Suicide Squad Goals: Polka-Dot Man, King Shark, and the Ratcatcher

by Matt Tuck

James Gunn is readying his vision of DC’s Suicide Squad, and he’s already announced three additions to the eclectic cast of characters. Here are the issues you’ll want before the first trailer drops.

Detective-Comics-300-203x300 Suicide Squad Goals: Polka-Dot Man, King Shark, and the RatcatcherDETECTIVE COMICS #300

Polka-Dot Man is a character who makes perfect sense for a James Gunn movie. When it comes to quirky villains, DC has a surplus, and that appears to be what Gunn is after in Suicide Squad. Leaning away from the serious (as is his staple), his vision of Suicide Squad appears to be centered on the over-the-top, cartoonish characters. That’s what makes Polka-Dot Man a perfect fit. In fact, I will go so far as to claim he could end up stealing the show. As we’ve seen in Guardians of the Galaxy, Gunn loves taking obscure oddballs and having fun with them. That’s exactly what I see happening with Polka-Dot Man. He first appeared in 1962’s Detective Comics #300, and he was then known as Mister Polka-Dot. 

 

 

Superboy-9-195x300 Suicide Squad Goals: Polka-Dot Man, King Shark, and the RatcatcherSUPERBOY #0

I was very disappointed in Killer Croc’s portrayal in the original Suicide Squad. If Batman: The Animated Series can give Croc some character depth (if you aren’t sure about that, check out the classic episode, “Sideshow”), then a summer blockbuster should be able to do the job. In short, that didn’t happen. Granted there’s not much to tell about a mutated, anthropomorphic great white shark biting off heads, but I didn’t think there would be much to Groot, either, and Gunn did an amazing job of pulling heartstrings with only three repeated words of dialogue. 

We’ve already seen a live-action King Shark in the CW’s Flash series, and he’s featured in advertisements for the DC streaming platform’s Harley Quinn adult cartoon. Still, I’m crossing my fingers that Gunn can deliver on a character who seems so one-dimensional. 

On the collecting side of things, King Shark first appeared in a cameo in Superboy #0, but he didn’t make his first full appearance until Superboy #9.

Detective-Comics-585-199x300 Suicide Squad Goals: Polka-Dot Man, King Shark, and the RatcatcherDETECTIVE COMICS #585

Rounding out today’s list of oddities is the Ratcatcher. If anyone would enjoy bringing this outcast to life, it is James Gunn. Only in a list that features Polka-Dot Man and King Shark would Ratcatcher come across as the most ordinary of the three. In the comics, he was a disgruntled exterminator who turned to a life of crime. Using his knowledge of pests and vermin, Otis Flannegan devised a way to control Gotham City’s rat population and use them for personal gain. (If you had an army of rats who followed your every command, wouldn’t you do the same thing?) Of course, he was stopped by Batman, and he was cast away into obscurity. 

As with King Shark and Polka-Dot Man, I have high expectations for Gunn’s portrayal of the Ratcatcher. Certainly, there’s a finite amount of screen time for all the characters, but I expect Ratcatcher will have his share of laughs. If you’re looking to add his first appearance to your collection, shoot for Detective Comics #585 from 1988. Whether or not you’re a fan of Ratcatcher, the cover art is stellar for this issue.

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