Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad
Suicide Squad
Suicidesquad pin.jpg
Promotional art by Michael Bair.
Group publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance (First:)
The Brave and the Bold #25 (August/September 1959)
Legends #3 (January 1987)
Created by (First)
Robert Kanigher
Ross Andru
John Ostrander
In-story information
Type of organization Team
Base(s) Belle Reve Prison, IMHS[1]
Suicide Squad
Suicide Squad -1.jpg The cover to Suicide Squad #1 (July 1987). Art by Howard Chaykin.
Series publication information
Schedule Monthly
Format (Vol. 1-3)
Ongoing series
(Raise the Flag)
Limited series
Genre Spy, superhero
Publication date (Vol. 1)
May 1987 – June 1992
(Vol. 2)
November 2001 – October 2002
(Raise the Flag)
November 2007 – June 2008
(Vol. 3)
October 2011 – Present
Number of issues (Vol. 1): 66
(Vol. 2): 12
(Raise the Flag): 8
(Vol. 3):
Creative team
Writer(s) (Vol. 1, Raise the Flag)
John Ostrander
(Vol. 2)
Keith Giffen
(Vol. 3)
Adam Glass
Penciller(s) (Vol. 1)
Luke McDonnell
Grant Miehm
John K. Snyder III
Geof Isherwood
(Vol. 2)
Paco Medina
(Raise the Flag)
Javier Pina
Robin Riggs
Jesus Saiz
(Vol. 3)
Federico Dallocchio
Inker(s) (Vol. 1)
Karl Kesel
(Vol. 2)
Joe Sanchez
(Raise the Flag)
Robin Riggs
Colorist(s) (Vol. 1)
Carl Gafford
Tom McCraw
(Vol. 2)
John Kalisz
(Raise the Flag:)
Jason Wright
(Vol. 3)
Val Staples
Creator(s) (First)
Robert Kanigher
Ross Andru
John Ostrander
Editor(s) (Vol. 1)
Robert Greenberger
Dan Raspler
Mike Gold
(Vol. 2)
Peter Tomasi
Stephen Wacker
(Raise the Flag)
Joan Hilty
Rachel Gluckstern
Collected editions
Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Trial by Fire ISBN 1-4012-3005-9
Suicide Squad: From the Ashes ISBN 1-4012-1866-0

The Suicide Squad, also known as Task Force X (actually the name of a closely related but independent supervisory organization), is a name for two fictional organizations in the DC Comics Universe. The first version debuted in The Brave and the Bold (vol. 1) #25 (1959), and the second in Legends #3 (1986). An "original" Suicide Squad was retconned into existence in Secret Origins (vol. 2) #14, in order to form a connection between the two Squads. The current Suicide Squad (created by John Ostrander in the aforementioned Legends #3) is an anti-hero team of incarcerated supervillains who act as deniable assets for the United States government, undertaking high-risk black ops missions in exchange for commuted prison sentences. The group operates out of Belle Reve Penitentiary, under the command of government agent Amanda Waller.


Publication history

The original Suicide Squad (featured in The Brave and the Bold) consisted of Rick Flag, Jr., his girlfriend Karin Grace, Dr. Hugh Evans, and Jess Bright. This team was created by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Ross Andru. Later continuity[2] established that the team's earliest incarnation was expressly formed to fight monstrous menaces as a replacement for the Justice Society of America, whose members had mostly retired in the wake of unjust accusations during the McCarthy Era.

The Suicide Squad was revived in the Legends mini-series, with writer John Ostrander at the helm. The renewed concept involved the government employing a group of supervillains to perform missions that were almost certainly suicide runs, a concept popular enough for an ongoing series titled simply Suicide Squad. The Squad was often paired together with DC's other government agency, Checkmate -- culminating in the Janus Directive[3] crossover.

The team's concept self-consciously emulated the World War II film The Dirty Dozen and the television series Mission: Impossible.[4] In addition, the Squad's existence was top-secret, creating much tension within the group, and leading the Squad to be targeted (unsuccessfully) by the likes of Lois Lane and Batman (the latter was forced to back off from his investigation when Squad leader Amanda Waller threatened to use her considerable government resources to expose Batman's secret identity). While some of the Squad members, such as Bronze Tiger, Deadshot, and Captain Boomerang were permanent fixtures, the balance of membership comprised a rotating cast of often very minor-league villains. These villains would agree to take on Suicide Squad missions in exchange for commuted prison sentences; thus, the Squad served as a partial explanation for what sometimes appeared to be a revolving-door justice system in the DC Universe.[4]

While the Squad succeeded on most of their missions, failure occasionally resulted (most notably the capture of Nemesis by Russian forces after a botched mission in Russia), as well as the death of one or more members. The use of minor characters added to the jeopardy, as it was not clear whether any given character would survive a mission. Writer John Ostrander did not shy away from killing off some of the Squad's principal characters, most notably Rick Flag, Jr. -- who was eliminated at the end of the book's second year.[5] At the time, the series was also notable for examining the lives, motivations, and psychological makeup of its characters with one issue per year featuring the group's psychologist interviewing various team members.[6]

Suicide Squad (vol. 1) lasted 66 issues, with one Annual and one special (Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad Special #1). After the series' cancellation in 1992, the team went on to make several guest appearances in titles like Superboy[7] (this Squad incorporated many of Superboy's enemies, as well as Superboy himself), Hawk & Dove,[8] Chase,[9] and Adventures of Superman.[10]

Suicide Squad (vol. 2) was published in 2001, written by Keith Giffen, with art by Paco Medina. Though the series' first issue featured a Squad composed entirely of Giffen's Injustice League[11] members, the roster was promptly slaughtered, save for Major Disaster and Multi-Man (whose powers make him unkillable). This prompted Squad leader Sgt. Rock to recruit new members—most of whom died during the missions they undertook.

Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag was a limited, eight-issue mini-series published in 2007. It featured the return of writer John Ostrander, with art by Javier Pina. The story focused on the return of Rick Flag, Jr., and the formation of a new Squad for the purpose of attacking a corporation responsible for the development of a deadly bio-weapon. Along the way, the group had to deal with the treachery of involuntary Squad member General Wade Eiling, and—true to the series' form—several fourth-string villains died in the line of duty.

The Brave and the Bold (vol. 1)


The original Suicide Squad appeared in six issues of The Brave and the Bold (vol. 1).[12] Though this early incarnation of the team (created by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Ross Andru) did not have the espionage trappings of later Squads, it laid much of the groundwork for Squad field leader Rick Flag, Jr.'s personal history.

Membership: The Brave and the Bold

Plot synopsis

The Suicide Squad stories in The Brave and the Bold revolved around a quartet of non-powered adventurers fighting superpowered opponents. Their adventures often involved conflict with dinosaurs, giants, and other monstrous creatures. In the team's final mission, Dr. Evans dies, and Jess Bright is captured by forces of the Soviet Union and transformed into the monstrous Koshchei.[13] Rick Flag, Jr. and Karin Grace split up, and Flag eventually joins the Forgotten Heroes.

Birth of the modern age Suicide Squad


In the wake of DC's line-wide Crisis on Infinite Earths event, several new book launches were conceptualized, with writer John Ostrander assigned the task of resurrecting the Suicide Squad for an ongoing monthly series. While Ostrander initially found the concept absurd, he soon hit upon the government black ops hook.[4] The team and its administrator Amanda Waller were introduced in the Legends mini-series,[14] with the original Squad's backstory fleshed out further in Secret Origins (vol. 2) #14,[2] and Nightshade in particular getting her own origin story (involving the Squad) in Secret Origins (vol. 2) #28.[15]

Membership: World War II Squad

Plot synopsis


In the midst of Darkseid's attempt to turn humanity against Earth's superheroes via his minion Glorious Godfrey, Amanda Waller assigns Col. Rick Flag, Jr. leadership of a reformed Task Force X,[16] composed of Bronze Tiger, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Blockbuster, and Enchantress. The Squad's first mission is to eliminate Darkseid's rampaging fire elemental, Brimstone; Blockbuster dies during the conflict, and Deadshot takes the creature down with an experimental laser rifle.[17] Waller dismisses the group,[18] though they soon reconvene to collect Captain Boomerang after Godfrey captures him.[19]

Secret Origins (vol. 2)

From Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #26, showing the World War II Suicide Squad.

During World War II, a number of Army riffraff are assembled into a unit that is highly expendable, and therefore nicknamed the Suicide Squadron (shortened to Suicide Squad). Several such teams existed, but their history in comics is only scarcely recorded before Rick Flag, Sr. becomes the leader of the team (and even then, only a few adventures of this Squad are shown). After the war ends, the team (together with the Argent group) is put under the umbrella organization of Task Force X. After his father's death, Rick Flag, Jr. goes on to lead the group that is featured in The Brave and the Bold (vol. 1). A deadly encounter with a Yeti during a mission in Cambodia sends Flag back to the U.S. with a wounded Karin Grace, and after a stint with the Forgotten Heroes, Flag is drafted into the Squad that Waller assembles in Legends.[2]

"A Princess' Story" from Secret Origins (vol. 2) #28 sheds light on Nightshade's origin, revealing that her mother hailed from the Land of the Nightshades. An ill-fated trip to this world ends with Nightshade's mother dead and her brother abducted, and Nightshade spends the following years honing her shadowy powers and building a reputation as a crimefighter. She falls in with King Faraday at the C.B.I.; Faraday eventually introduces her to Amanda Waller, who agrees to help her rescue her brother, in exchange for Nightshade's involvement with the Squad.[15]

Other World War II Suicide Squads

The World War II Squad of Secret Origins (vol. 2) #14 was a means of tying the Silver Age Suicide Squad to the war-era Suicide Squad (also called the Suicide Squadron) created by Robert Kanigher for his "The War that Time Forgot" tales in the pages of Star Spangled War Stories.[20] This Suicide Squadron is described as a "top-secret Ranger outfit" whose members were trained to tackle missions from which ordinary volunteers were not expected to return alive. It is unclear whether this team is part of the modern Suicide Squad canon, or if the Squad introduced in Secret Origins was intended as a replacement for them in DC continuity.

Another classic version of the Squad (Rick Flag, Karen Grace, Jess Bright, and Dr. Hugh Evans) appears in the non-canon 2004 mini-series DC: The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke. The group is briefly shown undertaking the sorts of dangerous missions the Squad is known for, and Flag eventually drafts Hal Jordan onto the team to assist in preparing a manned space flight to Mars. The experimental rocket's test run quickly goes south, and the group (sans Jordan) dies in the explosion.[21]

Suicide Squad (vol. 1)


The second Suicide Squad is a covert black ops government strike team. The team is partially made up of imprisoned supervillains who agree to serve as expendable agents performing extremely dangerous missions, which are officially denied by the US Government using the prisoners' participation as rationale to claim that the incidents are merely attacks by criminals, in return for a full pardon for their actions. This served as an explanation for the seeming revolving door justice in the DC Universe where a villain would be defeated and captured by a hero only to turn up free again a short time later. In addition, there are other non-prisoner members such as Nemesis and Nightshade who participate in the team as part of individual arrangements. The Suicide Squad operate out of Belle Reve prison in Louisiana.

To prevent members escaping in the field, the prisoners are shackled with an explosive bracelet that will detonate a certain distance from the field leader, who was typically Rick Flag, who wore a remote control that could detonate or disengage the bracelets as desired. The deadly martial artist called the Bronze Tiger acts as a backup disciplinary measure, and later, with the death of Rick Flag, as field leader of the team.

The group is largely run by Amanda Waller, although at times someone else acts as a cover for her, especially after the existence of the Suicide Squad becomes public. Eventually, the Suicide Squad leaves the government's control and becomes a freelance operation.

Membership: Amanda Waller's Squad

Because of the nature of the Suicide Squad, this list has been divided between those that serve on multiple missions, and those who do not. Also, the list is split between the members that participate on the behest of the government (Task Force X) and those that are later employed by Waller for her mercenary Suicide Squad after "The Phoenix Gambit" story-arc.

Task Force X

Multiple missions
One mission

Post-"Phoenix Gambit"

Multiple missions
One mission

Task Force X

Plot synopsis

Over the course of 66 issues, this incarnation of the Suicide Squad undertook numerous high-risk missions for the U.S. government.

"Baptism of Fire"

The team's first mission in the Suicide Squad title set them up against their recurring enemies, the Jihad. They infiltrate their headquarters (the fortress known as Jotunheim, situated in Qurac) and proceed to defeat and kill most of the Onslaught members. Elements from this first story arc return over the series, such as: the death of Mindboggler, Captain Boomerang's cowardly and treacherous nature, Nightshade's attraction to Rick Flag, Jr., a rivalry between Rustam and Rick Flag, Jr., and Ravan's defeat at the hands of the Bronze Tiger.[42]

"Mission to Moscow"

On orders of Derek Tolliver (the team's liaison with the NSC) the Suicide Squad is sent to Moscow in order to free the captive Zoya Trigorin, a revolutionary writer. Although the mission is largely successful in its first half, the team finds that Zoya does not want to be freed at all, causing friction amongst the team as they must plan their escape.

In the end, the mission ends with the Squad having to travel across a tundra to reach safety, but come face to face with the People's Heroes, the Russian's own group of metahumans. In the conflict, Trigorin dies and Nemesis (Tom Tresser) is captured.[44] It turns out Tolliver never even considered the possibility of Trigorin wishing to become a martyr, automatically leaping at the conclusion she would be eager to leave the Soviet Union, and thus risked Waller's wrath upon the mission's end.

Nemesis eventually escapes thanks to a collaboration between the Suicide Squad and the Justice League International, although the two teams fight one another first.[59] This conflict is primarily the result of Batman's investigation into the Suicide Squad, and his confrontation with Waller, and his being forced to drop the investigation when she reveals that she can easily figure out his secret identity if need be.[60]

"Rogues" and "Final Round"

Flag threatening Tolliver from the cover of Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #19.

In this story arc,[61] building on subplots from previous issues,[62] Rick Flag goes after Senator Cray in order to assassinate him. Previously, Senator Cray had been blackmailing Amanda Waller in order for her to ensure Cray's reelection, threatening her with the exposure of the Suicide Squad to the public, something potentially very dangerous for the existence of the Squad and Waller's career.

At first, there is also the threat of Waller being usurped by Derek Tolliver, the now former liaison between the Squad and NSC, who conspires with Cray against Waller. Waller deals with the situation by counter-blackmail (with help of Checkmate), but refrains from informing Flag,[63] who, thinking that the existence of the Squad is in danger, decides to deal with the problem himself.

In order to stop him, the Squad is sent after Flag, and it is eventually Deadshot who confronts Flag shortly before he can shoot Cray, but too late to prevent Tolliver's murder in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #21. Instead of disarming or killing Flag, Deadshot opts to kill Cray, nonetheless keeping to the mission statement: preventing Cray's murder at the hands of Flag.

Against Flag's intentions, the Suicide Squad is exposed to the public, thanks to a note for a press release (exposing the Suicide Squad) left in Tolliver's office, which the police discover thanks to his murder and which a corrupt officer reveals to the staff of the Daily Planet. Flag flees the scene, while Deadshot is shot by the arriving police officers. Unfortunately for Deadshot, who has a deathwish, he does not die from the injuries.

As the result of being exposed, Amanda Waller is replaced by a man called Jack Kale, in fact an actor, working as a cover so that Waller can continue to run the Squad. The team then goes on a public relations offensive, becoming for a time, a prominent heroing team by saving a renowned nun from a repressive regime.[64] Rick Flag travels to Jotunheim, where the Onslaught are still headquartered, and finishes the mission his father could not, blowing up Jotunheim with a prototype nuclear Nazi weapon but gives up his life to do so.[5]

"The Janus Directive"

Major Victory mourns the death of Lady Liberty in Suicide Squad #30, during the attack on Belle Reve, art by John K. Snyder III

"The Janus Directive" is a crossover storyline that involves an interagency war between Checkmate, the Suicide Squad, and Project Atom, who are manipulated by Kobra in order to distract the United States intelligence community from his activities. During the crossover, the headquarters of Checkmate and the Suicide Squad are destroyed as the war between the agencies worsens, as well as costing the lives of all members of the Force of July but Major Victory. In the end, with the defeat of Kobra, the various government agencies are made autonomous, to be overseen by Sarge Steel.

"The Coils of the LOA"

Amanda Waller and gang after their massacre of the LOA.

With the Suicide Squad on the verge of being disbanded by her superiors after Waller's lone wolf tactics during "The Janus Directive", Waller gathers Ravan, Poison Ivy, and Deadshot in an assassination mission of the LOA, a group that are planning to create a zombie army. The deal for the villains is simple: the three will be set free after helping Waller kill the LOA. While the villains run after the assassination, Waller allows herself to be put into custody.[65]

"The Phoenix Gambit"

The cover to Suicide Squad #40. The first part of the Phoenix Gambit. Cover by Geof Isherwood.

The storyline running through Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #40-43 reassembles a scattered Suicide Squad after a year of imprisonment for Amanda Waller. She receives a presidential pardon, courtesy of Sarge Steel, as well as one million dollars and her old privileges concerning the use of imprisoned villains.

This is done so that Waller can reassemble her Squad and prevent a confrontation between American and Russian forces in the war-torn country of Vlatava. As the Suicide Squad succeeds and finishes their mission, they go into a new direction, free from the government, as freelance operatives, per the terms negotiated by Waller. Under the leadership of Waller, who herself now also goes into the field as an operative, they are a mercenary squad open to the highest bidder.

"Serpent of Chaos"

This storyline ran through Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #45-47, Amanda Waller and the Squad covertly sneak into Jerusalem seeking to capture or kill Kobra. However, the squad's arrival is detected by the Hayoth, and their Mossad liaison Colonel Hacohen takes Waller and Vixen into custody in order to show them that the Hayoth has already captured Kobra. Amanda figures out that Kobra allowed the Hayoth to capture him but is unsure of why. Judith follows Vixen to a meeting with the Bronze Tiger and Ravan, critically wounds Vixen, and is nearly killed by the Bronze Tiger. Meanwhile, the Atom discovers Kobra's true plan all along was to corrupt Dybbuk the Hayoth's AI team member. Kobra "corrupted" Dybbuk through a series of philosophical conversations about the nature of good and evil; he then attempts to use Dybbuk to start World War III. The day is saved by Ramban the team's kabbalistic magician who has a lengthy conversation with Dybbuk about the true nature of good and evil, choice, and morality. Meanwhile, Ravan and Kobra have their final battle which results in Ravan's supposed death via poisoning.

"Mystery of the Atom"

This storyline ran through Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #59-62, the Hayoth mistakenly believe they would be allowed to take Qurac's former President Marlo into custody. This misunderstanding caused the Hayoth to become embroiled in a four way conflict with the Justice League (Superman, Batman, and Aquaman) who were there searching for Ray Palmer (the Atom) as well as the Suicide Squad, and the Jihad. After a series of skirmishes Superman ends the free for all with a shockwave caused by clapping both his hands together. The League confront Ray Palmer and he tells them about Micro Force and their murder of Adam Cray, the man who had been impersonating him as a member of the Suicide Squad.

"Rumble in the Jungle"

The series concludes in issues #63-66, in which the Suicide Squad travels to Diabloverde (an island near the Bermuda Triangle) to depose a seemingly invulnerable and invincible dictator calling himself Guedhe, who has his own personal bodyguards, a group of villains calling themselves the Suicide Squad. Insulted by the rival team usurping the Suicide Squad name, Waller accepts the mission to liberate Diabloverde at the price of one peso, paid by an exiled resident, Maria, with the addendum of exterminating the island's dictator.

During that mission they face the other Suicide Squad, who the actual Suicide Squad beats. At the end of the storyline Amanda Waller tricks the despot, actually Maria's husband, into a form of suicide (the despot believes himself to be immortal, when in actuality he was a formidable psychic whose consciousness kept animating his remains; Waller convinced him her touch brought death, and thus he died). Before that each of the Squad members travel through the mystic jungle to Guedhe's fortress and in that jungle face their personal demons (except for Deadshot. The creative team makes a point of showing he is seemingly unaffected or simply does not have any fears. Also note-worthy, the other Bat-villain, Poison Ivy, is not shown facing her fears and shows more concern for her nylons). Afterward, Waller disbands the Suicide Squad and the series ends.

Interim stories (between Vol. 1 and Vol. 2)


Though John Ostrander's Suicide Squad (vol. 1) series was canceled in 1992 with issue #66, the concept lived on in various DC storylines throughout the years. What follows is a breakdown of the Squad's various odd appearances over the years. Note that Superman (vol. 2) #182 and Superman Secret Files & Origins 2004 occur after Suicide Squad (vol. 2), but are included here for brevity's sake.

Membership: Interim Squads (between Vol. 1 and Vol. 2)

Plot synopsis

Superboy (vol. 3)

The Squad resurfaces in the three-issue Superboy (vol. 3) arc "Watery Grave," with a lineup consisting of Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, King Shark, Knockout, Sam Makoa, and Sidearm (who meets his death in the following issue). Superboy himself joins the Squad, to assist in taking out a Pacific Rim crime cartel called the Silicon Dragons.[7] Writer Karl Kesel claims to have come very close to killing Captain Boomerang during this arc.[4]

Hawk & Dove (vol. 4)

In the Hawk & Dove (vol. 4) mini-series, superheroes Hawk and Dove (Sasha Martens and Wiley Wolverman) are targeted by the government, who assemble a new Suicide Squad to subdue the pair. Squad members at the time include Bronze Tiger, Count Vertigo, Deadshot, Flex, Quartzite, Shrapnel, and Thermal.[8]


Amanda Waller reforms the Squad once again in Chase #2. D.E.O. agent Cameron Chase joins Bolt, Copperhead, Killer Frost, and Sledge on a mission to take out a South American military base, only to be betrayed by the villains.[9]

Superman: Our Worlds at War Secret Files & Origins

The brief story "Resources" (one of several in the issue) depicts Amanda Waller assembling the Squad that is seen in the Adventures of Superman arc.[69]

Adventures of Superman

In a story titled "The Doomsday Protocol," Lex Luthor organizes another Suicide Squad during his term as President of the United States, so that they can recruit Doomsday to battle the alien Imperiex. This version of the Squad consists of Chemo, Mongul, Plasmus, and Shrapnel; it is led by Manchester Black, under the supervision of Steel. Doomsday seemingly kills most of the Squad upon his release, but all of the characters turn up alive in later comics.[10]

Superman (vol. 2)

In the story "Dead Men," Amanda Waller sends a Squad consisting of Deadshot, Killer Frost, and Solomon Grundy after Lois Lane in order to silence her investigations into Lex Luthor's presidency.[71]

Superman Secret Files & Origins 2004

A mystery agent sends Captain Boomerang, Double Down, Killer Frost, and Killer Shark to (unsuccessfully) assassinate an imprisoned Amanda Waller as she awaits trial. Nemesis also appears. Note that this story, titled "Suicide Watch," is one of several included in the issue.[70]

Suicide Squad (vol. 2)

The cover to Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #1 (November 2001). Art by Paco Medina.


Keith Giffen's short-lived Suicide Squad run (which began in November 2001 and lasted 12 issues) is something of a darkly humorous analog to the writer's former work on Justice League International, and follows a new version of the Squad, designated Task Force Omega, and run by Sgt. Frank Rock. Together with his right-hand (and wheelchair-bound) man Bulldozer, Rock taps new characters Havana (later revealed to be Amanda Waller's daughter[75]) and Modem to round out the team's mobile HQ. President Lex Luthor and Secretary of Metahuman Affairs Amanda Waller are shown to be supplying the Squad's assignments.[76] Rock is thought by several other characters to have been deceased since the end of World War II, and they are surprised to see him alive and well.[77][78] Two flashback stories[79][80] provide some context for Rock's current-day activities, but the series' final issue strongly implies that Rock is an (as-yet-unidentified) impostor.[81]

Membership: Sgt. Rock's Squad

Multiple missions

One mission

Plot synopsis

The first issue details the former Injustice League's terminally botched attempt to extract a kidnapped scientist from an Icelandic facility. With all but one team member (Major Disaster) dead by issue's end, Sgt. Rock forms a new Squad for the missions ahead.[77] Major Disaster, Deadshot, and Killer Frost are mainstays of the field team. For his part, Rock is every bit as ruthless as Amanda Waller was (though far more affable), remorselessly sending his agents to die for the good of their country.

The Squad's missions involve eliminating an out-of-control colony of bio-engineered army ants,[92] and investigating the mysterious island of Kooey Kooey Kooey to discourage its telepathic inhabitants from declaring war on Earth.[90] The final story arc revolves around an all-out attack on the Squad by the members of Onslaught, led by the son of longtime Squad enemy Rustam. Onslaught kills Modem and captures Rock, Havana, and Waller.[93] Upon learning that the Squad has been compromised, Waller's office drafts the Justice Society of America to counterattack Onslaught alongside the Squad, but they arrive too late to save Havana from Rustam's wrath. Deadshot discovers a discarded Sgt. Rock mask inside an empty holding cell, which prompts Bulldozer (who is monitoring the situation remotely via Deadshot's video camera) to stand from his wheelchair and announce that "I guess the gig is up, then" before leaving. Back in her office, Amanda Waller reviews Bulldozer's file, and states that he and Sgt. Rock died in 1945.[81]

Interim stories (between Vol. 2 and Raise the Flag)


Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad were heavily involved in the events and fallout of 52. During much of this time, Waller ran the Squad covertly, due to her station as the White Queen of Checkmate. This inter-faction tension is a recurring theme throughout these stories.

Membership: Interim Squads (between Vol. 2 and Raise the Flag)

Plot synopsis


In the weekly 52 comic series, Amanda Waller assembles a short-lived Suicide Squad, led by Atom Smasher,[121][122] to take on an out-of-control Black Adam. Atom Smasher's team (composed of Captain Boomerang, Count Vertigo, Electrocutioner, Persuader, and Plastique) ambushes the Black Marvel Family, getting Waller the evidence that she needs to expose their threat to the world.[123] As Waller reviews future potential Squad members, Atom Smasher quits the team, threatening to inform Checkmate of Waller's unauthorized field ops unless she grants him a full pardon.[124] Later, as World War III rages, Waller informs Bronze Tiger that Rick Flag, Jr. is alive.[95]

Checkmate (vol. 2): "Rogue Squad"

As part of DC's One Year Later event, writer Greg Rucka penned the two-part "Rogue Squad" arc in the monthly Checkmate (vol. 2) series. After Bronze Tiger finds Rick Flag, Jr. alive, Amanda Waller (now the White Queen of Checkmate) taps the pair to track down a rogue Squad that's out to expose her off-the-books activities. The Squad is led by Mirror Master, and includes Icicle, Javelin, Plastique, Tattooed Man, Punch, and Jewelee.[96]

Salvation Run

Beginning in the pages of Countdown, the Squad makes various one-off appearances, where they are seen rounding up the world's villains for an unknown purpose. This culminates in the seven-issue Salvation Run mini-series (written by Bill Willingham), where the Squad sends the apprehended villains to a remote prison world via boom tube. Squad members seen rounding up villains include Rick Flag, Jr., Bronze Tiger, Captain Boomerang, Count Vertigo, the General, King Faraday, Multiplex, Nightshade, Plastique, Bane, Deadshot, and Chemo (the latter three are betrayed by the Squad and sent to the prison planet with the other villains).[98][101][103][105][108][109][112][114][115]

Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag

The cover to Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #1 (November 2007). Art by John K. Snyder III.


John Ostrander returned to the Suicide Squad for an eight-issue mini-series, starting in November 2007. The series takes place roughly between the Squad's appearance in Checkmate (vol. 2) #6-7 and the events of Salvation Run (as Amanda Waller has already been ousted from her position at Checkmate, but Deadshot is still with the Squad and not exiled).

Membership: Raise the Flag

Plot synopsis

Rick Flag, Jr. is revealed to be alive, having been transported to the dinosaur-infested island of Skartaris by his enemy Rustam after Flag's apparent death beneath Jotunheim.[127] The pair works together for mutual survival,[135] though Flag is forced to kill Rustam once they discover a way home. Flag winds up as a P.O.W. in Qurac for the next four years; after being rescued by Bronze Tiger, Flag rejoins the Squad, which includes his now-superhuman former commanding officer, General Wade Eiling.[136]

After reviewing several new recruits,[136][137] Amanda Waller briefs the Squad on the latest target: a Dubai-based global conglomerate called Haake-Bruton, whose deadly and fast-acting new viral weapon is to be destroyed, and its board of directors eliminated.[138] The Squad airdrops onto Haake-Bruton's island stronghold, but Eiling compromises the mission, betraying the Squad to Haake-Bruton's board in exchange for asylum.[139] The Squad suffers heavy casualties in the sudden internal conflict.[140] Despite numerous setbacks, Deadshot manages to carry out the assassination, while Waller confronts the General personally. Eiling demonstrates control over Flag via psychological conditioning; Flag subdues him after revealing his cooperation as a ruse, and the Squad returns to Belle Reve. Flag is unfazed by Waller's revelation that his own identity and memories are implanted, asserting to Nightshade that—no matter what anyone else says—he is still Rick Flag.[141]

Further adventures


The Squad made prominent appearances in a four-issue Manhunter (vol. 4) arc[142] and during the Blackest Night crossover event.[143] In his multiverse-spanning adventures, Booster Gold briefly cooperated with a version of the Silver Age Squad.[144]

Membership: Post-Raise the Flag

Blackest Night: The Homicide Squad

Plot synopsis

Manhunter (vol. 4)

During the "Forgotten" story arc, a publicly disbanded Squad has a run-in with Manhunter, after she unknowingly compromises a months-long undercover investigation into the Crime Doctor's villainous operations.[142]

Booster Gold (vol. 2)

On one of his adventures throughout the DC multiverse, Booster Gold winds up in an alternate 1952, where Karin Grace drafts him into a Squad led by Frank Rock. The team infiltrates a U.S. military compound to root out a Soviet double-agent, who ultimately turns out to be the creator of the Rocket Reds' combat armor.[144]

Blackest Night

In the three-issue Blackest Night tie-in arc "Danse Macabre" (written by Gail Simone and John Ostrander), several deceased Suicide Squad members are reanimated as Black Lanterns (this group is unofficially known as the "Homicide Squad"). They attack the Squad and the Secret Six, who are engaged in simultaneous conflicts at their respective headquarters, owing to Amanda Waller's plans to shut down the Six. The two teams join forces to wipe out the Homicide Squad; with the immediate threat resolved, the Six assert their independence, and Deadshot places a bullet mere centimeters from Waller's heart to punctuate the point. As she recovers at Belle Reve, she reveals that she is secretly Mockingbird, the Secret Six's mysterious benefactor.[143]

Suicide Squad (vol. 3)

A new Suicide Squad title written by Adam Glass and drawn by Marco Rudy is set to launch in September 2011. Confirmed characters are Rick Flag, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, El Diablo, Voltaic, Black Spider and King Shark.[151]

Collected editions

Suicide Squad trade paperbacks include:

In other media


  • At the height of Suicide Squad (vol. 1), DC had meetings with TV writers and producers to discuss the possibility of a Squad show. According to John Ostrander, the ideas were pretty bad, and nothing ultimately came of it.[156]
The animated Squad. From left to right: Plastique, Deadshot, Clock King, and Captain Boomerang. Not pictured: Rick Flag.
  • The Squad first appears in the animated Justice League Unlimited series, in the episode "Task Force X" (censorship restrictions precluded the use of the word "suicide" in a kids' show). The Squad is gathered as an infiltration team funded by the U.S. government; featured members include Rick Flag, Jr. (who serves as the field commander), Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Plastique, and Clock King (who serves as the mission coordinator, similar to Oracle in the comics). The team members do not appear in their original supervillain costumes; they are hired for a stealth mission, to appropriate the Annihilator from the Justice League Watchtower. They succeed, but Plastique is critically wounded in the process. As revealed at the end of the episode, each member has to remain with Task Force X for five years to earn suspended prison sentences and are kept from escaping with the threat of detonating explosive nanites each member is previously maneuvered into ingesting.
  • In Smallville's season 9 episode "Absolute Justice," the Suicide Squad is referenced directly by Checkmate's Amanda Waller. At the end of the episode, she shoots Icicle, who attempted to quit working for her. The end of the episode also reveals that Tess Mercer is a Checkmate agent.
  • The Suicide Squad itself is featured in Smallville's 10th and final season. Members who have appeared so far include Rick Flag, Deadshot (Floyd Lawton), Plastique (Bette Sans Souci), and Warp (Emil LaSalle). It's revealed half way through the tenth season that the Squad is now working for Chloe Sullivan.


  • Warner Bros. is currently developing a Suicide Squad movie. Dan Lin is producing, and Justin Marks is scripting.[157]

Video game

DC writer and editor Geoff Johns has confirmed that a video game based on the Suicide Squad is in development.[158]

Squiddy Awards

The Squiddy Awards, given by the members of the rec.arts.comics newsgroup on Usenet, ultimately derive their name from the Suicide Squad comic book. The name originated April 1991, when a regular poster to rec.arts.comics typoed "i" for "a," and other posters—seeing an opportunity for humor—went into great detail about what was going on in the (non-existent) Suicide Squid comic title. The self-destructive cephalopod is often seen on official rec.arts.comics t-shirts at conventions.

See also

  • List of government agencies in DC Comics


  1. ^ (Institute for Metahuman Studies)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Secret Origins (vol. 2) #14
  3. ^ The 11-part Janus Directive crossover consisted of Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #27-30, Checkmate (vol. 1) #15-18, Manhunter (vol. 2) #14, Firestorm (vol. 2) #86, and Captain Atom #30
  4. ^ a b c d Flashback: The Suicide Squad (Back Issue #26, February 2008)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #26
  6. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #8, 19, and 31
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Superboy (vol. 3) #13-15
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Hawk & Dove (vol. 4) #3-5
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Chase #2-3
  10. ^ a b c d e f Adventures of Superman #593-594
  11. ^ Justice League Annual #1
  12. ^ a b c d e The Brave and the Bold (vol. 1) #25-27, 37-39
  13. ^ a b c Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #50
  14. ^ Legends #1-6
  15. ^ a b Secret Origins (vol. 2) #28
  16. ^ Legends #1
  17. ^ Legends #3
  18. ^ Legends #4
  19. ^ Legends #5
  20. ^ Star Spangled War Stories #110-111, 116-121, 125, and 127
  21. ^ DC: The New Frontier #1-4
  22. ^ a b c d e Starting in Legends #3
  23. ^ a b c d Starting in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #1
  24. ^ Starting in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #16
  25. ^ a b c d e Starting in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #24
  26. ^ Starting Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #9
  27. ^ Beatty, Scott (2008). "Empress". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. p. 115. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. OCLC 213309017. 
  28. ^ Starting in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #13
  29. ^ Starting in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #2
  30. ^ Starting in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #30
  31. ^ Starting in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #23
  32. ^ Starting in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #33
  33. ^ Starting in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #15
  34. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #9
  35. ^ a b c d Fury of Firestorm #64, Firestorm Annual (vol. 2) #5
  36. ^ Starting in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #11
  37. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #40-43
  38. ^ Legends #3-4
  39. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #4
  40. ^ a b Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #29-30
  41. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #20
  42. ^ a b c Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #1-2
  43. ^ a b c d Suicide Squad/Doom Patrol Special
  44. ^ a b Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #5-7
  45. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #24-25
  46. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #11-12
  47. ^ Rejoins in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #40
  48. ^ First appearance in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #44
  49. ^ a b c d e Rejoins in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #41
  50. ^ Rejoins in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #44
  51. ^ Rejoins in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #43
  52. ^ Rejoins in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #51
  53. ^ First appearance in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #58
  54. ^ First appearance in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #50
  55. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #58
  56. ^ a b c d e Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #63-66
  57. ^ a b Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #53-57
  58. ^ a b c d Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #64-66
  59. ^ Justice League International (vol. 1) #13 and Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #13
  60. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #10
  61. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #21-22
  62. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #8, 11, 14, 17, 19
  63. ^ Flag finds out in Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #19
  64. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #23-25
  65. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 1) #37-39
  66. ^ Superboy (vol. #3) #13, 15
  67. ^ a b c Hawk & Dove (vol. 4) #4-5
  68. ^ Chase #2
  69. ^ a b c d e Superman: Our Worlds at War Secret Files & Origins #1
  70. ^ a b c d e f g Superman Secret Files & Origins 2004
  71. ^ a b c d Superman (vol. 2) #182
  72. ^ a b Adventures of Superman #594
  73. ^ Adventures of Superman #593
  74. ^ Superboy (vol. 3) #13-14
  75. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #9
  76. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #6
  77. ^ a b c d e f Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #1
  78. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #2
  79. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #4
  80. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #10
  81. ^ a b c d e f Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #12
  82. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #2, 6-9, 11-12
  83. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #1-3, 6-8, 10-12
  84. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #5-8, 12
  85. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #1-4, 6-12
  86. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #2-4, 6-9, 11-12
  87. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #3, 6-8, 12
  88. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #1, 6-8
  89. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #2-3, 5-8, 11
  90. ^ a b c Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #6-8
  91. ^ a b c d Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #3
  92. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #2-3
  93. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 2) #11
  94. ^ a b 52 #24, 33-34, 45
  95. ^ a b c World War III, Book Three: Hell Is for Heroes
  96. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Checkmate (vol. 2) #6-7
  97. ^ Checkmate (vol. 2) #19-20
  98. ^ a b c d e f g h Justice League of America (vol. 2) #15, 17-18
  99. ^ Salvation Run #1
  100. ^ a b Checkmate (vol. 2) #18-19
  101. ^ a b c d e f g h i Outsiders (vol. 2) #50
  102. ^ Justice League of America (vol. 2) #18
  103. ^ a b Salvation Run #1-2
  104. ^ a b Justice League of America (vol. 2) #15
  105. ^ a b c d e f Gotham Underground #1, 3, 6
  106. ^ a b c d e f Salvation Run #2
  107. ^ Countdown #39, 28
  108. ^ a b c d e All Flash #1
  109. ^ a b c d Green Arrow and Black Canary Wedding Special #1
  110. ^ a b c d e 52 #33-34
  111. ^ a b Countdown #39
  112. ^ a b c d Catwoman (vol. 3) #74
  113. ^ Checkmate (vol. 2) #18, 20
  114. ^ a b Checkmate (vol. 2) #18-20
  115. ^ a b Countdown #43-42, 39, 28, 25, 22
  116. ^ Checkmate (vol. 2) #18
  117. ^ Countdown #28
  118. ^ a b Checkmate (vol. 2) #19
  119. ^ Countdown #43-42, 28
  120. ^ Checkmate (vol. 2) #20
  121. ^ 52 #24
  122. ^ 52 #33
  123. ^ 52 #34
  124. ^ 52 #45
  125. ^ a b c Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #1-8
  126. ^ a b Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #5-7
  127. ^ a b Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #1
  128. ^ a b c Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #3-8
  129. ^ a b c d e Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #4-8
  130. ^ Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #1, 3-8
  131. ^ Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #1, 8
  132. ^ Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #6-8
  133. ^ Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #4-7
  134. ^ Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #5-8
  135. ^ Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #2
  136. ^ a b Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #3
  137. ^ Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #4
  138. ^ Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #5
  139. ^ Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #6
  140. ^ Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #7
  141. ^ Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #8
  142. ^ a b c d e f g Manhunter (vol. 4) #33-36
  143. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Blackest Night: Suicide Squad #67 and Secret Six (vol. 3) #17-18
  144. ^ a b c d e f g Booster Gold (vol. 2) #20
  145. ^ Manhunter (vol. 4) #36
  146. ^ Secret Six (vol. 3) #17
  147. ^ Blackest Night: Suicide Squad #67
  148. ^ Blackest Night: Suicide Squad #67 and Secret Six (vol. 3) #17
  149. ^ Secret Six (vol. 3) #18
  150. ^ Secret Six (vol. 3) #17-18
  151. ^
  152. ^ "Suicide Squad: From the Ashes trade profile at DC". April 21, 2010. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  153. ^ "Suicide Squad: Trial by Fire trade profile at DC". April 21, 2010. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  154. ^ "Suicide Squad: The Nightshade Odyssey trade profile at DC". 
  155. ^ "Secret Six: Danse Macabre trade profile at DC". Retrieved February 20, 2011. 
  156. ^ Hutchison, Michael. "John Ostrander: The Interview". Fanzing. August 1999.
  157. ^ Kit, Borys. "Scribe In for 'Suicide Squad' Pact". The Hollywood Reporter. February 25, 2009.
  158. ^ "Suicide Squad videogame in the works". 

External links

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