Welcome to another episode of TEX'S BACK-ISSUE QUEST,
Where we delve into my vintage comics from yesteryear to fill your heads with fun comics knowledge! Today...We get all suicidal with...THE SUICIDE SQUAD!!!
It's my copy of "The Brave and the Bold" #25, published in 1959, featuring the first appearance of...TASK FORCE X / THE SUICIDE SQUAD!!
The original Suicide Squad was a science-based, covert, elite government task force. It originally consisted of Rick Flag, Jr., pilot and elite soldier/government agent; Dr. Hugh Evans, astrophysicist; Jess Bright, nuclear physicist and Evans' best friend and research partner; and Karin Grace, space medicine expert. In this issue which contains the team's debut, Task Force X is called upon to battle The Red Wave beast - a beast trapped inside a red tidal wave which burns everything it touches.
This original team appeared only appeared six times, making its final appearance in "The Brave and the Bold" #39 in 1961. It was created by prolific comics writer, Robert Kanigher, and storied comics artist, Ross Andru. On to the FUN FACTS!!
FUN FACT 1 - After "The Brave and the Bold" #39, The Suicide Squad disappeared into obscurity for twenty-three years. The team next appeared in "Action Comics" #552, in 1984.
FUN FACT 2 - The final fate of the original team was revealed in "Suicide Squad" vol 1 #50 (1991), thirty years later. On their final mission, Hugh Evans and Jess Bright fall, seemingly to their deaths, fighting a Yeti, but not before finding out that Karin Grace was in love with Rick Flag - a revelation that threatened to destroy the team because both Evans and Bright were in love with Karin!
FUN FACT 3 - Jess Bright doesn't die, but is discovered by Soviet forces, captured, and transformed into Koschei the Deathless. You can see him here, beating the SNOT out of Deathstroke:
FUN FACT 4 - The Suicide Squad's history got REALLY convoluted post Crisis. The Suicide Squadron that fought "The War That Time Forgot" in the pages of "Star-Spangled War Stories" in the 1960s was tied to The Suicide Squad, by making the leader Rick Flag, Sr. - the father of Rick Flag, Jr., who was the leader of the "second" Suicide Squad, which in all actuality, was the first Suicide Squad. See what I mean? CON-VO-LU-TED.
FUN FACT 5 - Eventually, Rick Flag, Jr., and Karin Grace broke up, and she was tricked by the Manhunters into betraying him. Luckily, she realized that she was duped, and sacrificed herself heroically to destroy the Manhunter base.
FUN FACT 6 - The original Suicide Squad was so futuristic. They even operated from a Flying Lab, an aircraft with advanced weapons, and capabilities...Including having a fully operational, fully stocked laboratory!
I'm looking forward to the new Suicide Squad film. As the premiere of the film gets closer, I hope that you will continue to journey with me as I explore more of the history of the team, and how they went from a sci-fi team to a team of convicts - the worst of the worst.
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