When James Gunn first announced he was working on a new Suicide Squad movie set in the DCEU, chances are you had no idea who Ratcatcher was. It’s even less likely that you believed this obscure rat themed character would end up carrying the whole emotional crux of the film, and yet here we are.
Played by Daniela Melchior, in her first major movie role, Ratcatcher is the heart of this new Suicide Squad playing the role of Jiminy Cricket for the more amoral members of the team while also serving as a substitute daughter for Bloodsport (Idris Elba). Her relatively pure heart convinces the team to save the people of Corto Maltese from Project Starfish, and she’s arguably the only real hero on the team.
Who is Ratcatcher, though? Does she appear in the DC Comics Universe? What is the extent of her powers? And what are the chances of us seeing her again? To answer these questions, we’ve done some internet sleuthing and rewatched The Suicide Squad with a forensic eye so we can tell you everything we know about Ratcatcher. Warning spoilers ahead!
Who is Ratcatcher?
The Ratcatcher seen in The Suicide Squad is actually an original character created for the movie. Her real name is Cleo Cazo, and she is the daughter of the original Ratcatcher, played by Taika Waititi, making her official codename Ratcatcher II. Cleo spent her early life living on the streets in Portugal with her dad, who used his technical genius to create a wand that allowed him to control rats.
He used these rats to gather food, money, and whatever else he and Cleo needed. Unfortunately, despite being a good father, he was addicted to heroin and eventually died of an overdose leaving Cleo all alone. Taking his wand and name, Cleo went to America, where she eventually tried to rob a bank using rats. Unfortunately, she was soon apprehended and sentenced to life imprisonment at Belle Reve as the jury believed the rats counted as a lethal weapon.
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Trapped in prison with her best friend Sebastian (a rat), she agreed to become a member of Task Force X, aka The Suicide Squad and went to Corto Maltese to try and put a stop to Project Starfish. While there, she endeared herself to the team, especially Bloodsport and Ratcatcher was crucial in helping to being down Starro.
In the comics, Ratcatcher first appeared in Detective Comics #585 and is an enemy of Batman. His real name is Otis Flannegan, and he has the ability to control rats (without the need for a wand) and uses a gas gun to poison his enemies with cyanide.
What are Ratcatcher’s powers?
Ratcatcher uses a wand created by her father that allows her to control rats. While it’s not explained how the original Ratcatcher created the wand, comments made by The Thinker (Peter Capaldi) suggests it works similarly to how Starro controls his victims. In the film, we see that Cleo can control seemingly thousands of rats at once, summoning what appears to be every rat on the island of Corto Maltese in just a few minutes.
In the comics, Ratcatcher’s powers are a bit lamer. He doesn’t need a wand to control his rats, instead, it’s implied he’s an expert animal trainer who’s simply taught an army of rats to do his bidding. To make him slightly more threatening to the Dark Knight, Ratcatcher also employs various poison gases and gas guns, including one that shoots cyanide.
Will we see Ratcatcher again?
Ratcatcher is one of the members of the Squad who survive the mission and battle against Starro. James Gunn has undoubtedly shown a lot of affection towards the character and her rat friend Sebastian so if he does a sequel, we wouldn’t be surprised if she makes a return.