Suicide Squad Owns Up to a Movie Hero's Problematic Roots

Warning: Contains Spoilers for Suicide Squad: Blaze #2!

The newest Suicide Squad comics are finally owning up to one of Captain Boomerang's problematic roots. While he started as a Flash villain, Digger Harkness has risen to become one of the most reliable members of Task Force X. Though fans love him, it's undeniable that he reflects more than a few negative stereotypes and those are finally getting called out in Suicide Squad: Blaze.

Suicide Squad: Blaze has been nothing short of a surprise in its first two issues. Powerful heroes have fallen, a new dangerous power with horror roots has been unveiled and of course, true to Suicide Squad fashion, characters have been killed off. The series sees the Suicide Squad face a powerful cannibal who has the potential to destroy Superman. However, the first big shocking loss of the series was Captain Boomerang after he's taken by their target, presumed dead. What the narrator says after the Squad regroups though is an interesting insight into how problematic the character has become.  The issue is though that his current portrayal is rooted in problematic stereotypes, and Blaze was not afraid to call this out in its latest issue.

Related: Suicide Squad's Peacemaker Gets The Dark Ending He Deserves

In Suicide Squad: Blaze #2 by Simon Spurrier and Aaron Campbell, Captain Boomerang is taken away by the target that critically wounded Superman. While there's never a body shown, it's safe to assume that Boomerang can be seen as good as dead given what happened to the Man of Steel. When the subjects of project Blaze reconvene with the Squad to celebrate none of them getting killed, someone points out "The drunk guy didn't. Whatsisname. Captain Cultural Appropriation." This would later be a case of dramatic irony as Peacemaker would go on to meet a dark ending. However, the implied death of Digger highlights a problem. Boomerang is now a walking stereotype of Australian people. From the thick Australian accent to the fact that he uses boomerangs as weapons, he's a villain that has his roots in negative viewpoints that are about as accurate as Crocodile Dundee. He's nothing more than the American idealization of Australia.

What's even worse though is that he doesn't exactly exit the comic in a graceful light. This combined with Captain Boomerang's death in DC Vs. Vampires, prove that DC is treating him as something of a joke. It all highlights several nasty stereotypes about Australians, specifically in relation to alcohol. In multiple adaptations, Digger's shown drinking constantly. When he's carried away in Blaze, he drops a can that he was drinking before being pulled to his demise. Mike even calls him "the drunk guy," showing that he's mostly known for his drinking habits. This has become a huge negative stereotype because it implies that Australians are drunks and foolish, which just isn't the case. It's a stereotype that has been used in multiple pop culture shows and movies, and Boomerang is doing the trope no favors. Digger has become something of a joke recently, with even Suicide Squad director David Ayer saying Captain Boomerang is a Brony. All of it does a disservice to a character that fans care about.

This isn't to say that Boomerang is a bad character. He can be entertaining depending on the writing. Still, this does not mean that the darker side of his character should be overlooked. In fact, taking a look at the more problematic roots of Boomerang could be used to make the character better in the future. Calling out the problem with the character in Suicide Squad: Blaze is a good start, but there's still a lot more to be done to move past Captain Boomerang's more problematic elements to make him a more likable antihero in the future.

Next: The Suicide Squad Has Officially Been Erased From DC's Universe



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