With the X-Men, Avengers, and now the Justice League, audiences are getting used to seeing superheroes team up to take down the bad guys. But what about supervillains? Sometimes, some very bad people can do a whole lot of good, too. And that’s where the Suicide Squad comes in; a team of supervillains who are given the opportunity to fight for their freedom (or at least a reduced sentence) by going on covert operations for the government.
David Ayer is looking to tell their story with his upcoming DC Comics movie Suicide Squad, starring the likes of Will Smith, Viola Davis, and Margot Robbie. It’s one of the most anticipated movies of the summer, and there are already rumors of a sequel being planned. But with a name like Suicide Squad, people are bound to die, which is why there have been numerous members and incarnations over the years. Some members are notable, like Deadshot and Harley Quinn; and some are not, like Plastique and Cheetah.
We’ve already run through the more heroic team members that you may not have known about, so here are 15 Supervillains You Didn’t Know Were Members Of Suicide Squad.
15. Black Adam
Black Adam aka Teth-Adam — created by writer Otto Binder and artist C. C. Beck — is an ancient Egyptian prince who chosen to become the next Shazam, but was unfortunately corrupted by the wizard’s demonic daughter, Blaze. So instead of harnessing the powers of the seven Greco-Roman deities, Teth-Adam was granted powers of seven Egyptian deities.
His first appearance in the Suicide Squad comics comes towards the end of the series’ first volume, during the War of the Gods crossover event. In the event, Black Adam recruits the Suicide Squad to help him attack the sorceress Circe, the mastermind behind the gods fighting each other.
Although Black Adam doesn’t become an official member of the team during the War of the Gods event, he does join the task force in the interim period between Suicide Squad Volumes 2 & 3, where he rivals and then befriends Atom Smasher. Later, after the two leave the Suicide Squad and go on a spree of doing some very bad things, Atom Smasher is once again recruited by the Suicide Squad and tasked with defaming the Black Marvel family.
14. Black Manta
Black Manta — created by writer Bob Haney and artist Nick Cardy — is one of the most famed archvillains of Aquaman due to his longstanding grudge against the King of the Seven Seas. Unlike most other supervillains, Black Manta has two origin stories, both of which are not necessarily in-depth. In either case, though, he once admired Aquaman and subsequently grew to loathe the sea king. When he reached adulthood, Black Manta vowed to one day rule the sea in place of Aquaman.
Black Manta is one of the supervillains on this list who is part of the New Suicide Squad, which debuted in 2014. Once he absolved himself of his grudge after the events of Forever Evil, Black Manta reluctantly accepted Amanda Waller’s offer to join the Suicide Squad. He was quickly elected leader of the Squad and has led the task force through harrowing missions like infiltrating the League of Assassins. Of all the characters on this list, he has as good a chance as any to appear in the inevitable Suicide Squad sequel.
David Clinton aka Chronos aka The Time Thief — created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Gil Kane — is someone who deals with time manipulation and is the archenemy of the Atom. Fans of The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow will recognize the character (played by Dominic Purcell), who was portrayed as a temporal bounty hunter working for the Time Masters.
After a few run-ins with the Justice Society and Justice League, Chronos joined Task Force X as one of its initial members in Suicide Squad (Vol. 1) #4, though he didn’t stay long. He first appeared in the previous issue, Jailbreak, in which the Female Furies led an attack on Belle Reve prison, the same prison that Amanda Waller oversees and that doubles as the Squad’s secret headquarters.
Hank Henshaw, aka The Cyborg (not to be confused with Vic Stone’s Cyborg) has recently come to be known as Cyborg-Superman — both for his Kryptonian powers and the fact that he impersonated Superman (after the events of The Death of Superman) to discredit him. But he wasn’t the Man of Steel, he was the Man of Tomorrow.
In last year’s massive Convergence story arc, Cyborg-Superman was recruited by Amanda Waller for her precious Suicide Squad in order to defend Metropolis by leading an attack on Green Lanter’s floating fortress of New Oa. Once the job was done, so was Cyborg-Superman, for he’s better suited leading the Sinestro Corps than Task Force X.
Hank Henshaw appears in the former-CBS-now-CW superhero series Supergirl, played by Dave Harewood, as the director of the DEO. Though in this series, the real Henshaw died and was replaced by J’onn J’onzz aka Martian Manhunter. Frankly, it’s all pretty convoluted, even without live-action adaptations factored in.
Superman has a plethora of diabolical villains, but Doomsday is the one adversary best known for actually killing the Man of Steel, something that was seen at the end of Zack Snyder’s controversial Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — kind of.
As one could imagine, Doomsday is a challenging creature to control, which makes him a less-than-optimal candidate for joining the Suicide Squad. However, that doesn’t mean the infamous task force wouldn’t be able to use him as a secret weapon. All they would have to do is set him loose in the right spot, which is exactly what they did.
The final story in the Suicide Squad’s first interim period, The Doomsday Protocol, saw the Suicide Squad unleashing Doomsday on Imperiex’s probe army, which was conveniently disguised as Superman. While Doomsday managed to take out the alien’s army, he was no match for Imperiex himself, and the monster perished in the story.
10. Duela Dent / Joker’s Daughter
Just like Black Manta, Duela Dent — created by writer-editor Bob Rozakis — is one of the villainous members of the New Suicide Squad. Not much is known about the character, and her backstory is questionable, to say the least. She’s gone by various aliases over the years and has claimed to be the daughter of the Joker, Catwoman, Scarecrow, and even Two-Face.
After convincing Robin to let her join the Teen Titans, she went on to atone for the crimes of her (supposed) father, Harvey Dent. In The New 52, Duela Dent was given a rather different origin story, one that made her appear similar to that of Harley Quinn. Renamed the Joker’s Daughter, Duela Dent’s schemes eventually land her working alongside Harley Quinn with the New Suicide Squad.
9. James Gordon Jr.
While the daughter of Commissioner Jim Gordon (or is it Gym Gordon?) fights crime alongside Batman and Robin, his son, James Gordon Jr.- – created by comic book legend Frank Miller and artist Dave Mazzucchelli — took a much different path. Displaying psychopathic behavior from a young age, James began taking medication to subdue his violent tendencies. Unfortunately, it was later revealed that he had reverse-engineered the medication to enhance his tendencies.
James eventually became a serial killer, one who tried to murder his own mother, Barbara Eileen Gordon. In The New 52 universe, Batgirl prevents James from killing their mother by throwing a Batarang at him, causing him to fall off a bridge. Although he was presumed dead, his body was never discovered. And why was that, you ask? Because Amanda Waller recovered him and recruited him to join the Suicide Squad. He made his debut appearance in Suicide Squad (Vol. 4) #20 alongside Cheetah.
8. King Shark
Fans of The CW’s The Flash will recognize King Shark as one of the wackiest villains to appear in the series’ second season, though many fans may not realize that he’s actually a Superboy villain, someone who fittingly hails from Hawaii, not Central City. And, like Doomsday, he’s not someone who’s easily controlled.
Enlisting in a team named the Suicide Squad may not sound like a perfect choice, but sometimes it’s the only option some villains have. However, King Shark — created by Karl Kessel — wasn’t actually given much of a choice. In both the pre-Flashpoint and New 52 universes, King Shark was forced by Amanda Waller to work alongside the Suicide Squad. In one version, he first had an explosive belt around his waist, and in another version, he was actually tortured into submitting his help. Not exactly an ideal scenario for the villainous maneater, but it was certainly effective.
7. Lime & Light
Lime & Light — twin sisters created by J.T. Krul and Dan Jurgens — are relatively new villains in the DC Universe, having appeared in only a dozen or so issues, primarily as members of the New Suicide Squad. Imbued with light-projection and various other light-based powers, Lime & Light went on a criminal spree until they were apprehended by the Green Arrow and subsequently sent to Belle Reve prison.
As you can imagine, while incarcerated at Belle Reve, Amanda Waller approaches the twins and recruits them for her covert task force. On a mission to recover a fugitive Harley Quinn, Lime came into contact with the GCPD and attempted to spill the beans on Task Force X. But rather than allowing Lime to turn herself in and rat her out, Waller activated the nano-bomb embedded in her and killed her. In a later mission, Light reveals her intentions to kill Waller, but Deadshot — wanting to kill Waller himself — (supposedly) kills Light and leaves her body behind.
6. Mirror Master
As one of Barry Allen’s first adversaries as The Flash, Mirror Master has an extensive history within DC Comics. Though for this list, we’ll focus on the latest Mirror Master, Evan McCullough, created by writer Grant Morrison and artist Chas Truog. Captain Boomerang’s tenure as the second Mirror Master in the original Suicide Squad doesn’t count, because, after all, it was only a disguise.
In the One Year Later storyline (taking place between Suicide Squad Volumes 2 & 3, and one year after the events of Infinite Crisis), McCullough is seen working as a member of the interim Suicide Squad. In Checkmate #6, he convinces the Squad to go rogue and take on a mission that would surely anger Waller and the Society.
Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin — created by the OG Batman duo, writer Bob Kane and artist Bill Finger — is one of the oldest and most recognizable villains from the Dark Knight’s rogues gallery. Having appeared in numerous story arcs, movies, video games, and TV series, including Fox’s Gotham, where he’s played by Robin Lord Taylor, Penguin has become a staple of DC Comics. So it’s not so surprising that the mobster has had a few run-ins with Task Force X.
Penguin first appeared in the Suicide Squad comics in the first volume’s third issue, but he didn’t actually join the team until the fifth issue, when he was freed from prison and recruited to help the Squad on its mission to Moscow. Penguin’s expertise was needed to find a way to help the Squad free Zoya Trigorin aka Firebird out of a psychiatric hospital.
Benjamin Krull aka Reactron — created by writer Paul Kupperberg and artist Carmine Infantino — is a radioactive man known to be an archenemy of Supergirl, though post-Crisis continuity has Reactron as an enemy of Power Girl (Supergirl’s Earth-2 counterpart). After an encounter with Supergirl that ended with an atomic explosion over Chicago, Reactron was presumed dead, though his body was never recovered.
Just like with James Gordon Jr., the reason Reactron’s body was never recovered was, of course, because he was still alive. In fact, he was working with Task Force Omega. Reactron joined the team – in Suicide Squad (Vol. 2) #6 – on their mission in Russia to fend off The Doom Patrol. His run with the Suicide Squad would be short-lived, seeing as Deadshot shot his containment suit causing him to go critical. Reactron was once again thought to have been dead, but in actuality had survived the nuclear blast. Because comics.
While fans of The CW’s The Flash will undoubtedly recognize the Reverse-Flash as the man who killed Barry Allen’s mother, Eobard Thawne was not the only Reverse-Flash. In fact, there have been a number of speedsters who’ve assumed the name over the years, including one Daniel West, a character originally revealed to be Iris West’s brother, though according to the DC Universe: Rebirth continuity, he is, in fact, the father of the New 52 Wally West.
Along with Black Manta, Joker’s Daughter, and Lime & Light, Reverse-Flash was a member of the New Suicide Squad, but his run with the task force didn’t last very long. After appearing in New Suicide Squad #5, he died seven issues later in New Suicide Squad #12, the final issue in the four-part Monsters story arc.
2. Solomon Grundy
Cyrus Gold aka Solomon Grundy is one of the oldest supervillains in the DC Universe, having been a nemesis of Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern, among many others. He was a wealthy merchant who was murdered and left to rot in Slaughter Swamp. Decades later, however, he was resurrected (partly composed of swamp matter) and succumbs to a life of villainy.
Solomon Grundy first appeared in a flashback story in Suicide Squad (Vol. 2) #10, but actually joined the task force during the interim period between Volumes 2 & 3 — in Superman (Vol. 2) #182, along with Deadshot and Killer Frost. The trio were tasked by Amanda Waller with “scaring” Lois Lane, who was apparently asking too many questions about one Frank Rock. Needless to say that, with Superman around, the Suicide Squad failed at their task.
1. White Dragon
William Heller aka White Dragon is a neo-Nazi and a member of the Fourth Reich, a man so hated that Amanda Waller once tasked the Suicide Squad with eliminating him. However, instead of killing him, Deadshot (who was an acquaintance of Heller’s) chose to merely discredit him — which worked at the time. But that did little to curb Heller’s racism.
Heller later assumed the name White Dragon and continued his campaign with the Fourth Reich, but, again, ended up being subdued. This time, however, it was at the hands of Hawkman and the Justice Society.
A short time after that, White Dragon was found working for Waller and the Suicide Squad, but he didn’t plan on staying long. While on a mission in Dubai, White Dragon, General Eiling, and Thinker concocted a plan to betray the Squad and seek asylum with their target, Haake-Bruton. This led to a civil war between members of the Squad, which inevitably ended with Plastique killing White Dragon.
Did we forget your favorite lesser-known Suicide Squad villain? Let us know in the comments.