With a large ensemble cast full of loud super-villains like Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, and Killer Croc, David Ayer’s Suicide Squad is one crowded movie. (Spoilers ahead) Early into the “mission” Amanda Waller sends them on, one of the squad bites it in order to prove she’ll kill them if they decide to go rogue.
Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), an Aussie mercenary who wields boomerangs like nobody’s business, tries to convince Slipknot (Adam Beach), a criminal and expert climber with unbreakable ropes, to make a break for it as soon as they get the chance. That chance comes pretty quick: Boomerang tries to escape but is subdued, while Slipknot rappels to freedom … until Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) activates Slipknot’s implant, immediately killing him.
Just like in the comics, the characters in Suicide Squad are implanted with remote devices in their heads. Should any of these villains decide to escape, a quick flick of the switch by Colonel Rick Flag will kill them. It’s fight for a little bit of life or die trying when you’re part of the Suicide Squad, and Slipknot was willing to die trying.
Thing is, the quick death of Slipknot in Ayer’s film does more than just establish a crucial plot device: It’s an homage from the comics. In Suicide Squad #9 from 1989 by John Ostrander, Boomerang also convinces Slipknot to escape — but selfishly, it was just to see if A.R.G.U.S. weren’t bluffing with their threats. They weren’t; in that comic, the Squad wore armbands that exploded if they got too far. Slipknot got too far, his arm blowing off into smithereens.
Boomerang isn’t very remorseful. “Better you’n me,” he thinks to himself.
Warner Bros. releases Suicide Squad on August 5.