Who's Who in the Superman Comics
The Suicide Squad
Through many different phases and designs, the Suicide Squad has been a mainstay of the U.S. government. The team's original incarnation dates back to World War II. At the time, the group was formed from a collection of rogue soldiers; their main mission was to invade and maintain a presence of the mysterious Dinosaur Island - a dangerous place which is the only known habitat for prehistoric creatures. The Suicide Squad, in many ways, mirrored the more celebrated Dirty Dozen.
The next incarnation for the Suicide Squad came during the early days of the Cold War, and America's fight against communism. Led by Rick Flag, the Suicide Squad (also known as Task Force X) was a small group of elite agents. The team tackled such threats as enemy agents, alien invaders, master criminals, and other extraordinary threats to America. This version of the group was more like the fabled Impossible Missions Force.
Eventually, the Suicide Squad was disbanded and dormant for an extended period. But Rick Flag remained a government agent. It so happened that Vandal Savage tried to conquered the Earth, and Flag - working with Superman and the Immortal Man, became the leader of the so-called Forgotten Heroes. A team of obscure adventurers and superhumans, the Forgotten Heroes managed to defeat Vandal Savage, and assist Superman again. This brought Flag to the attention of Amanda Waller, a high-ranking government official at the time. Waller's idea was to recreate the Suicide Squad, however (much to Rick Flag's discontent) this time Task Force X would be comprised of the deadliest super-villains incarcerated. It was Waller's idea that the villains would make the perfect agents. They were ruthless and deadly, and the U.S. could disavow them if they were ever captured or killed during a secret mission.
Eventually, an immediate threat forced the new incarnation of the Suicide Squad into quick action: Brimstone, a titanic monster under the will of Darkseid, was threatening America. Rick Flag's new team, including Blockbuster, Deadshot, The Enchantress, Captain Boomerang, and the Bronze Tiger, fought Brimstone. Blockbuster was killed during the battle, but the Squad defeated the massive monster. The success of the Suicide Squad boosted the prominence of Amanda Waller. As the director of the project, she managed to secure a major headquarters for the team - Belle Reve prison in Louisiana. At this facility, there was a support team in place, and the inmates inside were mostly supercriminals...the perfect agents for the Suicide Squad.
In time, Rick Flag was killed in battle, and Amanda Waller became the face of the Suicide Squad. Ambitious and strong-willed, Ms. Waller led the group against countless threats to national security, and utilized the deadliest villains as agents to get the job done. Killer Frost, Solomon Grundy, Punch and Jewelee, Multiplex, The Parasite, Major Force, Poison Ivy and others were employed over time. Also, a number of heroes/super-agents were brought in as field commanders, including Vixen, Nightshade, Nemesis, and the mysterious and enigmatic Black Orchid. Task Force X would become a mainstay. The latest version of the Suicide Squad, although the most dangerous, has eclipsed the previous versions of the group.
Superman has had to face the Suicide Squad at least twice in recent days. Once, Amanda Waller - while in the administration of President Lex Luthor - sicked the Squad on Lois Lane, in an effort to intimidate the intrepid news reporter. Solomon Grundy, Killer Frost, and Deadshot played a deadly game with Lois and Superman. This encounter only fueled the eventual downfall of Lex Luthor, and led to Waller being imprisoned on charges of treason.
Imprisoned at Belle Reve, Waller was thought to be safely secured. However, Captain Boomerang, Killer Frost, Double Down, and King Shark - on orders from a mysterious bureaucrat, targeted Ms. Waller for elimination. Several prison guards were killed in the process, but Superman eventually arrived to save Waller, and defeated the team. Although they act as government agents, the Suicide Squad is an ongoing threat to the American populace. Superman may be forced to fight Task Force X again.
First Appearance: The Brave and the Bold #25
Revamped Team: Legends miniseries #1
Who's Who in the Superman Comics
This is a listing of many of the notable characters and a few places that have appeared in the Superman comics from the 1986 revamp up until around 2008.
NOTE: A new, and more current version of the Who's Who is currently being worked on and can be accessed by clicking here.
Although Superman often appears in other DC Comics, this text's information is limited mainly to what has occurred in the regular Superman comics.
Many thanks to Scotty V, Derrick Lyle Coleman, Dean Vanek, Genevieve Clemens and Benjamin Grose who all helped out at one time or another with writing and updating these Who's Who descriptions.
The listings are displayed as follows:
Relevant issues of the Superman comics are listed as such:
- Surname, Firstname - Text describing the character, place, object, etc...
The Issue Number for each of these titles is written in this manner: #000. (e.g. SUP #123)
- SUP = Superman
- MOS = Man of Steel
- AOS = Adventures of Superman
- ACT = Action Comics
- MOT = Man of Tomorrow
First Appearance refers to the issue since 1986 unless otherwise noted.