Today’s guide for Patrons of Crushing Krisis seemed like it would be a straight-forward team guide, but I wasn’t accounting for how unique each iteration of this death-defying squadron tends to be…
Suicide Squad wasn’t always a team of villains serving a compulsory stint as reluctant heroes.
The title has its origins in the Silver Age with a pair of paramilitary mad science tales in The Brave and the Bold and Star Spangled War Stories (which, by the way, means that Suicide Squad actually predates the Justice League by a few months).
That Squadron X was a wildly different team than the modern version lead by Amanda Waller. The two were cleverly linked in the wake of Legends, the first post-Crisis DC event. Legends served as the introduction to Waller and her team of ne’er-do-wells, most of whom were incredibly obscure villains. Captain Boomerang was probably the most widely-known of the original cast, at the time!
Of course, now we associate Suicide Squad as much with Amanda Waller and those once-obscure villains like Boomerang, Deadshot, and Enchantress as we do with Harley Quinn. That was all the work of the New 52 iteration of the team in 2011 and the 2016 film version. Harley’s addition to the Squad makes for an odd fit at points, but it’s the version that hit cinemas so it’s like to be a permanent change.
As I tried to make sense of each of these four versions of the team (of a total of eight so far), I was struck by how unique each iteration of the team has been while still hewing to that Secret Originsconnection from the Silver Age to the modern day.
That made this guide slightly harder to track than a typical team book guide, where I follow each character throughout their other appearances. Who would this guide follow?
Amanda Waller and Rick Flag both became regular guest stars beyond the Squad, and even when they briefly assemble their own teams while guesting and call them a “Suicide Squad” they don’t necessarily have any firm attachment to this franchise. Harley didn’t join until 2011; Boomerang still turns up in Flash.
If anything, it feels like Deadshot has become the villain most-associated with the team (he’s been in every modern iteration), but even he had a 2005 mini-series unrelated to the Squad concept.
For now, that means this guide remains relatively focused on actual series called “Suicide Squad,” with just a handful of detours As I continue to work through the other DC guides, it might sense to incorporate more tracking of Waller, Flag, and Deadshot as I complete other guide pages to which I can refer for their guest appearances.
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Marvel Guides: Alpha Flight, Ant-Man & Giant-Man, Champions, Darkhawk, Dazzler, Domino, Gwenpool, Legion, Marvel Era: Marvel Legacy, Moon Boy / Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur, Ms. Marvel: Kamala Khan, Power Pack, Scarlet Witch, Sentry, Silk, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Venom, Vision