Monday, August 22, 2016

Real Name: George "Digger" Harkness
First Appearance: Flash #117 (December, 1960)
Fight Club Ranking: #293

Featured Fights:
- vs BRIMSTONE: Legends #3 (Jan 1987)

Australians. Like the sand of their sun kissed beaches, they seem to get into everything and once they do it's bloody hard to get rid of them! Hollywood knows this well, but seems mostly happy with the arrangement. Warner Brothers' Suicide Squad is fronted by two Aussies! Former TV soap star Margot Robbie hides in plain sight as headlining Heroine of a past Week: Harley Quinn. Struggling star Jai Courtney takes a more direct approach -- hitting you in the face as Captain Boomerang!

One day, history may look upon Captain Boomerang as another offensive stereotype. In the movie, he's a beer swilling, rugby jumpered, loud and uncouth convict thief who, as you may have surmised, favors boomerangs as his weapon of choice. Courtney boasts magic mushrooms were a part of his preparation for the role - an oblique reference, at best. Making the character a "brony" - a cruel and unusual twist of the knife. It's not quite The Simpsons down under, but if it were in the Australian character to be easily offended, you can be sure there'd be a few hashtags of outrage. Followed by a whole lot of drunken violence and cricket, I assume.

Having spent the month revisiting the modern Suicide Squad's early days in comics; I have to admit to rekindling my affection for Captain Boomerang. The love of a good B-grade villain trumps pride in country every time. Or is that, 'B-grade villain Trump loves pride in country'? Eh, I digress...

The movie may reduce Captain Boomerang to a grubby, off-the-shelf cosplay costume, but he isn't worlds apart from the character of the comics. He certainly doesn't strike me as the most affable bloke. A big part of the character's charm, especially in the Suicide Squad days, was a sense of blatant self-serving, and the general demeanor of an obnoxious scumbag. One of the enlisted you definitely can't completely trust. As he'd be known in Australia - a bit of a dickhead.

Like all of the characters, I would've liked a more daring visual. Promotion for the film pressed heavily on a pop art sensibility, but the characters display the usual awkward, self-loathing "reality" Hollywood applies to the genre. I can forgive the rugby top, but it would've been nice to ditch the trench coat, slap a silly hat on, and embrace the sense of uniform.

They don't skimp on ridiculous trick boomerangs in the movie. The addition of a Flash cameo - another welcome choice. The makings of a better movie universe are definitely here. Warner Brothers just need to nut up and learn to love the material they're adapting, instead of shaping the material to fit their vision.

It's been a hard slog through August, but our whip 'round the Suicide Squad is almost at its end. Thanks to a fifth week in September, you can look forward to an extra Friday Night Fight from the film ensemble. You can also flip back through the weeks to check out more Suicide Squad HOTWs, follow character links, or browse through the Issue Index Archive for even more!

Up next: We learn what to do when a good Enchantress goes bad! Don't miss it!

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