Both DC and Marvel have great superhero-assembled teams that combine their powers and talents to save the world and the universe. There are also supervillains that also come together and form teams of an evil nemesis who fight the good guys and want to rule the world. Well, there is a team of misfits, beaten up, some even forgotten, that formed a group of fallen former villains who are recruited by the government to perform pretty hard missions, suicide missions. This article will focus on the Suicide Squad’s history and origin.
First Suicide Squad appeared in the Brave and the Bold #25 comics during the Silver Age of the Comics. First member physicist Jess Bright; astronomer Dr. Hugh Evans; Rick Flag Jr., the team leader; and Karin Grace, flight medic. Over the years missions and the roster of the squad changed multiple times. The leader is Amanda Waller, a director of Suicide Squad, a ruthless woman who recruits the villains for her organization. The most prominent members of the Suicide Squad are Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Joker, Enchantress, Rick Flag Jr., and more.
Now that you know the short story, it’s time to analyze the topic further. So, stay with us!
Suicide Squad Origins
As we already mentioned, the Suicide Squad idea came from Amanda Waller, a ruthless government official, who realized that most of the villains who are defeated are just rotting in jail for the rest of their lives, or just until they escape again. The villains complete these missions in exchange for decreased sentences or a release from prison. Firstly known as Task Force X, Suicide Squad members go to really risky, black ops missions that are just too much for the official government agencies or even superhero teams to complete. The original team of villains was actually a replacement of the Justice Society of America that retired, and someone needed to take over the mantle as the “protectors of the world”.
Of course, this team is top-secret and no one knows about them except superheroes like Batman and others. Even though the team members rotated a lot through the years, the likes of Rick Flag, Deadshot, and Captain Boomerang are the only long-standing members of the team. Of course, New 52 changed bits and pieces of the Squad but, more or less, most of their backstory stayed the same.
Suicide Squad History
The Suicide Squad appeared in multiple different storylines and arcs of the comic books. The main ones like Suicide Squad vol.1 were created by John Ostrander which launched in 1987 and had over 66 issues released to the public. The first volume also included one annual and one special Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad Special #1 which were published in 1988. This volume kickstarted the Suicide Squad’s popularity and new characters and team members. Rick Flag Jr., Amanda Waller, Deadshot, Count Vertigo, Poison Ivy, Enchantress, Joker, Bronze Tiger, Vixen, and many more villains were part of the Suicide Squad and the comic book series followed their adventures of solving very dangerous missions for U.S. government.
A surprising addition to the squad was Barbara Gordon, formerly Batgirl, who got shot by Joker in the spine and stayed paraplegic, for her to later become an Oracle, a technical advisor, computer expert, an information broker. She helped the Suicide Squad tremendously. The series also followed the stories of each character and their struggles and motivations with everything that has been going on with them in the team and more.
Suicide Squad vol.2 was not long as the previous one, and only lasted for 12 issues. This run is specific for its dark humor and quite a lot of changes to the team. The new director of the Suicide Squad became Sgt. Frank Rock. Some members include Big Sir, Bulldozer, Multi-Man, Killer Frost, Deadshot, Havana, Major Disaster, and more. The most surprising thing about this series is that a lot of members died, because of the ruthlessness of Sgt. Frank Rock, who, at the end of the comic book series, was revealed of being an imposter.
Suicide Squad vol.3 saw the comeback of the first volume creator, John Ostrander, who introduced the Suicide Squad again under the leadership of Amanda Waller and presented the fans with new members. Some of them included Rick Flag Jr., Blackguard, Count Vertigo, Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, Blackguard, and more. The volume resolved Rick Flag Jr.’s survival, and eventual betrayal of some members, which led to casualties.
Suicide Squad vol.4 was written by Adam Glass in 2011 as a part of the New 52 run. Amanda Waller is back as the leader of the team, with Deadshot being promoted as the field’s team leader. This is a volume that inducted Harley Quinn as a member of Suicide Squad, and this is where we first see into twisted relationship between her and Joker. Waller recruits James Gordon Jr., son of Jim Gordon, who is a psychopath and a serial murderer to act as Belle Reve’s in-house psychiatric adviser, who developed an obsession with her. Besides Harley Quinn, a few new members were inducted into the Squad – Cheetah, El Diablo, Black Spider, and more.
Suicide Squad vol.5 launched at the end of the New 52 initiative, but also during the relaunch of the entire line of titles called DC Rebirth in 2016. At that time, the first Suicide Squad live-action movie was made, and the comics reflected the movie’s character design. Amanda Waller was back again as the director, and Deadshot, Rick Flag, Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Katana, and Enchantress were team members this time. This title also crossovers with the Justice League in Justice League vs. Suicide Squad volume.
Suicide Squad Black was created after vol.5 and creators presented fans with the magical version of Suicide Squad during the DC Rebirth in 2019. Suicide Squad vol.6 was relaunched at the start of 2020, which showed the leadership of a mysterious bureaucrat called Lok of a team composed of Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Magpie, Cavalier, Shark, and Zebra-Man. Their goal was to pressure a group of anarchist superhumans called the Revolutionaries.
The most recent comic run, Suicide Squad vol.7 has launched in the March of 2021. This volume saw the comeback of Amanda Waller and a total revamp of the Squad’s members. The team now included Peacemaker, Nocturna, Match, Talon, Black Siren, and more.
All in all, Suicide Squad had amazing runs throughout the years – it showed us the other side of the superhero life coin and went deeper into the villain’s psyche that we rarely saw before. DC did an amazing job of making us love the twisted, ruthless, but sometimes kind villains who showed us that they have so much more to offer than just being a “prop” to superheroes’ “heroism”.
As we already mentioned, Suicide Squad live-action movies were not that well received by the public and the fans, however, changes are seen and with the new Batman movie that has been really solid, there is hope that Suicide Squad movies will be better in the future. They have a good cast, they just need good executives and less involved board members of Warner Bros.
This is it for this article, hope you enjoyed the brief history and origins of the Suicide Squad. Thank you for reading and until the next time!