NOTE: This article contains SPOILERS for "Suicide Squad" #7
In the world of motley crews, ragtag teams, and unorthodox families, the band of involuntarily-courageous criminals known as the Suicide Squad are on a level all their own. While most rough and tough task forces have to deal with shellshock, personal psychoses or maybe even bloodlust, the Squad is packed with murderers, magicians, manic destroyers and veritable monsters. The version launched as part of the DC Rebirth is no exception, and have already made a big enough impact to land a starring role in the upcoming "Justice League vs. Suicide Squad" event.
But as evidence that writer Rob Williams and artist Jim Lee are looking to flesh the characters out, and paint previously sketched-out characters with a more detailed brush, the latest issue of "Suicide Squad" has brought two teammates together in a... surprising fashion. It's a romance that's been building since the first issues of the series, but is nevertheless newsworthy, since one is a split-personality recently immortalized in DC's Suicide Squad - and the other is a fan-favorite, flesh-eating, crocodile-man.
Killer Croc Plays The Hero
The idea that Killer Croc may have a heroic side is a fresh one on the minds of Squad fans, since the version of the character seen on the big screen (played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) kept his tendencies towards cannibalism restrained. He may have eaten a guard or two, but it was off-screen... and they probably deserved it. In the realm of the comics, though, Waylon Jones a.k.a. Killer Croc has a taste for flesh, and it has often led him off the path into a world of crime, violence, and villainy.
But the very first mission the Squad was tasked with tackling relied not on Croc's bloodlust, but his strength. When General Zod wound up in a battle with the team, bullets proved completely useless - requiring the magical members to step up. Katana's infamous soul-stealing sword proved to stop Zod in his tracks, but things didn't go as smoothly for Enchantress (the heroine who, like the version seen in the film, is constantly struggling to control both her human identity, and that of the witch inside her).
The arrogance of the Enchantress meant a spell took far too long to cast, putting June Moon squarely in the crosshairs of the rampaging Kryptonian. But just as the end seemed near, it was Killer Croc who came to her rescue, simply stating that June had earned his protection by being "nice."
The moment was a sweet one, showing that Waylon Jones was truly made into the monster he is by those dismissing him due to his appearance. But no matter how many men or beasts he consumed, he was as human as ever - at least in the sense that he responded warmly to kindness. It was also a chance for June to play something other than the struggling victim, at odds with the entity inside of her. An entity that also happened to be the only useful gift she had, in the eyes of Amanda Waller. Since her other notable skills involve graphic design... the ARGUS executives can't really be blamed.
After Croc's rescue, the hints of affection were doubled down on, as June and Croc found themselves locked in adjoining cells in the bowels of Belle Reve. As June painted on her easel, Croc scrounged for rats to feed his hunger. When asked about the motivations behind his heroism, Croc explained that his feelings for June were summed up as clearly and concisely as possible: he didn't want to eat her. And since he wants to eat everyone, that's really saying something.
To make sure the sweetness of the moment reached critical mass, June responded with kind words of her own, explaining that the feeling was apparently mutual - since she didn't want to eat him, either.
Trouble at Belle Reve
Unfortunately, the whole "not going to eat you" romance came to a crashing halt when the Black Vault that allowed Zod to escape from the Phantom Zone was brought back to the prison for research. With the strange cosmic object emitting whispers heard by only some of those present, catastrophe soon struck. First, the systems governing Belle Reve's prison cells, power, and containment fields went on the fritz (revealed to be the digitized form of a Squad member thought dead), then came the real threat.
For some reason, through some unknown means, the Black Vault caused every prisoner, guard, and scientist in Belle Reve to go mad with rage, killing their former friends and colleagues. Fortunately, that didn't include Harley Quinn, who was actually driven sane by the phenomenon, leaving her as the only person present capable of uncovering the forces responsible, and bringing some sanity back to Belle Reve (at the cost of her own).
Unfortunately, the waves of pandemonium and rage did include Killer Croc. As June left her cell to investigate the cause of the prison's failures, a power outage revealed that the beast so recently enamored with her had become predator, driven to cannibalism by rage, and putting June on the top of the menu. Emitting a final villainous speech - "EAT. YOU." - Croc seemed to end the budding romance with a single bite...
Harley Gets an Eyeful
Well, actually, the two soon succumbed to their true desires, and made love in the rat-infested waters of Croc's own prison cell. That's the discovery made by Harley Quinn, after stumbling on the pair while sneaking her way through the facility (led by Waller). Determining that the affliction of the population isn't rage, but merely their most primal, pressing urges - remember, she's back to her intelligent, psychoanalytic ways - it only makes sense that June and Waylon would throw reservation to the wind and give in to their attraction.
Now, before we have time to consider the intricacies of the aforementioned tryst, Harley is snapped into action by Waller, and reminded of the actual need for a superpowered partner in her mission. Shocking June in an attempt to bring out the Enchantress, Harley soon finds herself under attack from Croc, having wounded his new romantic partner. That's where their storyline is left hanging, and while we can assume Harley, Croc, and June will move on to the more pressing issues in the next chapter, who knows what the future holds for their romantic future?
Will their feelings (or, at least, their inhibitions) subside with the amplification of their urges? Will true love win the day, givein the DC Universe a new power couple? They're both fans of the color green, so in some ways... we really should have seen this one coming.
Suicide Squad #7 is available now.