Suicide Squad fans will have to wait until January 19 for a new trailer of the upcoming movie from David Ayers. On Sunday, a new photo of the Suicide Squad cast members (that may or may not give you squad goals, depending on who you are) will surely have fans squirming. Though we don't know who or what the members of the squad are up against in the photo, one thing stands out: Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and Katana (Karen Fukuhara) are front and center. These two look more prepared than all the boys to take down whatever adversary is in front of them. Who needs a man?
The new photo from David Ayer's baddie movie features five of the members of the squad: Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Katana (Karen Fukuhara), Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman), Deadshot (Will Smith) and Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney).
Everyone looks rip, roaring and ready to go, but Harley Quinn and Katana are the real stars here. This is excellent to see, since the last photo of the entire squad relegated them to the sidelines. Even though it's an anti-hero movie, Suicide Squad already has one up on the other movies in the DC universe with not one, not two, but three dynamic, powerful and bone-chilling female stars.
Model and actress Cara DeLevingne, who plays Enchantress in Suicide Squad, talked about the long-running tradition of blatant sexism in superhero movies in an interview with Cosmopolitan:
There are only three girls in [Suicide Squad] but in my opinion they have the best roles. Generally though, superhero movies are totally sexist... Female superheroes are normally naked or in bikinis. No-one would be able to fight like that. Wonder Woman, how the hell does she fight? She would be dead in a minute.
It's worth mentioning that Gal Godot, the new Wonder Woman in Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, looks like she could take down any enemy regardless of her outfit. But DeLevingne is right: the alleged sexualization and objectification of women in superhero movies, both when they are the heroes themselves or the damsels in distress, would be laughable if it wasn't so frustrating.
One of the most egregious failings of a female superhero character was Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron and its treatment of Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson), both on-screen and by cast members in interviews. Even though Black Widow is an incredible hero in her own right, Marvel misused Natasha Romanoff in Age Of Ultron, in my opinion, by making her yet again a sexy foil to Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Tony Stark/Iron Man, and the rest of the boys. To add insult to injury, she was slut-shamed by Jeremy Renner in interviews. He did, however, apologize for his comments about Johannson's character.
Suicide Squad doesn't seem like it's going to make the same mistake. And the backstories of the three female characters are some of the most interesting of the band of villainous misfit assassins working for the government in exchange for commuted sentences. Harley Quinn, often portrayed as the Joker's romantic interest, gets a more insightful backstory in the movie: Margot Robbie's character was a psychiatrist who met the Joker (Jared Leto) in an institution, where she became obsessed with him and became his psychotic gal-pal. Harley Quinn was the star of the first full-length trailer, as well.
Katana might have the best backstory of the whole squad: in the DC comics canon, Katana is not a villain at all. Rather, she's a hero, part of both the Justice League and Outsiders. Cinema Blend had some great insight on how Katana the Mysterious Warrior will be used in Suicide Squad — she'll be a bodyguard. And she has some of the best power:
Katana, a.k.a. Tats Yamashiro, is not only a skilled martial artist, but also a master swordsman who wields the Soultaker. Her blade captures the souls of its victims (including her husband Maseo Yamashiro), allowing Katana to communicate with them.
It doesn't get more badass than that.
Jared Leto is missing from the new photo, but that is a wise move: Leto has been the glimmering and ghoulish set-piece of the anti-hero film so far. His absence proves that the focus of the new film will be the females, and that Suicide Squad is much, much more than the Joker.
Image: Warner Bros.