The Suicide Squad Has a Surprising Birds of Prey Reference
The Suicide Squad is officially out into the world, bringing one of the weirdest and widest-ranging tales of the DC Comics universe to the big screen. From the second its cast of characters were confirmed at DC FanDome last year, it was clear that The Suicide Squad would touch on a unique array of elements of the comic canon, with villains who come from corners that have been largely-unexplored in live-action. Even with such a high-octane and fast-paced adventure, the film managed to work in some pretty specific Easter eggs — including one that might be a nod to the Birds of Prey. Spoilers for The Suicide Squad below! Only look if you want to know!
The film opens on Savant (Michael Rooker), one of the many villains who is being held in Belle Reve prison. While Savant's powers aren't said outright, we do see him in solitary confinement armed with a bouncy ball — which he uses to expertly target and kill a canary bird that flies into his cell.
Over the course of the film's opening, Savant is recruited into the Suicide Squad and sent on a mission to storm the beach in Corto Maltese — but he quickly gets overwhelmed by the carnage that befalls many of his team-mates. Savant panics and tries to swim away from the beach, leading to Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) remotedly triggering the bomb in Savant's neck, blowing his head off and killing him. As his corpse floats on the water, another canary bird flies on top of him and starts feasting on his flesh.
Not only is the parallel visually clever, but it seems to serves as a narrative homage to Savant's DC Comics roots, as he began as an antagonist-turned-ally of the Birds of Prey. In the comics, Savant uses his enormous fortune to become a self-styled vigilante and computer hacker, who crossed paths with the Birds of Prey — particularly Black Canary and Oracle — on multiple occasions. Savant and his partner, Creole, were later offered positions on the Birds of Prey, and Savant did briefly work as a double agent for the team.
While the Birds of Prey — Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) — do now exist in the DCEU after appearing in their own film with Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) last year, The Suicide Squad does not establish that Savant came toe-to-toe with the live-action incarnation of the team. Still, this sequence does find an unexpected way to nod at the bond that the group has in the comics.
The Suicide Squad is now available in theaters, and to stream on HBO Max.
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