deconstructing MARVEL & DC: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY vs SUICIDE SQUAD

The GUARDIANS surprised us all with a bunch of A-holes turned heroes. Now, DC hops on the #trending, unleashing their own crew of A-holes know as SUICIDE SQUAD.

This article will discuss what SQUAD and GUARDIANS 2 will offer us and which one I look forward to more. I’ll explore everything from casting to theories about the story-line.

DC is playing catch up with Marvel. And their release schedule looks just as exciting.

SQUAD opens up the DC Cinematic Universe. We finally get to see a team of heroes with a darker tone. DC has owned gritty realism thus far, aside from BATMAN, I think SQUAD is the next most appropriate comic to get that dark cinematic treatment.

SUPERMAN felt a little uneven to a lot movie fans because the tone was different compared to what the earlier movies established. When we first met BATMAN he was dark. It fit the subject matter. When Nolan returned it to the dark it felt right – and we finally got the taste of Schumacher’s BATS out of our mouths.

Besides, MARVEL already has a stranglehold on FUN – even when the film is full of anti-heroes like GUARDIANS.

Let’s get into this… movie nerd style – MARVEL vs DC !


Marvel Studios took a big gamble with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. And it paid off… large. The studio took a relatively unknown comic and turned it into the Number 1 box office hit of the summer.

GUARDIANS was also a risk because it didn’t focus on your typical boy-scout purely ethical superhero. It focused on a rag-tag team of mercenaries. A group of anti-heroes. It was like STAR WARS if everyone was HAN SOLO. Who knew we’d love an a-hole named Starlord, a talking raccoon, and a giant tree who only says one word over and over?

What works for Marvel will surely work for DC. Um, right? At least, this seems like part of the logic behind producing a SUICIDE SQUAD movie. DC didn’t want to bite the outer-space setting. It didn’t work so well with GREEN LANTERN. So they jumped on the mercenaries as heroes idea. Maybe the audience wants to see more atypical characters to root for?

The gamble is sweetened by the inclusion of HARLEY QUINN and THE JOKER. The rest of the SQUAD are mainly unknown characters, like our GUARDIANS. In a way, this is a SQUAD of villains. Not anti-heroes doing right in a world of wrong. Villains.


The GUARDIANS sequel is in the works. The SQUAD will fill in that blank slot for now. I wonder if this clearly darker version of Starlord and his crew, will draw in the younger audience. The beauty of GUARDIANS was that even though we hung-out with these pseudo-bad guys, we easily rooted for them. And we had fun with them. This begs the question: How will we root for villains? Who could they possibly face that’s worse than they are?

The answer seems to be The Joker. I’m thinking The Squad will take on the big bad baddie. Maybe Joker threatens their livelihood by attempting to blow up Gotham or something? Maybe we’ll see how He Who Laughs Last recruits the Harlequin?

DC is also hedging its bets by casting recognizable talent. Whereas, GUARDIANS relied on the unknown factor. Because we all weren’t super familiar with CHRIS PRATT he became his character. This was Starlord. Can we afford the same disbelief with WILL SMITH? He is such a huge superstar it will be difficult to separate his persona from the character at first.

Smith isn’t it, either. DC cast OSCAR-winner JARED LETO as the green haired mad man, and rising star MARGOT ROBBIE from WOLF OF WALL STREET as Harley. It seems like DC is aiming for the adult audience, and the teenage crowd. I’m not saying they’re going for an R-rating, but this seems like an R-Rated world to me. I mean how marketable is “SUICIDE” to grade-schoolers or soccer-moms? I can picture it now, “You wanna see what?!”

DAVID AYER directs SUICIDE SQUAD. He’s coming off a couple of impressive films, FURY and END OF WATCH. He definitely can handle balancing violence with character and emotion. The man also wrote TRAINING DAY and one of cinema’s most quotable baddies – bringing an OSCAR to DENZEL WASHINGTON in the iconic role.

As a director, Ayer also knows how to create a spectacle. He easily mounts the tension and creates excitement. He’s probably one of the best candidates for the directing gig here. With his talent and this cast, it seems like SQUAD has a chance to capture that Nolan magic.

For me, Marvel still has a lock on fun. SQUAD will never be as FUN as GUARDIANS was. It might have more complex motivations and inner workings of characters. It might have the upper-hand on combat, or hand-to-hand fights, and warfare. But it won’t have the sense of wonder of another galaxy and alien creatures.


With MARGOT ROBBIE we get the chance for an interesting 3-Dimensional female anti-hero. There aren’t any women saving the day as a superhero yet. Wonder Woman will win that race. But Robbie could very well cause a sensation. She could be the next Ledger here. I’m not saying she’ll get the Award recognition. I mean she could be a fan favourite on par with Heath.

It all depends how the storyline unfolds, but Harley Quinn is already on the top of the Rogue Gallery of BATMAN’s evil women. If Robbie can make us care about what Harley’s thinking, and what motivates her decisions, we have a potential franchise in the making. How far away is a Harley Quinn movie?

The Joker could be the saving grace for DC. He’s the most bankable villain of any comic book movie. He’s one of the few genre baddies who can threaten Darth VADER’s spot at the pinnacle of evil bad-assedry. And the Joker can be funny. He can give DC the humour it so badly needs. These mercs can also have a mouth. They can toss one-liners in between kills and reloads.

JARED LETO has been on quite the role. He’s possibly the most intriguing possibility to play The Joker. Leto transforms with each role: the emaciated heroin junkie in REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, the overweight deranged assassin of John Lennon in CHAPTER 27, the old man jumping through time in MR. NOBODY, and recently in his Oscar winning performance as a transgender with HIV in DALLAS BUYERS CLUB.

Jared Leto is mesmerizing, magnetic, in perpetual metamorphosis.

The next great component of SUICIDE SQUAD is the leader of the crew, DEADSHOT, played by WILL SMITH. I can’t believe DC was able to recruit such a superstar as Smith. He is a blockbuster legend. I can’t wait to see him approach darker territory. A ruthless assassin? From Will Smith?! I wonder if he’ll bring his charisma and comedic touch to what could otherwise get rather oblique rather fast.

Co-starring alongside Smith is JOEL KINNAMAN, who was excellent in THE KILLING series. JAI COURTNEY steps into another franchise, after appearing in stuff like the latest DIE HARD, the DIVERGENT movies, and the upcoming TERMINATOR. My favourite role of his thus far is his co-starring role in the SPARTACTUS series.

DC has landed a good blend of superstars, known talent, and rising talent. I’m interested to see how Ayer handles another solid assemble cast like he balanced so well in FURY. 


I’m interested to see how SQUAD could shift the DC landscape. Will us fanboys push up our glasses and take interest? Can DC impress us? Or have most of us dismissed their attempts at feature films outside of the Dark Knight?

GUARDIANS promises familiarity, safety, security. It’s Marvel. Their track record speaks for itself. We know it will be a fun time at the movies. We know. No doubt. DC is trying their best, but a lot of us nerds don’t fully trust them yet… Blame LANTERN and MAN OF STEEL.

The new GUARDIANS movie can tell us any story and we’ll buy a ticket. I hope we see some new characters in the universe. I’m also looking forward to how these INFINITY gems set up the upcoming INFINITY WAR movies. I wonder if CAPTAIN MARVEL will debut in GUARDIANS 2? That would be so great. The next article will examine that movie in more depth. It looks like the story will revolve around Starlord’s father. Is it the rumoured ADAM WARLOCK? This would tie into the comic book cross-over event from decades ago. 

It won’t be until SQUAD and the new BATMAN v SUPERMAN hits the screens that we can put those doubts to rest. Count me in. I’m willing to be part of the experiment. The more comic book movies the better. But let’s be honest, guys and gals…

What do you look forward to most? GUARDIANS 2? Or SUICIDE SQUAD?


Next up: CAPTAIN MARVEL vs WONDER WOMAN. ‘Nuff Said.


What do you think? Leave a comment below?

What do you think of Harley Quinn showing up in SQUAD?

Who do you want to see more of in GUARDIANS 2?

Who will be cast as Starlord’s father? And will the character be ADAM WARLOCK, tying it all together with the INFINITY WAR?

What do you think of Margot Robbie? As the Harlequin?

What do you think of Will Smith starring in a dark superhero film?

Can Jared Leto deliver a different Joker?

What will DC do next? Another lead female character?

Are you MARVEL or DC ?

 Nerd Battle Below in the Comments


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