WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Future State: Suicide Squad #1, by Robbie Thompson, Javier Fernandez, Alex Sinclair and Wes Abbott, on sale now.
Of all the teams running around the DC Universe’s alternate timelines in Future State, none perhaps hold a more insidious secret than the Suicide Squad. Relaunched by Amanda Waller, this iteration of Task Force X is deliberately designed to look like the Justice League as they save the day with noticeably more brutal efficiency than their more heroic counterparts, hinting at their true, supervillain identities.
Now, here are all the members of the Future State Suicide Squad and what iconic heroes they are impersonating out in the field.
The cloned Superboy Conner Kent is the team’s field commander and the closest thing Waller has to a confidante among her new Squad, with the half-Kryptonian briefly serving on the team shortly after his debut. Dressed to resemble Superman, Conner is a natural doppelgänger, given his original appearance was to replace the Man of Steel after his death at the hands of Doomsday.
Waller privately reveals to Conner that the reason he was enlisted was that, in addition to possessing the awesome powers and abilities of Superman, he has also inherited the ruthless cunning and tactical genius of Lex Luthor, the other half of his genetic source material.
The most murderously deranged member of the Future State Suicide Squad is William Cobb, one of the most deadly Talons recruited by the Court of Owls. Revealed to be the great-grandfather of Nightwing, Cobb agreed to become an undead assassin for the Court in 1901 to help the clandestine society steer the course of Gotham City for decades to follow.
Cobb hints that he agreed to join the team under the promise that it would give him the opportunity to murder all extraterrestrials on Earth, taking on a disguise to resemble his nemesis Batman. This xenophobic vendetta backfires when Cobb disobeys direct orders and jeopardizing the mission at the chance to torture Sinestro to death. In response, Waller detonates the explosive device implanted in Cobb’s head, killing the faux Dark Knight instantly.
The false Wonder Woman on the Suicide Squad is portrayed by one of the Amazon’s oldest superheroes Hypnotic Woman. Created by William Moulton Marston and William G. Peter in 1944’s Wonder Woman #11, a stage magician going by Hypnota used an elaborate disguise to conceal her true identity and gender while possessing the ability to take control of her targets’ minds.
Hypnotic Woman is confirmed as the Future State Suicide Squad’s Wonder Woman and is seen trying to reason with William Cobb before his untimely demise.
The Future State Suicide Squad’s Martian Manhunter is a Clayface who uses his shape-shifting abilities to disguise himself as J’onn J’onnz. While some of the Manhunter’s more incredible abilities are harder or impossible for Clayface to replicate, the reformed villain possesses superhuman strength and the superhero’s malleable abilities.
Superboy identifies this particular Clayface as the seventh figure to hold the supervillain mantle, though Conner himself is unsure of the claim. If true, this would make the Suicide Squad Clayface Todd Russell, created by Ed Brubaker and Darwyn Cooke in 2002’s Catwoman #1, a serial killer that gained his powers after being experimented on by the DEO.
The extraterrestrial supervillain Fisherman poses as Aquaman on the Future State Suicide Squad, using his advanced technology and alien abilities to take on the form of the Atlantean hero. More than just possessing his signature deadly fishing rod and other tools, this version of Fisherman possesses his own array of lethal powers displayed on the field.
This version of the Fisherman differs greatly from the earlier versions that opposed Aquaman throughout the Golden and Silver Ages, who were just humans with deadly weapons and a grudge against Arthur Curry. The extraterrestrial Fisherman was introduced by Kurt Busiek and Ricardo Villagran in 2007’s Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #48.
Replacing in The Flash is a new Bolt, whose super-suit gives off the appearance of super-speed with her ability to teleport around the battlefield in the blink of an eye. The suit also gives her the ability to generate electrical attacks as she moves around her opponents.
This Bolt is identified as a former Teen Titan and not one of the three characters who previously held the mantle in the DCU to join the Injustice League and Secret Society of Super-Villains. The original Bolt briefly served on the Suicide Squad and was presumed dead after a disastrous mission, resurfacing years later only to be murdered by his own son. Although they find themselves among villains, Bolt seems to join the adult Superboy in having at least somewhat heroic intentions.