Warning: This post contains spoilers for Suicide Squad.
One universal truth of superhero movies is that the hero must defeat a villain in order to save their city — or on a larger scale, the world — from utter destruction. But in David Ayer’s DC Comics adaptation Suicide Squad, the villains end up being responsible for the saving.
Assembled by cutthroat government agent Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), Task Force X is a group of incarcerated felons who are offered reduced prison sentences in exchange for carrying out a mission to save Midway City. Despite their evil ways, the convicts learn to work together as the film goes on, eventually forming a ragtag sort of family.
Here’s everything you need to know about the bad guys who make up the villainous team.
Real name: Christopher Weiss
Played by: Adam Beach
Powers: Master of ropes
Role: The villain with the least amount of backstory in the film is unsurprisingly also the one with the least amount of screen time. In the comics, Slipknot is a former chemist who developed a powerful adhesive that makes his ropes unbreakable, allowing him to use them as weapons. Here’s what Beach had to say about his character’s particular set of skills: “Give me a rope and I can fight with it, I can tie you up,” he told CinemaBlend. “They were teaching me a move where if you try to throw a punch, I can use a rope to grab that punch, put the rope around your neck and just drop my weight and it snaps your neck.”
Real name: Waylon Jones
Played by: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Powers: Enhanced speed, strength and senses and reptilian teeth, claws and skin
Role: This longtime Batman foe is the member of the Squad most likely to resort to brute force in order to get the job done. Born with a genetic condition that resulted in his crocodilian appearance and abilities, the King of the Sewer is prone to both rage issues and cannibalistic tendencies.
Real name: Tatsu Yamashiro
Played by: Karen Fukuhara
Powers: Expert swordswoman and martial artist
Role: She may not be a villain but this samurai assassin certainly knows how to make her presence known. By wielding a mystical sword that traps the souls of its victims inside it, Rick Flag’s bodyguard is able to keep the rest of the Squad in check. Her main mission in life is to avenge the death of her husband, who was killed by a member of the Yakuza with the same sword she now carries.
Real name: Digger Harkness
Played by: Jai Courtney
Powers: Master of boomerangs
Role: After developing a talent for his namesake weapon while working for his father’s toy company, Captain Boomerang is recruited to the Squad after he is caught robbing a diamond exchange. But with 98 counts of burglary having earned him three back-to-back life sentences, the Aussie isn’t overly motivated by Waller’s offer of a 10-year reprieve. Although he plays nice to save his own skin, Boomerang doesn’t have a reputation for reliability — even among fellow convicts. Oh, he also has a fetish for pink unicorns.
Real name: Chato Santana
Played by: Jay Hernandez
Role: Originally a renowned Los Angeles gangster, Diablo caught the eye of Waller after he incinerated an entire prison yard. He eventually willingly gave himself up to authorities after a loss of control of his abilities resulted in the death of his wife and children. The guilt-ridden inmate is the Squad’s most reluctant member, preferring to spend the rest of his life in prison rather than utilize the powers that killed his family.
Real name: June Moone
Played by: Cara Delevingne
Powers: Sorceress with the ability to manipulate magical energy
Role: Dubbed “The Switcheroo-Witcheroo” in the comics, Enchantress is not a member of the Squad, but the villain they are tasked with defeating. Unlike the others, she has no true alter ego, but has inhabited the body of June Moone since the unwitting archaeologist wandered into her ancient tomb. However, she is only summoned into being when June utters her name, allowing whoever possesses the sorceress’s lost heart to maintain (tentative) control of her. In this case, that person is Waller. To complicate matters even further, Waller’s second-in-command, Rick Flag, is deeply in love with June, making him vulnerable in the fight against the spirit inside her.
Real name: Floyd Lawton
Played by: Will Smith
Powers: Impeccable aim
Role: The most accurate marksman in the DC universe is one of the few Squad members who is not a meta-human, meaning his abilities are the result of hard work and talent rather than any supernatural powers. He is also the villainous group’s unofficial leader and moral core. Deadshot’s comic book backstory has him becoming a hired assassin after he accidentally kills his older brother in an attempt to prevent him from shooting their abusive father, an incident that leaves him with a nihilistic outlook on life. However, he does have one glaring weakness that Waller is able to consistently leverage against him — his love for his daughter.
Real name: Harleen Quinzel
Played by: Margot Robbie
Powers: Enhanced speed, strength and intelligence
Role: As a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum, Dr. Harleen Quinzel was assigned to analyze the Joker. But while she believed she was curing him, she was actually falling in love with him. After helping the object of her affection break out of custody, she is physically and mentally tortured by him before being manipulated into jumping into a vat of chemicals to complete her transition into Harley Quinn. Following her imprisonment at Belle Rive, she finds a home in the Squad, becoming one of its most well-liked members. However, it’s clear she still longs to be back with the Joker, often pining over their abusive and twisted relationship.
Real name: Unknown
Played by: Jared Leto
Powers: Diabolical intelligence
Role: Like Enchantress, the Joker is not a member of the Squad. However, he does have extremely close ties with Harley Quinn, who he tortured into insanity and manipulated into falling in love with him during his imprisonment at Arkham Asylum. Although the Clown Prince of Crime is (arguably) DC Comics’ most iconic supervillain, he has no definitive backstory, a premise that is maintained in this adaptation.