They make The Suicide Squad look like the Smurfs! And DC’s most bizarre super-team are ready to make an impression on our screens.
The first animated series to hit our screens following James Gunn and Peter Safran’s takeover of DC Studios will be Creature Commandos, with scripts for each of the seven episodes already penned by Gunn himself.
Safran was quick to praise his fellow DC head honcho, claiming that the screenplays are “amazing”, adding that he was “staggered at the calibre [of them]”.
The duo are currently finding actors who can both voice the characters and play their live-action counterparts if they ever cross over, meaning anticipation is high.
But for the uninitiated wondering who on earth this otherworldly ensemble are, don’t worry, we’ve got a crash course for you below.
Who Are The Creature Commandos?
First appearing in the November 1980 issue of Weird War Tales, the Creature Commandos can easily claim the prize of being the weirdest team of heroes within DC comics.
Set up just as America was entering into WWII in 1941, the Creature Commandos were created by a secretive Armed Forces operation known as Project M.
The agency’s lead scientist, Professor Mazursky, had a theory that all humans were scared of monsters – so the best way to defeat the enemy on the battlefield would be to have soldiers who looked exactly like various horror movie villains.
In the first iteration of the group, three soldiers were transformed into warriors resembling Frankenstein’s Monster, a werewolf, and a vampire.
Led by the human Lieutenant Matthew Shrieve, their base was moved to London and many of their earliest missions took place across The Channel in Nazi-occupied France.
Aside from the bizarre nature of the characters themselves, what likely drew Gunn to this material is the morally dubious way in which they accomplish many of their missions.
They killed a scientist they were hired to free from prison out of fear her knowledge of a chemical nerve gas could fall into Nazi hands, and elsewhere sacrificed the lives of dozens of children on an undercover mission within Axis ranks.
It isn’t just in appearance that they’re monsters – you can see why the man who gave us Peacemaker would be fascinated in exploring such unconventional anti-heroes.
Who Are The Members Of The Creature Commandos?
Even though the series is still early in production, Gunn has revealed who the seven main characters will be.
Most importantly, he announced that the main character will be the Bride Of Frankenstein, commonly referred to as simply “The Bride” within the comics.
In the Prime Earth comics timeline, where she was introduced in 2011, she was an agent for S.H.A.D.E. (Super-Human Advanced Defense Executive) alongside the Commandos, with her powers including immortality and superhuman strength.
You can’t have a Bride Of Frankenstein without a Frankenstein’s Monster, which here will come in the form of Eric Frankenstein.
As part of the New 52 reboot of DC Comics in 2011, the original soldier who was transformed for the initial Commandos line-up (Elliot Taylor) was replaced by Mary Shelley’s classic monster himself – you’ve got to love the public domain.
However, despite the reliance on classic movie monsters in the comics, this unholy couple are the only legendary horror villains to be announced for the series so far, with no vampires or werewolves as part of Gunn’s integral cast.
That however doesn’t mean the rest aren’t otherworldly, as also included in Gunn’s lineup is Nina Mazursky, one of the original scientists who created the Creature Commandos.
In the comics, when she grew too attached to her original creations they went insane and had to be killed. Because of this, Mazursky transformed herself into a monster as part of the second experiment, becoming an amphibian woman who can tackle underwater threats.
Also new to screens is G.I. Robot, a moniker that has been used by several metal machines that have fought alongside DC heroes.
Pre-dating the Commandos in the comics by nearly 20 years, the version of G.I. Robot we’re likely to see here is J.A.K.E. II, who like earlier versions was deployed by the US military to help overseas on the WWII battlefront, being one of the first assigned to help the Commandos on their missions.
More familiar faces appearing include Batman villain Dr. Phosphorous, alongside Suicide Squad alumni Rick Flag Sr. and Weasel. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller will likely have a role to play in putting this team together too.
Gunn has stressed that we likely won’t see the new DC Universe on our screens until 2025, with upcoming movie Superman: Legacy pencilled in to arrive in cinemas in July.
However, with casting currently underway and scripts for every episode already written, it’s safe to assume this will be one of the first projects to debut – and boy, are we eager to see what Gunn has done with this oddball franchise.