This week DC announced that they’re relaunching their ongoing Suicide Squad series with a new issue one starting in the month of July with some new familiar faces (Deathstroke, Black Manta) and a freshly introduced face to the New 52 (Jokers Daughter):

deathstroke suicide squad

While it may have seem like quite a reveal for some, I’m surprised it’s taken DC this long to announce a newly minted Deathstroke lead Squad to the New 52 due to some bread crumbs dropped over the several years or so. Firstly, in an interview dating back to early 2012 DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns (writer on such titles as Green Lantern, Aquaman and upcoming Superman among countless others) revealed the existence of a yet to be announced Suicide Squad game:

“We’re working on Suicide Squad; it’s in development right now…I’m really super excited about it. Because of the concept, you have a game where any of the lead characters can conceivably die and it’s not a stunt. Some really cool story could come out of that.”

Later that year Arrow, a TV series based on the Green Arrow character, debuted on the CW network and featured a very familiar mask in the opening moments of the pilot…

deathstorke mask season 1

Further into the season Slade Wilson (the alter ego of Deathstroke) would be featured prominently in the seasons various flashback sequences, leading into Wilson/Deathstroke becoming a full fledged costumed threat to Oliver Queen in the presently ongoing second season of the show.

Fast forwarding to April 2013, WB Games unveils a debut trailer for the first of two “Arkham” games that would be released later in the year: Batman: Arkham Origins, hailing not from previous series developer Rocksteady games, but from WB Games Montreal who ported Batman: Arkham to the WiiU. The Caped Crusader would not be the only playable character in the title however; through DLC players could control Deathstroke, a prominent villain in the game, in the title’s challenge maps:

Launching day and date with Batman: Arkham Origins would be the second “Arkham title, the rather lengthily titled Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate for the Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita, which served as an epilogue of sorts to the console/PC game. The significance of Blackgate would be made apparent in the post credits stinger for Origins, featuring regular Task Force X/Suicide Squad head Amanda Waller proposing an incarcerated Slade Wilson a spot on the team in exchange for his freedom:

During the course of Blackgate, without getting too much into plot, you as a player see that the transpiring events are being overlooked by Amanda Waller and Rick Flag, who eventually recruit both Deadshot (featured in Origins and City before that) and Bronze Tiger (Blackgate exclusive character) into their ranks. Similar to Deathstorke, both Deadshot and Bronze Tiger made appearances on Arrow: Deadshot as an antagonist in both the shows first and second seasons, while Bronze Tiger has made appearances in the shows second season exclusively thus far. Both characters were featured on a version of the Suicide Squad on that show, while Harley Quinn was treated as an off screen easter egg voiced by Tara Strong, who took over for Arleen Sorkin as the characters voice after they retired upon completed of 2009’s Batman: Arkham Asylum.

DC relaunched all their comics with a partial new continuity and issue one’s across the board in the fall of 2011. One of the titles was Suicide Squad, who welcomed Harley Quinn to their roster for the first time. Quinn also appeared in Batman: Arkham City in October of the same year, where she suffered the loss of her beloved Joker who died upon accidentally destroying the cure that would’ve saved his life from the poisoning effects of the Titan formula.

Last year’s Arkham games were handled by two new studios (WB Games Montreal and Armature Studios), but in 2014 UK based Rocksteady games will return to the Batman series they helped craft with what is being labeled as their last “Arkham” game: Batman: Arkham Knight for the PS4/Xbox One and PC. Those who pre-order the game through retailer EB Games/Gamestop obtain additional DLC that makes Harley Quinn a playable character:

So what does it all mean? Well, let’s put the pieces together:

1)    Harley Quinn joins the roster of the Suicide Squad as part of the New 52 initiative
2)    Geoff Johns confirms the existence of a yet to be announced Suicide Squad game
3)    Characters like Deathstroke, Deadshot and Bronze Tiger gain wider appeal due to their appearances on Arrow (teasing a future appearance by Harley Quinn perhaps later on); The Suicide Squad makes their TV debut on the show as well
4)    Deathstroke is tested as a playable character in Batman: Arkham Origins; Deadshot and Bronze Tiger are teased to be joining the Suicide Squad
5)    Harley Quinn is announced as a playable character in the next “Arkham” game, Batman: Arkham Knight
6)    DC debuts a new Suicide Squad ongoing series featuring a roster that includes Deathstroke, Deadshot and Harley Quinn among others

WB Games have been quite proactive with the DC license, releasing the critically acclaimed Injustice: Gods Among us last year along with two “Arkham” titles as well as the upcoming Infinite Crisis and highly anticipated Batman: Arkham Knight.  A Suicide Squad game, possibly crafted by the now tested WB Games Montreal, could be another DC themed video game franchise waiting to break through. Warner Bros. has been smart with their handling of the property, that’s surely well versed by fans of DC Comics but not so much by the casual fan whose knowledge may be limited to the various films, games and TV spin-off’s from the company. Either on purpose or inadvertently, Warner Bros. has silently started moving various pieces into place to give both Deathstroke and the Suicide Squad a huge multi-media push that can hopefully culminate in an excellent super villain team video game.



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