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Where The Justice League Were During The Suicide Squad

Warning: This article includes spoilers for The Suicide Squad.

James Gunn's The Suicide Squad naturally depends on the anti-heroes and outright villains being terrible at their jobs on Task Force X, but the Justice League would surely have been better deployed against Starro. So where were Batman, Superman and the other members of the League during the events of James Gunn's not-quite Suicide Squad sequel? And why didn't they show up?

Given the post-credits reveal at the end of David Ayer's Suicide Squad, with Bruce Wayne revealing to Amanda Waller that he knows about Task Force X, any activity from the team should surely have pinged the Dark Knight's radar. But Ben Affleck's muscle-bound millionaire is nowhere to be seen when Task Force X is sent to stop America's dirty secrets from falling into the wrong hands by destroying Starro the Conqueror. Surely a heat blast from Superman would have been a better means to destroy Jotunheim than Bloodsport's rag-tag crew lacing it with C4?

Related: The Suicide Squad: Every DC Easter Egg & Secret Detail

The question really is not where they are, but why they aren't involved in the fight against Starro and the answer is three-fold. Firstly, the mission Amanda Waller sends Task Force X on is secret because of the nature of the US government's involvement in Project Starfish, secondly, the plan was never really to stop Starro, but to stop the link being uncovered, and finally, sending the Justice League would have been too dangerous (even with someone working for A.R.G.U.S. to destroy the drive). They were too dangerous as super-powered individuals and losing a Justice League member to Starro would have been a disaster that even Amanda Waller couldn't cover up.

Chronologically speaking, The Suicide Squad follows on from the events of Birds of Prey, logically, because Harley Quinn is no longer involved with Jared Leto's Joker. In canonical terms, as set up by the end of Joss Whedon's cut of Justice League, the superheroes were spread out, even as Batman and Wonder Woman set up a base of operations in the Hall of Justice. Both were still operating as public heroes - and so too was Superman - at the presumed time of The Suicide Squad, which makes their inaction all the stranger. The other heroes have more of an excuse as Whedon set it up: Barry Allen was working with Central City PD, Cyborg was exploring his abilities with his father, and Aquaman had returned to protecting the seas. It's also reasonable to assume they'd be caught up in whatever Lex Luthor's plans for his Injustice League were.

But the reason for the Justice League sitting out Starro's attack is more pressingly that the US government had protected the details of Project Starfish to even the highest level of clearance. Presumably because the League would take exception to the experimentation on innocents that was key to the project. And calling in the Justice League to take down Starro would have been a potential catastrophe without explaining what Starro was, given that the alien could turn the world's most powerful superheroes against those they sought to protect. Even with that logic stopping them being sent in as a first wave, the fact that they don't turn up to protect the citizens of Corto Maltese when Starro escapes - given it's all over the news in America - makes the Justice League look rather poor at their jobs. Still, The Suicide Squad would have robbed its antiheroes of their chance of freedom and redemption had the likes of Superman and Batman turned up, so it's not the worst decision to make them look temporarily incompetent.

Next: The Suicide Squad Ending, Plot Twists & Future Explained

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