The film Suicide Squad was released August 5, 2016, one day before my 31st birthday. Set in the DC Comics Expanded Universe, the film is a character study on the broad range of criminal insanity and the worst side of human nature. In a polarized world of good vs. bad, the baddest of the bad at a high security prison are forcibly drafted by the US government into Task Force X, a Secret shadow operations group tasked with performing deadly wetworks missions in return for reduced criminal sentences. Each criminal exhibits a different streak of nasty behavior that is complex and surprisingly relatable to. No person is perfect, and even among bad people there are positive elements.
Former psychiatrist Harleen Quinzel was assigned to analyze the criminal mind of the psychotic Joker, but instead fell under his sway and grew to love him, becoming an insane murderous harlot herself known as Harley Quinn. Floyd Lawton is a deadly hitman known as Deadshot, with an almost supernatural affinity for firearms of every make, model, and era. A serious professional, he tries to set a good example for his teenage daughter, who is the reason for his work ethic of contract fees paid up front, and no women or children killed. George Harkness is Australian rogue Captain Boomerang, dressed like an aristocrat, but who is callous, brutal, and self-centered who does not get along well with anyone. He is a professional bank robber and a member of the criminal group called the Rogues, who are united in fighting against the Flash. Waylon Jones is Killer Croc, a former circus performer and a genetic freak with reptilian traits, including great physical strength, thick scaly skin, and sharp teeth. He harbors a deep hatred of the human society that shuns him. Chato Santana is El Diablo, a tormented former criminal gang leader who shuns his powers of pyrokinesis after destroying his family and home by mistake.Together they are controlled and monitored by subdermal implants placed within their necks that mark their location and can be remotely detonated if the subject misbehaves, hence the name Suicide Squad. Control of the implants rests in the hands of squad field commander Rick Flag, a highly skilled soldier and veteran of countless black-ops missions. At Flagg’s side is Tatsu Yamashiro, a woman known as Katana, armed with a mystical sword that steals the souls of it’s victims.
The Squad is assembled and sent to fight against the Enchantress, a malevolent ancient mystical spirit possessing the body of the archaeologist June Moone. Moone was a former lover of Rick Flagg before she was possessed while researching magical artifacts in Asia. By disturbing the magical vessel containing the Enchantress, she gained incredible magical power, but was enslaved by the dark spirit who sought to destroy the world of men who once worshipped her as a god. June was slowly corrupted by the sorceress while under the employ of Amanda Waller, the government official who is responsible for founding the Task Force X Program. Waller, herself, is ruthless and unforgiving, concerned only with completing the given mission,no matter the cost or collateral damage.
The film is a showcase of good, bad, and ugly in various shades of human nature working, or at least trying to work together, to defeat a greater evil. In the process, the criminals become slightly better, or at least better understood. Harley’s love/hate bond with the Joker becomes more believable, Diablo comes to terms with the ghosts of his past, Boomerang improves his social skills, Deadshot vows to be a better role model for his daughter, Croc regains some of his humanity working with other outcasts, Katana wields her cursed blade for a good cause, and coldly professional Rick Flagg finds someone to relate to in June Moone. In my imaginary superhero alter ego Rain Man, I would be brave yet reckless, professional yet hot-headed, both compassionate and arrogant, funny and serious in equal measure, a clever sense of humor but able to use words as potent weapons to support people in need of help and disrupt the actions of those who oppose me, and to point out the good and bad in everyone. I would also control the forces of rain and lightning and use weather-related humor while doing good for humanity.