Superhero Origins: The Suicide Squad

They are a secret government project officially called Task Force X, comprised of people who would tackle problems with no thought as to whether they would emerge alive. Eventually, this force came to be made up of criminals opting to shave time off of their heavy sentences though government service. To make sure they cooperated, they were fitted with explosive bracelets and anyone attempting to flee would be killed immediately. Join WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origin of the Suicide Squad. Special thanks to our user aldqbigsquare for submitting the idea on our WatchMojo.comsuggest page!
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*Written by Craig Butler

Superhero Origins: The Suicide Squad


Think your job is killing you? Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origin of the Suicide Squad.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginations and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 1959's Brave & the Bold #25, which was expanded upon in 1987's Legends #3, 1987’s Secret Origins #14, 2001’s Suicide Squad #1 and 2011's Phantom Stranger #0.

The Suicide Squad, which debuted in 1959, was the nickname of a secret government project called Task Force X, comprised of people who would tackle problems with no thought as to whether they would emerge alive.

Each of the four members of the Squad had chosen to do this because they had survived experiences where their comrades had died heroically.

Col. Rick Flag, the leader of the Squad, had seen the other members of his air-force squad perish in an aerial encounter. Likewise, military nurse Karin Grace watched a wounded soldier drown as physicist Jess Bright and astronomer Hugh Evans managed to escape a catastrophic nuclear bomb test.

Together, the Suicide Squad used their skills to defeat strange menaces – such as a prehistoric monster, which they destroyed by sending it in orbit around the sun.

By 1963, a variation of the Squad, called the Suicide Squadron, had their own adventures in “Star Spangled War Stories”. This squadron was unrelated to the original Squad, but was made up of military men who shared a similar courage in the face of bizarre and deadly menaces.

When the Squad was revived in 1987 as part of the “Legends” mini-series, its origin was changed significantly. Retroactive continuity established a connection between the original squad and the war-themed Suicide Squadron, but the newly formed Squad was a whole different animal.

This new Suicide Squad was put together by Amanda Waller, a tough, no-nonsense government official. Once again led by a man named Rick Flag – he was the son of the Colonel who had led the original unit.

This time, the crew was largely drawn from the ranks of the super-villains: criminals who, in order to shave some time off of their sentences. To make sure they cooperated, they were fitted with explosive bracelets and anyone attempting to flee would be killed immediately.

The new Squad’s first line-up consisted of Flag, the Flash’s foe Captain Boomerang, a magical being named the Enchantress, a scientist whose experiment made him massively strong but mentally unstable named Blockbuster, the expert marksman Deadshot, and martial arts master Bronze Tiger.

In their first adventure, the team of misfits defeated a monstrous villain called Brimstone. But in the process, Blockbuster was killed.

This marked the other key difference between this version of the Squad and the previous: members could and did get killed on their missions, making it a true Suicide Squad. As a result, membership in the Squad changed fairly frequently.

In 2001, the Squad received another makeover. The basic set-up was the same: villains working as part of a secret government project. But for this incarnation, Rick Flag was dispensed with and his place taken by Sgt. Rock, the hero of many DC Comics’ World War II stories, and Rock’s army colleague, Bulldozer – or at least by men claiming to be Rock and Bulldozer, both of whom supposedly died decades ago.

In 2011, yet another iteration of Suicide Squad burst on the scene, once again under the control of Amanda Waller. Her motivation for forming this Squad had to do with having to put a heroic colleague out of his misery when a mission went wrong and her new Squad was to be made up of people that she viewed as entirely expendable and deserving of any rotten fate that befell them.

Over it’s long history the Suicide Squad has made several television appearances as well. These included appearing on the show’s Justice League Unlimited, Smallville and Arrow. With a concept that allows for an unlimited cast of colorful characters, there’s no telling where they’ll turn up next.

Are you a fan of the Suicide Squad? For more comic book origins, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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