Suicide Squad – 21 questions answered

'What did the credits scene mean?' and 20 other questions about Suicide Squad are answered here...

Contains spoilers for Suicide Squad.

David Ayer’s Will Smith and Margot Robbie-starring DC Comics antiheroes movie Suicide Squad is out now. Once you’ve seen it, you might well have some questions.

Scroll past our spoiler squirrel, Daphne, once you’re ready to explore the quandaries left dangling by the film in spoiler-stuffed detail… 

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Who was The Red Streak?

Let’s start with an easy one. Right at the start, a dude in metallic red suit speeds into the establishing cutaway scene about Jai Courtney’s Boomerang, stands around for a second and then dishes out a one-liner regarding honour among thieves. Later on, a now-incarcerated Boomerang calls him ‘The Red Streak’. 

This chap, of course, is Ezra Miller’s take on The Flash, making a rather-well-kept-under-wraps cameo appearance. He was previously glimpsed in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, and will next be seen in Justice League. His civilian identity is Barry Allen, a nerdy CSI (another version of the character played by Grant Gustin on TV’s The Flash).

What was the point of Slipknot? 

Poor Adam Beach. He was rolled out at San Diego Comic-Con to promote this film, in a rather successful bid from DC Entertainment to hide the fact that he only has two real scenes before having his head blown up by Rick Flag during a very short lived escape attempt. The point of including Beach’s Slipknot character was seemingly to establish the stakes. People often die in Suicide Squad comics (hence the title), and it was important for the film to follow suit. 

Why did Boomerang have a pink unicorn toy? 

Hopefully not for the same reasons that Deadpool has one.

Who was Katana?

Karen Fukuhara’s Katana arrives late to the party, getting on the chopper just in time to depart for the mission to Midway City. In case you blinked and missed it: her role in the film is to act as Rick Flag’s protection. She’s a goodie, with no bomb in her head, and the proud owner of a sword containing the soul of everyone it’s ever killed (including her husband).

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In the comics, Katana’s civilian identity is Tatsu Yamashiro, a Japanese martial arts enthusiast who turns to crime fighting after her husband is murdered by his sword-loving Yakuza brother. Tatsu disarmed her brother-in-law, took his mystical ancient weapon and opted to use her talents to fight the good fight. 

How did all the flashbacks fit together?

Suicide Squad featured a rather large number of flashbacks and cutaway scenes. Most of them are easy to put in order (e.g. Deadshot and Harley Quinn’s origin scenes play out in the correct order, all set at some unspecified point before the main action), but some aren’t.

The one that has really stumped me is when Rick Flag has a flashback of being underground with Enchantress planting a bomb. Enchantress then teleports away to meet her brother. Rick feels guilty about this later. 

However, unless I’m mistaken, we already saw Enchantress teleport into this sibling bonding scene from Rick and June Moon’s bedroom earlier on the film. I’ve got no solid answer for this, so please put your own theories in the comments.

How did Rick Flag escape Midway the first time?

So, Rick’s aforementioned flashback saw him right underneath Enchantress and her brother, in the middle of the devastated Midway City. How did he escape from there to assemble Task Force X, despite all the raspberry-looking monster men around and the two powerful villains upstairs? Perhaps he snuck out using his covert skills while they were plotting to make the big machine thing, before things really got out of hand. That’s our best guess.

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What was the ACE Chemicals scene about? 

Going up a flight of stairs triggers Harley Quinn into a flashback. We jump back in time to see her at ACE Chemicals, where the Joker. The Clown Prince Of Crime asks if she’ll die for him, then changes his mind and asks her to live for him instead. She jumps into a big vat of rancid-custard-looking acid and, after a brief hesitation, the Joker follows her.

As you may well already know, the predominant reading of this scene is that the Joker is recreating his origin story to convert Harley into one of his own, by bleaching her skin with a dip in an acid plunge pool. A similar thing happened in the New 52 comics, but with a ‘less voluntary’ leap on Harley’s part.

How did Joker deactivate Harley’s neck bomb? 

As well as the flashbacks, we also cut away from the main story to visit the Joker’s side strand. We see him tying someone up to find out information about where Harley is being kept. We also see him breaking into a Wayne Enterprises facility and threatening a scientist with a video feed of his kidnapped wife on an iPad.

It’s implied (by the fact that the Joker implants a bomb in this man’s head) that this chap knows how to deactivate the bombs. Maybe he even made them in the first place. Either way, if you were wondering how the Joker deactivated Harley’s bomb, it was with the help of this scientist.

What exactly are Enchantress and her brother? 

In the comics, June Moon is a freelance artist who is met by a mysterious entity called Dzamor at a costume party. Dzamor grants her powers, embedding the ‘Enchantress’ persona inside her.

In Suicide Squad, things play out differently. June (played by Cara Delevingne) is now an archaeologist, and she unleashes the Enchantress persona by opening an artefact within a cave. Enchantress’ heart, for unknown reasons, is separated from its body. This allows the government to control her for a time.

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There’s another artefact, revealed later, which contains Enchantress’ brother (real name: Incubus, although I’m not sure that’s said in the film). She lets him out by latching him onto an unfortunate guy in a public toilet (Alain Chanoine). It’s unclear how Enchantress and her brother first gained their magical powers, or whether they originally came from Earth. But it’s made clear that they are ancient beings who have walked our planet for thousands of years. They were previously worshipped as gods, though again, it’s unclear how they ended up encased in artefacts

What are the monster things? And did Enchantress really kiss every person in the city to make them?

The raspberry-looking monster men are the result of Enchantress using her dark magic on people and converting them to do her bidding. In this form, her new minions can survive a lot of attacks, but not headshots, making them rather zombie-esque. 

Based on one short scene in the film, it would seem that the process of being converted into one of these creepy foot-soldiers involves making out with Enchantress. While her brother is in the same room. That’s pretty awkward, especially when you consider how many gloopy goons she makes. 

What was their actual plan?

Enchantress and her brother’s plan isn’t exactly discussed at length in the film. Having awoken after a very long time away, they’re disappointed to find that mankind now worships machines instead of them. Their response is to make their own machine, which is capable of destroying a lot of stuff. 

The aim, I assume, is to wipe out as much tech as they can and rule the newly-levelled Earth anew. They hook up Amanda Waller to their machine to work out the best top-secret locations to hit. The gloopy goons are created to help them protect the machine, I think.

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What was the light with the debris floating around the machine?

When the machine is at full power, a big white light emits from it. It sucks up debris and swirls it around in a circle. What actually is the light? It’s unclear, so I’m going to use the term ‘magic juice’ whenever I need to talk about it. And what’s the purpose of the swirling debris? To look cool, I’d guess.

If Batman and The Flash are so great, why didn’t they save Midway?

The DC Extended Universe is now at this point, where if you think too hard about who is and isn’t called in to deal with a problem, it’s gonna get on your nerves a bit. It’s a problem that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has tackled by mocking it (see: the “call the Avengers” line from Ant-Man).

In this case, you’ve got wonder why Amanda Waller would rather bring together a team of crooks than call in The Flash and Batman (and Wonder Woman, who doesn’t appear in this film but is clearly on the radar at this stage). They have these heroes on file, but opt for villains instead. Why? The simple answer is this: because that’s the whole premise of the film. In-universe, the explanation could be becase they want a patsy to take the heat or that the mission was deemed too dangerous for anyone else to tackle.

What did El Diablo transform into?

After finally joining the fight, Jay Hernandez’s El Diablo transforms into a giant fiery beast in order to push Enchantress’ brother into the corner of the train station so he can be exploded. He grows much taller and his appearance completely changes. 

What exactly is it that El Diablo transforms into? It’s not made clear at all, and there’s no comic book equivalent to draw on this time (in the comics, he just has pyro-powers, not an alternate form). I’ve a feeling it could be something with demonic/Satanic links, given that El Diablo translates from Spanish to English as ‘devil’. Also, El Diablo did mention the devil earlier on, while describing his powers.

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And is El Diablo dead now?

El Diablo encourages Rick Flag to blow up the bomb, even though he’s stood with Enchantress’ brother in very close proximity to it. Rick does as he’s told, there’s a big explosion, and El Diablo is not seen again. He’s dead, then, unless a future film opts to prove otherwise.

Can a bomb destroy something supernatural? 

Apparently so, which is an interesting precedent to set so early into this shared universe. When any future baddies set up big supernatural doomsday machines, then, the good guys should try lobbing a bomb and shooting it.

How was Amanda Waller not dead? 

This line got a big laugh in the screening I was in, after Amanda Waller emerged unscathed despite her close proximity to the big blast. Easy explanation: she’s tough as nails. Less easy version: the blast that destroyed Enchantress’ machine (and the magic juice/swirly debris around it) looked more like an implosion than an explosion, so perhaps Waller survived because of this. Maybe she was just far enough away that she didn’t get pulled in and killed.

And the Joker? How did he survive?

Well, that one was definitely an explosion. You’ve got to assume that the Joker jumped off the helicopter shortly after pushing Harley, and somehow landed somewhere without dying. Unless Enchantress did do something magic to save him, as she was promising to Harley.

What was the mid-credits scene about? Why did Waller need Bruce Wayne’s protection? 

Suicide Squad’s mid-credits scene is a fairly simple one: Amanda Waller – having let Enchantress loose and caused the destruction/loss of life in Midway, and peeved a lot of people in the process – has turned to Bruce Wayne for protection. They have a little meeting. It’s very strongly implied that she knows he’s Batman. He agrees to help her out, in return for everything that Waller has on The Flash and Aquaman. He’ll use these files to track them down and make friends in Justice League. (You can already watch his recruitment attempts in the Justice League Comic-Con trailer.)

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What’s next for the Joker / Harley / whoever?

Warner Bros has already begun cooking up Suicide Squad 2 (which could see all of these characters returning, except maybe the dead ones) and a Harley Quinn-led female-focused movie (which could also feature Batgirl and the Birds Of Prey). Ben Affleck is working on a Batman movie with an “original story” which could see some of these villains appearing. None of those films have release dates yet.

We’ll next see Batman and The Flash in November 2017’s Justice League movie, barring any surprise appearances in the June 2017 Wonder Woman flick.

Will Will Smith ever write a family-friendly movie tie-in song again?

With Deadshot and headshot rhyming so perfectly, this was a prime chance. Perhaps, like Slipknot and El Diablo, the Will Smith tie-in anthem is truly dead. Sob.

Please plonk any further questions or alternative answers in the comments…

Thanks to Ryan Lambie and Simon Brew for helping to put this list together.