Everyone has a weakness, and that’s even true in the fantasy world based on DC’s comics. Even the Man of Steel himself, Superman, suffers his famous weakness to kryptonite. But in some cases, a character’s Achilles’ heel has nothing to do with a physical vulnerability and more to do with the turbulence of their mind. After all, saying someone is their own worst enemy may be a cliche, but cliches are so resilient precisely because of the truth they deliver.
In the case of the members of 2021’s The Suicide Squad, the notion that we are all the architects of our own downfall is never more true — and that shouldn’t be surprising, should it? Whether they’re criminal masterminds, superpowered thugs, or well-meaning vigilantes, the recruits of Task Force X — better known as the Suicide Squad — mostly come under the heel of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) because they’ve already done their best, failed, and been trapped behind bars for their trouble. In other words, while members of superhero teams like the Avengers and the Justice League may save the world in spite of their flaws, when it comes to the members of the Suicide Squad, without their weaknesses, they wouldn’t even be part of the crew in the first place.
From savage monster-men to killer clowns, here are the biggest weaknesses of every antihero in The Suicide Squad.
Weasel is too bloodthirsty for his own good
Weasel’s (Sean Gunn) biggest weakness is his insatiable bloodthirst. In the source material, the savage little beast man is part of one of the most disastrous Task Force X missions on record in terms of body count, and Weasel is one of the main reasons almost no one comes home.
In 1988’s The Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad Special #1, Weasel is part of a Squad lineup sent to free the superhero Hawk from a fortress in Nicaragua. Rick Flag leads the Squad — which, along with Weasel, includes Psi, Thinker, and Mr. 104 — and he’s also the only survivor. Psi and Mr. 104 are both killed by the armored Soviet soldiers of the Rocket Red Brigade, while Weasel and Thinker kill each other. When the Squad runs into members of Doom Patrol — who are also there hoping to free Hawk — things quickly get tense. Mr. 104, an old enemy of Doom Patrol, attacks the heroes. When Thinker tries to stop Mr. 104, Weasel — not caring about 104’s grudges but just wanting to spill more blood – rips Thinker’s throat open, killing him.
Rick Flag takes Thinker’s helmet from the villain’s corpse and uses its power, but unbeknownst to Flag the villain imprinted the helmet with the final command to get revenge on Thinker’s killer. Before Flag removes the helmet, it unleashes a powerful blast, killing Weasel instantly.
Peacemaker isn’t playing with a full deck
As to the biggest weakness of Peacemaker (John Cena), well, it’s kind of in the name. In spite of being on a team with the likes of Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), the gun-toting vigilante suffers arguably the most singular mental illness of any other member of Suicide Squad. Traumatized by the suicide of his father — a Nazi concentration camp commander — Peacemaker has developed the troubling philosophy that peace is worth any cost, including killing anyone he deems an enemy of peace. His illness goes so far as to make Peacemaker believe the ghost of his father and the ghosts of the long list of people he’s killed speak to him from inside his strange metal helmet.
Peacemaker’s internal struggles are enough to make you wonder why Amanda Waller or anyone else would ever be willing to recruit him. He may be good in a fight, but his mental illness is a glaring liability. If an enemy knows what makes Peacemaker tick and that he hears disembodied voices he attributes to the dead, it won’t take much to manipulate the vigilante. After all, if you believe the best road to peace is to mow down everyone who disagrees with you, imagine what other kinds of insanity you could be made to believe?
Savant always assumes he’s the best
Savant (Michael Rooker) is a genius — and he knows it. While he doesn’t boast any kind of metahuman abilities, his intellect and hand-to-hand fighting skills make him a formidable opponent, and he isn’t shy about letting you know how dangerous he can be. Savant originally came on the scene wanting to become the next Batman, though he would eventually decide to turn his efforts toward blackmail.
In the comics, Savant’s time with the Suicide Squad makes it clear his biggest vulnerability is his arrogance. For example, Savant is a part of the Squad lineup sent after Harley Quinn when she goes rogue. After the team tracks Harley to a police station, Savant constantly butts heads with Deadshot — almost coming to blows. When Deadshot urges Savant to take Harley seriously as a threat, saying "Savant, she’s dangerous," Savant answers, "I’m dangerous. She’s just some psycho looking for her dead boyfriend’s face." Once Savant goes one on one with Harley, that arrogance nearly leads to his death. Harley tricks Savant into charging into a jail cell where she’s hidden a pressure mine. Savant is forced to stay there, standing on the mine, to prevent the explosive from going off. Harley locks him in the cell, and Deadshot is forced to deal with Harley on his own.
King Shark isn’t very bright
King Shark (Steve Agee) is one of the most physically powerful members of the Suicide Squad. He can breathe underwater and swim as well as any fish. He’s a powerhouse with superhuman strength, and he has absolutely no compunction about not only killing, but eating anyone who gets in his way. Unfortunately, as you might guess, King Shark isn’t the greatest thinker of DC’s characters and that can lead to complications, for him as well as the Squad.
True to his name, King Shark is usually thinking with his stomach if he’s thinking at all. In 2011’s Suicide Squad #2, for example, as the team battles a stadium full of grotesquely mutated humans, Deadshot has to urge King Shark to keep moving because the man-monster keeps stopping to eat his victims. In the following issue, after Deadshot assures his teammates that King Shark "knows to keep a low profile," the action cuts to the aquatic villain tearing through a farmer’s chicken coop and devouring the poor birds inside.
In the volume of Suicide Squad launched in 2019, it’s partly King Shark’s lack of intelligence that leads him to become one of the earliest victims of the comic. When he lets his guard down in 2020’s Suicide Squad #3, in spite of being alone with Fin — an aquatic character whose brother King Shark killed and ate two issues earlier — Fin rewards his stupidity with poetic justice, summoning a nearby school of sharks to devour him.
Solsoria is a mystery, but may be a victim to her negativity
Alice Braga’s Solsoria doesn’t appear in the Suicide Squad comics or any of DC’s publications, so it’s tough to nail down any weaknesses or strengths. However, one popular theory suggests Solsoria is a gender-bent version of Juan Soria. If that’s the case, then it doesn’t bode well for the future of this mystery character.
Juan Soria appears in Suicide Squad #33 and #34. He dreams of joining the Justice League and when his hand is injured, he uses the opportunity to inject nanites into his body that give him the ability to open any lock. He tries and fails to join the Justice League, and shortly afterward turns to a life of crime. After the inevitable arrest, Amanda Waller recruits him into Task Force X, though his metahuman ability has less to do with her choice than his crippling low self-esteem. She sends the Squad against a powerful alien who feeds off his energy, and Soria’s feelings cause the alien to shrink to the point where he can kill it by stepping on it.
Juan Soria correctly assumes he’s destined to die. He becomes similar to Sam Rockwell’s character Guy in the film Galaxy Quest, assuming that because he’s the new character with no codename, he’ll be the one to die. In spite of surviving the battle against the alien invader, he’s rewarded for his service when Waller puts him in the same cell as Killer Croc, who — it’s strongly implied — uses Soria as a snack.
The Thinker isn’t very impressive below the neck
Peter Capaldi’s the Thinker is one of the oldest characters appearing in The Suicide Squad. His criminal career dates back to the Golden Age of comics, and among other exploits he’s one of the founding members of the Injustice Society.
In the comics, the Thinker’s abilities stem from the so-called "Thinking Cap" he wears. The cap gives Thinker access to powerful psychic abilities such as telepathy and telekinesis. Without the cap, however, Thinker has no powers to speak of. Even with the cap, physically the Thinker isn’t particularly formidable and he appears to be the oldest member of Task Force X. This is similar to Thinker’s situation in the comics. When he joins Task Force X in 1988’s The Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad Special #1, he warns his teammates that he plans to succeed in his mission and stop anyone who gets in his way because he’s "growing old" and the pardon he’s meant to receive for his service is necessary to live the rest of his life in peace.
But the Thinker doesn’t survive long enough to retire. When things go sideways, his teammate Weasel kills him with a single swipe of his claw. Thinker’s biggest weakness, then, is his physical vulnerability. His psychic powers make it difficult to get to him, but if somehow you manage to reach him as Weasel does, then it doesn’t take much to incapacitate him.
Amanda Waller has to answer to the bureaucracy
As the head of Task Force X, Amanda Waller (a.k.a. "The Wall") spends most of her time behind the scenes, monitoring the team and making sure they do what they’re supposed to do. When the explosives in one of the recruits’ necks goes off, there’s a pretty good chance it’s Waller giving the order to detonate. Waller is just as ruthless as the worst villains she brings into Task Force X, and can be just as cold-blooded. She has absolutely no moral qualms about feeding any of her recruits into the meat grinder, including ordering their murder.
The challenge Waller tends to face in every incarnation of the Suicide Squad is that while she may be the top dog when it comes to Task Force X, she’s part of a government bureaucracy that will only allow her to go so far outside the box. The original Suicide Squad run, for example, includes storylines in which rival politicians target Waller, using their knowledge of the Suicide Squad’s actions as leverage.
As much as she may want it to be, Waller’s rule over the Suicide Squad is not absolute. She’s reminded of this in 2019’s Suicide Squad #1, when the new volume opens with the control of Task Force X being taken from her by the even more coldhearted Lok.
Javelin isn’t much without his namesake
In The Suicide Squad, comedian Flula Borg will play the former Olympic athlete Javelin. The crook carries a high-tech cache of explosive spears and he’s been both a member of and enemy to the Suicide Squad a number of times in the comics, including the 2004-’05 volume of Deadshot in which Javelin joins a team of villains wanting revenge on the expert marksman.
Javelin’s biggest weakness is fairly obvious: With no metahuman abilities, he’s highly dependent on his gimmick weaponry. As an athlete in peak physical condition, his hand-to-hand combat skills are nothing to sneeze at, but without the weapons that make up his namesake, Javelin won’t last long.
Not to mention that even when he does have his spears, they’re not always a help. Like just about any comic book supervillain who’s been around long enough, Javelin has been killed a number of times only to be resurrected, and more often that not it’s been in part his own spears that kill him. In Deadshot #5, for example, the marksman kills Javelin by shooting one of his explosive spears while it’s still in his hand. Years earlier in 1991’s War of the Gods #3, the sorceress Circe kills Javelin by impaling him on his own spear.
Bloodsport is insane
There have been at least three different comic book versions of Bloodsport, though in The Suicide Squad Idris Elba is set to play the original — Robert DuBois, who comes close to killing Superman in 1987’s Superman #4 after shooting the Man of Steel with a sliver of kryptonite. If Elba’s portrayal of Bloodsport is anything like the source material, his biggest weakness is bound to be his mental illness, including guilt that sits on his shoulders like a thousand-ton weight.
Bloodsport enters the world of comics in a bloody rampage across Metropolis. Early in the story, you get the impression he’s a disgruntled veteran of the Vietnam War. He guns down random civilians, all the while proclaiming that they’re wasting the freedoms he and others fought for. Eventually, we learn Bloodsport didn’t fight for anyone’s freedoms. It’s Superman’s pal and Daily Planet photojournalist Jimmy Olsen who discovers that Robert DuBois never served in the military. Instead, he fled to Canada and his younger brother Mickey took his place. Mickey lost both of his arms and legs in the conflict, and it’s Robert DuBois’ guilt over his brother’s injuries that drive him to madness. Superman #4 ends with Olsen finding Mickey and bringing him to the still-rampaging Bloodsport, who collapses in tears at the sight of his younger brother.
If Elba’s Bloodsport carries a similarly guilty conscience, being reminded of his mistakes could do more damage to him than a Kryptonian’s fist.
Blackguard is in over his head
Comedian Pete Davidson plays Blackguard in The Suicide Squad, and his biggest weakness is, well… he doesn’t really have any strengths.
Okay, so maybe that’s not completely true. Blackguard’s real name is Richard Hertz and he was a common criminal before being recruited by the powerful Metropolis organization the 1000. He wears armor capable of generating an energy mace and energy shield; beyond that, he doesn’t have a whole lot to offer. He isn’t particularly bright and while his armor would make him a huge threat to just about anyone in the real world, in the world of superheroes and villains, it doesn’t mean a whole lot.
Predictably, Blackguard doesn’t survive his stay with the Suicide Squad. When the super strong General Wade Eiling turns on his teammates in 2008’s Suicide Squad #7, Blackguard is his first victim — and it doesn’t take much of an effort to kill him. Eiling grabs Blackguard and rips his head off before the latter even knows what’s happening.
Captain Boomerang is a born turncoat
Digger Harkness, a.k.a. Captain Boomerang, first showed up in 1960’s The Flash #117, kicking off a long career of being a pain in the Scarlet Speedster’s neck. Along with being played by Jai Courtney on the big screen, Captain Boomerang has been a mainstay in the Suicide Squad comics for years. While portrayals change as writers and artists come and go, a regular hallmark of Captain Boomerang is also his biggest weakness as far as Task Force X is concerned — he’s arguably the most consistently treacherous member of the Suicide Squad, and it never seems to end well for him.
Hating Amanda Waller more than just about anyone — a tall order in Task Force X — there isn’t much Captain Boomerang won’t do to escape his service, to pull one over on Waller, or just to annoy her. He’s let teammates die when he could have easily saved them, he’s tricked teammates into killing themselves, and in the case of the young Hack, he flat-out murdered a colleague. He’s also disguised himself as other supervillains to continue making money while working for the Suicide Squad, and has pulled elaborate pranks on the entire team. His efforts have resulted in — among other things — the thief having what little privileges he enjoyed revoked by Amanda Waller, and in at least one case had him unceremoniously dropped from a helicopter and stranded on a deserted island.
Rick Flag is too good for the Suicide Squad
Rick Flag’s biggest weakness is that the Suicide Squad is the last place he should be for his sanity. On one hand there are the villains and vigilantes recruited to the Squad, on the other there’s the Machiavellian Amanda Waller, and between them is Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag — a soldier who wants nothing more than to serve his country. His place in the hierarchy, the things he’s forced to do as a member of the Suicide Squad, and his values as a soldier all combine to make Flag the unluckiest person in Task Force X.
Flag would rather not be tied to career criminals for his military service. During his time in both the comics and the movies, Flag has worked with murderers, thieves, and worse. He’s literally commanded cannibals as part of his duties. It forces him to not only overlook pasts that many would say shouldn’t be overlooked, but often to turn a blind eye to the ugly crimes the recruits commit in the present for Flag and the Squad.
But for better or worse, they are his recruits, and as a soldier Flag can’t help but feel responsible and sometimes even guilty when another supervillain falls under his command. Not to mention that Amanda Waller doesn’t share his feelings of responsibility, will readily sacrifice any member of the Squad without losing a wink of sleep over it, and when the smoke clears, he’ll have to continue taking orders from her.
Mongal enjoys her job too much
Mayling Ng’s Mongal is the daughter of Mongul, an interstellar warlord who’s fought the likes of Superman to a standstill. Depending on who you talk to, Mongal’s greatest weakness is either her lust for battle or her family.
Like her father and brother, Mongal is blessed with superhuman strength and resilience. Also like the rest of her family, Mongal revels in battle, and that could prove her undoing in The Suicide Squad. If Ng’s version of the character is anywhere near as powerful as the one from the source material, she’ll be more than happy to charge into any battlefield without thinking twice, and if the Squad comes up against tough enough adversaries, that could get her killed.
If it should happen that Mongal’s family somehow makes an appearance in the film, that could prove the key to her destruction. Her brother, Mongul the Younger, murders Mongal in 2006’s Green Lantern #8. Seeing a picture of his father together with daughter and son, Mongul the Younger proclaims that family is a weakness. Unwilling to tolerate it, Mongul decapitates his sister with a single punch before she can respond.
TDK’s gimmick has obvious shortcomings
Nathan Fillion will be playing a character named TDK in The Suicide Squad, though to diehard comics fans TDK is better known by the hilarious name Arm-Fall-Off-Boy. The character premieres in 1989’s Secret Origins #46 when he tries and fails to join the Legion of Super-Heroes. TDK boasts the ability to detach his arms and legs from his body and use them as blunt instruments. You may have often heard people in movies and TV shows threaten to tear someone’s arm off and beat them with it — well, TDK is somewhat kinder. He tears his own arm off and beats you with it.
TDK’s biggest weakness is pretty glaring. His power, while hilarious, is pretty ridiculous. If all he’s doing is trying to surprise a friend or get his buddies sick during a dinner party, sure, he’s golden. But in an actual battle, he’s kind of limited. As soon as he tears off one arm, well, that’s it. He can only tear off the one arm because he doesn’t have anything to tear the second arm off with, and nothing to swing it with regardless. That leaves his legs, without which he’ll have difficulty standing, walking, running, or even crawling. So if he does remove one of his legs, he better be aiming for his opponent’s shins, or what’s the point?
Ratcatcher II is overly dependent on rats
Daniela Melchior is set to play Ratcatcher 2 in The Suicide Squad. We don’t know much about how she differs from the Otis Flannegan version of the character beyond her gender, though it seems likely — considering she’s actually referred to as Ratcatcher 2 in the film’s sneak preview trailer — that the Flannegan version is meant to have existed at some point before the events of the film.
If Ratcatcher 2 is anything like her predecessor, then it’s likely her biggest vulnerability isn’t tough to figure out. Flannegan is one of the many villains to make Batman’s life difficult in Gotham City, and as Ratcatcher he’s learned to train and command whole armies of rats. In spite of a pretty bizarre gimmick, his hordes of vermin and his intimate knowledge of Gotham’s sewer system make Flannegan a formidable foe for Batman or any other vigilante trying to spoil his plans.
But as far as we can tell, The Suicide Squad isn’t set in Gotham City. Which leaves Ratcatcher 2 possibly dependent on two things — an army of rats and a knowledge of Gotham’s sewers — that will be of minimum help to her. Obviously, she’s going to be in the film for a reason, though it’s tough to imagine exactly how she’s going to transport armies of rats all over the place.
Polka-Dot Man has a lot to prove
David Dastmalchian will play the Polka-Dot Man in The Suicide Squad. Along with Condiment King and Kite Man, Polka-Dot Man is one of those corny Batman villains who doesn’t really fit in the kind of gritty, dark Batman stories the general public is used to these days, and usually only surfaces as part of a gag or a parody like The LEGO Batman Movie. But now the bad guy who looks like a Twister board is graduating to the live-action big leagues with the Suicide Squad.
Without knowing how this version of Polka-Dot Man will be portrayed, just judging by the fact that he’s named Polka-Dot Man makes us suspect his biggest weakness will be the challenge of being taken seriously by his comrades as well as likely wrestling with feelings of low self-esteem. Polka-Dot Man is pretty low on the pecking order of Gotham City’s long list of bad guys, and he knows it better than anyone else. It’s likely he’s going to feel like he has a lot to prove.
On the other hand, it’s easy to imagine Polka-Dot Man’s biggest weakness could also be one of his greatest strengths. Think about it — if you were attacked by a villain calling himself Polka-Dot Man, how long would it take you to stop laughing, and how much damage could he do to you while you were busy not taking him seriously?
Harley Quinn is bonkers
Surprising no one, Margot Robbie will reprise her role as Harley Quinn in The Suicide Squad and — because of the events of 2020’s Birds of Prey — the weakness that would have been assigned to her a few years ago won’t be the same.
Most fans would likely agree that it wasn’t that long ago that Harley’s biggest weakness had one name — Joker. In both the animated series that marked Harley’s conception and in the comics, Harley couldn’t resist the Joker. No matter how many times he hurt her, no matter how many times he betrayed her, Harley would always welcome her "puddin’" back with open arms. But after the events of Birds of Prey, Harley’s learned to be independent, and we don’t think she’d even be tempted to take Joker back if he returned.
No, instead Harley’s biggest vulnerability is also perhaps her greatest strength, and arguably the main reason she’s of any use to the Suicide Squad. Harley has no fear. In spite of having no special metahuman abilities to call her own, Harley would wade into a hail of bullets if she thought it was a fun thing to do, and she’d do it laughing. It’s part of what makes her so dangerous, though it could ultimately send her to that creepy, abandoned amusement park in the sky.