[WARNING: This contains MASSIVE SPOILERS for Suicide Squad.]
The DC Extended Universe is getting bigger in some bold new ways, with the first film not spawned from the mind of director Zack Snyder set to highlight a different side of the company’s superhero titans. With Suicide Squad, it’s the villains who get their time to shine, while including cameos from future Justice League heroes, connective tissue leading into the long-awaited team-up, and even adding magic and mysticism to a world already populated by aliens, cyborgs, and aquatic kings.
Even so, there’s a great deal audiences and comic book fans may not be prepared for when heading into the film. But with David Ayer’s film already getting some wildly negative reviews – and incredibly positive ones from elsewhere – we figured plenty of comic fans would be curious to know just what has proven so divisive to some, and ‘dream come true universe-building’ to others. Not to mention double-checking that you caught every detail on your first viewing.
For those who have not seen Suicide Squad yet, make sure to read our spoiler-free review, then come back here to discuss the biggest spoilers, surprises, and reveals! NOTE: This is not a countdown. We’ve listed the spoilers in (mostly) chronological order.
20. Deadshot Surrenders to Batman
It had been revealed firsthand by the cast that most, if not all of the members of the Suicide Squad had personally tangled with Batman, but few would have guessed exactly how the interaction between Deadshot and Batman went down. The scene occurs as Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is explaining how she has acquired each member of the team to the other government officials seen in the movie’s trailers. Showing just how ruthless Amanda Waller really is, she knew that the way to Floyd Lawton a.k.a. Deadshot (Will Smith) is through his daughter.
Instead of using that information herself, she explains, it was forwarded on to another citizen of Gotham who would be interested to know that one of the world’s most prolific contract killers was walking the city’s streets: Batman. Predictably, the Dark Knight finds Deadshot while he’s out shopping with his daughter, and ambushes him in an alleyway. Batman explains that he doesn’t wish to actually fight, harm, wound, or apprehend the man in front of his own daughter – implying some serious moral fortitude on Bruce Wayne’s part – and when his daughter stands between her father’s gun and the caped crusader, he loses any chance of fighting. He takes the cuffs offered, and waits for the police to arrive.
19. Enchantress is Held Hostage By Amanda Waller
It was unclear during the film’s marketing exactly how the magical sorceress/witch known as Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) was actually going to be kept in check. Archaeologist Dr. June Moon was the human form, and willing to play along with Task Force X, but when the Enchantress takes control of their shared body, what reason would she have to play by Waller’s rules? The answer is a pretty simple one, and actually becomes a major plot point: Waller has Enchantress’ heart, and is threatening to destroy it if she disobeys.
The heart looks about as ancient and ritualistic as you might expect from a millenia-old witch, but in Waller’s own investigation into the cavern where June first encountered Enchantress, she learned that the witch’s heart had been kept apart from the rest of her essence. Control the heart, or simply stab a pen or two into it, and Enchantress will double over in pain. Unsurprisingly, a simple locked briefcase keyed to Waller’s fingerprint turns out to not be enough security between the witch and her one weakness, either.
18. Rick Flag & June Moon Are a Couple
As evidence of just how calculating and cold-blooded Amanda Waller can really be, the real reason that Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) is charged with leading Task Force X turns out to be a complete manipulation. It was Rick Flag who was first sent to find Dr. June Moon, and find her he did: in a tub, completely defenseless, and asking him for help. He gave it, and after spending time as June’s personal handler, the pair developed a connection – eventually becoming a couple. Or, as Waller puts it to her colleagues: June has Flag, and she has June.
Flag eventually realizes that the manipulation and exploitation of his feelings for June shows Waller was every bit as cruel as others claimed, but must nevertheless lead the team to collect the woman he loves. It may not be the most substantial or satisfying emotional subplot of the film, but knowing that Flag can never bring himself to give up on the girl trapped inside the monster gives him his own path through the movie’s third act.
17. Harley Helped Kill Robin
As the Batcave sets of Batman V Superman began to take shape, the fact that there was a burned, defaced Robin costume preserved as a memorial was bound to get out. And when it did, fans could hardly believe that Zack Snyder would not only adapt a version of Robin, Batman’s sidekick, but the version killed by the Joker. If true, then it would bring entire worlds of possible stories for future Batman films, not the least of which would be the “Under the Red Hood” story hinging on Jason Todd’s death and return (Warner Bros. eventually confirmed this was Jason’s suit, as in the comics).
Suicide Squad adds a new wrinkle to the story – and no, director David Ayer already shot down the fan theory that this Joker WAS Jason Todd. Instead, we learn during Harley’s introduction and on-screen ‘rap sheet’ that she was an accomplice in the murder of Robin. Since that doesn’t stop him from rescuing Harley when Joker leaves her for dead in a sinking supercar, we can only assume his days of pursuing violent revenge are truly behind him.
16. Boomerang Was Caught By The Flash
The moment that Jai Courtney was cast as Captain Boomerang, DC Comics fans began to wonder if this was merely the first appearance of the villain, destined for a larger role in a standalone movie for The Flash – given the duo’s long and painful history together. But after months without a single lead, it seemed that any connections would have to wait. That was, until the Comic-Con footage revealed a blast of blue lightning, not all that dissimilar from the kind surrounding Barry Allen in the Justice League trailer.
Not long after, the official cast list for Suicide Squad confirmed that Ezra Miller would appear, and appear he does. As part of Boomerang’s introduction from Amanda Waller, a flashback sequence shows him stealing diamonds with a partner. Once he kills said partner, The Flash shows up in a blast of lightning, sending Boomerang onto his backside so fast, he almost misses Barry Allen’s first in-costume quip in the DCEU.
15. Enchantress Sets Her Brother Free to Destroy The City
Much was made about the villains of the film, and who would actually be causing the destruction of Midway City that sends the Squad into action – and the shots of a powerful, tentacle-whipping man in a subway tunnel seen in the trailers was never explainable. It’s for good reason, it turns out. When June utters the name of Enchantress in her sleep, giving herself over to the witch, she strikes: escaping from her hotel room in a puff of smoke, acquiring the small artifact that possesses her brother (nearly identical to the one June discovered, from which Enchantress escaped), and… well, opening it.
The entity that escapes is weak, but Enchantress escorts him to a nearby subway station, and allows him to possess the body of a businessman (who, as we found out prior to the film’s release, is played by Alain Chanoine). With a human form, but weakened, this brother soon lashes out at multiple bystanders, sucking them to him with his tentacles to gain strength, dissecting an oncoming train, and killing wave after wave of police officers and soldiers without even breaking a sweat.
14. Harley Quinn’s Jester Suit Does Appear
Announcing that Harley Quinn would be an actual movie character played by Margot Robbie was one dream come true – but fans had another almost immediately. Sadly, the chance to see Harley in her classic Jester costume from Batman: The Animated Series wasn’t to be… or was it? After learning that the jester suit was made for the movie, and seemed poised for an easter egg, the finished film doesn’t disappoint, delivering not one, but TWO chances to see the costume in action.
The first is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo, showing Joker and Harley embraced in a dance: he in his classic black tails, as depicted in the famous Alex Ross painting, and Harley in her full Jester suit to match (headgear included). It’s clearly an image as divorced from reality as the criminals themselves, but the costume seems to be a real one, as Harley first pulls it out of her box of personal items and weaponry upon heading to the Midway City launching point of the mission. She holds it against herself for a heartbeat, before tossing it aside in favor of her t-shirt and shorts.
13. Scott Eastwood & Common Play… Nobody
It just wouldn’t be a major comic book movie release without some massive, un-killable rumors being proven absolutely, completely false. When Common was cast in the film, and spotted on the set sporting dozens of tattoos, fans and outlets rushed to solve the mystery. Some proclaimed him to be a take on Tattooed Man (not exactly creative), while others reported him to be an updated version of Doctor Mist, and it was he who was unleashing violence upon an unsupecting subway train.
The answer? He’s simply Monster T, and appears in one scene, before being offered Harley as a game played between she and the Joker… before they kill him. As for Scott Eastwood, rumored to be playing everything from Nightwing to Steve Trevor? We hope you’re sitting down for this one, because Eastwood’s true name is: ‘GQ,’ one of Flag’s soldiers who dies detonating a bomb in the third act.
12. Slipknot Dies
No real surprise here, although it’s technically still a spoiler. When the Squad wind up with explosive implants in each of their heads, you would think that would be enough of a deterrent. But, in classic criminal fashion, it’s Boomerang who shares his suspicion that it’s all a scam with Slipknot (Adam Beach). From the shots seen in the trailer – Boomerang giving Slipknot a knowing nod, and the former being pinned to a wall by Katana (Karen Fukuhara) as the latter makes a getaway – fans could probably piece together what was going to happen next.
In short: Boomerang uses Slipknot as a lab rat, seeing if he really will have his head blown off of his shoulders by Flag if he attempts to escape. The answer? Yes, he will. And true to character, Boomerang never bats an eye again.
11. Enchantress’ Plan is To Build a Killer Machine
As much as director David Ayer may have talked about delivering a more satisfying villain than those typically turned to today, the film’s final act hinges on a villain bent on world domination, beginning with a beam of light firing up in to the sky. There is a bit more backstory offered when Enchantress first releases her brother, explaining to him that they have awoken after thousands of years in captivity, where human beings no longer worship them, but worship machines instead.
Her answer? To build a machine of her own. One built out of massive, undulating, CG-fueled cogs and waves that raises rubble and debris into the sky around it. Tapping into Amanda Waller’s brain once she acquires her allows the machine to attack ARGUS satellites, further attacking other locations around the world. What’s her endgame? We’re not quite sure, aside from the aforementioned domination of the world.
10. The Mission is Actually To Rescue Waller
When the Squad is put into the field, they’re given a pep talk by Amanda Waller via video screen, with the head of ARGUS’ tech team keeping her up to date on the Squad’s every move. Their mission is only ever described as seeking out a High Value Target inside the city. Most audience members will probably assume that the ‘target’ here is June Moon or her brother, but by the time Flag leads them into an office building’s top floors, the twist is already unfolding: the Squad’s mission wasn’t being monitored by Waller – it was Waller.
Having been trapped in the control room in Midway City, Waller required Flag and the Squad to fight their way through the villains’ hordes and rescue her. Just to prove that even in these times of desperation, she’s a force to be reckoned with, Waller executes each and every member of her team before leaving, determining that none of them were ever cleared for the disaster they had been witnessing. Cold-blooded.
9. Rick Flag Gives The Squad Their Freedom
Just because they start on opposite sides of the law doesn’t mean that Rick Flag can’t have some compassion for the criminals under his care… well, that’s not totally true. He doesn’t like them at all. But even if the conflict between the soldier and the criminals he’s convinced will “cut and run” is laid on a little thick, it isn’t friendship or camaraderie that drops their walls: it’s defeat. When the mission seems lost, with Waller kidnapped, and June Moon clearly beyond saving, Rick Flag smashes his controls to the Squad’s neck explosives.
Giving them their freedom because he just cares that little, the Squad actually doesn’t really react – aside from Boomerang, who makes an immediate exit. It’s not the last control switch to their instant death, but it’s still a strong way of making the team’s showdown in the final act a voluntary one. Even if it is just because they’ve got nothing better to do.
8. Diablo Killed His Wife – And Children
The character of Diablo (Jay Hernandez) was almost a total mystery going into the film’s marketing. In the comics, he’s been a supporting character, at best, possessing the ability to create and wield fire. But it was his penance that carried the most weight, having accidentally killed women and children with his powers, and devoting the rest of his life to making up for the crime.
In the movie, the story told is a little different. First, we’re told by Waller that Chato Santana wasn’t captured, but surrendered outside of a burning home. When the Squad is enjoying one last drink before their run at the villain, he tells the whole story: how he used the “devil’s gift” he was born with to take over the streets, and eventually lost control, killing his wife and children. That last point doesn’t go over well with the rest of the Squad, but he makes up for it in the end.
7. Joker is Only Here to Rescue Harley
We would assume that most audiences know by now that the Joker’s role will be parallel to the Squad’s, at best, since he’s neither the villain nor a member of the team. In fact, his only concern is retrieving his beloved Harley from the clutches of the government. That mission begins by intimidating one of Belle Reve’s prison guards – Griggs (Ike Barinholtz) – into passing a cell phone to Harley as she’s being escorted out of Belle Reve. From there, a number of text messages let Harley know that her precious ‘Puddin’ is coming for her, having tracked down the lab that manufactured the explosive charges.
When Joker arrives on the scene in a stolen helicopter, slicing through Flag’s men like a knife through butter, he need only disarm the bomb in Harley’s next, and help her aboard the aircraft. He does just that, and the pair are finally reunited. Unfortunately, the honeymoon doesn’t last long, and Joker’s helicopter is shot down, tossing her to the safety of a nearby rooftop, and back in to the Squad until he can retrieve her again.
6. Harley Imagines a Normal Future With Joker
When the Squad finally heads to the stronghold of Enchantress and her brother – credited as ‘Incubus’ – the witch wastes no time in trying to stop them in their tracks by presenting them with their deepest desires made real (inside their own minds). For Flag, that’s a normal life with June. But for Harley, it’s a normal life with Joker. Normal, as in a scene in which Margot Robbie and Jared Leto play with their young children in a suburban home, all in beautiful slow motion.
It’s an interesting scene, since it reveals that not all of Dr. Harleen Quinzel’s previous life goals or hopes were erased by falling in love with, then being reshaped by the Joker. But Diablo can see through the illusions, and he snaps his team out of it before we can find out just how difficult it was for Leto to play a ‘normal’ version of the insane villain he immersed himself into.
5. Diablo Saves The Day – As a Spectral Fire Demon
Diablo makes it clear from the beginning that his control over fire is a demonic, if not Satanic blessing. It’s one he denied almost all of his life for that very reason. But as the chips begin to fall, and the Squad’s enemies seem too powerful, he decides it’s time to let his flames do the talking. First, he unleashes the demonic fire onto the Incubus (with actual impact felt), before being kicked across a train station. The only solution is to completely lose himself to the power, doing so by erupting out of his own human form and into that of a massive, burning, skeletal/shamanistic creature.
Now matching the Incubus’s height and strength, Diablo gets the villain to the exact spot where Flag’s team has planted an explosive (the original plan that Enchantress completely sabotaged). With all of his energy spent, and returning to his human form, Diablo tells flag to blow the charges, finally killing the Incubus – and himself, in the process.
4. Enchantress Repeats The ‘Meta Human Thesis’
It began as Lex Luthor’s notion in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice: the ‘Meta Human Thesis,’ the idea put forward that the gods, goddesses, champions and demigods of humanity’s past may not have been myths or legends, but actual meta human beings possessing great abilities. And with Superman on the scene, it was only a matter of time until more began to follow his lead. It’s an idea supported by Waller directly, building the team for the next war to be fought between our meta humans… and theirs. And, susprisingly, Enchantress seems to agree.
She doesn’t seem to reference Superman or the Justice League heroes directly, but in urging the Squad that she is not to be defeated, but accepted, Enchantress claims that things are changing, that she can sense great powers shifting. It may just be rhetoric, her first time out of the bottle in thousands of years, or fittingly ominous dialogue, but it may also be a reference to the otherworldly enemies and powers headed to Earth from Apokolips. Not to mention a hint of coming supernatural threats, should Justice League Dark be joining the DCEU soon.
3. Enchantress Dies, June Moon Survives
Obviously the Squad decides that protecting one another is now the most important goal, and join forces in trying to bring down Enchantress. Since she’s able to disappear and reappear wherever she pleases, she’s a hard enemy to bring down (until Killer Croc grabs hold and starts thrashing her against statues). But with the stakes raised, Enchantress returns to her darker, almost smoke-like form, weaving in and out of the fight until the team works together to detonate an explosive in the bowels of Enchantress’ machine (now weakened, with her brother’s power pulled from her after his death).
Rick Flag tries to get Enchantress to give up her human host, June, before she dies, but she doubts that the soldier possesses the same willingness to kill her (by crushing her heart) that Waller did. Accepting his love is lost, Flag crushes said heart, killing Enchantress, and watching her collapse into a muddy corpse. A corpse that soon breaks open to reveal June Moon, alive and well.
2. Joker Dies & Returns
We didn’t mention it before, but when Joker’s stolen helicopter is shot down over Midway City, it’s only Harley who makes it out before the crash. Left to watch as the chopper crashes out of view, Harley assumes that her beloved Joker has been killed. The audience is led to believe as much, too (as much as any could actually believe the new Joker would be killed off so soon). But as Harley enjoys her second espresso in her cell, a massive hole is blown in the building’s wall.
As armed gunmen storm the building, taking out Belle Reve guards en masse, one enters Harley’s cell, removes his mask, and reveals his metallic grin once more. The two embrace as if they’re in a cartoon brought to life, and leaving fans wondering what insane adventures they’ll be getting up to next.
1. Bruce Wayne Tells Waller To Shut It All Down
We knew that David Ayer was going to be giving DCEU fans a mid-credits scene linking this film with the larger universe, and the scene on hand is both unexpected, but a unique approach to linking Squad with footage fans have already seen. In the scene, Bruce Wayne and Amanda Waller meet to discuss the midway City/Task Force X fallout – specifically, that Waller’s head is likely destined for a pike, considering the entire disaster rests on her decisions. But Bruce Wayne promises to protect her with some help from his friends – provided she hands over her end of the deal.
Her part of the bargain is information, in the form of her complete records on known meta humans, including Barry Allen and Arthur Curry. We can only assume that it’s these files Bruce uses to actually track down The Flash and Aquaman, as shown in the Justice League footage from Comic-Con 2016. The audience gets to see what maneuvering it took to get his hands on such intel, but the heroes themselves simply watch as Bruce Wayne appears before them, as some kind of all-knowing force. And before he leaves, he gives Waller one piece of advice: to shut down her operation, before he and his friends do it for her.
NEXT: Suicide Squad Review
Suicide Squad runs 123 minutes and is Rated PG – 13 for sequences of violence and action throughout, disturbing behavior, suggestive content and language. Now playing in IMAX, 3D, and regular 2D theaters.
Let us know what you thought of the film in the comment section below. If you’ve seen the movie and want to discuss details about the film without worrying about spoiling it for those who haven’t seen it, please head over to our Suicide Squad Spoilers discussion.
For an in-depth discussion of the film by the Screen Rant editors check back soon for our Suicide Squad episode of the Total Geekall podcast.