Thursday, April 9, 2015

SUICIDE SQUAD Casts Deathstroke, Hugo Strange & Ravan

David Ayer, director of the upcoming film adaptation of DC Comics' Suicide Squad, posted the following cast photo yesterday on his official Twitter account...
The photo revealed three new cast members -- Jim Parrack, Ike Barinholtz and Adam Beach.  However, the real question was, who are they playing?

Well, Latino-Review has word that Parrack, Barinholtz and Beach are playing DC Comics supervillains Deathstroke, Hugo Strange and Ravan, respectively.  Joe Manganiello was originally selected to play Deathstroke, but has been replaced in an apparent decision to go younger with the role.

Deathstroke was created in 1980 by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, first appearing in The New Teen Titans (vol.1) #2 as Slade Wilson, a former U.S. Army officer skilled in various fighting techniques that was experimented upon and given enhanced physical powers.  Slade soon became the mercenary/assassin known as Deathstroke.

A criminal called the Jackal kidnapped Wilson's son Joseph, eventually slashing his throat and rendering Joseph mute.  Slade's wife Adeline, angered at the endangerment of their son, tried to kill Slade but only managed to destroy his right eye.  Deathstroke later became an enemy of the Titans, accepting a contract from the H.I.V.E. after his other son Grant Wilson died while trying to kill the Titans as the assassin Ravager.

Deathstroke has fought various incarnations of the Titans and the Justice League over the years, most notably murdering the fourth Atom, Ryan Choi.

Created in 1940 by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, Professor Hugo Strange first appeared in Detective Comics (vol.1) #36 as a scientist who uses a stolen "concentrated lightning" machine to generate a dense fog every night, allowing his gang to rob banks unseen, though he knows Batman poses a threat to him.

Strange later ran a private hospital for Gotham's wealthiest citizens, holding them to ransom and changing them into monsters.  When Bruce Wayne checked into the hospital to recover discreetly from radiation burns he sustained while fighting Doctor Phosphorus, Strange discovered that Wayne is Batman and proceeded to wreak havoc on his personal life.

He later attempted to auction the identity of Batman to City Council Boss Rupert Thorne, Penguin, and The Joker.  Thorne had Strange kidnapped and beaten to reveal Batman's identity, but Strange supposedly died before telling them.  Strange's "ghost" came back to haunt Thorne, driving the council boss insane.

Ravan, created in 1987 by John Ostrander and Luke McDonnell, first appeared in Suicide Squad (vol.1) #1 as a member of the mercenary superteam The Jihad.   Part of the thuggee cult, Ravan tries to stop the coming of Kali and thereby the Kali Yuga, the Age of Chaos.  By killing, he delays the coming of Kali another thousand years. It is through this practice that he both prevents and worships Kali.  

In an encounter with the Bronze Tiger, Ravan's back was broken, but he was later recruited by the Squad, joining them because his primary enemy is the villain Kobra who wishes to bring forth that same Age of Chaos.  During the Janus Directive, when Amanda Waller must make it seem she is being controlled by Kobra, she sends the squad after The Force of July, where Ravan kills their member Mayflower.

Ravan and the Squad later went to Israel in order to capture Kobra, but Kobra had already been captured by the Israeli government's superteam the Hayoth.  While Kobra's plans were thwarted by the rest of the Suicide Squad, Ravan faced Kobra in combat, but Kobra had the upper hand and was close to killing Ravan.  At the last moment, the third Atom, Adam Cray, appeared, striking down Kobra. Ravan's last wish was for either him or the Atom to kill Kobra, but the Atom denies him that final wish and he died unfulfilled.

Suicide Squad is scheduled to arrive in theaters on August 5, 2016.

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