Captain Boomerang's Suicide Squad Origin Will Change How You See Him

Captain Boomerang was once a proud member of Flash’s Rogues, but his dismissal shows why the villain is better suited for the Suicide Squad.

The Flash‘s motley crew of villains, the Rogues, may be a group of criminals, but even they have standards, and their dismissal of Captain Boomerang sums up why Digger Harkness can only get work with the Suicide Squad.

The Rogues aren’t like most villains. Unlike the menaces that plague Gotham and Metropolis, Flash’s greatest enemies are a strong, united front. Armed with guns and technology that allows them to take on the Fastest Man Alive, the Rogues live by a few rules to keep themselves an efficient unit. They don’t kill superheroes, women or children, they don’t use drugs, and most importantly, they watch each others’ backs. While these edicts were mostly set by the group’s leader, Captain Cold, the other members follow and it’s kept them in plenty of cash and beer, while also prompting the Scarlet Speedster to go easier on them than he otherwise might.


Related: Suicide Squad Owns Up to Captain Boomerang’s Problematic Roots

But not every member of the Rogues could live up to Leonard Snart’s standards, and the villain said as much in The Flash #2 by Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul. Digger Harkness, aka Captain Boomerang, has just returned to life in the wake of Blackest Night. But as a convicted felon, he’s returned back to Iron Heights penitentiary where he awaits his previous death sentence to be reinstated. Before long, Digger is greeted by his old pals and he anxiously asks them to help him escape. However, Cold tells Boomerang they aren’t there to help him, but to deliver a message. Snart tells his compatriot that before he died, Boomerang had let himself go and became a joke of a villain and because of that, he’s lost his privilege of getting sprung by his former teammates.

captain cold flash captain boomerang

Cold does offer Digger one more chance to prove himself as a Rogue, but unfortunately Boomerang squanders his last opportunity to get back with his old friends when he releases the Reverse Flash in The Flash #7. Since the New 52 reboot, Captain Boomerang has been portrayed as a member of the Suicide Squad instead of a Flash villain. The reasons behind his expulsion from the Rogues may explain why he’s largely stayed with Amanda Waller’s Task Force X.

While Captain Boomerang had been on Waller’s team in the past – like most C-tier villains – it’s mostly since this rejection by the Rogues that he’s become a permanent member, depicted as a core asset on the team. Prior to this, Boomer was most often seen troubling the Flash, but now he’s effectively shifted properties, and the origin of his fixture status actually makes him a tragic figure. While Captain Boomerang can be abrasive, his friendships with allies such as Harley Quinn and Deadshot mean a lot more once fans appreciate that he used to belong to a close-knit team who abandoned him, and his self-destructive tendencies become a lot more layered when seen as the end-result of a process that prompted his criminal friends to leave him to rot rather than help him recover.

The Suicide Squad pretty much has one dictum for the villains unlucky enough to be conscripted: complete their assigned missions or risk having their heads explode. In failing out of the Rogues, Captain Boomerang has effectively become Amanda Waller’s plaything, lacking the support to spring him from her clutches and the sense to avoid being imprisoned again once he’s served his time. While Flash‘s ever-increasing powers mean Captain Boomerang is likely better suited to missions with the Suicide Squad, it’s a tragic aspect of his character that he actually had the back-up to avoid this fate, but lost it because he wasn’t even up to the standards of fellow villains.

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