The Suicide Squad is a group mostly comprised of incarcerated super-villains who are sent on black ops missions, by the government, that have a low chance of survival in return for lowering their incarceration time.
The Suicide Squadron
The original Suicide Squad, called the Suicide Squadron, were a very expendable team that existed during World War ll. Comprised of trouble-making soldiers, they were led by a man named Rick Flag, Sr. The Suicide Squad is under the control of the government organization called Task Force X.
As McCarthyism spread through the United States in the 1950s, everyone in society was under scrutiny, even the heroes of the Second World War, namely the Justice Society of America. Instead of revealing their identities, Hawkman indicated that if they were forced to unmask they would rather retire and with the help of Doctor Fate's magic the entire team disappeared into retirement. To fill the void various government departments were formed to battle metahuman and supernatural. One of these was eventually the Suicide Squad, composed of Rick Flag Jr., Doctor Karin Grace, Jess Bright, and Doctor Hugh Evans. The group battled for years but eventually were stranded in the Himalayas while searching for Shangri-La. Only Rick and Karin returned from this mission and Karin was psychologically fractured and could no longer carry on in the team. Now on his own the team continued in a sense as Rick Flag joined the Forgotten Heroes.
Years later, the Suicide Squad returns under Task Force X, as it's now run by Amanda Waller. This time, the Suicide Squad is comprised of mostly incarcerated super-villains who are willing to go on very dangerous missions in return for a speedier release from prison. Their missions are all black operation missions and are not officially sanctioned by the government. True to its name, there were several members who never returned back home from a mission.
To prevent any member of the Squad from running away on a mission, Amanda Waller has every untried and untrustworthy member with an explosive bracelet that detonates if they try to remove it or if they stray too far from their mission leader. This Squad's usual mission leader was again Rick Flag Jr, who was forced on Waller by government officials. She instead wanted Ben Turner to lead the team.
Often, the non-villain members on the team were paying off favors from the government or needed the team for an agenda of their own, for instance Nightshade to return to her home dimension or Vixen to hunt down the drug dealers that killed her friends. This team also often came into conflict with Batman who saw what they were doing as directly contrary to what he was doing. Most notably Flag was often at odds with himself for supporting heroes against Batman.
Task Force X was eventually forced to work freelance and kept Amanda Waller as their leader, invoking a new version of the Suicide Squad. This squad still worked with the government on numerous occasions, with Sarge Steel as a common collaborator.
When Lex Luthor assumed the presidency of the United States of America, a new Suicide Squad was organized with General Rock as the leader. Amanda Waller also became involved as did a few other veteran villains from the original run, but the Squad ended as the General Rock was revealed to be an impostor.
Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag
Many of the regular characters appear in the series. The series seems to take place roughly between the Squad's appearance in Checkmate and the events of Salvation Run. Waller has already been ousted from her position at Checkmate, but Deadshot is still with the Squad and not exiled. The main plot of the series has revolved around Rick Flag's return to active duty with the Squad. He is shown to have survived his apparent death in Bialya by being transported to the world of Skartaris along with his enemy Rustam. Surviving there he finally kills Rustam and finds his way back home where he ends up in a Quraci prison and is eventually rescued by the Squad. Flag is welcomed back to the Squad but is greeted with two pieces of shocking news. The first is that his former employer and nemesis General Wade Eiling is a captive of the Squad, having had his mind transferred into the body of the villain Shaggy Man. The second is that Flag is in fact not Rick Flag Jr. and never has been. Eiling had implanted the false identity of Rick Flag into his mind upon recruitment. Eiling also reveals that he had planted a post-hypnotic suggestion in Flag's mind which makes him ultimately loyal to Eiling. With the help of Cliff Carmichael, Eiling has been secretly co-opting other members of the Squad, with the intent of killing Waller and seizing control for himself. The new squad consisted of Rick Flag, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang Jr., Plastique, Bronze Tiger, Count Vertigo, Multiplex, Cliff Carmichael, Marauder, Blackguard, Windfall, Twister, and the General.
When the Squad is sent against a corporation which developed a dangerous bioweapon, Eiling offers to destroy the Squad for them if they meet his financial demands. As the attack begins, Eiling makes his move. Blackguard gets his head snapped off by the General, Windfall dies at the hands of a mind controlled Chemo,Twister gets killed by White Dragon, Cliff Carmichael gets shot to death by King Faraday, White Dragon gets burned to death by Plastique, and Marauder gets killed by an explosive boomerang from Captain Boomerang Jr. Then, the General gets brain damage from an explosive blow in his head.
Then after the mission Bane and Nightshade get recruited into the Suicide Squad. The Suicide Squad captured many villains and shipped them off to another planet, called Salvation Run. Deadshot and Bane were part of the Suicide Squad only to be betrayed by the team.
Confrontation with the Secret Six and Blackest Night
The Suicide Squad's current roster consists of Amanda Waller, King Faraday, Rick Flag, Nightshade, Virtuoso, Bronze Tiger, and Count Vertigo. During The Blackest Night, the Fiddler rises and he attacks the Secret Six and the Squad. Before the attack, the Six attack the Squad. After their new gunner, Yasemin fails a mission, all seems lost for them. They fight the Six with little help from Yasemin, who is shot by Deadshot. The newest member of the Six, Black Alice distracts the guards, while the rest of the team attempts to rescue a drug lord, due to commands from the Mockingbird. They are soon confronted by the Squad, and soon entered into a heated battle. Catman and Bronze Tiger almost kill each other, while Deadshot almost kills Rick Flag. Their fight is put on hold by the Fiddler, who has commanded the deceased Suicide Squad members, and Yasemin to rise as Black Lantern's. They join together to fight the creatures, and Waller destroys the Lanterns with a detonated Manhunter robot. The teams are put at odds again, and Deadshot shoots her in the chest. She is seen recovering in a hospital, revealing a hint of information signifying that she could be the new Mockingbird.
The Suicide Squad team was composed of Harley Quinn, Deadshot, King Shark, El Diablo, Black Spider, and Savant. They were being tortured by unknown assailants for the purpose of extracting information, more specifically, they inquire on who sent the team.
They are then deployed in a sports stadium and learn that their objective is to retrieve a package from a woman. They soon learn that all of the people in the stadium have been infected with a virus that turns them into mindless creatures who can only destroy and kill each other. The place was shut down by the national guard and the team members are joined by Voltaic. The team is then attacked by a group of the infected, but they manage to successfully fight them off. After a bit of fighting, they manage to find their way through to the target and they are surprised to discover that the target is pregnant. After fighting that target, who is just as mindless as the rest of the infected, they take the baby from the womb, because it is revealed that the baby is immune to the infection and thus, the only thing that "is worth saving". Voltaic is then shot by Deadshot, killing him instantly and left in the stadium to blame for the events that have trespassed. Unfortunately for the team, there isn't enough cover for extraction and so they have to escape and 'lay low' for some time. Deadshot reminds Waller of the bombs they have implanted within their heads, but Waller states that they still have 3 hours to live.
Then, the team tries to 'lay low' for a bit, but eventually come under fire of a bounty hunter named Mad Dog. Before they dealt with Mad Dog, they were trying to lay low and buy food and fit into regular clothes. Harley then tries to seduce Deadshot, but is interrupted by a call from Waller. Diablo also sees that in the news, Voltaic is already being blamed for the murder of all of the people in the stadium. When they finally meet Mad Dog, they deal with him, but not before Black Spider is injured. Diablo tries to save him, but is unable to carry him due to exhaustion. Harley offers to help, with the condition that none of them mention that she ever helped Black Spider. When they get to the evacuation drop, Black Spider gets medical attention, they have their bombs reset and two new members are added to the crew: Captain Boomerang and Yo-Yo.
Realizing that he has been set up, Boomerang attempts to use the detonator he was given that is supposed to be connected to the microbombs in each squad member's skin. It fails to function, and Deadshot mocks him for thinking that Waller would trust him with that kind of power. As it turns out, George Harkness' addition to the Suicide Squad was orchestrated so as to give them a bargaining chip for getting out of the hideout alive with Dr. Visyak. In exchange for letting the squad go, Waller will leave behind Captain Boomerang and also return Wong Fon Yay's body to Basilisk.
She arranges a visit between Floyd and a young girl named Suchin. It has been set up so that she can't tell where he is or what he is. He hugs her and asks her about her life, and she responds smiling, happy to see him. Behind a two-way mirror, one of Waller's men informs her that they did a headcount of the morgue, infirmary, and cell blocks. The only prisoner unaccounted for is Harley Quinn. Waller realizes that Quinn caused the riot in order to escape.
After just a few minutes, the guard takes Suchin away. Angrily, Floyd turns to the fake mirror and shouts that the deal was for an hour. Waller responds that he can have the hour he wants if he can find Harley Quinn. Her nanite bomb was deactivated, so they can't stop her remotely. Two guards have gone missing, but she believes she knows where Quinn is headed: Gotham City. Waller is going to put a new Squad together, and they will be tasked with hunting Harley Quinn down.
After shooting one of the siamese twins through the head, his brother reveals that they hadn't told Harley that the Joker was skinned and dead, because they knew she would shoot the messenger. Deadshot is surprised at this news, and Waller confirms that the Joker was skinned alive, and that his face is being held at Gotham City Police Headquarters. Deadshot realizes immediately that Harley will be hitting Police HQ next, and the squad rushes across the rooftops to find her. From a nearby rooftop, they watch as Harley surrenders to the police, having goaded them into arresting her and taking her inside the station - exactly where she wants to be.
Deadshot wakes, unmasked, and tied to a chair in the dark. Harley approaches with a knife, stating that they need to talk - but she doesn't want to talk to Deadshot, she want to talk to someone else. Taking the Joker's face from its case, Harley stretches it out, and hangs it over Deadshot's own. Despite his own feelings of horror, he tries to play along. She demands to know why he - the Joker - left her. She shouts angrily that she loved him, and uncomfortably, Deadshot responds that she should prove it. She should prove it by killing Robin, and Batgirl, and the rest of the Batman's distractions. She should do what she was created for. Smiling, Harley responds that she knew her Joker would come back to her. Before she can finish her sentence, Deadshot shoots her in the gut.
Grumpily, Floyd pleads to have the leadership given to someone else, but Waller refuses to consider someone else. Later, however, Waller offers the role of leader to Savant. She asks him to stay on, despite the fact that he is not required to stay, as per their arrangement. Savant remarks that he has already got enough of a target on his back with Deadshot than to make it worse by giving him orders. As he leaves, he assures Waller that as far as he is concerned, Suicide Squad does not exist.
Waller sends the remains of the Suicide Squad on their next mission. They must go to Metropolis, and seek out and kill Mitch Shelley, without garnering the attention of Superman. If they are caught, they are all expendable. Six months ago, the agent of Basilisk was briefed on the mission: commit a high-profile crime and get arrested. Then be sentenced to life in Belle Reve, where Amanda Waller would invite them to join Task Force X. Then, when the time was right, the agent would kill every last member of the team for the glory of Basilisk. One of the current members of the Suicide Squad is a mole for Basilisk.
In Other Media
Justice League Unlimited
A version of the Suicide Squad, Task Force X appears in the JLU episode of the same name. The membership consists of Rick Flagg, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Plastique and Clock King. They infiltrate the JLU's headquarters dressed as staff. Soon into their mission, they run into Atom Smasher, Vigilante, and Shining Knight. Plastique threatens to kill Atom Smasher by dropping an explosive disk down his throat, but drops the disk and it explodes in her face. The rest escape and meet back at their headquarters. There, it is revealed that the team was set up by Amanda Waller, leader of Cadmus. She comments that they lost Plastique, so it is thought that she died in the explosion.
The Suicide Squad was first mentioned by Amanda Waller at the end of the Smallville-"Movie" 'Absolute Justice' in season nine of the series. In the final season of Smallville, the Suicide Squad made their first real appearance in two parts. In the season opener, Rick Flag Jr. is interrogating with Oliver warning them that they do not have the authority for their actions. He is later set free in exchange for Chloe. In the second episode, Deadshot has a hit on Cat Grant but Clark later finds out he is the real target. Deadshot is later arrested after Cat is saved but is "released" by Rick and Plastique. The members of the Suicide Squad are Rick Flag, Plastique, Warp, Deadshot and Icicle. Chloe Sullivan was a part-time-member of the Squad.
Although the Suicide Squad does not appear in the show, a group called Maniax were the main antagonists of the second season that had a very similar role to the Suicide Squad, including their being composed mostly of imprisoned convicts. However, unlike the Suicide Squad which was used to carry out black operations, the Maniax were formed as part of Theo Galavan's agenda against Gotham City.
Batman: Assault on Arkham
The Suicide Squad are featured within the direct-to-video DC animated film Batman: Assault on Arkham. Set within the Arkhamverse, the members of the Suicide Squad are King Shark, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Killer Frost, Harley Quinn, and Black Spider, and they were assigned to locate and diffuse a dirty bomb that the Joker had stolen and somehow planted somewhere within Gotham City while imprisoned at Arkham Asylum. In addition to dealing with the Joker and his bomb plot, they also have to contend with Batman, who was himself trying to track down and disable the bomb.
The Suicide Squad are featured as the main characters in the film of the same name. Set within the DC Extended Universe, the film stars Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller and Jared Leto as the Joker. The film also features Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Cara Delevingne as the Enchantress, Karen Fukuhara as Katana and Adam Beach as Slipknot. Whilst inspiration is taken from the comics, the film draws heavily from the New 52 version of the Squad, most notably the roster and tone. Despite negative reception from critics and audiences, the film was a box office success.
Batman: Arkham series
Although the Suicide Squad isn't mentioned directly, their presence is heavily implied in Batman: Arkham Origins and Arkham Origins: Blackgate. In the ending of the former, they, via DOJ Amanda Waller, had given Slade Wilson, aka, Deathstroke, the opportunity to join the unit with the alternative of staying imprisoned in his cell. Harleen Quinzel in her character trophy in the same game was also seen with a similar recruitment form. In the latter game, they were strongly implied to have instigated the Blackgate riot during the events of the game via Catwoman to scout out and recruit various criminals (mainly Bane). Throughout the riot, Waller and Rick Flag Jr. observed the events of the riot from behind the scenes, even recruiting Deadshot and Bronze Tiger after observing their fights with Batman, being impressed with their narrowly defeating Batman. However, they were later forced to directly intervene when Catwoman nearly talked about who hired her to break out Bane, and also had to return Bane to Blackgate under the pretense of catching Bane and sending him back in order to save face at the possibility of their being found out, although they still gave Catwoman her freedom and a clean record. However, as their chopper was departing, the Batsignal tracker was seen on their chopper, implying that Batman had anticipated they may have been behind the riot and was tracking them.
Batman: The Enemy Within
Like in the Batman: Arkham series, the Suicide Squad are indirectly mentioned in Telltale Games' Batman: The Enemy Within. The series also features its own iterations of Amanda Waller and Harley Quinn. During the fourth episode, it is revealed that the former has been planning to use an incentive for a group of supervillains to work for her. However, after one of her agents destroys the only means to process it, she uses electroshock collars with bombs instead. Should "John Doe" become the vigilante Joker, the Squad, consisting of Quinn, Bane and Catwoman, briefly engage him and Batman on Waller's orders. Depending on decisions made, Catwoman or the others can be released to either go free or stand trial for their actions.