The Justice League is a team of DC Comics' greatest superheroes. Usually fronted by the Trinity (Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman), the likes of The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Green Arrow and Black Canary have all been members of multiple incarnations of the League. The Suicide Squad, by stark contrast, is a team of DC's most despicable villains, blackmailed by the US government into taking part in dangerous black-ops missions with the promise of time taken off their sentences if they survive. Various incarnations of the Squad have included Deadshot, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang, Poison Ivy, Count Vertigo, El Diablo, Black Manta and the Reverse-Flash.
It would therefore stand to reason that there should be very little crossover in membership between the two teams. If one is a collection of virtuous heroes, and the other is a ragtag group of villains pursuing their own agendas, why would any of them end up on the opposing team? And yet, over the course of DC Comics' long and storied history, there have been plenty of characters who have done just that. Whether it's a villain of questionable morals being a part of a bizarre off-shoot Justice League team, or a hero drafted in to help Amanda Waller and her Squad in a moment of need, sometimes the circumstances have conspired to make the membership roster of both teams more fluid than you might think! Here are 20 members of the Suicide Squad that most fans don't know were also members of the Justice League.
20 HARLEY QUINN
Harley Quinn has been closely associated with the Suicide Squad ever since DC rebooted their continuity in 2011 with The New 52. She and Deadshot became the two headline characters of that book, and this incarnation of the Squad inspired the line-up for David Ayer's 2016 film, and Harley's first association with the Justice League happened very recently.
In the pages of the universe-reshaping event Justice League: No Justice, written by Scott Snyder, Joshua Williamson and James Tynion IV and with art by Francis Manapul, Harley joined Team Wisdom, one of four newly formed League teams. We're not sure how much wisdom Harley brings to the team, but she fights alongside The Flash, Cyborg, The Atom and Robin!
The plot of Justice League: No Justice involves Brainiac coming to Earth and telling the League that a new threat is coming, one that the heroes aren't equipped to deal with. Brainiac's plan is for the League to combine their membership with some of their most dangerous villains, and then collectively go into battle against the threat, which is why Harley Quinn is not the only villain to end up on a team.
Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke, is chosen for Team Entropy, which is led by Batman and also features Lex Luthor. Deathstroke was also a (very) short-lived member of the Suicide Squad at one point, appearing in New Suicide Squad #1 in 2014. Unlike the rest of the team, he wasn't kept in line by Amanda Waller with a bomb in his head, so he left after one mission.
Katana has been a member of many teams throughout her history, and is arguably most closely associated with the Outsiders. She has been a regular with the Suicide Squad ever since Rebirth in 2016, when the lineup of the team was changed to more closely reflect the lineup in the movie. She is not like the criminals on the team who are forced to comply in order for time off their prison sentences.
Rather she is co-leader of the team with Colonel Rick Flag, and helps keep the bad guys in line. She had earlier been a member of the Justice League Of America during The New 52, during a period in which Amanda Waller was forming a new covert League and promised to give Katana information on the people who took out her husband, Maseo.
Vixen, aka Mari McCabe, a superheroine in possession of a totem which allows her to harness the spirit and abilities of animals, has been played in Arrow and her own CW animated webseries by Megalyn Echikunwoke since 2015. The character has been a mainstay of DC team books since her debut in 1981, and she has been a member of a few different incarnations of the Justice League.
She was a key member of the team put together by Aquaman in the mid-'80s, and was also a member of Justice League International in The New 52 period. Her time with Suicide Squad was also back in the '80s, when she joined the team after taking out a drug kingpin. She was disgusted with herself and felt she needed to work with the Squad to curb her animal instincts.
16 CAPTAIN COLD
Leonard Snart, aka Captain Cold, is arguably currently the most popular he's ever been with fans, mainly thanks to actor Wentworth Miller's portrayal of the character in the Arrowverse. A classic member of The Flash's 'Rogues', Snart has always been slightly different than other villains in that he has a moral code (of sorts) and has sometimes functioned as Flash's ally.
He made two short appearances as part of the team in Suicide Squad #17 and #18 in 1988, and also joined the Justice League during The New 52 when the League was battling the Crime Syndicate Of America. Snart has always flip-flopped between heroism and villainy, and it's an aspect of the character that fans have always loved.
15 SHADE THE CHANGING MAN
Like many characters throughout the annals of comic book history, Shade The Changing Man's origins have changed several times over the years. Many fans might know the character from Peter Milligan and Chris Bachalo's seminal Vertigo run in the '90s, in which he was a lovelorn poet sent to Earth to stop a tide of madness from consuming the planet.
But the original Rac Shade, created by Steve Ditko, was an extra-dimensional secret agent and this was the version of the character that was a member of Suicide Squad in the '80s. Shade was later brought back to DC continuity as a member of Justice League Dark when The New 52 launched, alongside other supernatural characters such as John Constantine, Zatanna, Swamp Thing and Deadman.
14 CLOCK KING
William Tockman, aka Clock King, has historically been an antagonist of Green Arrow (though he has also tangled with Batman on many occasions, including a memorable appearance on Batman: The Animated Series). A villain obsessed with time, he has always been seen as something of a joke in the criminal community, and as a member of the Injustice League he was even less successful than as a solo villain!
This led to him attempting to reform when he became a founding member of the equally laughable superhero team Justice League Antarctica. It didn't go well and the team soon disbanded. He also served some time with Suicide Squad at one point, but was shot repeatedly in an escape attempt and was presumed mortally wounded by his teammates. Oh dear.
13 MAJOR DISASTER
Another character who has embraced the darkness at times and yet also fought on the side of the angels at others, Major Disaster was originally created in 1966 as an enemy of Green Lantern. Originally he had technology that allowed him to create natural disasters, but over time this was retconned to be a metahuman ability.
As a villain he was often disrespected, and served on the same Suicide Squad mission that got Clock King filled with bullets. Later, he was given the chance to prove his heroic worth by Batman, who was forming a new Justice League team while the original team was lost in Atlantis and presumed gone. He then became part of Justice League Elite, a darker team that embarked on black-ops missions the main League wouldn't touch.
The Last Czarnian's time operating as a member of both the Suicide Squad and the Justice League has occured very recently. After the DC Rebirth relaunch in 2016, both titles built up to a massive crossover event, 'Justice League vs Suicide Squad'. Lobo made his first appearance since the end of The New 52 as one of many villains freed by Maxwell Lord and forced into becoming a member of the Squad.
Lord was mind-controlling the villains, so Batman implanted a bomb in Lobo's head and set it off. When his head regenerated, the control was broken and Lobo accepted Batman's invitation to become a member of his new Justice League Of America alongside the likes of The Atom, Vixen and The Ray.
June Moone, aka The Enchantress, made her big screen debut in the 2016 Suicide Squad film played by British actress/model Cara Delevingne. She was a member of the team who went rogue and became the villain of the movie, a plot which must have been highly inspired by the first story arc of Justice League Dark in The New 52 era.
In this story, Enchantress was a member of the newly formed supernatural League team alongside Zatanna, Constantine, Deadman and Madama Xanadu and she went insane, becoming the villain of the tale. She was then a part of the Suicide Squad team when the DC Rebirth continuity reboot hit, and has struck up a bizarre yet disarmingly loving relationship with Killer Croc.
10 BLACK ORCHID
Black Orchid is a superheroine with a number of superpowers, but her main ability is as a master of disguise. In her early appearances she would often spend entire investigations masquerading as a seemingly insiginificant background character, before her calling card (a black orchid flower) would be found next to the captured person she was impersonating.
The character was a member of the Suicide Squad in 1987-88, and then a revamped version of the character was a member of Justice League Dark during The New 52. Perhaps her most famous incarnation, however, was in the three-issue miniseries from Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean in 1988, which tied her origins into 'the green' and characters like Swamp Thing and Poison Ivy.
9 KILLER FROST
Another of DC Comics' ice-themed villains and one of the stars of The Flash TV show, Killer Frost, aka Caitlin Snow, was recruited onto the Suicide Squad as part of the DC Rebirth series. She took part in the Squad's battle with the Justice League in the crossover event 'Justice League Vs Suicide Squad,' but eventually wound up helping the good guys after Maxwell Lord was possessed by Eclipso.
Batman saw in her someone who wanted to make a difference, and so Amanda Waller was forced to release Frost into Batman's custody. She is now currently a member of the Justice League Of America alongside The Atom, Lobo, The Ray, Black Canary and Vixen.
Plastique was first introduced in Fury Of Firestorm #7 in December as a bad guy trying to force the separation of Quebec from the rest of Canada using her trademark explosives. She later became a member of Suicide Squad for one solitary mission in which she tried to betray the team but was caught out by teammate Nemesis, who brainwashed her to suppress all memory of her time with the Squad.
She then became a mercenary before going straight, reforming her nefarious ways and getting engaged to Captain Atom. She then joined him on the Extreme Justice team, an off-shoot of the Justice League, alongside Blue Beetle, Booster Gold and the Wonder Twins. She even had her bachelorette party in the pages of Extreme Justice.
7 BRONZE TIGER
Ben Turner, aka Bronze Tiger, is acknowledged as one of the greatest hand-to-hand combatants in the DC Universe. He is a master martial artist who has bested Batman in battle and fought Richard Dragon to a standstill. In fact, many observers believe his skills to be on the level of Lady Shiva.
He has long been depicted as a member of the League Of Assassins, though has also been a member of Suicide Squad for long periods (as their second-in-command after Rick Flag), most notably during the classic '80s run written by John Ostrander. At one point he also served on five missions for Justice League Task Force, a United Nations chartered League 'strike team' lead by Martian Manhunter.
One of the most iconic women in the DC Universe, Barbara Gordon has proven herself invaluable as both Batgirl and Oracle, her computer/information expert alter-ego. She operated under this moniker following her paralysis at the hands of The Joker in Batman: The Killing Joke. Comic book writer and editor Kim Yale and her husband, writer John Ostrander, felt Barbara's treatment in that story was distasteful and so Ostrander oversaw her development as Oracle in the pages of his title, Suicide Squad.
She then became a member of the JLA, following Batman vouching for her, during Grant Morrison's brilliant run in the mid-to-late '90s. She eventually quit the team following Batman's excommunication after the events of 'Tower Of Babel'.
Dr John Henry Irons' life was saved by Superman on his very first day in Metropolis, and he was also an eyewitness to the Man Of Steel's demise while fighting Doomsday in Superman #75. Superman had given Irons some words of wisdom when he saved him, and Irons took them to heart, creating a suit of armor to fight the gangs thriving in Metropolis in Superman's absence.
He took on the name Steel and actually joined the JLA in the mid-'90s and then, as part of the "Our Worlds At War" crossover in 2001, was part of a Suicide Squad team put together to go to the moon to fight Doomsday! He wound up badly wounded by the beast, and his teammates Chemo, Mongul and Shrapnel were all decimated too. Not a very successful mission!
World-class heavyweight boxer Theodore 'Ted' Grant took on the costumed identity of Wildcat when he had to clear his name following the end of his mentor 'Socker' Smith. He would go on to become a hero most closely associated with the Justice Society Of America, though they were not the only team he served some time on.
He once worked with the Justice League Of America and was ended by an inter-dimensional imp while on a mission. He came back to life and revealed that since 1945 he has had nine lives, which helps explain why he's 70 years old and still an athlete in his physical prime. He also appeared in one issue of Suicide Squad in 2002, in which he and some other JSA members joined the Squad to battle the organization known as The Onslaught.
3 DOCTOR LIGHT
Doctor Light first appeared in Justice League Of America #12 and was created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky. Originally a menacing villain, he was turned into a hapless and comedic joke in the '80s. Writer Brad Meltzer then explained this in-continuity in his controversial 2004 miniseries, Identity Crisis.
He revealed that Zatanna altered Light's mind (and accidentally partially lobotomized him) following his attack of Elongated Man's wife, Sue Dibny. He was a longtime member of the Suicide Squad in the '80s, and as part of The New 52 reboot in 2011 he was reimagined as a scientist working with A.R.G.U.S. and Amanda Waller's shadowy version of the Justice League Of America.
2 POWER GIRL
In the late '80s and early 1990's, the Justice League titles were comedic in nature, with writers Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis poking fun at the team of secondary characters they had at their disposal. The team was renamed Justice League International with #7, and a spin-off coming in 1989, entitled Justice League Europe.
Power Girl was a member of the European team, which was headquartered in Paris and featured heroes such as Captain Atom, Elongated Man, Metamorpho and Animal Man. She was also a longtime member of the Justice Society Of America, and accompanied a few of her teammates (the previously mentioned Wildcat included) in aiding the Suicide Squad on a mission against The Onslaught in 2002.
Archaeologist Carter Hall, the modern day reincarnation of the ancient Egyptian Prince Khufu, is Hawkman, a charter member of the Justice Society Of America and their chairman. His origins and backstory have changed a dizzying amount of times over the years during DC's various reboots and continuity shuffles, but the '60s version of the character (an alien policeman from the planet Thanagar) was a member of the Justice League, where he frequently clashed with Green Arrow.
His sole mission with the Suicide Squad came in the final issue of the second volume of the series in 2002, where he was drafted in alongside his JSA teammates to help the Squad rescue General Rock, Amanda Waller and her daughter Havana from The Onslaught.