Whether you believed that DC’s Suicide Squad was an enjoyable romp or a disjointed mess, we know one thing for almost certain: it’s getting a sequel. The reviews may not have been kind, but it’s hard for a studio to look at a steadily mounting pile of cash and decide that they want to stop there, especially when there’s a shared universe on the rise. And hey, the movie isn’t universally hated. There’s still a decent chance they’ll learn from their mistakes and get it right next time, probably, maybe, hopefully.
Well, there’s always Aquaman.
And so, while we're probably a couple of years away from a sequel, here are a few options for villains for the Squad to tangle with in their next grand, misfit adventure -- in no particular order.
15 The Joker
Rumors were already buzzing before the movie’s release that The Joker would be playing a major role in the proceedings, possibly even as the main villain. Joker fans got themselves psyched up for Jared Leto’s performance, so much so that they were able to forget that he’s plastered in faux-edgy tattoos.
Aaaand he’s in the film for like seven minutes. Sure, Leto was pretty great in the role, but the fact still remains that most of the trailer scenes were cut, or spliced in such a way that made him seem a whole lot more important than he really was. He certainly wasn’t the villain; more of a persistent pest who had almost nothing to do with the Squad besides Harley.
But there’s a plus side, in that all this sets him up to be the villain of the piece next time around. If he's not the main villain, we’d love to see this Joker getting all up in the Squad’s business, Harley on one arm and some kind of gimmicky firearm in his other hand. They may go for an alternate route and save him for the upcoming Batman movie, but it’s hard to imagine him not showing up and causing havoc, especially when it’s almost guaranteed that Harley Quinn will be one of the movie’s main characters. Just don’t expect the squad to actually succeed in taking him down. That’s another hero’s job.
Brimstone is a real villain from the comics, and also an actual adversary of the Suicide Squad. Created by Darkseid as an experiment, and also to just be a douche, Brimstone emerged in New York City and caused mass amounts of havoc. He even managed to weather an attack from the Justice League and continue his rampage, only being stopped by the Squad, specifically Deadshot.
DC might be coy about Darkseid’s appearance, but we all know he’s coming, and they know we know. Once Steppenwolf goes down, as he’s bound to do, Darkseid is going to have to find something else nasty to unleash upon the Earth. This could very well lead to something not even the MCU has attempted thus far: two movies that take place at exactly the same time. Darkseid could be in one place taking on the Justice League, while the Suicide Squad are sent to deal with Brimstone, which would help to assert the idea that the baddies of Apokolips truly are a wide-reaching, global threat.
Sure, we’d have to have all the obligatory ‘gosh, that sure was an interesting thing that just happened over there while we were over here!’ conversations, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has already prepared us for that. Brimstone would be a villain who could match the Squad, but also tie into the DCEU and Darkseid’s eventual plans for conquest.
13 The Injustice League
Suicide Squad went the way of many comic book movies, with a big blue beam shooting into the sky and our ragtag group of heroes finding their second wind in order to take down a big monster thing (more or less…). Heck, by the end of the movie, many found themselves wondering if the Squad were even villains anymore.
So how about something truly original: a team of bad guys taking on a team of OTHER bad guys. Swap around the Squad members so that they’re primarily villainous, construct a team of DC villains who could organize themselves into some kind of Injustice League, and then smack them together while making explosion noises like two fistfuls of action figures. Pew, pew pew, kaboom.
Of course, it’d have to be an Injustice League on a smaller scale and not one that could feasibly take on the Justice League, lest you have their token anti-Superman zipping around and squashing Squad heads like melons. They’d have to be pretty careful about their choice of villains, but then, they have almost complete freedom when picking members of the Suicide Squad as well. Deadshot has to be there, Harley Quinn will be hanging around in some capacity, but otherwise they can go nuts. Assemble two teams of DC villains who could have a fun brawl, then sic them on each other and film the results. Easy cash.
12 General Eiling
The Suicide Squad has always had a rocky relationship with…well, practically everyone, but especially authority figures. They’re a loose cannon group who are as far as possible from disciplined soldiers, which can arouse the ire of military types. General Wade Eiling is someone who seems to be in a constant state of ire, so that might make him an unconventional choice of villain.
He’s best known for his hard-line stance on everything, as well as turning into a giant rage monster suspiciously similar to Thunderbolt Ross. His disapproval of the Squad’s actions are enough to bring him to the antagonist stage, after which he can transition into a full physical threat as a result of taking his grudge too far. Amanda Waller certainly has the guts and stubbornness to push him right over the edge, which could lead to Eiling taking things into his own hands. In fact, his transformation might not even be motivated by anger towards the Squad at all, instead being a misguided attempt to advance his military agenda. This is a comic book movie; everyone wants to make super-soldiers, especially frowny generals with years of pent up aggression from watching their trained soldiers be completely outclassed by folks with superpowers. Either way, the Suicide Squad’s next villain could be a frustrated man genuinely attempting to do some good.
And just imagine him and Amanda Waller in the same scene. The frown-levels would be off the charts.
11 Granny Goodness
Always one of the most bizarre of DC’s villains, Granny Goodness is your average matriarch -- plus super-strength, immortality, crazy eyes and a cruel streak several Apok0lyptian miles wide. Excelling in tactics, brainwashing and torture, she worked her way up to become one of Darkseid’s top underlings, and she mostly employs her talents to break prisoners to the point where they’ll gladly live and die for the glory of their dark overlord. She’s not a nice lady.
The looming presence of Apokolips in the DCEU means that we’ll probably be glimpsing Granny Goodness at some point, though she’s likely to receive a major overhaul in terms of her look (think more Smallville) and perhaps even her name. More importantly, the Suicide Squad have clashed with her in the comics, notably in several missions undertaken to Apokolips itself to rescue priority targets. Because who else are you going to send to a hostile planet other than disposable criminals?
The presence of Motherboxes means that the Squad getting to Apokolips isn’t all that much of a problem, and it’d be another chance to tie in with the upcoming Darkseid invasion by having the Squad do their own thing elsewhere. And here, ‘elsewhere’ is another planet entirely, so we'd get a chance to see what Apokolips looks like in the DCEU. We've been shipping an appearance from Granny Goodness for a while now, so even if she doesn't show up in the Squad's follow-up adventure, we're still crossing our fingers that she'll show up somewhere eventually.
It might be an off-kilter choice, but John Barrowman has done quite a bit to elevate the character of Malcolm Merlyn beyond his status as a semi-obscure Green Arrow villain (sort of like all Green Arrow villains). The version of the character on Arrow, despite being insufferable more often than not, is a calculating mastermind whose abilities include combat, espionage, manipulation, and always entering a room at the perfect time without anyone noticing him.
He’s had ties to the League of Assassins/Shadows in the comics, which has allowed Merlyn to be a general pain in the butt to a whole plethora of heroes. As Ra’s al Ghul may just be saved for an upcoming Batman flick, that could leave Merlyn as the initial leader; the Steppenwolf to Ra’s’ Darkseid, so far as the League is concerned.
His popularity on Arrow may just be enough to qualify him as a main antagonist to the Suicide Squad, commanding a legion of bow-wielding assassins and generally making a nuisance of himself in such a way that would cause Amanda Waller to want to sic the Suicide Squad on him and hope for the best. It wouldn’t be the first time a villainous character has moved up the ranks through adaptation-hopping.
9 Project Cadmus
Project Cadmus has a long and colorful history, most often showing up as a shady, sciencey government organisation that constantly tries to make the world a better place via psychotic artificial abominations. It’s not the best business plan, and needless to say, heroes often have to deal with the fallout from whatever Cadmus cooks up.
Amanda Waller may have been a major member in the Justice League Unlimited animated series (along with Task Force X/the Suicide Squad), but her comics incarnation has little to do with Project Cadmus. The first SS movie was all about magic, meaning that science could be the next major antagonist in line. There’s no real shortage of mutant monstrosities Cadmus can produce in order to give the Squad trouble, and the fact that they’re technically a government organization (sometimes) could be the justification for sending in the expandable Squad, instead of the military. Waller wants Cadmus shut down, and it has to happen on the down low…which is something the Suicide Squad specializes in. Loudly.
8 Arkham Asylum
The main villain of Suicide Squad was left up in the air until the film’s release, with some suspecting The Joker, others pointing the finger at Enchantress, and still others with a more intriguing theory: Arkham Asylum. Folks reasoned that the enclosed corridor shots could’ve been the asylum itself, with the Squad sent to quell a mass breakout or riot, possibly headed by a big-name Batman villain.
So that didn’t work out. It doesn’t mean that wasn’t a great idea, however, and with a bit of clever writing, it could turn into a proper villain-fest that introduces more Bat-villains than a solo Batman film ever could (unless it’s specifically an Arkham Asylum movie). A riot or coup within Arkham would be an obscenely hazardous place to send in ordinary soldiers, given that half its inmates are criminally insane geniuses or just flat-out homicidal. In other words, while Batman is beating up folks one room over, you could have the Suicide Squad sent in on a more covert mission in order to take back the asylum or retrieve information. Joker and Harley wouldn’t be too hard to tie in, particularly if they’re the ones who caused this mess in the first place, and overall, it would be good for the movie’s cred to have it taking place in one of DC’s most famous locations.
7 The Ultimen
The Ultimen have so far only appeared in the Justice League Unlimited animated series (plus an homage to them in an episode of Young Justice), though they were themselves thinly-veiled spoofs of a few less-than-enduring characters from the Super Friends TV show. With only a brief and incredibly sad appearance, the Ultimen were a government-sponsored team separate from the Justice League, genetically grown in order to oppose the League, should they ever go rogue. They eventually discovered their dark origins, and after a brief (and incredibly unsuccessful) fight with key JL members, they (minus Long Shadow) were taken away to live out their short lifespans in comfort. That is, except for when a few dozen mindless clones of the team later attacked the Watchtower (the results of which were awesome).
The DCEU has spent a good chunk of time establishing that people are extremely suspicious of superpowered types, or just people who dress up like bats. While speed-grown test tube babies might be a bit far out for the DCEU at the moment, we can totally see the Suicide Squad being sent into an underground lab to stop some dastardly science schemes, only to be set upon by a bunch of crazy genetic Super Friends rejects. Of course, they could quite easily accompany Cadmus as the main villains, as Cadmus created them in the first place. Whatever the reason, it’s time the Ultimen got their own adaptation outside of a single episode.
6 Ra's al Ghul
On the flipside, if DC decides that Ra’s al Ghul is worthy of yet another adaptation (preferably one who doesn’t have Matt Nable’s accent), he could step into the DCEU as the shady leader of the League of Assassins, attempting to do something predictably extreme that requires the use of the Squad. While Ra’s al Ghul is still one of DC’s premium villains -- being played by Liam Neeson didn’t exactly hurt his reputation -- he’s still just borderline enough to be placed in a completely new setting without confusing too many folks. People might not be so keen to see Batman taking on Black Manta, or Gorilla Grodd facing off against Martian Manhunter, but Ra’s al Ghul is just one of those villains with his fingers in a host of dastardly pies (with evil filling).
The DCEU isn’t bound by the comics, after all. They might draw some story inspiration from the source material, but then you remember that they turned austere evil scientific genius Lex Luthor into a redheaded Riddler with personal space issues. If Ra’ al Ghul ever shows up in the DCEU, there’s no telling how they’ll mold the character to fit their needs. Maybe he’ll be a League of Assassins flunky who works his way up to the top, or a Metropolis crime lord, or a supernaturally intelligent chimp. Probably (read: hopefully) not. But we shouldn’t rule him out entirely.
As if Killer Croc, Deadshot and El Diablo weren’t enough, the Suicide Squad has occasionally added another death-name to their ranks: Deathstroke. They’re bad guys, you see. Bad guys who kill people.
Still, Deathstroke isn’t one of the biggest SS names purely due to the fact that he’s good enough not to get caught, most of the time. Oftentimes working as a lone assassin, Slade Wilson has been a consistent pain to the Teen Titans over the years, often engaging in major acts of terrorism (usually bombs of some kind) and generally getting on everyone’s nerves by refusing to die. We’ve not yet seen Deathstroke in a major DC film production, at least not in live-action, but this is in itself pretty inexplicable. His popularity has soared in recent years, and he’s high-profile enough to both command his own villainous organisation and take on the likes of Batman in a fair fight.
In short, while he’d make an interesting addition to the Squad’s ranks, his seedy activities could be the perfect setup for the Squad being sent after him. Again, you could probably have Batman bouncing around hitting people elsewhere while the Squad do their thing in the shadows.
Or even worse…the Joker teaming up with Deathstroke for a truly nasty package.
4 Lex Luthor
With Lex Luthor behind bars, half-crazy and not even the main threat anymore with an ultra-powerful alien armada on the way to Earth, his future is pretty uncertain. We almost certainly have not seen the last of Jesse Eisenberg in the DCEU -- we only got to see his shaved head look for about three minutes -- but he doesn’t necessarily have to show up as a Superman villain again.
To reiterate, in case you missed it the first time, the guy is almost completely nuts. A genius, but nuts, so there’s no telling what he’ll do once he inevitably breaks out of comic book jail (paper walls guaranteed). With Suicide Squad one of only three movies currently comprising the DCEU, there’s no good reason for keeping Lex for the ‘big’ events. We’ve already had cameos from the Flash and Batman, so the Squad going up against Lex isn’t out of the question.
He’ll be on the run, for one thing, with the whole world knowing he’s a dangerous criminal. No political career this time; think more ‘genetic abominations cooking in the basement’, because he’s pretty fond of those. Heck, we could see Lex in with Cadmus, having been recruited on the sly to make more of those abominations he loves so much. If there’s even a chance that Cadmus is making something to kill super-beings (one in particular), Lex Luthor will definitely want to get himself a piece of that action.
3 White Martians
Didn’t get enough of the Squad going up against evil monster thingies the first time? Want to see slightly different monster thingies? Well, say hi to the White Martians, the infinitely less likable of the Martian races. They’ll kill you and everyone you love with fire, but it isn’t personal.
The denizens of Earth might have Apokolips to worry about at this point, but the rest of the DC Universe is teeming with alien species that we’re definitely seeing once Green Lantern arrives on the scene. That’s not even mentioning people who are still kind of put out over Cyborg ousting Martian Manhunter from his position as founding member of the Justice League. So how do we introduce the Martian race? White Martians. And then maybe some greens, but we all know the pale ones have to be the bad guys.
There’s already precedent for them crashing to Earth in one of those weird organic spaceships and causing general mayhem. While the Justice League fight the good fight on the outside, it’d be good fun to see the Squad sent into the aforementioned weird sticky alien ship, where they’ll have a magnificent time tussling with Martian goons, making sizzling quips and all the other stuff you expect the Suicide Squad to do, including dying painfully. And hey, it’d the perfect opportunity to introduce J’onn J’onzz to the universe.
2 The Female Furies
The Female Furies don’t seem like the Suicide Squad’s natural enemies, on paper at least. An elite group of all female (duh) warriors working for Darkseid, often under the leadership of Granny Goodness, they’re comprised of some of the best warriors the Apokolyptian empire has to offer, wearing some of the worst outfits the universe has the offer. Go ahead and try to reationalize a practical use for any of that headgear.
Fashion aside, the Furies have tangled with the Squad in the comics, notably on a crucial, covert operation to Apokolips. Similar to how Granny Goodness could end up being a villain, the Female Furies could be introduced into the DCEU as a special-ops team sent to Earth to do…assorted evil things. Alternatively, the Suicide Squad could be sent to Apokolips to do assorted evil things with good intentions, and end up running into the Furies. The comic Furies are a ragtag bunch of in-fighting misfits, the only major difference between them and the Squad being their fanatical devotion to their lord and Master Darkseid (as opposed to the Squad, who are press-ganged into service by the threat of their heads being blown up). They’re the disciplined yin to the Squad’s yang, and with a bit of a power downgrade (the comics have them as mostly New Gods, and thus almost immortal), they could prove to be a fun enemy for Task Force X to tangle with.
Fresh in the minds of DC fans at the moment is HIVE/H.I.V.E., yet another nebulous organization with a revolving door of leadership and scads of goons in need of a baseball bat to their faceless heads. They were last seen in Arrow under the leadership of Damien Dahrk, with their efficiency ranging from ‘terrifyingly elite hit squad’ to ‘gunned down by the clueless comic relief character, ROFL ROFL’. Comic book goons don’t usually fare all that well, but going up against the Squad might just be the confidence boost they need…because these ‘heroes’ can actually die.
Also of note is the fact that HIVE isn’t exactly a solid organisation. They’ve been led by Slade Wilson, Damien Dahrk, Brother Blood, the HIVE Mistress, the Brotherhood of Evil, Hector Hammond and Adeline Kane, to name the most obvious. At this point, they could stick anyone in the spinning leader’s chair and call it a day. Hey, hand the reigns to Clock King, or Calendar Man. They haven't done anything in a while.
What we have here is an organization with enough foot-soldiers to keep the group fights interesting, but with some potential to include a few semi-well-known villains in their ranks. You’ll never find the likes of the Joker hanging out at HIVE, but someone like, say…Plastique? Anarky? It could happen. HIVE can also be involved in pretty much any plot that requires the Squad to take them down, because as previously mentioned, they don’t have the clearest mission statement. They’re basically big-name, blank slate bad guys -- a screenwriter’s dream.
Who do you think the Squad should tussle with in the sequel? Let us know in the comments.