30 years ago - Joseph Martin is born
16 years ago - 14-year-old Joseph has his juvenile record expunged so he can play football.
13 years ago - 17-year-old Joseph gets a football scholarship to Metropolis University.
11 years ago - 19-year-old Joseph is expelled from school for sexual assault. He starts breaking and entering to fund his drug habit.
10 years ago - 20-year-old Joseph breaks into Star Labs. He is exposed to their mutogenic gene-bomb. He takes the name of a movie character, Atomic Skull, and attempts to be a superhero, but quickly becomes a violent menace. He is stopped by Power Girl.
7 years ago - 23-year-old Joseph attacks Superman. His powers burn the flesh from his face, driving him insane.
2 years ago - 28-year-old Joseph is recruited to the Suicide Squad by Amanda Waller. He goes berzerk, killing Magenta & Hellhound on his first mission, and is killed by Bane.
Atomic Skull is an AWESOME villain, but you have to be really careful how you use him. He's a great member of Superman's rogue's gallery, but the times you deploy him within the timeline need to be regulated.
There are actually two different Atomic Skulls in DC's continuity, a scientist, and a younger character. We decided to keep with the younger Joseph Martin version of the character, as it's way more in keeping with this character's completely crazy visuals. We've been very careful to have him deal with different members of Superman's supporting cast, giving each of them a chance to test themselves against his massive power levels.
Of course, he's a major player in one of our major Suicide Squad story lines. He actually has been in the Squad in continuity, although that particular lineup was mostly remembered for being way way WAY too overpowered. This is a guy that's gone toe-to-toe with Superman, there's no way he should be in the Squad. but of course, it actually does seem like something Amanda Waller would do, to try to control a monster like this, and the results is a major tragedy.
Of course, it also gives us an awesome heroic moment for Bane, to watch him crush the Skull's head between his hands, claiming the Squad as his own. That's pretty metal.