SPOILER WARNING: This really should go without saying, but the following article contains massive spoilers for The Suicide Squad. If you have not yet seen the film, continue reading this article at your own risk!
As we have patiently waited for the arrival of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, the principal subject of constant speculation has been in regards to the various characters’ odds of survival. This is an R-rated movie packed with a large, bizarre ensemble, and knowing Gunn’s sensibilities has left fans buzzing while wondering about who lives and who dies. Well, now the film is actually out, both playing in theaters and streaming on HBO Max, and suspicions have been confirmed: the body count is indeed very high.
But who actually lives to see another day, and who among the cast goes off to the great beyond? That’s what we’re here to reflect on, as both the continuations and conclusions for each of the characters is fantastic. Diving in, let’s start with a big one…
Peacemaker (John Cena): Lives
Surprise! It sure does seem like Peacemaker dies by the time The Suicide Squad ends, shot through the throat by Bloodsport, but those who stay all the way through the end credits know that Peacemaker’s story isn’t over. Despite the fact that Peacemaker arguably deserves to be dead, the post-credits scene reveals that he was rescued, and once awake he will continue working under the thumb of Amanda Waller (which we will get to see in the upcoming HBO Max original series Peacemaker)
Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman): Dies
Had Peacemaker stayed dead, it would have been a justice-filled meta punishment for the character after he murders Rick Flag – but instead fans will have to wait for someone to get vengeance of the noble leader of the titular team. While Flag is a solider through and through, he can’t stomach the idea of hiding everything that went down as a part of Project Starfish, and the reward for his morality is a knife in the chest from the guy with a chrome toilet seat on his head.
Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie): Lives
Given how significant Harley Quinn has been on the big screen in recent years, there was a zero percent chance that The Suicide Squad was going to kill her off. This is one area in which the film doesn’t surprise, as she is left happy and healthy by the time Starro is defeated, ready to continue her adventures in Gotham City Sirens, a Birds Of Prey sequel, or something else entirely.
Bloodsport (Idris Elba): Lives
By the end of The Suicide Squad, Bloodsport has exhausted all of his specialized weapons, is totally drained of energy, and is forced to face his greatest fear… but it’s ultimately a case of “takes a lickin’, keeps on tickin.’” And not only is he alive, but he is also on the road to repairing his relationship with his estranged daughter, who witnesses his heroics on television.
Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney): Dies
As illustrated earlier with Rick Flag, just because a character takes part in multiple Suicide Squad missions doesn’t mean that they are going to survive – and what happens to Captain Boomerang in James Gunn’s movie is further proof of that. Things rarely end well for those who are trapped in the path of a rolling, exploding helicopter, and the beer swilling Australian learns that lesson the hardest way possible in The Suicide Squad’s opening sequence.
Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchoir): Lives
Given that Ratcatcher 2 is essentially the heart of The Suicide Squad, it would have been devastating if James Gunn had made the call to kill her off – and it wouldn’t be wholly out of character for him (see: Ellen Page’s Libby in Super). Thankfully, the writer/director made the call to spare her life, and instead she rises as the true hero of the film along with her special rodent friends.
The Thinker (Peter Capaldi): Dies
Scary as Starro is, The Thinker is arguably the true monster of The Suicide Squad, and the fate that befalls him is absolutely fitting. After years of not only torturing the alien creature, but also the citizens of Corto Maltese, the Scottish scientist with a scalp full of doohickeys winds up in the clutches of his captive, and he is torn to pieces while begging for his life.
Weasel (Sean Gunn): Lives
Another surprise! The Suicide Squad delivers a great giggle early in the film when Amanda Waller’s team fails to plan for the fact that Weasel can’t swim – and the end result is that he drowns shortly after dropping into the ocean off the coast of Corto Maltese. Or does he? Savant deems him dead when he doesn’t find a pulse on the beach, but the movie’s mid-credits scene reveals that he actually survived, and after waking up he subsequently wanders off to parts unknown.
Javelin (Flula Borg): Dies
Like most of his colleagues on Team A, Javelin meets a bloody end in the very beginning of the film, as he is riddled with bullets during the beach invasion. Sadly he never gets an opportunity to actually use the weapon he gets his name from, but he does successfully pass it off to Harley Quinn before he dies, and she certainly puts it to good use in the battle against Starro at the end of the movie.
King Shark (Sylvester Stallone): Lives
The ferocity of King Shark a.k.a. Nanaue is very much balanced out by his spectacular lack of intelligence, and there are multiple points in The Suicide Squad when you wonder if that low I.Q. will lead to his death. The truth of the matter is, however, that King Shark is seriously hard to kill, and as a result he walks away from the action in the new movie with all his pieces still intact (which is definitely not something that can be said of any of his victims).
Savant (Michael Rooker): Dies
The rules about desertion are pretty clear when an individual signs up for the Suicide Squad: if you try it, Amanda Waller will detonate a bomb implanted in your neck, and you will be no more. This is reiterated very clearly in the opening of the film, but showing is always better than telling in movies, and it’s Savant who is made an example in The Suicide Squad. When the sharpshooting villain realizes that the whole mission on the beach is FUBAR, he tries to run (or, more accurately, swim) away, and the result is the removal of his head from his shoulders with the push of a button.
Sol Soria (Alice Braga): Lives
Sol Soria is the only character wholly fighting for a positive cause in The Suicide Squad, leading a small group of rebels fighting back against the military coup in Corto Maltese, and things conclude quite well for her in the story. After Presidente General Silvio Luna (Juan Diego Botto) is killed by Harley Quinn, and after Mayor General Mateo Suarez (Joaquín Cosio) is taken out of the picture by Starro, she gets an opportunity to lead her freedom fighters to victory, and succeeds valiantly.
TDK (Nathan Fillion): Dies
The Suicide Squad doesn’t waste any time getting weird, deploying the power of T.D.K. a.k.a. The Detachable Kid in the movie’s opening sequence, but having a goofy power doesn’t turn out to be a saving grace for the character. There is a brief moment when his flying arms prove to be an effective tool, but it’s short lived, and before too long he is left wasted and full of bullets along with his other Team A cohorts on the beach.
Mongal (Mayling Ng): Dies
Remember that helicopter I mentioned earlier that crashed and trampled Captain Boomerang? Well, the thing wouldn’t have been brought to the ground at all if it weren’t for the negligence and the bullishness of the super strong alien Mongal. That being said, she can’t be held responsible for killing her teammate because the legal system doesn’t allow the prosecution of a charred corpse. It’s just the law.
Amanda Waller (Viola Davis): Lives
Amanda Waller doesn’t typically put her own life on the line, leaving all of the dangerous elements of her job to the supervillains under her purview, but she makes this list for The Suicide Squad because there is a moment when one wonders if she is really safe. As Task Force X makes certain discoveries about Project Starfish, Waller is taken out of command via a mini-mutiny within her team – though she is getting her revenge against those responsible by making them the brand new liaisons for Peacemaker.
Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian): Dies
Polka-Dot Man is a character who lives his life in agony, suffering from an interdimensional virus given to him by his mother in the pursuit of turning him into a superhero – so in a way his death in The Suicide Squad is a happy ending for the character. He no longer suffers physical pain from his condition, or the psychological pain from his trauma, and best of all he gets to go out as a legit hero before being crushed to death by one of Starro’s tentacles.
Blackguard (Pete Davidson): Dies
We don’t get to learn too much about Blackguard in The Suicide Squad, but one thing that’s made distinctly clear is that he is a dick. Not satisfied with the offer to take 10 years off his sentence, the heavily armed criminal instead opts to sell out his entire operation. And what does he get for the effort? A bullet that caves his face in, and prominence as the first legitimate death in the blockbuster.
The Suicide Squad is now playing in theaters, and is available to stream on HBO Max for a limited time. To see what’s set to come next from the wide world of DC Comics adaptations, check out our Upcoming DC Movies guide.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.