How the Suicide Squad antiheroes have evolved from page to screen

We take a closer look at the Suicide Squad to see how far some of the movie characters have evolved from their original comic book origins

Suicide Squad makes its long awaited debut in UK cinemas this week, and the villainous heroes look set for world domination.

The striking trailers and promotional posters have got most fans on board, with Harley Quinn and the Joker in particular whipping some into a frenzy.

How have the filmmakers evolved the characters from the original comics that spawned them?

Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn and the Joker first came together in the Batman: The Animated Series in 1992 and in 1994 the pair appeared on the front cover of The Batman Adventures: Mad Love.

Margot Robbie’s Quinn wears a red and blue baseball jacket, as well as some very short shorts, also blue and red.

This is a far cry from the red and black jester suit worn by the crazy-in-love Quinn on the 1994 front cover.

harley quinn
Credit: @TheDCEU

However, efforts were apparently made to get Robbie into the jester outfit. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Suicide Squad costume designer Kate Hawley revealed: “We built that. We actually put it on Margot, and she looked amazing. There’s a moment where there’s homage to that very garment.”

While some fans may be disappointed that Robbie won’t be wearing the outfit, there will at least be a nod to the original look.

Hawley added that Robbie’s outfit was partly inspired by Courtney Love and Blondie.

The Joker

One of the most iconic characters from the comic book world, The Joker made his debut in Batman #1 in 1940 and in 1942 the notorious villain appeared on his first cover, Detective Comics #62.

The Joker has taken may forms since, being most notably played by Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger on screen, and this time it’s Jared Leto’s turn to don the white face paint and green hair dye.

Leto has all the traits of the 1942 Joker; green hair, purple jacket, a white face and a terrifying unhinged grin. However, Jared’s Joker has added some bling to the look in the form of gold teeth, bracelets, necklaces, rings and some spectacular tattoos.

joker side by side

Hawley suggests that the tattoos may have in fact been drawn by Harley Quinn: “If Harley and Joker were always trashed out of their heads or whatever, and I just imagined her scribbling on him while he was out of it one night.”


Enchantress first appeared in Strange Adventures #187 in 1966 and appeared on the cover of Superman Family #205 in 1981.

Suicide Squad will be her first outing on the big screen and she’ll be played by Cara Delevigne.

On the 1981 cover, Enchantress is wearing a green bodysuit topped off with a pointy witch-like hat.

Delevigne’s Enchantress wears a metallic crescent moon crown instead of a pointy hat and a combination of chains and a bikini, which looks highly impractical.  She also looks completely terrifying.

So a slight difference between the film and comic book characters.

enchantress side by side

Delevigne suggests that Enchantress isn’t likely to care about her choice of swimwear: “[She’s] a feral being. She’s been trapped for so long and now she’s finally let out.”


Deadshot was part of the original Suicide Squad and appeared on the front cover of issue #6 in 1987.

Nearly 30 years later Will Smith is playing the part of the marksman who never misses.

deadshot side by side

Smith’s Deadshot looks largely the same as his original incarnation, with his trademark scopey-monocle, white balaclava and red body armour.

One slight difference is the size of the gun. The original deadshot has an arm-mounted pistol, while Smith carries a hefty sniper rifle.

Chato Santana

Santana is the third incarantion of El Diablo and first appeared in El Diablo Volume 3 #1. He possesses pyrokinetic powers and is looking to redeem himself following his career as a gangster.

el diablo side by side

On the cover of El Diablo volume 3 #1, Santana has red eyes, lightning-bolt face tattoos and a pair of pistols.

Jay Hernandez’s character also has face tattoos, but instead of lightning bolts the former gangster has a grim reaper’s scythe and the number 13 emblazoned on his neck.

Captain Boomerang

Boomerang was originally Flash’s antagonist in volume #117 of the Flash. On the cover Boomerang wears a long blue top (pretty much a dress) scattered with white boomerangs.

Needless to say, Jai Courtney’s captain looks much cooler in the Suicide Squad promos, wearing a hefty trench coat, subtler blue sweatshirt and bulky boots.

captain boomerang

Suicide Squad is released in UK cinemas on August 4.


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