Suicide Squad may not be jam packed with as many easter eggs and comics references as Batman V Superman, but there’s still a handful of awesome nods to the fans hidden inside DC’s latest.
Not surprisingly, some of the best references have to do with two of the movie’s biggest standouts, Harley Quinn and the Joker. Here are the coolest easter eggs and references that we could find.
Warning! Spoilers Inevitably ahead.
1) Alex Ross’ Jester Harley Quinn and Tuxedo Joker
After much speculation, Harley Quinn’s classic jester outfit officially appears in Suicide Squad during a flashback to her and the Joker’s honeymoon phase. While the original red and black harlequin design comes from Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, the jester outfit in the movie specifically harkens back to Alex Ross’ iconic painting of the Joker and Harley ballroom dancing on the cover of Dini’s comic, Batman: Harley Quinn.
Margot Robbie and Jared Leto bring their own spin to the characters while also paying tribute to their colourful history.
2) Suicide Squad Writer John Ostrander has a building named in his honour.
Comic book writer John Ostrander was not the creator of the Suicide Squad (that would be Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru), but he and artist Luke McDonnell were responsible for developing the concept into an ongoing comic series of its own. In the film’s second act, Task Force X infiltrates a skyscraper named the John F. Ostrander Federal Building. Ostrander also created Barbara Gordon’s Oracle persona, and debuted her in Suicide Squad #23.
3) Joker’s Millions and the getaway scene
In this episode of the ’90s Batman animated show, the Joker and Harley are joyriding through Gotham with Batman in hot pursuit. When they realize they can’t outrun the Batmobile, Joker bails using a comically powerful car seat ejector, leaving Harley behind to be taken in by the Dark Knight. There’s no car seat ejector in Suicide Squad, but after Harley and Mr. J drive their getaway car into a body of water, Batman finds Harley inside the submerged vehicle without a trace of her boyfriend. Batman takes her in to Belle Reve Penitentiary, where the plot of the movie kicks off.
4) Arkham Asylum looks exactly like Batman: Arkham Asylum
Creepy gate and all, the Arkham Asylum we see in Suicide Squad looks near identical to the madhouse from the 2009 video game, Batman: Arkham Asylum. The game was the first major overhaul for Harley Quinn’s design, adopting a more civilian outfit that retained her black and red colours. Ever since, countless games, comics, and movies have opted to give Harley a more modernized / less jester inspired look, including Suicide Squad which went with a design similar to Harley’s New 52 and Arkham City looks.
5) Flash vs Boomerang
When Amanda Waller is introducing Task Force X, the audience is treated to a sequence where Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang is confronted and apprehended by none other than Ezra Miller’s the Flash. Boomerang is historically a Flash villian, though he has faced off against other DC heroes, so it makes sense that the Flash is the one to bring in the Australian criminal in a scene directed by BvS / Justice League helm, Zack Snyder.
6) Harley dreams of settling down with Mr J – Mad Love Reference I
Late in the film, Enchantress tries to tempt the Suicide Squad by showing them visions of their perfect lives. In Harley’s vision, she is a mother in a nuclear family, raising two children with a very normal looking Mr. J. This echoes Harley’s fantasy in Mad Love, where she imagines settling down and having kids with the Joker.
7) Dr. Quinzel’s seduction : Mad Love Refrence II
While David Ayer’s film modifies Harley’s origin to include the Ace Chemicals scene, it stays true to the formula established in Mad Love where Harleen Quinzel, a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum assigned to the Joker, was seduced during their therapy sessions. This iconic scene was also recreated in the 2013 video game Batman: Arkham Origins.
8) Johnny Frost
In the 2008 graphic novel, Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime had a quiet but deadly right hand man named Johnny Frost. In the film, Joker is accompanied by a brooding killer who in one scene where he’s operating a hijacked helicopter’s turret, has a patch on his sleeve that reads “Mr. Frost.”
9) Ace Chemicals: Killing Joke & New 52 Origins
The origin story Joker tells himself and readers in the 1988 comic The Killing Joke by Brian Bolland and Alan Moore involves a pre-joker falling into a vat of chemicals within Gotham’s Ace Chemicals plant. It’s due to the chemical substances that his skin is bleached white and his hair and lips change into vibrant colours.
In the movie, an already established Joker tests Harley Quinn’s loyalty by asking her to dive into the same chemical vat that created him. This is also reminiscent of Harley’s New 52 origin, where the Joker pushes her off the railing into the chemicals, only here Harley chose to dive in herself.
10) Amanda Waller knows who Batman really is
In many adaptations including but not limited to the 2000s Justice League TV series and Ostrander’s run of Suicide Squad, Task Force X assembler Amanda Waller knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman. The two historically have a working relationship despite butting heads, and the same is true in the film’s mid-credit scene where Waller supplies Wayne with a list of meta-humans that includes details on Aquaman and the Flash. Waller then remarks that Mr Wayne had better stop working so many night shifts.
(Bonus) Deadshot watches the Watchmen
There’s a peculiar scene late into Suicide Squad where Will Smith’s Deadshot is staring into a store window thinking about his daughter. In that store window is the massive yellow smiley face associated with The Watchmen. DC’s 2016 Rebirth comics event officially introduced the characters of The Watchmen into the established universe of Batman, Superman, and the like. Is this logo, along with phrases like “the end is nigh” and “who watches the Watchmen?” in Spanish hidden in Batman V Superman that Zack Snyder and co. want these two worlds to collide in the new DC cinematic universe?
Those are the big ones we spotted, but did we miss anything? Let us know easter eggs you spotted and your favourite references in the comments.