Make no mistake, DC Comics fans: the shared movie universe set to be launched by Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is going to get a bit more interesting - and fast. After DC's three heaviest hitters duke it out on screen, it will be director David Ayer's Suicide Squad taking the next step forward, introducing some of the most lasting DC villains in an ensemble adventure.
Now that the final roster of villains - and their respective actors - has been revealed, there's a good chance that even seasoned comic fans may have some questions. With Warner Bros. relying on DC's biggest names for box office success thus far, the introduction of masked assassins, a boomerang-throwing criminal-for-hire and a mystical entity may make little sense. But we've been arguing for some time that the Squad may be just what DC needs.
Even so, the famous villains in the cast don't cover up the lesser-known, or the more outlandish. But given the universe-building nature of the movie, and the chance for these villains to re-appear once their freedom is earned, we figured a crash course in the more questionable members was warranted. Beginning with the scarved madman, 'Captain Boomerang.'
5. The Origin
As one might expect from a villain known as 'Captain Boomerang,' the origin story of George "Digger" Harkness falls on the sillier side of DC's Silver Age. Introduced as a villain to The Flash, the Australian boy with a chip on his shoulder grew up to master the boomerang before heading to America. Once arriving, he landed the perfect job: acting as spokesman for a toy boomerang company, adopting the moniker - and uniform - of Captain Boomerang.
Predictably, the marketing move was a terrible one, and Harkness soon turned to crime, maintaining the name and colorful costume. Before long, he joined up with the rest of The Flash's Rogues - but every class needs a clown, and that's a role Harkness fits perfectly (generally annoying everyone forced to work alongside him).
That grating personality carried over to his time as a member of Task Force X (a.k.a. Suicide Squad), carrying out missions with the likes of Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, and Plastique in order to shorten his incarceration. Acting as both comedic relief and the most despicable member of the villainous team for writer John Ostrander, Boomerang never managed to disappoint when it came to his taste for betrayal.
Yet the character's uniquely selfish personality and unflappable confidence has made him a lasting one ever since, moving in and out of the Squad, the Rogues Gallery, and proving that - scarf or no - boomerangs really are a deadly weapon in the right hands.
4. The Update
As the times changed, so did Boomerang (like many of his fellow Silver Age baddies). Those interested in the Suicide Squad film may simply scoff at the villain upon first glance of his outfit, or the idea that a novelty like boomerangs could be taken seriously. With that in mind, the character's recent re-styling has seen his oddball headgear replaced, his boomerang-patterned tunic removed, and his arsenal shifted from 'funny' to 'fatal.'
Fans of The CW's Arrow recently got a glimpse of how a modern spin on Boomerang can work in live-action, casting the villain as a renegade operative who racks up twice as many kills thanks to his chosen weapon. But with the Suicide Squad take on the Aussie assassin, a strong influence may be coming not from Digger Harkness - but his son, Owen Mercer.
Like many of the second (or 'modern') generation DC characters, Owen Mercer was introduced as a more... relatable villain for today's youth. As a brooding, occasionally hot-headed successor to his father's title as Captain Boomerang (known to his friends as 'Boomer'), Owen found himself walking the same path. Learning the art of the 'rang from his father - and blessed with limited super-speed throws thanks to his speedster mother - Owen would join another version of the Suicide Squad, as well as a brief tenure as one of Batman's reformed Outsiders.
The point being: while Digger Harkness' design would adopt many changes introduced with his son, movie fans should expect to see elements of both at work. Ideally, taking the lead from Owen - not Digger - would provide a quiet, unpredictable, but ultimately intelligent member of the team. Perhaps not the source of comic relief or extreme betrayal, but a strong enough character to demand future appearances.