With the freshly released DC FanDome schedule finally confirming that the title of Rocksteady’s new DC video game is Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, we’re left to ponder how and why these two iconic teams will be pitted against one another.The title brings to mind a certain 2017 comic book mini-series called Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, so by diving into that comic event, we may glean some details about possible playable characters, hero bosses, surprise villains, and more.
The comic was written by Joshua Williamson with art by Jason Fabok, Jesús Merino, Fernando Pasarin, Robson Rocha, and Howard Porter.
The story of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad is filled with dozens of characters and almost as many game-changing plot twists. It starts with both the titular teams responding to a terrorist attack, but instead of focusing on the threat, they start fighting each other. In a surprising turn of events, the Justice League is defeated and imprisoned in Belle Reve under Amanda Waller’s watch.
But as things usually go with these sorts of stories, a villainous mastermind wanted all this to happen as part of their insidious plan. Enter: telepathic bad guy Maxwell Lord.Image credit: DC
Turns out Lord orchestrated all of this with the help of the first-ever Suicide Squad team (more on them in a bit) because he wants to take over the world by possessing the Justice League and using them to do his evil bidding. To do that he bolsters his own mind control powers with the Eclipso Diamond, which was hidden inside Belle Reve.Image credit: DC
Batman is able to avoid getting mind controlled along with a few others, so it then falls on him to assemble this ragtag group survivors – Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Killer Frost and Lobo – to stop Lord.Image credit: DC
It’s quite the ambitious story – perhaps too ambitious for one video game to recap in its entirety – so we imagine that this story may simply inspire the plot of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and what we get in the game will be more of a streamlined remix.
The main reason we think the game will at least somewhat follow this comic, aside from the obvious fact that it pits the Squad against the League, is a small detail in the teaser poster that seems to point to the inclusion of classic DC villain Eclipso. The ancient evildoer’s signature purple energy and cracked white skin appear to be afflicting Superman, just like it does when Eclipso possesses someone in the comics.Image credit: Rockstready/DC
Eclipso’s power comes from the cursed Heart of Darkness gem, AKA the Eclipso Diamond, and when Maxwell Lord uses the gem in the comic he loses control of his own mind and becomes a puppet of the godlike Eclipso, who wants to outright destroy the world instead of rule it. This sets up the final confrontation and an epic challenge for Batman’s team to overcome.
We could imagine that the game will see Eclipso possess the Justice League and force them to commit atrocities across the globe; with all heroes compromised, the last hope for humanity is Amanda Waller and her team of criminal misfits. The members of the Suicide Squad must then take down each member of the Justice League (probably not by literally killing them) and bring them back to their senses in order to topple the real enemy.
It’s a toss up as to whether Maxwell Lord will show up as the evil mastermind like in the comic, but given that he’s the premiere villain in the upcoming movie Wonder Woman 1984, it wouldn’t surprise us if he’s in the game to capitalize on the character’s rising star.Image credit: Warner Bros
And if you want to toss in a twist, maybe Rocksteady’s favorite hero, Batman, avoids getting possessed by Eclipso just like in the comic, and he’s the one who instructs the Suicide Squad on how to defeat each of his teammates. We all know Batman has a plan to disable each of his allies just in case they become compromised, so it actually makes sense for him to fill this role.
Because we’re presumably going to be suiting up as members of the Suicide Squad, let’s try to piece together the potential roster of playable characters.
If we’re going by the Justice League vs. Suicide Squad comic, then the roster might include Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Deadshot, Enchantress, Captain Boomerang, El Diablo, and Killer Frost. That’s essentially the first Suicide Squad movie lineup with Killer Frost added in.Image credit: DC
Killer Frost is one of the main characters of the comic, and as a fresh recruit to the ranks of Task Force X, she acts as a gateway character for the audience to learn about how it all works – for instance, how there’s a tiny bomb implanted at the base of her neck that’ll go off if she disobeys orders. It’s Killer Frost’s emotional arc that grounds the story as she proves she’s not all bad by risking her life to save the world with her icy powers. She could fulfill a similar role in the game.
It’s unclear whether Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will be connected to Rocksteady’s existing Batman Arkham universe, but if it does indeed take place within that world, then we may already have a key piece of information thanks to Batman: Arkham Origins. The post-credits stinger at the end of Arkham Origins shows Deathstroke being recruited to the Suicide Squad by none other than Amanda Waller. It’s a given that Waller would show up in a Suicide Squad game because, duh, but if we’re in the same continuity then we may also get to play as Deathstroke. We’ve also seen that universe’s iterations of Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, and Deadshot across the four Arkham games.
If we’re playing a game with the (admittedly morbid) goal of hunting down the Justice League members, then it stands to reason that each hero would wind up being a formidable boss. The hero roster in the comic includes Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman, and Green Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz.Image credit: DC
It goes without saying that the game can and will shake up the Justice League roster, and there are a few ways they could do that. While Superman is confirmed in the teaser image and Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman seem like roster staples thanks to the Justice League movie solidifying their A-List status, the Green Lantern slots feel a bit more flexible. It wouldn’t surprise us if they consolidated that duo into a single Green Lantern, probably the classic Hal Jordan. That could free up room for another hero like Shazam, Hawkgirl, or Martian Manhunter. And of course, there’s no real limit on how many Justice League characters could be included.
In the comic, each member of the Suicide Squad was pitted against a specific member of the Justice League based on who had the best chance to beat them in a fight. Deadshot went up against Batman, Enchantress took on Superman with her powerful spells, Killer Croc took on Aquaman underwater, Killer Frost battled Cyborg, El Diablo fought both Green Lanterns, Captain Boomerang squared off with his nemesis The Flash, and, for reasons we can’t explain, Harley Quinn went after Wonder Woman. It’s possible that each chapter of the story will see us controlling a different member of the Squad, and those chapters will culminate with a face-off against their nemesis on the Justice League.
We’ve already covered Maxwell Lord and Eclipso, but Justice League vs. Suicide Squad has even more villains.
As we mentioned before, the story also features a surprise third team. In the comic, it’s revealed that the “X” in Task Force X actually stands for the number 10, meaning there were other incarnations of the Suicide Squad that no one knew about. Maxwell Lord reassembles the original Suicide Squad team that was first used and discarded by Amanda Waller, promising them vengeance against her and her current team. They wind up just being a means to an end for Lord to achieve his ultimate goal.Image credit: DC
There are already two sizable teams in this story, but if the game wanted to include this twist and introduce a third, then it would be Maxwell Lord leading Doctor Polaris, Emerald Empress, Lobo, Johnny Sorrow, and Rustam. These could be the “real” villains that we have to deal with after sorting out the Justice League. After all, what’s a comic book story unless two opposing sides first butt heads then team up to take on their true enemy?
All of this is just guesswork based on the newly revealed title. We’ll have to wait until DC FanDome on August 22 to find out the real deal. Until then, let us know what you think Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will be like in the comments.
Joshua is Senior Editor and Producer at IGN. If Pokemon, Green Lantern, or Game of Thrones are frequently used words in your vocabulary, you’ll want to follow him on Twitter @JoshuaYehl and IGN.