This afternoon I finished the first two members of the Suicide Squad from the Suicide Squad box set for the Batman Miniatures Game (soon to be DC Miniatures Game?). I decided to start with two of the easier figures to paint which resulted in my painting one of the most interesting and one of the least interesting members of the Suicide Squad. <spoilers ahead>
First up is Slipknot....poor Slipknot....
There's something of a tradition in new and/or one-off adaptions of Suicide Squad stories that the writers need to establish that the danger is real and unlike most comics the characters lives are in real jeopardy. To establish this the writers always have to offer up an early death to sell the audience on what they're seeing/reading. To my recollection the only story to break this rule was the Justice League Unlimited episode "Task Force X" that due to being a cartoon marketed to kids probably wasn't going to have any neck bombs going off. In the New 52 launch Voltaic drew the short straw, in Assault On Arkham KGBeast decided to test The Wall, in Arrow the character played by Sean Maher (who's name I didn't even catch before he got neck bombed) learned the hard way that escape wasn't an option. When the cast poster came out there were two things that struck me right away:
1. Slipknot had less of a 'costume' than any of the other Hot Topic models in the movie
2. Adam Beach is playing Slipknot! Wow I haven't seen him in a major studio movie since....oh....
If you knew the formula it was pretty obvious that getting emotionally invested in Slipknot was probably not a good idea. In addition I consider myself a comic-book fan of reasonably extensive knowledge and I don't think I've ever owned a comic with Slipknot in it. Totally unrelated to DC Comics or this movie I would also like to point out that when my daughter was younger she watched an educational PBS show called Word Girl that had a superhero theme and the one villain that never got taken seriously (even on a show directed at 3-6 year olds) was "Amazing Rope Guy", draw your own conclusions.
The other side of the coin is El Diablo. I hadn't been reading much DC stuff in the years before the New 52 launch so I'm not sure how prevalent El Diablo was then but when New 52 Suicide Squad title launched there he was and he was one of the characters that work best in stories like this. He's clearly not a hero and he's done some terrible stuff but he's got a conscience and he's not a one-dimensional psycho. But once again, unfortunately for El Diablo he has a place to play in fulfilling the Suicide Squad formula and it can't be every version of the story where Rick Flag is either the noble sacrifice or the good man left behind. Sorry El Diablo you were (ironically) too good for this world.
There you have it (so far). I've got Deadshot and Killer Croc on my table next as well as some newer Pulp City figures.