I think it is safe to assume that writer/director James Gunn has some affection for weird, anthropomorphic characters. He included a pair in his Guardians of the Galaxy movies and had another pair in his new movie The Suicide Squad. Granted, the end result for the ones in the latter movie was very different. I don’t think the two even shared any screentime.
But let’s face it: the Weasel certainly had a very distinctive look. His comic book counterpart was very different.
First appearing in The Fury of Firestorm #35 in August of 1985, Weasel was originally John Monroe. As a college student in the 60s, he was often ignored by his classmates or at least called the derisive nickname of “Weasel”. Years later, he was a professor at Vandemeer University working for tenure. Seeing he had some obstacles in his way, he decided that, since many of them were his old tormentors, it was perfectly acceptable to murder a few of them.
Granted, I’ve never worked for a tenure track institution, but I am pretty sure that murdering people who also work there is probably bad form.
Anyway, Monroe put on a costume modeled after his old nickname, complete with claws, and using some agility that he apparently had all along, he started murdering people. His mistake was targeting Martin Stein, half of Firestorm, because I don’t care how good you are with doing backflips, I really doubt that was much of a match for the Nuclear Man.
Not long after that, Weasel ended up on the Suicide Squad. He was a lot more animalistic and bloodthirsty there, and it meant he didn’t have long to live. Not only did he decide to try and skin and eat Doom Patrol member Robotman during the mission (he failed at that task because, hello, Robotman), but he early on did kill Suicide Squad teammate the Thinker. Thinker was being a model prisoner, following Flagg’s orders, and generally doing everything right because he really wanted time off on his sentence. Naturally, that angered the Weasel, and Weasel slit Thinker’s throat and killed him.
Later, though, Flagg put the Thinker’s helmet on, and, well, Thinker may have been doing everything right and trying to be helpful, but he was still a supervillain, so he had pre-programmed his helmet to kill the Weasel if someone wearing it came across that rotten rodent.
No one missed the Weasel.
Now, this is comics, and sometimes there are reboots and the like, so Weasel did return in the New 52 during the Forever Evil storyline where he stalked Steve Trevor and Killer Frost.
Frost, trying to be a good guy, reluctantly killed the Weasel and explained he was always considered the most pathetic of Firestorm’s various enemies. Then she apologized to the frozen corpse.
So, he started off as a college professor, but I guess working in academia will do a number on anybody. That said, we never really got much of an explanation for the Weasel as seen in James Gunn’s movie, aside from the fact he was more or less harmless but had killed 27 children.
As portrayed by Gunn’s brother Sean, this Weasel was, apparently, greatly inspired by Bill the Cat from the comic strip Bloom County. I can kinda see that.
So, really, that’s the Weasel, a pathetic supervillain who mostly just wanted academic job security, enough to step over some corpses to get to it. Maybe he took “publish or perish” a little too literally…