- "I'm a man, okay? I ain't no weapon. I'mma die in peace before I raise my fists again. I've caused enough harm..."
- ―El Diablo[src]
Chato Santana, also known as El Diablo, was a metahuman criminal of Hispanic descent, and a member of the Suicide Squad. While initially reluctant to use his pyrokinetic powers out of guilt and fear, he would ultimately sacrifice his life in order to defeat Incubus and save the world from Enchantress.
- "See I was born with the Devil's gift. I kept it hidden for most my life, but...the older I got, the stronger it got. So I started using it. For business, you know. The more power on the street I got...the more fire power I got. Like, that shit went hand in hand. You know? One was feeding the other. Ain't nobody tell me no. Except my old lady"
- ―El Diablo[src]
Chato Santana was born on June 3, 1981, in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, California, into a family of Catholic immigrants from Mexico, and spent most of his childhood in the watchful custody of his grandmother. As the pyrokinetic powers he was born with slowly developed in strength with his age, he struggled to hide these abilities and curbed the temptation to use them growing up. But, this eventually led Santana to weaponize them to his advantage and draw him into getting involved in gang activity at age 17, moving up the ranks by stealing cars, dealing drugs and selling handguns. Becoming known as "El Diablo" on the streets, he was suspected, although never charged, with the murder of fifteen men in East Los Angeles. He thus realized that this might spike his dangerous abilities further and adjusted to the life of a family man, marrying a woman named Grace and fathering a son and daughter with her.
One evening, however, Grace came to discover her husband's criminal activities by finding a stash of money and pair of pistols in their closet, and confronted him about them. When the married couple had an argument with her threatening to take their children away to her mother's, El Diablo lost his temper and had a hard time controlling his pyrokinesis. This resulted in him setting their house ablaze, unwillingly killing both Grace and their two children.Devastated, a remorseful El Diablo handed himself over to police custody voluntarily and was subsequently charged to life incarceration in a federal prison. Upon entering, he was jumped by several other inmates in the recreational area during a prison riot, prompting him to freak out and torch the entire area, killing those nearby. Deemed far too dangerous for a federal prison, the fiery homeboy was subsequently transferred to Belle Reve, where he was put inside a container capable of dousing fire.
Meeting Amanda Waller
At Belle Reve, El Diablo was approached by Amanda Waller and Rick Flag who showed him footage of him killing several inmates. El Diablo denied being the person in the footage saying that person is dead, frustrating Waller. Flag tried to talk to El Diablo but was shut down saying that he isn't going to fight again. Diablo then used his powers to display the word 'bye' to Waller and Flag.
When Midway City was attacked by Incubus, the US government called to assemble Task Force X. The cell El Diablo was contained in filled up with water and flushed him out where he was apprehended by guards who injected him with a tranquilizer before he could escape.
Assembling Task Force X
- "Somethin' tells me a whole lotta people are about to die!"
"Yeah. It's us. We're being led to our deaths."
"Speak for yourself, mate. Hey, what's that crap on your face? Does it wash off?"
"Hey, if you like a girl, can you light her cigarette with your pinkie? Because that would be real classy!"
"Hey, y'all might wanna leave old boy alone. He could torch this whole joint. Ain't that right, ese?"
"Ain't got nothing to worry about from me. I'm cool, homie."
- ―Harley Quinn, El Diablo, Captain Boomerang and Deadshot[src]
The Squad were then briefed by Rick Flag on how they are to go about accomplishing their mission. El Diablo then gathered his gear and changed into street clothes and watched with everyone else as Harley Quinn got changed. El Diablo then commented on how they were the ones who were going to die on the mission saying they were being led to their deaths. The rest of the squad started to make jokes about El Diablo; Captain Boomerang asked if his tattoos washed off, Harley asked if he could light a cigarette with his pinkie and Deadshot reminded them that he could torch the whole area. He then reassured the squad that they don't have to worry about him.
When the squad had geared up, they were informed by Amanda Waller about their mission and what they are to do. If they were successful on their mission they would receive time off their prison sentence but if they fail, they would die. The squad gathered in a helicopter and were about to head off to Midway City when Katana joined them. The Suicide Squad crash-landed in Midway City and they made their way to retrieve Waller when Captain Boomerang and Slipknot attempted to escape. After witnessing Slipknot getting his head blown off, Rick Flag threatened the rest of the Squad.
Staying Out of the Fight
The squad proceeded when they came across some of Enchantress' minions who became hostile and began to attack them. While the rest of the squad fought off the creatures, El Diablo stayed out of the way and decided not to fight because he is afraid that he would lose control. After the fight Captain Boomerang approached El Diablo and mocked him about not helping.
The squad made their way to John F. Ostrander Federal Building where they made their way upstairs where they were ambushed by Enchantress' minions. Once again El Diablo stayed out of the way while everyone fought off the creatures which made Deadshot pull him aside and tried to get him to fight. Becoming angry with Deadshot having a go at him, he used his powers to eliminate all of the remaining enemies which shocked the squad on how powerful he is.
El Diablo and the rest of the squad waited while Rick Flag and Deadshot went to retrieve Amanda Waller. They were greeted by Waller who threatened to blow their heads off when Captain Boomerang suggested to kill her and Flag. When they were on the rooftop, a chopper hijacked by the Joker opened fire on the squad so El Diablo took cover. When Harley Quinn escaped and Deadshot went to shoot her, El Diablo watched believing she had been shot only to reveal to be pretending. The squad watched as the chopper got shot down and blow up thinking Harley had died.
Drinking with Task Force X
- "See, when I get mad, I lose control. You know, I just...I don't know what I do...till it's done."
- ―El Diablo[src]
As the squad left the building they saw Harley Quinn still alive to their surprise. After being informed that Flag and Waller are responsible for Enchantress causing the destruction due to a failed mission, the squad decided to go to a bar and have a drink. El Diablo orders a water and they listen to Deadshot review the mission and that they are the ones who will be blamed. El Diablo then preached to Deadshot and told the whole squad about how he used to rule the streets and accidentally killed his wife and children.
After hearing El Diablo's story Harley started to have a go at him, telling him to own what he has done and that he can't have a normal life until Deadshot and Boomerang get Harley to back off. Flag then joined them and told them that he is in love with June Moone and that he needs to stop the Enchantress. Flag told the squad that they are free to go but they decide to stay to help him, making sure that everyone will know what they did. The squad all got ready to fight Enchantress and Incubus and made their way through the destroyed train station.
As they made their way, Deadshot asked El Diablo if he was going to fight with them which he answered by being worried that he would lose control, which Deadshot said would give them a chance. When they reached the Enchantress, Flag told them to draw out Incubus so they can blow him up when suddenly Enchantress sensed them and told them to come out. She then showed the squad what they want and that she can give it to them. She showed El Diablo with his family alive until he breaks from her reality and owns that he cannot change what he did.
He then pleads to the rest of the squad to reject the realities Enchantresses promises them (e.g. Deadshot killing Batman and Harley having a family with the Joker), telling them that it is not real. An enraged El Diablo then goes to confront the Enchantress, defiantly declaring that she can't control him or the squad. They are then attacked by Incubus who easily overpowers the group. El Diablo then volunteers to get Incubus in the corner so he can be blown up. Stating that he is not going to lose another family to Enchantress, he goes and fights off Incubus to protect the squad with his powers which temporarily affects him until he knocks El Diablo away.
El Diablo gets back up and uses his powers and transforms into a flaming skeleton avatar and manages to overpower Incubus and get him into the corner. He then thrusts his superheated arm right through Incubus' extremely durable chest, weakening him until his arm got stuck in Incubus' chest due to his healing factor and Incubus chokes him and reverts him back into his original human form. Flag tells him to get away from the bomb, but knowing that he can't, he tells Flag to blow the bomb presumably killing both Incubus and himself. Chato saved the Suicide Squad and the world from Incubus' and Enchantress' decimating power.
Chato Santana was initially a vain and opportunistic man prone to anger, as he notably used his pyrokinesis powers to his advantage, becoming a powerful and successful gang leader. However, Chato couldn't fully control his pyrokinetic superpowers when enraged, which ultimately resulted in him accidentally killing his wife and 2 children during an angry family spat. Devastated by his deed, Chato voluntarily surrenders to the authorities and becomes a far more calm, collected, benevolent. and withdrawn individual than before, not ever wanting to kill another person with his powers again. Hence, El Diablo was the calmest and benevolent member of the Suicide Squad.
He initially refuses to join the Squad, and even after joining, initially is extremely hesitant to use his powers unless absolutely necessary. Despite being withdrawn though, Chato relatively quickly befriends Harley Quinn, Deadshot, and Rick Flag, and is quick to save them from Enchantress' mental probing, which he overpowers due to his superior mental fortitude (which came as a result of him having become skilled at holding back his rage). Ultimately, Chato dies heroically, going all-out with his powers (as a huge flaming avatar) and sacrificing his life in order to defeat Incubus and save the world from Enchantress.
Powers and Abilities
- Pyrokinesis: El Diablo has the metahuman ability to generate and manipulate fire to a multitude of dangerous effects, from setting a match aflame, to making fire emerge on the floor of the jail he was kept inside. At full power, El Diablo can generate entire huge columns or concentric blasts of flame from his palms, but his power can also be as precise as lighting a candle, and crafting intricate designs out of flames, (such as a crown, spelled words, and the dancing figurine of his late wife) similar to holograms.
- Flaming Avatar Transformation: El Diablo can transform at will into a tall, flaming skeleton avatar with a demon-like appearance, whose size and power rival those of Incubus.
- Flaming Avatar Pyrokinesis: El Diablo's pyrokinesis is even hotter deadlier in this form, to the point that the flames turn blue-hot. With this intensity, El Diablo is able to counter the mighty Incubus, even able to thrust his superheated arm right through Incubus' extremely durable chest. Thus, when going all-out, El Diablo is the most powerful and formidable member of the Suicide Squad, with Amanda Waller referring to him as one of the most powerful metahumans of all (only inferior to Enchantress, Incubus and the Flash).
- Super Strength: El Diablo, when in his giant flaming avatar form, has incredible superhuman strength, though not quite the same level as that of Superman. His strength was able to match that of Incubus, however he was eventually overpowered and pinned down by the mystical giant, after his hand got caught in Incubus chest.
- Bilingual: El Diablo can fluently speak both his native Spanish (Mexican dialect) and English.
- Indomitable will: El Diablo possesses an exceptionally strong willpower and mental fortitude, which allowed him to be the only one to snap out of Enchantress' telepathic vision on his own, and then to help Deadshot, Rick Flag and Harley Quinn do the same.
- Skilled Combatant: El Diablo was a very effective physical combatant, thus he was able to battle and hurt Incubus while he was in his flaming avatar form, however he was eventually overpowered by the mystical giant. El Diablo may have also been a skilled fighter even before he was incarcerated in Belle Reve, having been a formidable gangster.
- Skilled Marksman: El Diablo, while not on par with Deadshot, seems to have been a highly skilled marksman, given the many guns his wife eventually discovered in their house.
- Water: El Diablo's superpowers are countered by a large amount of water, shown when he was being doused with water inside a large pipe in his Belle Reve cell, though he was still projecting fire on its floor. This means the water pipe is also to discourage him from using his powers, and to repeatedly neutralize them.
- Beings of Equal Power: El Diablo, when fighting beings of equal might, such as Enchantress or Incubus, is more vulnerable as they can generate enough force to knock out or injure El Diablo, even if he's in his flaming avatar form, as shown when Incubus was ultimately able to defeat and pin El Diablo's avatar down to the ground.
- Nano-bomb: El Diablo, like the other members of the Suicide Squad, was implanted with a Van Criss Laboratories nano-bomb. As a result, he dares not disobey Amanda Waller and Rick Flag, unwilling to have the implanted nano-bomb kill him by exploding his head.
- In the DC Comics universe, El Diablo is a name shared by three characters which include Lazarus Lane and Rafael Sandoval.
- He came to view the squad as a new family of sorts.
- He is the only member of the squad to willingly sacrifice himself, rather than be sacrificed by the higher ups.
|Task Force X|
|Members||Rick Flag (leader) | Captain Boomerang | Deadshot | Katana | Killer Croc|
|Former members||El Diablo | Enchantress | Slipknot | Harley Quinn|