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

The newest Suicide Squad comics are finally owning up to one of Captain Boomerangs 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 its 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 hes 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.

In Suicide Squad Blaze 2 by Simon Spurrier and Aaron Campbell Captain Boomerang is taken away by the target that critically wounded Superman. While theres never a body shown its 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 didnt. 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 hes a villain that has his roots in negative viewpoints that are about as accurate as Crocodile Dundee. Hes nothing more than the American idealization of Australia.

Whats even worse though is that he doesnt exactly exit the comic in a graceful light. This combined with Captain Boomerangs 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 Diggers shown drinking constantly. When hes 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 hes mostly known for his drinking habits. This has become a huge negative stereotype because it implies that Australians are drunks and foolish which just isnt the case. Its 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 isnt 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 theres still a lot more to be done to move past Captain Boomerangs more problematic elements to make him a more likable antihero in the future.

About Ahmad Raza

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