Suicide Squad's Batman Connections Explained

Now that fans have gotten to see how Suicide Squad serves as a bridge to so many other things in [...]


Now that fans have gotten to see how Suicide Squad serves as a bridge to so many other things in the DC Extended Universe, it's time to start breaking down what those connections are. We have other articles detailing all the big reveals and secret Easter egg references packed into the movie, so now it's time to discuss the many connective threads to one particular character in the film:

Here's Suicide Squad's Connection to the Ben Affleck's Batman - his past, and future solo movie. Needs to say, there will be MASSIVE SPOILERS for Suicide Squad in the article that follows.

Good Cop, Bat Cop

The first thing we learn about the members of Task Force X is that some of them have direct connections to the Batman. Deadshot is the most obvious and storied one in the film; Amanda Waller uses Batman to apprehend Deadshot when he comes to Gotham. Though the connection between Deadshot and The Bat is clear, it's implied that other villains (like Killer Croc) have also been on the wrong end of Batman's fists.

For more on the Amanda Waller/Batman connection read Suicide Squad's mid-credits scene explained.

Deadly Rivalry

Batman Suicide Squad Connections Joker Death Robin

One thing that has been (semi-)established in the DCEU is the violent history between Ben Affleck's Batman and Jared Leto's Joker. The Batman/Joker rivalry has never been the most peaceful - but in the DCEU, it's clear from both men's demeanour and battle scars that Mr. J. and "Mr. B." have taken both literal and figurative chunks out of one another.

We've only gotten the story through brushstrokes of implication, but it seems pretty clear. Here are the FAQs:

  • Joker was an especially eccentric psycho/gangster who rose to power in Gotham City.
  • Batman was there to combat Joker.
  • While locked up in Arkham Asylum, Joker brainwashed Dr. Harleen Quinzel into aiding his escape.
  • Before escaping, Joker took the opportunity to make himself a mate by frying Quinzel's brains with electro-shock nodes, and transformed her body via a vat of ACE Chemicals waste. "Harley Quinn" was born.
  • Joker and Harley run rampant through Gotham City, spreading death and chaos.
  • Batman finally stops them in an epic car chase that ends with Joker's Lamborghini in the river. Harley is apprehended, Joker escapes.
  • Harley Quinn is passed off to Amanda Waller, who keeps her under lock and key at Belle Reve, where Joker can't find her.
  • Suicide Squad begins with Waller pulling her Task Force X assets for a mission in Midway City; that decision sets off a chain of events which put Harley Quinn back on Joker's radar. Mr. J sets out to rescue his girl.
  • During Task Force X's mission in Midway, Joker ambushes the Squad and tries to nab Harley, but fails. Never one to quit, Joker storms Belle Reve and finally gets Harley back.
  • After the Midway City incident, Amanda Waller meets with Bruce Wayne and helps him form the Justice League, revealing that she has always been aware of Batman's actions, and the fact that he is Bruce Wayne.

That's a lot of conflict and development - a lot of it implied - packed into two DCEU movies (Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad), but the timeline above obviously avoids one major milestone in Batman and Joker's rivalry:

The Death of Robin

Batman Joker Death of Robin DCEU
(Photo: Warner Bros. )

We've never seen exactly what went down between Batman, Joker, and Robin - but offscreen, the DCEU creative minds have helped to piece together the story. First, we know unofficially (from a Warner Bros. tour of all places) that the Robin implied to be dead during the events of Bamtan v Superman is in fact Jason Todd, who comics fans know as the second Robin to take the mantle, after Dick Grayson moved on to become Nightwing.

As for JasonTodd's death: director Zack Snyder has already made the claim that, in the backstory he thought up, a young Joker killed Robin 10 years before Batman v Superman - or about halfway through Batman's career:

"In my mind it was that Robin had died about 10 years earlier in some run in with a young Joker. So that was an interesting thing to me. Sorta a fun backstory to play with." -- Zack Snyder

Suicide Squad Joker Hand Tattoo Smile
(Photo: DC Entertainment)

And case there's question, Suicide Squad director David Ayer has confirmed that Jason Todd did not become the Joker like some speculated. Jason Todd died, and Joker was responsible.

What was especially murky in all this is how Harley Quinn fits in... at least unitl now. There's already a Suicide Squad Easter egg which seemingly reveals that Harley Quinn had a hand in Robin's death. Yet, Dr. Quinzel met Joker already tattooed with imagery (was the robin bird already there?) and with his teeth smashed out and replaced with silver ones, one wonders why Batman had already beaten him to a pulp so badly. What is harder to answer is how Bruce Wayne could retire from Batman duty (as seen in BvS) when Joker was obviously still at large...

Batman Solo Movie Story Joker Harley
(Photo: Warner Bros. )

Batman Solo Movie

After the events of Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad and Justice League, we will finally catch up with Ben Affleck's Batman in a solo movie written and directed by Affleck himself. Rumor has it that a famous Batman story called "Under the Red Hood" could be the basis for the film, and after Suicide Squad that evidence only seems stronger than ever before.

For those who haven't read the comics (MILD SPOILER): "Under the Red Hood" sees Gotham City's underworld plagued by a violent new vigilante called Red Hood, who tries to rule the various crime syndicates through fear, sabotage and murder. When Batman steps in, it starts and investigation that leads back to an impossible conclusion: Jason Todd, the Robin that Joker killed, has been resurrected as the Red Hood.

In addition to taking over the Gotham underworld, Red Hood has a more personal mission of revenge. He sets the Joker loose on Gotham, then captures him and forces a sick closure to their violent history by giving Batman an impossible choice: Kill him (Jason) before he kills Joker. With no win in either scenario, Batman goes for option #3 and disarms Jason in time to save Joker. Red Hood would go on to become a popular anti-hero in the DC Comics Universe.

Batman Under the Hood Movie
(Photo: DC Comics)

...One can see how the pieces on the DCEU chessboard have all been arranged to make an Under the Red Hood movie possible. The death of Jason Todd is obviously a major trauma and turning point for Batman - likely the source of the more violent and bitter man we meet in BvS. Clearly there is no closure for Batman yet - especially now that Joker and Harley are back at large. And with the DCEU now able to claim everything from aliens (Kryptonians, New Gods) to ancient races (Amazons, Atlanteans) to magical beings (Enchantress Incubus), a resurrected crime fighter doesn't seem so far-fetched.

Suicide Squad is now in theaters; Wonder Woman is coming on June 2, 2017; followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020.

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