Whether you liked DC Films' David Ayer-directed "Suicide Squad" or you hated it -- and if you haven't gone online lately, rest assured there are plenty of people in both groups -- it made a lot of money in its opening weekend -- $267 million worldwide, in fact, breaking records overseas and domestically; even with a significant Friday-to-Sunday drop.
It seems pretty clear that a "Suicide Squad" sequel is likely, or at least some sort of follow-up involving the film's main players. Given the crowded ensemble cast, there are a lot of different directions a "Suicide Squad" sequel could go -- but if there is a direct follow-up, there are more than enough DC Comics characters that could either join Task Force X, or end up in its crosshairs. Here are 10 characters that would make a "Suicide Squad" sequel more explosive.
10 Poison Ivy
Much of the criticism surrounding "Suicide Squad" -- and there's been a lot of it -- has concerned the movie's treatment of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, a beloved but complicated character. As presented in the movie, the Joker and Harley Quinn's relationship can be described as problematic at best -- in one scene, he's administering electroshock therapy to torture her, but by the end of the movie he's breaking her out of prison in what's presented as something to root for. Her shirt says "Daddy's Lil Monster," presenting their dynamic as one of paternal ownership, which is icky at best.
So what could give her help broaden her character in a sequel? How about a partner that's truly an equal. In "Batman: The Animated Series" -- the show that introduced Harley in the first place -- Harley Quinn strikes up a friendship with Poison Ivy, something that's continued into DC Comics continuity. (In recent depictions, their relationship is more than just a friendship.) Adding Poison Ivy (created by Robert Kanigher and Sheldon Moldoff) would give the "Suicide Squad" series another high-profile Batman villain, and, as a bonus, Ivy's already been a part of the Squad in the comic books, during writer John Ostrander's famed run.
9 Bronze Tiger
Bronze Tiger, created in the 1970s by Dennis O'Neil, Jim Berry and Leo Duranona , is likely the most prominent Suicide Squad member from the comic books not to make it into the first film -- which is something easy enough to rectify if there's a second. He was one of the main players of the original Suicide Squad comics, and already made it into another live-action version of the group -- on "Arrow," as played by Michael Jai White.
Of course, "because he was in the comics" isn't alone a compelling version for Bronze Tiger to appear in a subsequent "Suicide Squad" film. Luckily, there are plenty of other good reasons. He was originally depicted as one of the "good" members of the team, acting as second-in-command to Rick Flagg, which would make for an effective contrast among the characters from the first film. Additionally, he's an African-American character, and would add further diversity to the group.
Perhaps the only possible drawback is that he's another non-powered character, which might feel redundant next to the likes of Will Smith's Deadshot and Joel Kinnaman's Rick Flagg -- but hey, they could always give him some powers for the film; or maybe his martial arts skills would be different enough to stand out.
8 Major Disaster
If ever there was a character whose abilities were a natural fit for a live-action adaptation, it's Major Disaster, first since in 1966's "Green Lantern" #43 by Gardner Fox and Gil Kane. Originally, his powers were simply causing natural disasters using weapons, which would be enough -- Hollywood loves natural disasters, after all, and a superhero movie always needs a big spectacle in the third act.
Yet later depictions of Major Disaster made him even more primed for the big screen -- as a result of the "Underworld Unleashed" storyline by Mark Waid and Howard Porter, he became able to see how disaster could erupt from small linked events -- visualizing butterfly effect-esque "strands of chaos." That feels perfect for some fun action sequences, not unlike Quicksilver's big scenes in "X-Men: Days of Future Past" and "X-Men: Apocalypse."
As a bonus, Major Disaster was also at one point a member of Task Force X in the comic books, making him an even more natural pick for a "Suicide Squad" sequel.
7 Captain Cold
As long as Geoff Johns is in a position of power at DC Entertainment, there's no reason to rule Captain Cold out of anything. Johns has made his love for Captain Cold, created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, clear -- it's the character on the door of his office at DC's Burbank headquarters -- and he incorporated him in a big way during his run on "The Flash" comic book and made him part of his recent "Justice League" stint. Under his time as DC's Chief Creative Officer, Captain Cold was quickly introduced on "The Flash" TV show, as played by Wentworth Miller, before becoming a series regular on spinoff series "DC's Legends of Tomorrow."
Now that Johns has an even bigger position within DC Films -- his new position is officially titled President & Chief Creative Officer, DC Entertainment -- it may only be a matter of time before Captain Cold appears in a DC-based movie. While the upcoming "The Flash" solo film is a possibility, a "Suicide Squad" follow-up can't be ruled out, either -- Captain Cold fits right in with a group of morally ambiguous villains who sometimes end up doing the right thing for one reason or another. It'd also put him side by side with fellow Flash rogue Captain Boomerang (though that may be two Captains too many), and, you guessed it, he's also been a part of the Suicide Squad in DC's comic books.
Everyone knows Catwoman. Everyone loves Catwoman. Anne Hathaway was great as Catwoman in 2012's "The Dark Knight Rises," but that was only for one film. With Nolan's take on the Bat-universe firmly in the rear-view mirror, another live-action Catwoman -- a character that's been around since Bob Kane and Bill Finger's "Batman" #1, released in 1940 -- will show up sooner rather than later.
Given the close link between the first "Suicide Squad" film and Batman -- with Joker, Harley Quinn and Deadshot all playing a role, and Batman himself showing up multiple times -- it could make sense to keep that momentum going and introduce a new live-action Catwoman in a "Squad" sequel. The group could definitely use another woman on the team, and Selina Kyle definitely hits that sweet spot of a villain who can be convinced to do the right thing. Plus, with multi-film contracts being de rigueur these days, Catwoman could appear in "Suicide Squad 2" before slinking into a "Batman" solo movie.
We may be nearing the saturation point for cat-people on this list, but we've still got one more to go...
Yes, Catman. For those unfamiliar, Catman is Thomas Blake, introduced first by Bill Finger and Jim Mooney in 1963's "Detective Comics" #311. The character lingered in obscurity for most of its existence, often treated as something of a joke.
Then the "Villains United" miniseries came along, written by Gail Simone and illustrated by Dale Eaglesham. This saw Catman completely revitalized, forming a group called the Secret Six to take on the more powerful and more numerous Secret Society of Super Villains. Quickly, Catman became one of DC Comics' most uniquely compelling characters, an underdog antihero struggling with his morality. That sounds like pretty classic Suicide Squad material, especially given that he's more of a character to root for than a lot of the prior Task Force X members (fellow Secret Six cast members like Scandal Savage also could make for worthy additions). In recent years, Catman has been established as bisexual, a seriously underrepresented demographic in pop culture in general, and especially in superhero fiction.
Even if they don't make it onto the Squad, Catman, Catwoman and Bronze Tiger could form a heck of a splinter group.
Deathstroke is one of the few comic book villains to transcend traditional villain status. Introduced in 1980 by Marv Wolfman and George Perez during their classic "New Teen Titans" run, he has anchored his own solo series for years -- with a new one debuting this week as part of DC Comics's Rebirth publishing initiative -- despite never becoming a traditional "good guy" in the process.
Like main "Suicide Squad" character Deadshot, Deathstroke is an assassin, and though their names and professions are similar, Slade Wilson has augmented, superhuman abilities, brought on by an experimental serum. While it's unlikely that he'd simply want to be a part of a team for any extended period, it is perfectly within character for Deathstroke to manipulate Task Force X for his own means.
Manu Bennett has already played Deathstroke on "Arrow," but there's already history of double-dipping between DC TV and movies -- Nick Tarabay played Captain Boomerang on "Arrow" season three, and was played by Jai Courtney in "Suicide Squad."
Yes, Bane (created by Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench and Graham Nolan) has an indelible mark on comic book history as the character who "broke" Batman. Yes, he's been a part of both the Suicide Squad and the somewhat spiritually similar Secret Six in the comics, making him a likely contender for another "Suicide Squad" movie.
But that's not why he's on this list. He's on this list because Tom Hardy should get another chance to play Bane, a performance like no other in a superhero movie (and one that your unfunny friend likely hasn't stopped trying to impersonate in the past four years).
Remember when Hardy was up for the role of Rick Flagg in "Suicide Squad" but had to back out? How many people secretly hoped that was because he didn't want to take on another DC character, to leave the possibility of him returning as Bane? Sure, he died in "The Dark Knight Rises." Sure, it's an entirely different continuity entirely. It doesn't have to be explained. If Tom Hardy showed up as Bane in another DC movie, it would be objectively amazing.
Bane in "Suicide Squad 2": A lovely, lovely choice.
2 Talia al Ghul
Like Bane, Talia al Ghul was depicted in "The Dark Knight Rises," by Marion Cotillard. Except in that film, viewers didn't really get to see Talia at the height of her strengths -- for much of the movie, she's known as Miranda Tate, with the twist that she's Ra's al Ghul not coming until the third act.
That leaves a lot of room for a fully formed version of the Dennis O'Neil and Bob Brown-created Talia al Ghul in live-action; both as a master planner and highly skilled martial artist. Like many entries on this list, she often straddles the line between antihero and supervillain, the stuff of classic "Suicide Squad." Plus, it would mean that Ra's al Ghul is not far behind -- and a potentially adversary in either a "Suicide Squad" movie or a "Batman" solo film.
Other than a non-speaking cameo on "DC's Legends of Tomorrow," The CW's Arrowverse has deliberately stayed away from using Talia -- focusing on the character of Nyssa al Ghul instead -- suggesting that live-action plans for Talia may be in motion. Is a "Suicide Squad" sequel the place?
1 Lex Luthor
This might be the easiest entry on the list, if only because it's the only character to have actually appeared in DC's current film franchise. Jesse Eisenberg received mixed reviews for his over-the-top performance as Lex Luthor in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," but in that movie, he was playing off the two rather stoic titular leads. He just might have more fun bouncing off some other crazy characters -- the potential of Eisenberg's Luthor partnering with Jared Leto's Joker is either a dream team or nightmare depending on your perspective.
Plus, Luthor (like Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster) ends "Batman v Superman" in the same position where all of Task Force X's journey starts -- in prison! Of course, Luthor isn't necessarily a team player, but -- not would he seemingly be much use in the field without one of his armored Warsuits -- he doesn't have to be on the team to be in the movie. He's a solid choice for a primary villain, or someone manipulating things behind the scenes. Either way, if you've got a DC film franchise starring villains and you've already introduced the DC villain, there's an opportunity there for sure.