Warning: The following contains spoilers James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad.
Considering the movie isn’t called Suicide Squad 2 and just adds a “the” before the title, it should’ve been obvious that Warner Bros. wants the audience to view this as the first proper Task Force X film in the DC Universe. At the same time, it’s also the movie that buries the so-called Snyderverse once and for all.
It’s no secret that Warner Bros. wants to click a button and make the viewers forget about Zack Snyder’s time as the captain of the DC ship. After next to no promotion for Zack Snyder’s Justice League and a constant denial that the Snyderverse could be restored (even though other Earths are being brought back), the studio wants to bury its head in the sand and pretend like it wasn’t responsible for all the fiascos. You know, like all corporates deny accountability because they’re innocent bystanders.
Whether it’s the right move or not is open for debate. However, The Suicide Squad firmly pulls the trigger on everything that could link back to Snyder’s time in the DCEU. And it’s done in a brutal manner.
Already before the release of Gunn’s movie, it was evident that there was going to be a new core team, with no place for Killer Croc, Enchantress, Katana or Deadshot from David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. Though, it was surprising to see that Rick Flag and Boomerang were returning alongside Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, who was always locked in because she’s untouchable and a profitable character for the studio.
To call Boomerang and Flag’s appearances here a waste of time would be too kind. The former is used almost immediately as cannon fodder, making you wonder why he even turned up in this movie. On the other hand, the latter receives significant screentime, but he’s still primarily overshadowed by Bloodsport and Peacemaker as the de facto leaders, before also meeting the grim reaper.
What’s bothersome about these two casualties is the fact that they’re mainstay characters in the DC Universe and particularly the Suicide Squad. Sure, they aren’t A-listers like Batman or Superman, but they’re important figures in the universe—and they got done dirty here.
Speaking of someone else who was also wildly mishandled: Amanda Waller. As the big boss of Task Force X, she holds the power and authority. She’s the one person who is always thinking and planning two steps ahead of everyone else. Seriously, she knows all the secrets, even that Bruce Wayne is Batman. In The Suicide Squad, she gets knocked out by her own team who decide to grow a conscience. This is The Wall—she would have someone always looking out for her, but she gets taken out by the disgruntled admin staff? Right…
Of course, the only person from the original team who walks away with any dignity is Harley—and you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out why. While Robbie doesn’t have any plans to appear as the Clown Princess anytime soon, Warner Bros. has left the door open for her in the future. The studio knows she’s money and wouldn’t dare screw that up.
Harley aside, it’s crystal clear that Warner Bros. is trying to wipe the slate clean with The Suicide Squad. There’s already a new Batman and Superman on the way, and they’re only keeping the characters that made them money and are popular among the fans—like Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Harley. While many might point to The Flash movie being able to restore the deceased characters like Boomerang and Flag, don’t hold your breath here.
No matter how many fan campaigns start again in the future, Warner Bros. is washing its hands of everything associated to the Snyderverse. Again, whether it’s the right decision or not… We’ll just have to see.