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Sean Gunn, the younger brother of The Suicide Squad filmmaker James Gunn, and the director appear to have an understanding that when Sean gets cast in one of James Gunn’s films (even if he is already playing a human part), he must also play a furry animal character. The former Gilmore Girls cast member doubles as Batman villain Calendar Man and an odd, furry creature dubbed Weasel for the new Suicide Squad ensemble, in addition to playing Kraglin and doing the motion capture for Rocket Raccoon on site in the Marvel films. The way this odd, perilous creature is initially portrayed in the DC movies really differs slightly from how he was initially portrayed in the books. In fact, we’ll begin our examination of Weasel’s “graphic” history at the very beginning.
Weasel Was Originally A Human Dressed As An Animal In DC Comics
Weasel had his DC Comics début in June 1985 although not as the bizarre mutant that Sean Gunn plays in The Suicide Squad. He was created by writer Gerry Conway and artist Rafael Kayanan. In the comics, Weasel, whose real name is John Monroe, is a human who sometimes dresses up as his animal counterpart to commit his current crime spree.
You might be asking why John Monroe based his supervillain identity on such a diminutive and, quite frankly, charming creature. I can assure you that neither the weasel’s voracious hunger nor the Japanese myth that holds that it is a sign of bad luck have anything to do with it. The real genesis might even be a little bit darker.
Bullies From Weasel’s College Days Inspired His Supervillain Alias
In his DC Comics debut, John Monroe is seen in a flashback from the 1960s while attending Stanford University, when he was bullied and given a derogatory nickname by classmates who regarded him like an outcast. Do you have any idea what that name was? Give yourself a high five if you answered “Weasel.” But just what motivated Monroe to turn this painful recollection into a life of crime is unknown.
Many of the same persons that bullied John Monroe at Stanford also occurred to work at Vandemeer University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where John Monroe would eventually work as a teacher. Monroe made the decision to exact furry vengeance on his former students after becoming misguidedly worried that they might be a threat to his job. Monroe went looking for them and ruthlessly murdered them one by one while dressing up as the demon his peers had unjustly dubbed him as.
Weasel’s Archnemesis Was The Superhero Firestorm
The Fury of Firestorm, Issue #36 of the DC comic, contains Weasel’s debut appearance, which I neglected to mention before. The main character of that series, Firestorm, had his début in 1978 as the young Ronald Roy “Ronnie” Raymond’s alter ego. He and Nobel Prize–winning physicist Martin Stein were fused together as a result of a nuclear explosion to become a single creature with enough superpowers to compete with Superman and a halo of fire surrounding his head.
After Firestorm obstructed John Monroe’s violent rampage as Weasel, he would grow to hate him more and more. Monroe was actually a former employee of Martin Stein who, after being attacked by Weasel, became into the superhero. The villain was captured and imprisoned at Belle Reve, a jail in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, which also served as Task Force X’s operational hub.
Weasel Died During A Conflict Between Suicide Squad And Doom Patrol
The Suicide Squad’s Amanda Waller, played by Academy Award winner Viola Davis, noticed John Monroe when he ended up in Belle Reve and thought Task Force X may find him useful. He was asked to assist the Suicide Squad in rescuing Hawk, Henry Hall’s alter ego who should not be confused with Hawkman of the Justice Society of America, on what would turn out to be both his first and last mission with the group.
The Doom Patrol had the Suicide Squad on on their heels, thinking they were after Hawk. The two squads engaged in a violent altercation as a result of this, which caused Weasel to randomly kill The Thinker (played by Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi in The Suicide Squad). When he killed Weasel, Rick Flag (whom Joel Kinnaman is playing in the upcoming movie) put an end to the rant and, it would appear, ended his story in the DC comics.
Weasel’s Corpse Was Resurrected As A Member Of The Black Lantern Corps
Weasel would really be resurrected a few more times in DC Comics after his not exactly sombre passing in the Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad Special one-shot from March 1988. The first instance would be a real resurrection from the dead.
The Green Lantern Corps battles the evil Nekron in the nine-part crossover event Blackest Night, written by Geoff Johns, which ran from July 2009 to May 2010. Nekron builds an army of reanimated corpses as part of his scheme to wipe out all life and emotion on earth. Weasel was one of the evildoers who had been transformed into zombies and was brought back by the Black Lantern ring, as was depicted in the Batman-centric Issue #3 of the event.
Weasel Was Reinvented As A Genuine Furry Creature In 2011
During the 2013 reboot of The New 52, Weasel was “resurrected” a second time in DC Comics. However, this comeback saw a complete reimagining of the character as the full-on human-animal hybrid who would become one of the new Suicide Squad members in James Gunn’s film, rather than a post-mortem rebirth.
His first appearance was in a 2013 issue of Forever Evil, authored by Geoff Johns, where a fanged, hairy, and clawed John Monroe attempted to attack Killer Frost and Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine in Wonder Woman. However, Killer Frost stops him by freezing him to death before telling him that his fellow villains never really thought anything more of him than a joke.
The Guardians of the Galaxy films have shown us that James Gunn is an expert at giving underappreciated comic book characters a second chance at fame. There is no exception to what he has done for Weasel in his similarly bizarre supervillain team-up epic, The Suicide Squad, which is currently in theatres and is streaming on HBO Max.
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