While not the insane Easter egg festival that was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, David Ayer's Suicide Squad most definitely exists in a fully-fleshed-out DC Universe, which includes plenty of winks and nods to familiar names and events for DC Comics fans.
We're sure that we missed some -- feel free to comment below! -- but here are some of the Easter eggs, comic book references, odd pop culture moments and the like from this week's supervillain team-up blockbuster.
It feels good to be bad…Assemble a team of the world's most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government's disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity. U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose will do. However, once they realize they weren't picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it's every man for himself?
Suicide Squad hits theaters August 5, 2016.
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Belle Reve is a recurring prison, used mostly for metahumans and other high-risk criminals, in the DC Universe.
The prison has been name-dropped on Arrow and Gotham, and appeared on Smallville as well as a number of animated productions.prevnext
A restaurant in the background of one of the film's early shots, Cicada is likely not any kind of references.
It is, though, the name of a Flash villain who has teamed up with Captain Boomerang before.
(This is one of those cases where it doesn't really feel like an Easter egg, but we're going to mention it and move on becuase otherwise somebody in the comments will point it out to us.)prevnext
That guy out front of the restaurant, hawking "Remember Superman" t-shirts?
Well, the commercialization of the death of Superman is an idea that was touched upon in the comics. After the Man of Steel fell battling Doomsday, his death shocked the world, and changed it. As seen in the films, there was a state funeral with a horse-dawn casket, leading up to the spot where Superman would be buried near a huge statue in his memory.
Also featured in that book: A man hawking t-shirts feauring the "bleeding S" symbol popularized during the Death of Superman storyline, much to the frustration of Superman's pal, Bibbo. In a case of DC having a little fun at their own expense, the man was also selling bagged, commemorative copies of the Daily Planet issue that reported on the Man of Steel's death, with armbands inside (armbands were one of the items packaged with the black-bagged Superman #75).
Waller, a bit of a hard-hearted cynic, is relatively unmoved by the display. Bibbo, on the other hand, threatened to rough the man up for his disrespect to Superman's memory -- until the vendor admitted that he was only selling the shirts and papers to try and get his family back on their feet. Superman had saved them from a burning building, but with their home and possessions up in smoke, the man was now homeless. Bibbo, a recent lottery winner at the time, bought the man's entire stock and offered him a job at his bar, the Ace o' Clubs.
Fun fact: Bibbo appeared in Wednesday's Superman #4 from Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason. This is the first time the character has appeared in an in-continuity Superman comic since the 2011 Flashpoint reboot (and really longer than that).prevnext
Gotham is in New Jersey, according to Floyd Lawton's ARGUS file.
This is the first time I can recall it being officially defined for the DC Extended Universe, although it's far from the first time that Gotham and Jersey have been paired up. At a bare minimum, Gotham has been established as being part of New Jersey since 1978, when a World's Greatest Heroes strip featured the panel above.
The '90s Atlas of the DC Universe, printed along with Mayfair's DC Comics tabletop role playing game, also referred to Gotham as being in New Jersey -- and so did a 1993 issue of Batman: Shadow of the Bat.prevnext
A DEATH IN THE FAMILY
Superman's "Funeral For a Friend" isn't the only major DC death referenced in this scene. When Harley Quinn's rap sheet pops up on screen eagle-eyed fans have pointed out that she's credited as being an accomplice to the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin, whose costume hangs in the Batcave in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.prevnext
Not that it's all that surprising to get a look at Arkham Asylum, considering that Harley Quinn's origin had to be told in the movie, but there it is.
It looks quite a lot like you see it in the Batman: Arkham games (or in the TV series Gotham).
At the end of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batman promised to have Lex Luthor sent to Arkham.prevnext
THE JESTER SUIT
THE JESTER SUIT
Given all the talk about how the "jester suit" for Harley Quinn was considered and then discarded, fans likely didn't expect to see the image above -- a classic Alex Ross painting of The Joker and Harley Quinn -- come to life before their eyes in Suicide Squad.
But it did -- even if only for a fleeting moment -- and it was pretty awesome.prevnext
In Suicide Squad, The Flash appears and cracks wise about "honor among thieves," capturing Captain Boomerang.
In the comics, of course, Boomerang is a longtime Flash villain -- and a member of the Rogues, who are the very epitome of honor among thieves in the DC Universe.
There's a brief mention of a "red streak" on the part of Boomerang later, which is one of a handful of potential names for The Flash offered by Cat Grant during the Supergirl episode "Worlds Finest."
This scene was also, apparently, directed by Zack Snyder, who is helming Justice League.prevnext
The Suicide Squad operated under the imprimatur of A.R.G.U.S., DC's pre-eminent super-secret organization.
In the comics, the A.R.G.U.S. program has existed since the earliest days of the American Revolution, when it was known as the "Armed Revolutionaries Governing Under Secrecy." The acronym has changed a number of times over the years, although I'll be damned if I know what it stands for these days.
In the comics, A.R.G.U.S. employs Steve Trevor, Wonder Woman's love interest, as well as Amanda Waller and her Suicide Squad. The organization has appeared in other media, as well; it's where Waller operated the Suicide Squad out of in Arrow.prevnext
WORLD WAR II
WORLD WAR II
In the comics, there were Suicide Squadrons in World War II -- groups of "highly expendable" soldiers who tended to be outcasts and often had criminal records.
One such squadron was led by Rick Flag -- the grandfather of the Rick Flag who would go on to oversee the Suicide Squad in the 1980s (on which this movie is heavily based).
The exploits of one of those squadrons were touched upon in DC: The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke. That story took place in the 1950s.
All of that is to say that when Amanda Waller talks about some of the ethically-questionable things the United States did to keep the country safe during World War II, a version of the Suicide Squad was among those decisions.prevnext
SPIRIT IN THE SKY
SPIRIT IN THE SKY
Because of the nature of Guardians of the Galaxy's Awesome Mix Vol. 1 playing such a big role in the overall tone of the movie, many fans likely noticed that Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky," featured on that album, also appeared in Suicide Squad.
Given its longtime status as a pop radio hit, it fits in pretty neatly with the feel of the Suicide Squad soundtrack album, but the fact that it's on both has drawn some inevitable (and mostly unfavorable) comparisons to Guardians in early reviews.prevnext
ELLIOT & EDWARDS
ELLIOT & EDWARDS
It's hard to say either of these is conclusive, but the Elliot Center -- one of the signs behind the team as they make their way through Midway City -- could be named after a member of the Elliot family, including Bruce Wayne's childhood friend Tommy.
Wealthy and powerful Gothamites, there's no reason their financial and cultural influence couldn't stretch to Midway City -- and it could be a nice little Easter egg establishing their existence in the DC Extended Universe in case (as many have guessed) Hush could be a major player in an upcoming Batman movie.
GQ Edwards could also be tied to an Ronald Edwards, Majordomo to the Peregrinator's Club in Gotham City, and a minor player in Hush's plans.prevnext
JOHN F OSTRANDER FEDERAL BUILDING
JOHN F OSTRANDER FEDERAL BUILDING
John Ostrander, whose name is on the Federal Building where the big final act fight happens, was the writer on Suicide Squad in the '80s following his work on the Legends crossover event that introduced the team.
Suicide Squad was first introduced in 1959's The Brave and the Bold #25, but the modern day version we know and love didn't take shape until comic book writer John Ostrander revived it in 1987's Legends #3. Ostrander was the primary writer on the series from the late '80s until the early '90s. During his run, he established Amanda Waller's secret task force that sent out lower tier DC villains on suicide missions. If they survived they would have their sentences reduced. Ostrander modeled the series after the classic 1967 World War II film The Dirty Dozen. In 2007, he returned to the property with an 8-issue miniseries.
Check out the Ostrander easter eggs in the tweet below.prevnext
Ace Chemical, the company where The Joker was born, served as the setting for his creation of Harley Quinn in the flashbacks. This is the second time this year that the company has appeared onscreen, with brief cameos in the background of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The Ace Chemical Processing Plant, which first appeared in the comics in 1951, was where a criminal known as the Red Hood was knocked into a vat of chemicals by a young, inexperienced Batman, turning him into The Joker.
The plant was featured in 1989's Batman (as Axis Chemicals instead of Ace), and will reportedly be a setting used in Suicide Squad later this year, as well.
This isn't a new way to create environments in the DC movie universe; Man of Steel saw a number of companies hidden as background Easter eggs, including Wayne Enterprises, LexCorp and Blaze Comics, the publishers of Booster Gold's print adventures.prevnext
While I can't find the significance of #23 to any of the characters in this film, it is prominently featured on the window of the chopper that Waller takes off in before it's shot down.0comments
Something worth considering: Suicide Squad #23 featured the first appearance of Barbara Gordon as Oracle.
ECK912 said ... (original post)
The number 23 is also on the Joker's back when he rescues Harley at the end of the movie. It bugs me not knowing why is the number featured so heavily D:
When something happens twice in two distinct scenarios like that, it's usually the director's thing. I wonder whether I could go look at Fury again and find #23 buried in there a few times.prev