If anything, this makes me want more Suicide Squad prose. I realized I love half the characters in this novel: I care about Deadshot, Harley Quinn and Killer Croc. I may even care more about Croc for his vague backstory: I can make it be what I want to be, as tragic, or not, as I see fit. There are implications that it's pretty horrific, but nothing concrete, which led to me reading about his comics origins. I see his backstory fitting in right here, as at least one article pointed out, because of what Waller says in the beginning of the movie/book.
Furthermore, Croc intrigues me because of the conflicting aspects I see, at least in this continuity. He's at turns heroic and monstrous. He seems to be social and also shy away from any social interaction. No surprise: what Waller does say is that he basically turned into a monster because people saw him as one and treated him as one.
Also, getting the internal thoughts here was helpful, especially from a writer so familiar with comics in general and DC in particular. Croc was slightly more fleshed out, and it was easier to see a potentially social being beneath that exterior antisocial behavior, that seems more than ever like a defense mechanism. If no one's going to invite him in, why try?
That being said, there's a lot of tension here - wanting to have at least some friends, no one viewing him as human, much less friend material - and it's internal tension. In other words, perfect for character development. Also, some of my favorite kind of fictional tension. It's also largely ignored in favor of Deadshot and Harley Quinn, both of whom scored excellent, and well known, actors. Then again, no one starring in this is an unknown, and Croc's actor was Mr. Eko on Lost. I've read a bit on how he approached this character and he put a lot of work into Croc. In other words, while I understand why Deadshot and Harley were the main attractions - Harley has a huge fandom, Will Smith is arguably one of the best known actors in this film, and Deadshot's daughter makes him more relatable and more of a villain/anti-hero that an audience can sympathize with - I wish I'd had more Croc. Then again, this movie had its flaws, one of them being that there were a lot of characters, and a lot of focus on solo character scenes, and it was hard to balance them all. That shows in this, too, even as Deadshot, Harley and even Diablo - again, one of the villains it's more easy to sympathize with - take center stage. After all, even with the horrific shit he's pulled, it was out of his control in a lot of ways, and he's come to peace with his past and is truly trying to make amends. He's refusing to raise his fist, or flames, in violence. He's the only one who was trying to make amends before Waller approached him, and who was not in the Suicide Squad for his own benefit.
Again, a lot of this becomes more clear in the internal thoughts, and the read explanations. Not that it wasn't clear in the movie, but it hits a little harder reading it, having the experience expanded into a four day reading extravaganza rather than a two hour movie. That being said, I appreciated this for that reason as well as others.
For one, there are scenes that were cut out and changed. This turned out, as usual, to be a mixed blessing. It was nice having new content, especially since the Joker/Harley relationship is a little more standard for them. It's still too much of him falling hard for her, which seems weird, but it felt a little less icky. There's also a Killer Croc and Deadshot scene that was not in the movie - and that made me incredibly happy. It also gave me more to appreciate about these characters. I'd been looking forward to one interaction in particular, and it wasn't in the original script, or at least this novelization of what seems to be an earlier if not the original script.
Overall, this was a far superior script. And I'm grateful for that, despite the 'beat-up beautiful' line. It was a fun read, and I can see myself picking this up again when the DVD comes out and I rewatch this movie. (Which I will pick up if there are deleted scenes, and possibly even if there aren't. Otherwise, I'll Netflix it or something.)
Fun, fun, fun. Yes, I did knock half a star off for that one line. Beat-up beautiful. The misogyny in that one line is staggering. I stopped, I ranted here, and it completely took me out of the story.