Suicide Squad 2021 poster

Lots of people die in "The Suicide Squad." DC gave writer-director James Gunn blanket permission to kill any character he wanted, and he made good use of that freedom. Only a few of these deaths come with any dignity — consistent with Gunn’s background in gleefully violent genre movies, more than a few characters die stupidly or get ripped apart as goop falls out of their corpse. With all this dying going on in "The Suicide Squad," we decided to make a list of the major deaths.

For this list, we’re only going to include named characters. Hundreds of Corto Maltese military, civilians, and freedom fighters are killed over the course of the movie — some of whom we do get to know individually — but we’d be here all day even if we tried to group them. We’re also not going to list the lorikeets, but we’ll acknowledge the cruelty of their deaths here.

In case it’s not obvious from the title, there’s spoilers beyond this point. There’s also some above it. Look, you clicked on it, you’re responsible for what you see at this point.

Blackguard, Captain Boomerang, TDK, Javelin, Mongal, and Savant

TDK Arms outstretched

We’re grouping these together for an obvious reason: they all die at the beach assault. This is the first version of Task Force X assembled for the movie, and they all die like jabronis in the first 15 minutes. Blackguard sells his squadmates out to the hostiles, and his reward is getting his own face blown off.

Almost everyone else on the beach ends with some variation of being shot and/or blown up. The only exception is Savant, whose cranial bomb is detonated by Amanda Waller after he tries to run away from the mission. The cherry on top of this sequence is the opening credits — "People Who Died" by The Jim Carroll Band plays as we see flashes of everyone who just got wrecked.

Silvio Luna

Silvio Luna stares

During a press event Warner Bros. held for "The Suicide Squad," actor Juan Diego Botto said "the character that I play, General Silvio Luna, he is the new ruler of this Corto Maltese island and he is obsessed with two things: His collection of rainbow lorikeets, and Harley Quinn. And those two obsessions will determine his fate eventually." He had to play it a little coy at the time with the last bit, but we have no need for coyness now: Silvio Luna is another person who died.

Silvio specifically seeks out Harley Quinn and brings her to his palatial estate, where he says he sees her as the embodiment of American rebellion. Upon spending a single glorious day with Harley, he proposes marriage. After consuming their relationship (which is admittedly far too fancy a word for what they actually do), he lays out his plans for rule. Unfortunately for him, mentioning that those plans involve killing civilians and children is too much of a red flag. Harley shoots Silvio, explaining that after her past relationships she just can’t handle certain toxic elements.

Ratcatcher I

Taika Waititi at Suicide Squad premiere

The first Ratcatcher’s appearance in "The Suicide Squad" is brief, and exists entirely in memory, but it’s accurate to say that he dies in this movie. We learn his story during a flashback: Cleo, aka Ratcatcher II, and her father grew up on the streets of Portugal, aided entirely by his father’s ability to communicate with rats through technology. The rats were able to provide them with anything they needed. Unfortunately, he was also a drug addict and died of an overdose.

This death led Chloe to take his rat wand and also his name. She moved to America, but was sentenced to Belle Reve for armed robbery after the rats were declared weapons. We only hear Ratcatcher I speak roughly two sentences toward the end of the film in another flashback, but it’s one of the movie’s most emotional moments, leaving the audience with the idea that if something as vile as a rat can find a place in the world, anyone can.

Rick Flag

Rick Flag yellow shirt

No death in "The Suicide Squad" comes as a bigger shock than that of Rick Flag. He’s the only non-Amanda Waller character from the first "Suicide Squad" to live past the opening credits. It’s his nobility that does him in: when he discovers the depth of the US government’s involvement with the captivity of and research into Starro, he decides to take a hard drive and tell the world.

Waller, however, has known about this all along, and has a backup plan: Peacemaker. (Finally, the John Cena heel turn we’ve wanted for years.) She gives Peacemaker specific instructions to make sure the information didn’t leave the facility. Flag and Peacemaker fight, and are for the most part evenly matched — at least until Peacemaker manages to fatally stab Flag in the heart. The only unambiguous hero in Task Force X dies, but not before alerting Peacemaker that Ratcatcher II saw the whole thing.

Polka-Dot Man

Polka-Dot Man sits in theater

One of James Gunn’s most significant achievements in "The Suicide Squad" is making a tragic and sympathetic figure out of Polka-Dot Man. Gunn picked out Abner Krill after Googling "dumbest supervillain of all time" — no, really — and managed to make the character’s equally stupid death devastating. Krill’s backstory: his polka dot powers are the result of an inter-dimensional infection, one set up by his scientist mother. He resents his mother so much that he sees every possible enemy — that is to say, everyone — as her. He’s self-conscious about his infection and his powers, and just about begs for death.

During the final battle with Starro, Bloodsport has pointed instructions for Polka-Dot Man: pretend the giant starfish terrorizing the city is his mother. Krill manages to inflict massive damage with his polka-dots. But just when he’s finally feeling confident about his powers, his abilities, and his place in the world, he gets crushed — literally.

The Thinker

The Thinker stands in front of King Shark

The Thinker is the foremost expert on Starro, having conducted research on the giant alien mind-controlling starfish for years. He makes an uneasy alliance with the new regime on Corto Maltese after the coup. Both of these things lead to this death, one inevitable as it is brutal.

Task Force X captures the Thinker and escorts him to Jotunheim. While there, Task Force X sees Starro for the first time — and, just as damningly, all the people Starro controls. The Thinker reveals Starro’s origins, the research he’s spent decades conducting, and the fact that the U.S. was in on it all along. After Jotunheim explodes, Starro is freed — and his first order of business is dealing with his captor. The Thinker begs for his life, but it’s no use as Starro rips the scientist limb from limb. It’s a very Troma death from a Troma veteran director.

Milton

Milton standing

Poor, poor Milton. He isn’t a hero, he isn’t a villain, he isn’t even an antihero. He’s … just some dude. He gets swept up with Task Force X and drives them from Point A to Point B, albeit with more than a few unplanned stops between A and B. He even helps with several of their schemes, up to and including planting bombs at Jotunheim.

During a firefight on the upper floors of Jotunheim, Milton gets killed in the crossfire. To add to the indignity of his death, some of the team doesn’t even know he’s with them — they assume he’s back at the van. Harley, meanwhile, can’t remember Milton’s name — at least until she sees the body. The perils of being just a normal guy in a world of metahumans. The explosives he’s carrying in a bag get detonated during another firefight, prematurely blowing up Jotunheim.

Mateo Suarez

General Suarez shocked

General Mateo Suarez isn’t just the right hand man for Silvio Luna, he’s the muscle. A respected and feared military leader, he also has his own leadership aspirations and functionally takes control of the government after Luna’s death. He’s shown to be far more brutal than Silvio, but he gets karmic payback and a half for everything he’s done.

When word reaches him that Task Force X is at Jotunheim, he personally leads the army assaulting the tower. He and his men survive the explosion, but they don’t survive Starro. Finally free, Starro kills or mind controls almost the entire Corto Maltese military — including Suarez, who learns the hard way not to mess with intergalactic starfish. (This is also good advice for everyday use.) He dies like the rest of his men — confused and despondent as the secret his government hid stops being a secret in the least subtle way possible.

Starro

Starro's arm grabs King Shark

Starro: an intergalactic starfish, and also perhaps the most dangerous evil force in the DCEU. Captured by astronauts who only found out about his mind control ability after he spit some offspring at them, Starro was brought to Earth for research. Understandably, being kept in captivity for decades leaves him with something of a grudge against humanity — on top of his already existing conquering urges.

Long kept a secret by both the U.S. and Corto Maltese governments, Starro makes himself known to the world in a big way after finally escaping from Jotunheim. After a thrilling battle, during which Bloodsport finally shows his mettle as a leader, Starro is defeated. His eye is pierced by Harley as rats jump in and tear his innards to shreds. Task Force X become heroes, and end up in the rarest of all situations: with leverage over Amanda Waller.