Movie Reviews

Every Version of The Suicide Squad in Movies and TV, Ranked

Task Force X is one of the most volatile teams in comic book history. Given the less-than-stellar “job security” offered by the infamous Suicide Squad”, most people won’t be surprised to learn that each version of the squad is completely different. After all, with all of their lives in the balance, no one has main character immunity.

RELATED: The 10 Best Characters in The Suicide Squad Who Weren’t On The Main Team

Still, one thing remains certain, the roster will almost always be populated by bad guys doing bad things to save the world. Well, at least that’s what they’re told, but they usually don’t live long enough to complain. However, some versions of the Suicide Squad have fared better than others.

As far as “Task Force X” rosters go, one had to be the least impressive, and Young Justice barely qualifies as a “Suicide Squad”.  The task force here is very sparse, boasting only three members, all of whom get captured.

It’s honestly a disappointingly small roster. A gorilla with a gun, Not-Black Manta, and Captain Boomerang are hardly the most powerful characters in Young Justice, nor are they explored deeper in a narrative sense. Overall, it’s not terrible, but it could have been so much more.

Smallville, chronologically speaking, is the very first live-action portrayal of the Suicide Squad, and it unfortunately shows. Most of the small roster is honestly quite generic, and while the unique take on Deadshot was fun, it’s not enough to make this team memorable.

Not to mention, the “suicidal” part of their name is disappointingly false. None of the members die or do anything particularly life-threatening.  For all intents and purposes, the “Suicide Squad” is just window dressing.

At this point, there has been a lot of chatter behind the scenes for how successful a Suicide Squad would be to modern audiences, and so the people at Arrow decided to introduce the Suicide Squad into its universe. Finally, this is the first Suicide Squad to get a member killed on-screen.

RELATED: 8 Movies That Inspired James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad

In addition, they are a bit more intimidating and psychotic than the Smallville team, with Diggle only reluctantly asking for their aid. However, even the team isn’t crazy enough to let out Harley Quinn, voiced by Tara Strong herself, much to the fans’ disappointment. The roster is decent, and they succeed in their mission, a rarity for these squads.

Suicide Squad had a rather rocky cinematic debut but there was no denying the team had its fair share of fans. True to its name, the Suicide Squad of this movie is thrown right into the middle of a world-ending threat. The action certainly has some fun moments, and characters such as Captain Boomerang and Harley Quinn are hilarious.

However, most of the other squad members are a bit of a mixed bag. Will Smith just plays Will Smith, Katana’s katana gets more character development than she does, Killer Croc gets no time to shine, and El Diablo’s sudden “family” moment felt unearned. Oh yeah, and Slipknot was there. Despite all that, this version of the Suicide Squad isn’t as bad as people say, though it’s a bit ambitious to call it “good”.

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War doesn’t leave a lot of time for the characters to develop, but for once, that works to the movie’s advantage. For possibly the first time on screen, audiences see the entire squad die, and most of them in brutal ways.

It’s honestly just mindless and bloody fun after a certain point, and the characters acknowledge that fact in-universe. They all know they’re goners, so they’re just trying to do as much damage to Darkseid’s plans before they all bite it. Why not have a laugh about it as the world burns?

The very first onscreen appearance of Task Force X, and it’s a great way to introduce the premise of the infamous Suicide Squad to new audiences. All of the villains are immediately established as selfish people who are only putting on the air of being a team. Most importantly, this squad is unique for actually doing its job.

This is perhaps the only on-screen version of Task Force X to actually fulfilled their task to the letter, and not only that, technically not getting any members killed. It’s a great way to introduce the real usefulness of Task Force X as a stealth ops group full of expendable members, especially when up against the powerful heroes of the Justice League.

Hell To Pay is a classic Suicide Squad mission with a very fun and expendable roster. The squad faces up against two major league villains in the form of Zoom and Vandall Savage. Much like The Suicide Squad (2021), this one starts with a mission that goes very badly for the squad.

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This movie is great at showcasing the high turnover rate of the squad on what are essentially bog-standard missions. Clashing egos are just as dangerous as any enemies the squad faces out on the field, and Hell To Pay’s roster is full of backstabbing, outsmarting, and other shady schemes.

Assault on Arkham is the squad’s official movie debut, and it’s a great start for Task Force X’s cinematic journey. Set in the same universe as the Arkham games, this movie is classic Suicide Squad shenanigans, as some of the best Arkham villains are sent on a black ops mission to kill the Riddler.

As expected, information is revealed to the Squad that causes no shortage of backstabbings and loopholes to get out of their collared states. The dynamic of this group is what makes them so fun to watch, especially Deadshot’s “sharpshooter” rivalry with Boomerang that starts friendly and becomes outright deadly by the movie’s climax.

The latest and largest roster of Task Force X, The Suicide Squad (2021) is the perfect cinematic portrayal of the squad to date. The movie does a great job of establishing over a dozen characters’ personalities, quirks, and flaws, then pulling the rug out from under the audience by killing off half of them in the first 15 minutes of the film.

It’s not just the black comedy that captured audiences. The Suicide Squad also has a surprising amount of heart amidst the violence. The characters are all given time to shine, each with their own badass and sad moments. It’s a testament to The Suicide Squad‘s writing that audiences genuinely start to feel for these ruthless murderers, and not even feel guilty for it. Okay, maybe a little, but it’s reluctant.

NEXT: 13 Strongest (& 12 Weakest) Members Of The Suicide Squad, Ranked

 

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