It may seem like a job for Superman to take on a giant intergalactic conqueror, but in The Suicide Squad, it’s up to the Task Force X D-List supervillains to save the day … or, more often, die trying .

After David Ayer’s 2016 Suicide Squad, this new take of James Gunn (in theaters and on HBO Max) brings back and adds Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) and Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) a new group of squad members, drawn from the depths of DC Comics history. Here’s a guide to the comic book origins of some of these lesser-known squad members.

A reluctant Task Force X leader, Robert DuBois (Idris Elba), is a seasoned mercenary who goes by the name of Bloodsport. The character first appeared in the Superman comic series in 1987. DuBois dodged being drafted for the Vietnam War, but his brother went in his place and lost both arms and legs in the fight. In response, Robert suffers a nervous breakdown and begins a murderous rampage against innocent civilians. His brother finally talks him down, but not before Robert seriously injures Superman with a kryptonite ball.

The cartoon character Bloodsport was equipped with technology that enabled him to seemingly pull weapons out of nowhere, and the film incarnation achieves a similar effect by hiding weapons in his armor. While his Vietnam-era motivation for the film has been dropped, Bloodsport’s family remains important to him: he joins the team to keep his daughter from going to jail for a minor crime, a sentence given by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), the vengeful head of Task Force X.

In the film, John Cena plays this self-proclaimed pacifist who will kill anyone he needs to keep the peace. In this incarnation, the character is much less at odds with the contradictions between his mission and his methods than when he made his debut on the Charlton Comics series Fightin ‘5 in 1966. He was Christopher Smith, a diplomat who wasn’t involved in the fight against crime – resort to deadly tactics. DC Comics acquired Charlton’s characters in the 1980s, and Peacemaker was reinvented as a deadlier character, a person who resembled Marvel’s Punisher, albeit more psychotic.

Peacemaker’s bizarre helmet originally had the ability to shoot lasers, and for a while he thought it could use it to communicate with the souls of the people he had killed, although it was later found to be a symptom of mental illness. Cena will repeat the character on a “Peacemaker” TV series coming to HBO Max.

Cleo Cazo (Daniela Melchior) is a female take on Ratcatcher, a Batman villain who first appeared in Detective Comics in 1988. The original ratcatcher was a rodent expert who trained rats to attack and kill its enemies. His real identity was Otis Flannegan, a plumbing worker who was jailed for murder. He sought revenge by holding captive the people who took him away, though Batman eventually discovered his hiding place and freed his surviving prisoners.

Friendlier and friendlier than its comic book counterpart, the movie’s Ratcatcher 2 was unfairly imprisoned when their ability to control rats was seen as a deadly weapon. As her name suggests, she is not the first; her father appears in flashbacks and is played by filmmaker Taika Waititi.

Portrayed in the film by David Dastmalchian, Polka-Dot Man is a symbol of Batman’s Campier opponents of the 1960s. In the comics, Abner Krill, originally called Mister Polka-Dot, was a criminal with access to a range of punctiform weapons and technology, including circular saw dots, projectile dots, and dots that lead to a flying saucer.

Given the character’s silliness (Gunn called him “the dumbest DC character ever”), it’s not surprising that Polka-Dot Man has had very few appearances in comics over the years. His powers were also revised for the film; Instead of using polka dot technology, he now has a troubling state that causes deadly polka dots to grow inside his body; if they are not evicted, they will kill him.

King Shark (voiced by Sylvester Stallone) is an extremely dangerous and extremely stupid human-shark hybrid. The character first appeared in an issue of Superboy in 1994, but he was also an archenemy for Aquaman. Unlike most of the other characters in the film, King Shark has a long history as a member of the Suicide Squad in the comics, and he was originally considered for inclusion in the first film.

Although the character was remodeled into a hammerhead shark in 2011, the film returns to its original great white shark look. Most recently, a tech geek version of King Shark, voiced by Ron Funches, appeared in the animated series “Harley Quinn”. Even though he’s less evil than his comic book counterpart, he still maintains his fondness for human flesh.