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The Suicide Squad made their theatrical debut early last month, but it wasn't the first time the team of super villain operatives got to play around in live action. Along with appearing in goo Season 10, the Squad was introduced in the second half of Arrow Season 2, and it looked like the team was being prepped to have a recurring presence on the Emerald Archer's show. That didn't end up happening, and now we've learned that the main reason the Suicide Squad was added to Arrow in the first place was to test how they would fare on the big screen.
When asked whether DC Comics president Geoff Johns has ever approached him about "trying out a character" on TV to see how they would to in the movies, Arrow executive producer Greg Berlanti told Vulture that including the Suicide Squad in Arrow Season 2 was an example of such a request. He explained:
After its members and leadership appeared in earlier episodes, Arrow's Suicide Squad officially formed in the aptly-named episode "Suicide Squad" in March 2014. Seven months later, DC announced its initial slate of DC Extended Universe movies, with Suicide Squad being among them. Following that announcement, the Squad returned only once in Season 3 with Deadshot and Cupid working with John Diggle and Lyla Michaels, and the team hasn't been seen again since. Since most of its members are either dead or "exiled," it's doubtful that corner of the DC universe will be explored again within the Arrowverse. Oh well, we should be thankful for what little time we shared with them, right?
While the Suicide Squad never got the chance to truly shine on Arrow, at least it did accomplish what Geoff Johns intended: introducing the team to viewers who don't read the comics. Granted, it was the actual Suicide Squad movie previews and marketing that enticed people to head to the theaters, but by featuring the Squad on Arrow, it tested the waters and gave DC an idea of how a movie centering around these colorful criminals would do. Suicide Squad hasn't been a critical darling since its August 5 release, but it's earned enough at the box office that Warner Bros and DC are surely thinking about making a sequel. So we may still be seeing more of them yet.
Suicide Squad is still playing in theaters, while Arrow will continue its Squad-less story when Season 5 premieres Wednesday, October 5 at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.