The Suicide Squad: Who is Peter Capaldi’s Thinker?

The Thinker
Peter Capaldi as The Thinker in Suicide Squad Pic credit: Warner Bros

As its first trailer hits, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is showing off some of the new characters added for the movie. 

That includes the first look at former Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi whose villain The Thinker may end up having a significant part of the film’s plot. 

Who is The Thinker?

The original Thinker was Clifford DeVoe, a lawyer in the 1930s who decided crime paid better. He would often tangle with the original Flash Jay Garrick.

While already smart, DeVoe created a “thinking helmet” that expanded his intelligence and allowed him to calculate perfect crimes in the days before computers and formed the original Injustice Society.

DeVoe later worked with the Suicide Squad but was killed in a mission gone wrong. 

His helmet made its way to Cliff Carmichael, a sociopath with the ability to control minds. He managed to have the helmet’s circuity put into his brain allowing him to access computer systems with his mind. 

The Justice Society later used DeVoe’s engrams to create artificial intelligence for their headquarters. However, the A.I. also had DeVoe’s villainous personality to ally with the Injustice Society and later attempt to take over Central City. 

A more recent version of the Thinker has appeared in the Suicide Squad comics, having experimented on himself to increase his intellect which has the side effect of aging him rapidly.

Thinker vs Flash

The Thinker
Neil Sandilands as The Thinker on The Flash Pic credit: The CW

The Thinker was the key villain of the fourth season of the CW’s Flash series. It used the DeVoe version, who was using a special mental cap when the particle accelerator hit. 

This increased DeVoe’s intellect to be the smartest man alive. However, it also ravaged his body, forcing DeVoe to use a special hoverchair and life support system to survive.

DeVoe’s personality was also affected as this once caring man became a cold monster convinced only he could “fix” the world. 

DeVoe soon took to hijacking the bodies of metahumans to extend his lifespan. His ultimate goal was to use a special satellite to lower everyone’s intelligence on Earth to make them more pliable to his plans. 

Eventually, Team Flash managed to end the Thinker, trapping his consciousness in his chair’s system, which was then destroyed. 

Thinker in Suicide Squad

The trailer shows Capaldi sharing the look of the most recent comic book Thinker designed by artist Patrick “Patch” Zircher. The artist noted this with D.C. Entertainment Chief Officer Jim Lee confirming Zircher will get a credit in the movie for it.  

Jim Lee tells Patrick Zircher he'll be in the credits
Pic credit: Twitter/@PatrickZircher

One of the character posters shows the Thinker surrounded by starfish, which matches that of Starro. One of the trailer’s surprises was the confirmation the alien starfish would be a villain in the movie.

While it may look silly, Starro is really a deadly monster whose “starfish spawn” can attach themselves to people’s faces and allow Starro to control them. 

Given the Thinker is known to control minds as well, it’s possible there is a connection between the pair. The trailer shows the rest of the Squad isn’t thrilled to have the Thinker on board, indicating he may be an outsider needed against Starro. 

However, the role turns out, the former Doctor Who star as the Thinker is another reason to get excited about the new Squad.

The Suicide Squad premieres in theaters and HBO Max on August 6.

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