Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay
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Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay is a 2018 American animated superhero film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The film is directed & produced by Sam Liu, with scripting by Alan Burnett (his last work before his retirement). It is the 31st film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series and a part of the DC Animated Movie Universe. The voice cast includes Christian Slater as Deadshot, Tara Strong as Harley Quinn and Vanessa Williams as Amanda Waller. The film was released digitally on March 27, 2018 and released on DVD and Blu-ray on April 10, 2018.
|Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay|
|Directed by||Sam Liu|
|Produced by||Sam Liu|
|Written by||Alan Burnett|
Kristin Bauer van Straten
|Music by||Robert J. Kral|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Home Entertainment|
Following Ocean Master's defeat at the hands of the Justice League,[N 1] Amanda Waller dispatches Task Force X, consisting of Floyd Lawton / Deadshot, Count Werner Vertigo, and the criminal couple Punch and Jewelee, to recover a flash drive containing leaked intelligence from Tobias Whale. The mission succeeds, but Vertigo and Jewelee betray the team and kill Punch. Having become lovers in jail, they plan to copy the flash drive and sell it. But Waller overhears everything through Deadshot's communicator. Waller detonates Vertigo's head bomb and Deadshot mercy-kills Jewelee when Waller prepares to detonate hers as well.
In the present in Gotham City, Professor Pyg is kidnapped by Scandal Savage and Knockout for a "patient in need of medical attention". Waller discovers that she is diagnosed with a terminal illness and reassembles Task Force X with a new roster: Deadshot, Harleen Quinzel / Harley Quinn, Digger Harkness / Captain Boomerang, Louise Lincoln / Killer Frost, Sameer Park / Copperhead, and Ben Turner / Bronze Tiger. Their mission is to find a man named Steel Maxum and retrieve a mystical black card emblazoned "Get Out of Hell Free."
The team find Maxum in a male strip club but are confronted by Eobard Thawne / Professor Zoom, Siobhan Smythe / Silver Banshee, and Roland Desmond / Blockbuster. The squad escape with Maxum and learn he was Doctor Fate. He explains that the card allows the user to bypass Hell and gain access to Heaven, but it can only be used once. Scandal and Knockout stole the card from the Tower of Fate, which resulted in Maxum being stripped of his title by Nabu.
Upon finding Scandal and Knockout's apartment, the team acquires the card, but they are intercepted by Vandal Savage and his men. Savage retrieves the card and shoots the badly wounded Knockout in the head, despite the pleas of his daughter and Knockout's lover, Scandal. As Savage escapes, Thawne places a tracer on his ship. Floyd visits his estranged daughter Zoe but is forcibly retrieved by Turner. Next day, Thawne's henchmen kidnap Lincoln at a gas station. Thawne removes Lincoln's bomb and convinces her to join him. Thawne lures the Squad into a trap and detonates the bomb. They manage to escape, but Turner is heavily injured in the blast.
Scandal covertly informs Deadshot of Vandal's location, and the Squad infiltrates his lair but are captured. Savage reveals that he had Pyg surgically implant the card into his chest cavity. Thawne and his henchmen attack and remove the card from Savage's body, killing him. Zoom explains that he was killed by Batman in another timeline[N 2], but managed to temporarily delay death by using the Speed Force. Lincoln double-crosses Thawne, killing Smythe and Desmond and stealing the card for ransom. Park fights Lincoln until Waller detonates his bomb and kills them both. Digger attempts to steal the card but is incapacitated by Zoom.
Turner battles Thawne, but the latter slices him multiple times with a small dagger. Turner, dying from blood loss, uses the last of his strength to cut the fingers holding the card from Thawne's hand. Floyd shoots Thawne through his head a second time, causing him to fizzle out of existence and back to his moment of death in the Flashpoint timeline. Doubting the card works, Floyd gives it to Turner, who ascends to Heaven. Floyd gives the now-useless card to the unsuspecting Waller before leaving. Having served his time, Floyd visits Zoe as a free man.
On March 21, a 12-issue digital comic was released on a weekly basis. Written by Jeff Parker with artwork by Matthew Dow Smith, Agustin Padilla, Stefano Raffaele and Cat Staggs, the story takes place immediately after the events of the film as Amanda Waller is still looking to avoid death. With the Spectre bearing down on her, she enlists Jason Blood a.k.a. Etrigan into her team for their latest mission. The series would then get a print release via trade paperback on February 13, 2019.
The film earned $591,559 from domestic DVD sales and $1,804,811 from domestic Blu-ray sales, bringing its total domestic home video earnings to $2,396,370.
IGN awarded Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay a score of 7.5 out of 10, saying that while not everything in the film worked, it deserves praise for its "sense of humor, willingness to kill off key characters, and exploration of a spiritual subject". WeGotThisCovered.com gave it a 9/10, calling it one of the best DC animated films, praising its writing and fun tone. A Comicsverse review by Chris Zhang notes problems with graphics, but Zhang still calls it the best Suicide Squad film ever, noting it is giving a correct portrayal of the Squad as "a bunch of backstabbing criminals being managed by a backstabbing bureaucrat" instead of a comparatively friendly team like the 2016 film.
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