone's origin story also experiences a radical set of changes, as Suicide Squad turns the character into an ill-fated archaeologist who fall into a cave, rather than an artist who happens upon Enchantress' powers during a costume party in a castle. For the tone and style of the DCEU, those changes seem like the right idea.
No character in Suicide Squad gets the shaft quite like Adam Beach's Slipknot, who sadly (and literally) loses his head pretty damn early. To add insult to injury, they didn't even faithfully adapt the character in the process. While it's true that the source material version of Slipknot is a master with ropes and "can climb anything," the movie plays that idea more for laughs than anything else. In the comics, Slipknot is a master assassin whose preferred weapon is a rope to strangle his victims. If he had been allowed to stick around longer maybe we would have seen that in action, but alas what we got was a little lacking in substance.
Technically Digger Harkness a.k.a Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) does in fact resemble his comic book counterpart in many ways; it's the stuff left out of the movie that makes a big difference. Although Suicide Squad's incarnation of Captain Boomerang is the team jokester and more or less unreliable, he's also far more likeable than the comic book Captain Boomerang. In the comics, Boomerang has a far more grating and annoying personality; he's much less reliable in a fight, and he's actually an overt racist. Even in a movie centering upon a group of villains, it's probably for the best that they left some of that stuff out.
In terms of pure visual aesthetic, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's Waylon Jones a.k.a Killer Croc deserves a higher spot on this list. However, Suicide Squad takes some intense liberties with the character's personality that lowers his overall ranking. While the comics often depict Croc as a sympathetic and misunderstood monster, Suicide Squad takes that concept and adds in some wholly unnecessary gangster stereotypes. He gets a few good, vicious moments, but most of his screen time is devoted to calling women "shorty," or demanding that he have access to BET in his cell.
Easily the most fleshed out character in Suicide Squad (and ostensibly the protagonist), Deadshot maintains a striking similarity to his comic book counterpart. Although the character's race has obviously changed in the casting process, the film still keeps his sense of gallows humor, his outfit, his skillset with firearms, and his relationship with his daughter fairly consistent with the source material. However, throughout much of the film Will Smith still seems to very much be playing his usual charming self, and it can occasionally take away from the overall faithfulness to the specific DC character in those moments.
Properly analyzing Suicide Squad's depiction of Rick Flag can be a bit more difficult than others because there have been so many different iterations of the character over the years. Joel Kinnaman's take on the DC soldier seems to touch on all of the major elements of the hero as the straight-laced leader of the Suicide Squad who grows to respect the criminals he works beside -- particularly Deadshot. Suicide Squad takes a few liberties in giving Flag a romantic entanglement with Enchantress, but generally the character seems to resemble what DC fans would expect from him.
Although she doesn't get nearly as much screen time as the rest of her teammates, Karen Fukuhara's Katana is an incredibly faithful adaptation of The New 52 version of Katana. She doesn't talk much throughout the run of the film, but the origin story we're given -- centering upon her war with the Yakuza and her quest to seek vengeance for the death of her husband -- all line up with the origin that modern comic book readers have come to expect. The only thing that she really loses points for is her costume, which is far more subdued (and more revealing) than her outfit from the comics.
At first glance, DC Comics purists would likely say that Jay Hernandez' incarnation of El Diablo doesn't even remotely resemble his comic book counterpart. However, Suicide Squad takes ample inspiration from The New 52 line of comics, and the hotheaded ex-gangbanger is perfectly realized in that regard. From his tattoos to his tragic backstory, the Chato Santana version of El Diablo made a serious impression on audiences, and he most certainly honored the source material.
We cannot even begin to heap enough praise onto Margot Robbie for capturing the spirit of the endlessly insane Harley Quinn on the silver screen. There were plenty of fears that this incarnation of Harley would be "too sane" or "too sympathetic" during the run of Suicide Squad, but Robbie nailed everything from the tragic backstory, to the psychotic penchant for violence, to the New York accent. The movie somewhat mashes up Harley's two origin stories into one, but Robbie still absolutely encapsulates everything we love about The Joker's beloved. She's perfectly realized, and we want to see where she goes from here.
Although technically Amanda Waller doesn't necessarily qualify as an official member of Task Force X, she's still the most faithfully adapted character in Suicide Squad. Viola Davis perfectly captures the ruthlessly intelligent and pragmatic personality of the character and crafts someone who is a diminutive badass even in the face of the DC universe's most intense heroes and villains. Waller has taken on many roles in the DC mythos over the years, but Suicide Squad perfectly captures the version of the character as the leader of A.R.G.U.S. and the founder of Task Force X. This is not a woman you want to piss off.