The Suicide Squad is an elite government strike force operating under Task Force X. They are expendable agents who go on life-threatening missions, usually covert in nature. There have been several incarnations of this team. The original was a group called the Suicide Squadron in World War II lead by Rick Flag, Sr.. The second group were high-profile monster hunters lead by Rick Flag, Jr.. Amanda Waller reactivated the program during Legends as a team of imprisoned super-criminals. They serve in exchange for reduced sentences. These super-criminals are sent on top-secret missions, with explosive devices that can be detonated by Waller if they disobey orders. This allows the government to deny their existence, as any mission can be called a "random super-villain attack." In addition to government work, they have sometimes operated independently.
World War II
The original "Suicide Squad" was a group of soldiers during World War II, who were sent to Dinosaur Island in a campaign called "The War That Time Forgot." Their official name was Squadron S, and they started calling themselves the Suicide Squadron because of their high mortality rate. Rick Flag was brought in as their leader, and he changed them from a military disgrace into an elite combat unit. They were also active during the Korean War. Years later when the Justice Society was forced to disband by Senator O'Fallon, President Truman had to deal with an influx of unopposed costumed villains and spies. Truman established Task Force X to deal with these threats to national security. O.S.S. member Control was put in charge of Argent, the civilian side of Task Force X assigned to deal with costumed criminals. Jeb Stuart was placed in charge of the military side of Task Force X, and he recruited his old buddies in the Suicide Squad. Their operations were successful, but they were disbanded after Rick Flag sacrificed himself to destroy the War Wheel.
There appears to have also been a second unofficial "suicide squad" active during World War II. Sgt. Rock was enlisted by the Unknown Soldier to lead a team of expendable men taken out of military prison including Wildman and two others. This team was successful in assassinating the Iron Major.
The Brave and the BoldJeb Stuart later decided to revive the team, lead by Flag's son Rick Flag, Jr.. This new version of the Suicide Squad also included astro physicist Hugh Evans, nuclear physicist Jess Bright, and combat medic Karin Grace. Each member was the lone survivor of a horrible tragedy, willing to sacrifice themselves for others as others had done for them. Rick and Karin were in love, but they kept their feelings secret because Hugh and Jess both also loved Karin. They flew around the country in a special plane with a highly advanced laboratory, piloted by Flag. Their first mission was destroying the prehistoric "Red Wave" beast, and they flew it into orbit around the sun with a rocket. Returning to Earth, they were shrunk by cosmic rays and used this temporary size to destroy an enemy nuclear base. In Paris, they stopped the enormous Subway serpent by suffocating it. They killed the Creature of Ghost Lake with a bomb when it threatened to destroy a nearby city. Task Force X was briefly disbanded, but they returned under the orders of General Brent to fight super-intelligent dinosaurs from another dimension. They battled the Cyclops Polyphemus when it briefly captured Karin. Earth was threatened again by the Master of the Dinosaurs, until they blew up his spacecraft. Mirage Master seeks them out to kill them, but they survive his illusions. The Suicide Squad are nearly imprisoned inside an alien zoo for dinosaurs, but they escape. The Sculptor Sorcerer is hired by gangsters to turn the Suicide Squad into gold statues, but they break out and defeat him.
Their final mission was investigating a temple in Cambodia, where they encountered a Yeti. Flag was injured, and the others learned that Karin was in love with him. Bright and Evans were so angry that they threatened to leave the team. Despite this, they risked their lives to cover Karin and Rick during their escape. The Yeti attacked them both, sending Bright and Evans falling to their deaths. Stuart later told Flag that the team would have been disbanded due to budget cuts anyway, and he asked Flag to infiltrate the Forgotten Heroes. It was later revealed that Evans died on impact, but Bright landed on the Yeti and survived. Bright swore revenge on Flag for leaving him behind.
The early history of the Suicide Squad changed following Infinite Crisis. In this new timeline, Flag is much younger and was never a member of the team. Hugh Evans, Jess Bright, and Karin Grace are seen working under Frank Rock in 1952. Their focus is military counter-intelligence, not fighting monsters, and the government does not officially recognize them. Booster Gold travels to this era and helps them take down the spy Sergei Pushkin, grandfather of Rocket Red. It is unclear how this retcon changes the rest of their development through history.
The Suicide Squad files were discovered by Amanda Waller, a congressional aide who wanted to revive the program using imprisoned super-villains. Waller built a new Task Force X, and Rick Flag volunteered to work underneath her. Bronze Tiger was enlisted for security, and they recruited the assassin Deadshot out of prison. The rest of this experimental team included Blockbuster, Captain Boomerang, and Enchantress. Their first mission was successful and they destroyed the monster Brimstone, but Blockbuster died in the process. Waller tried to keep her prisoners captive for longer, but Flag insisted on releasing them as they had promised. Boomerang went on a crime spree and was captured by G. Gordon Godfrey, who promised to execute him on live television. Task Force X were forced to rescue Boomerang when he threatened to reveal their existence. Waller tried to have Deadshot assassinate Boomerang, but Flag solved the problem non-lethally. In the aftermath of these events, Waller presented her case personally to President Reagan and he decided to let them continue on a provisional basis.
Trial by Fire
Amanda Waller sets up Task Force X operations in Louisiana's Belle Reve prison. The support staff includes pilot Briscoe, bureaucrat Flo Crawley, warden John Economos, psychologist Simon LaGrieve, and LaGrieve's assistant Marnie Herrs. President Marlo of Qurac enlists a terrorist group called the Jihad to attack America. Waller puts together a new team to stop the Jihad including Bronze Tiger, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Enchantress, Karin Grace, Mindboggler, Plastique, and Rick Flag as field leader. LaGrieve warns her that most of them are emotionally unstable, but Waller insists that she only needs them to get the job done. They launch an attack on the Jihad's fortress Jotunheim, using Nemesis and Nightshade as undercover agents. Plastique betrays the team and is knocked out by Nemesis. Djinn is destroyed by Enchantress, Jaculi is killed by Boomerang, Manticore is killed by Deadshot, Ravan is defeated by Bronze Tiger, and their leader Rustam escapes with Marlo. Boomerang sees Rustam about to kill Mindboggler, and lets her die because she embarrassed him earlier. The mission is successful, but Rustam swears he will rebuild the Jihad.Plastique is mindwiped to forget the Squad existed. Darkseid sends his Female Furies to retrieve G. Gordon Godfrey, who is imprisoned in Belle Reve. The facility is nearly destroyed by Bernadeth, Lashina, Mad Harriet, and Stompa. They are next asked to deal with a vigilante named William Hell, who is secretly advancing the agenda of the Aryan Empire. Deadshot impersonates Hell so they can discredit him, with the help of new recruit Black Orchid. The President asks them to take down rogue hero Firestorm and Flag recruits several Firestorm enemies including Killer Frost, Multiplex, and Slipknot. This mission is complicated when their corrupt NSC liaison Derek Tolliver releases the uncontrollable Parasite into downtown Manhattan. This escalated into a large battle between Firestorm and Firehawk, the Justice League, Parasite, and the Suicide Squad. Parasite knocks out both teams by stealing their powers, then Firestorm defeats Parasite and escapes.
The government tells Waller to rescue Zoya Trigorin, a political prisoner in the Soviet Union. They enlist the Penguin to plan this dangerous mission behind enemy lines. Their mission is complicated when Trigorin wishes to remain in Russia, and Enchantress goes on a rampage. Deadshot takes Enchantress down with a gunshot, but the Russian military is alerted to their presence. They try to escape Russia by stealing the clothes of tourists, but the People's Heroes track them down. There is a giant fight and they subdue the People's Heroes, but Trigorin is killed by friendly fire and Nemesis is arrested. Briscoe is able to extract the others, but Nemesis is left behind. Tolliver is revealed to have arranged this disastrous mission illegally, and Waller angrily punches him. Waller enlists Mark Shaw, the Privateer, who fights Rick Flag over Karin's affections. Flag has grown increasingly unstable, so Amanda Waller relieves him of command and promotes Bronze Tiger. Madame Xanadu examines Enchantress and gives them a way to control her, but explains that she will be much more dangerous if ever released. Herrs accidentally kisses Deadshot. Captain Boomerang begins posing as Mirror Master to commit petty crimes on the side.
Earth is attacked by Manhunters, with agents of the Manhunter Cult infiltrating every superhero group. There are Manhunters spotted in the bayou around Belle Reve, and Warden Economos sends the Suicide Squad on a non-sanctioned mission to destroy them. Privateer is selected for this mission, although the team distrusts him because he used to be a Manhunter. Batman visits Belle Reve to interrogate the Privateer, then learns of their mission and decides to follow them. The Suicide Squad is sent to plant a giant bomb inside the heart of the Manhunter temple. Boomerang tests the explosive bracelets by telling Slipknot that they are fake, and Slipknot loses his arm trying to escape. They battle their way through an army of Manhunter androids, which are disabled by the Spectre. Karin Grace reveals that she became a Manhunter when she fell in love with Mark Shaw, and she tries to betray them. It is revealed that this was an android impersonating Mark Shaw, and she decides to personally carry the bomb inside. The transport vehicle crashes and Karin is pinned under it with no time to escape, so she dies in the explosion. Batman is warned by Karin Grace, and manages to clear the temple of human hostages. Captain Atom uses his nuclear powers to shield their escape. The Suicide Squad does not receive public credit for this victory.
Collision CourseTask Force X gains two new civilian members, spiritual guide Father Craemer and chief prison guard Murph. Mark Shaw quits to go freelance, and he is replaced by a mysterious woman called Duchess who volunteers her services. Batman infiltrates Belle Reve and uncovers files on the Suicide Squad. He threatens to expose Waller, so she threatens to expose his secret identity using the fingerprints of Matches Malone. Batman is forced to leave. Flag is promoted to team leader again. Flag is sent by the President to rescue Hawk in Nicaragua with a team including Mr. 104, Psi, Thinker, and the Weasel. They are forced to fight the Doom Patrol and the Rocket Red Brigade. Every member of this team is killed except for Flag. Tolliver sells the Squad's secrets to a senator named Joe Cray who is running for reelection. Nightshade becomes leader while Flag is busy. Speedy and Vixen join the team, going undercover in Colombia to take down drug kingpin Xavier Cujo. Nightshade is forced to fist-fight Enchantress. Vixen succumbs to her animal tendencies and kills Cujo, then joins the Squad permanently to punish herself. Speedy quits.
Rick Flag disobeys Waller and takes the team on an unauthorized mission to rescue Nemesis in Moscow. Javelin is recruited for this mission. Waller is furious, and has President Reagan send Justice League International to stop them. The two teams fight each other, then realize they both want to save Nemesis. Batman and Rick Flag have to be physically restrained to stop them fighting. The Suicide Squad are allowed to leave, and Nemesis is transported to custody in a Justice League Embassy where he can later escape. Waller threatens the JLI's publicist Maxwell Lord to make sure he doesn't expose the Squad.
Senator Cray blackmails the Suicide Squad into helping his reelection campaign, by threatening to expose their existence. Derek Tolliver is placed in charge of Amanda Waller by a reluctant President Reagan. Nightshade is allowed a personal mission in exchange for her voluntary service. The Suicide Squad go to the mystical Land of the Nightshades, where her brother Larry Eden has been captured by the monster Incubus. In this realm, Nightshade is a princess who has been banished. They are captured by Incubus, who is possessing Larry Eden. Incubus reveals that its sister is Succubus, the entity who gives Enchantress her magic powers. Incubus takes Succubus out of Enchantress, making Enchantress lose her powers, then places Succubus inside Nightshade. Incubus tries to mate with Succubus, and Deadshot stops this by shooting Larry in the head. They are sent to the Zero-Zone, where Shade the Changing Man helps them get home. Shade warns them that his old enemy Doctor ZZ is trying to take over Earth. They go on a mission to stop ZZ with new recruit Captain Cold, and Flag shoots ZZ dead. Shade becomes a permanent member of the team.Shade agrees to stay with the team if they'll help him get home. The Jihad returns with new members including Agni, Badb, Ifrit, a second Jaculi, Koschei the Deathless, a second Manticore, Ravan, and Rustam. They launch a full-scale attack on Manhattan. Rustam goes on TV and says the deaths will continue until the Americans that attacked them are handed over. Waller orders Flag to stand down, he refuses, and she tells him to do the job right this time. Ifrit is a creature similar to Djinn with the memories of Mindboggler, and it torments Captain Boomerang for murdering her. Ravan wears an exo-skeleton to fight Bronze Tiger again, but Bronze Tiger defeats him and convinces him to change sides. The new Jaculi and Manticore are killed by Deadshot and Duchess, the others are neutralized, and Rustam escapes Flag again.
Task Force X adds two new civilians, Mitch Sekofsky in charge of vehicle maintenance and scientist Yvonne Calendar. Calendar tries to reprogram Ifrit. Nemesis returns. Tolliver threatens to take Waller's job, and Rick puts a gun in Tolliver's face until Waller makes Rick leave. Manhunter brings a woman named Anna-Marie Vere to warn the Suicide Squad. They have been targeted by Argent's leader Control, who believes they are a threat to the world. Argent tricks them into attacking a heavily guarded Kobra base. They also gun down Waller in the streets, but this is revealed to be Nemesis in disguise wearing kevlar. Waller turns the tables on Argent, aware she is being manipulated, and exposes Vere as their true leader. Captain Boomerang's alter ego Mirror Master gets captured, and assigned to the Suicide Squad. Both of them are sent on a mission to take down the L.O.A. crime organization, and Captain Boomerang tries to pull off an elaborate farce. This is revealed to be a prank by Waller, who knew he was Mirror Master, and wanted to embarrass him before taking him into custody.
Derek Tolliver orders Waller to eliminate Senator Cray's competitor. Waller gets Tolliver to back down by using Checkmate to blackmail him. Enchantress tries to regain her powers by shooting Nightshade. Nightshade is hospitalized under the care of their new medic, Waller's sister Mary White. Rick Flag visits Tolliver, unaware that he is no longer a threat, and kills him to protect the Squad. Waller realizes this, and orders the Suicide Squad to stop Rick Flag killing Senator Cray by any means necessary. Deadshot gets there first, and realizes he will have to kill Rick to stop him. Deadshot completes the mission by killing Cray himself, then gets into a shootout with police at the Lincoln Memorial. He is shot many times, but he survives. Despite these efforts, police find a press release about the Suicide Squad in Tolliver's office. This is sent to the Daily Planet and they are exposed to the public.
Earth is attacked by the Alien Alliance during Invasion!. Their defense is coordinated by Wade Eiling, who puts Amanda Waller in charge of intelligence. Waller suggests that they use villains in addition to the super-hero army. The Suicide Squad are sent to fight Khunds in Australia, with Nemesis as leader, and new members including Ambush Bug and Heat Wave. They are next sent to Moscow, where they battle Okaarans and Thanagarians alongside the New Guardians, Rocket Reds, and Soyuz. Both battles are successful, and they drive back the aliens. Flo Crawley is contacted through her computer by a mysterious figure called Oracle. The aliens surrender, but the Dominators detonate a Gene Bomb that makes metahumans lose control of their powers. There is a superhuman riot at Belle Reve, and the non-powered members have to put it down with help from the Atom.
There is a special senate subcommittee investigation, and Waller is put on trial by Warren Eden. To improve public opinion of the Suicide Squad, Waller sends them to rescue an American nun imprisoned on foreign soil. Bronze Tiger leads a team to Ogaden with new members including Count Vertigo, Doctor Light, Punch and Jewelee, Ravan, and Shrike. Their mission is successful, but Shrike is killed in combat. Waller reveals to Eden that his daughter is Nightshade, and makes a deal. The Suicide Squad gains public approval and Eden turns them into a legitimate government agency. Amanda Waller is replaced by a man named Jack Kale, but Kale is revealed to be an actor hired by Amanda. Nightshade quits because Waller outed her. Deadshot avoids arrest with an insanity plea, and is sent to Arkham Asylum. Rick Flag leaves the country to avoid arrest, and decides to redeem himself by finishing the Jihad. There is an atomic bomb buried in their fortress, left there by Flag's father during World War II, and Rick decides to reactivate it. He sneaks into Jotunheim and arms the bomb, but Rustam catches him and the two men fight. The bomb goes off with Rick Flag and Rustam still inside, killing both of them.
The Janus Directive
Father Craemer and Mary White tell Waller that she has been making mistakes because the people who usually act as her conscience have left the Squad. Waller hires Mac McCoy as the Squad's new psychologist to help keep her honest. The Squad goes on a mission to stop a political prisoner from getting executed in Iran, and things go flawlessly for the first time in months.
Duchess reveals herself as Lashina and kidnaps the Suicide Squad's heavy-hitters to return to Apokolips. She recruits Poison Ivy to knock people out, and Shade agrees to help when Lashina promises to get him home. They arrive in Armagetto via Boom Tube. Lashina explains that she was disgraced when Bernadeth trapped her on Earth, and she must kill Bernadeth to lead the Female Furies again. The Squad is forced to help Lashina get to Bernadeth if they want to make it home. Briscoe dies in a helicopter explosion when they are attacked by Parademons. Back home, Bronze Tiger breaks Deadshot out of Arkham and enlists the other Squad members to launch a rescue mission. Granny Goodness personally leads the Furies alongside Kanto and Virman Vundabar to confront the Squad. Waller nearly dies fighting Granny in single combat, but Big Barda saves her. Lashina finally kills Bernadeth and earns her position back, then offers to kill the rest of the Squad as a present to Granny. Bronze Tiger and the rest of the Squad arrive with the Forever People in the Super-Cycle. Doctor Light has a change of heart and decides to be a brave hero instead of a cowardly villain, but Parademons shoot him dead almost immediately. Flo Crawley, who went on the mission entirely to impress her crush Bronze Tiger, is killed in the battle. Darkseid arrives and resurrects Bernadeth, then punishes Lashina for bringing humans to Apokolips by killing her instead. He allows the Suicide Squad to return home, but confides in Granny that they are now his unwilling pawns.
Shade is returned to his home dimension by Darkseid. Murph deduces that the "Mad Pieman" plaguing the Squad has been Captain Boomerang, so Waller has Boomerang stranded on a desert island. The L.O.A. cartel decides Waller is getting too close to discovering them, so they leak her continued involvement with the Suicide Squad to the press. Bronze Tiger has a mental breakdown when Sarge Steel pressures him about his mental illness and violent past. Jewelee learns she is pregnant. The Waller scandal makes headlines, so Sarge Steel shuts the Squad down and tells Amanda she is an embarrassment. Amanda believes the L.O.A. must still be stopped, and nobody else will do it. She promises Deadshot, Poison Ivy, and Ravan their freedom in exchange for one final mission. They hunt the L.O.A. leaders down and execute them when they surrender. Amanda is prosecuted on criminal charges by Steel, and then sentenced to prison. Steel remarks that she could have fought it, but it seemed like she wanted to go to prison.
The Phoenix Gambit
One year after her arrest, Sarge Steel has Amanda Waller released from prison. The Suicide Squad is needed again, to handle a politically sensitive mission in Vlatava. American right-wing extremists, intending to spark open war with Russia, are funding a revolution lead by Count Vertigo against the Soviet regime. Waller agrees to help under several conditions. The Squad becomes an international freelance organization that no longer takes orders or receives support from the U.S. Government. Their price is $1,000,000 per mission plus expenses. Her first recruit is Batman, who is investigating a homicide related to the revolution. Batman helps Waller re-recruit Bronze Tiger, Captain Boomerang, Poison Ivy, Ravan, and Vixen. Vertigo's revolution is challenged by the Red Shadows, a covert team of Soviet metahumans lead by Major Zastrow and Stalnoivolk. It is revealed that Vertigo is an unwilling participant and his advisers are keeping him drugged. The Squad travels to Vlatava, where the brutal dictator General Kaligari hires them to shut down Vertigo. Deadshot is hired to kill Waller for $100,000 by Vertigo's financial backer, the Squad's old enemy William Heller. Waller recruits Deadshot by offering him $100,001 to shoot Heller. Poison Ivy stops the revolution by kidnapping Vertigo. Batman has the other conspiracy members in America arrested. Waller threatens to expose Zastrow for attempting to start a war using the Red Shadows. Ravan assassinates Kaligari.
Waller hires a mysterious new hero calling himself "The Atom" after the original Atom, Ray Palmer, supposedly dies in an explosion. Boomerang goes home to his mother's funeral, and learns that his mentor W.W. Wiggins was actually his real father. The Egyptian government hires the Squad to take down Kobra in Jerusalem. Waller is taken in by the Israeli government, who reveal that their superhero team Hayoth have already captured Kobra. Kobra uses his imprisonment to manipulate Hayoth's artificial intelligence Dybbuk into starting a war with Islam. Count Vertigo scrambles the Israeli military, and Hayoth's rabbi leader Ramban convinces Dybbuk to reconsider. Ravan finally has the chance to do battle with his nemesis Kobra, but Kobra kills him. The Atom knocks Kobra out and puts him back in prison.
The second Thinker begins targeting Oracle. Simon LaGrieve calls in a favor with Waller to have her take in Thinker for free. The new Atom finally unmasks and reveals himself as Adam Cray, son of the Squad's old enemy Senator Cray. The Thinker finds Oracle, but Waller gets there in time and stops him. Waller offers Oracle a permanent job with the Squad, and Oracle agrees as thanks for saving her life.
Jihad member Koschei the Deathless returns to plague them, and it's revealed that he's actually original Squad member Jess Bright. Bright survived the incident in Cambodia and was turned into a monster by the Soviets. He kidnaps Rick Flag's lost son Ricky and reanimates a "Death Squad" including Jaculi, Manticore, Mindboggler, Psi, Ravan, Shrike, Thinker, and the Weasel. Bright wants to take revenge on Flag by killing the entire Squad, but does not know Flag is dead. Waller enlists Flag's old friends Nemesis and Nightshade, then has Nemesis impersonate Flag. Nemesis is able to appeal to Bright's love for Karin while the others fight the Death Squad. In the end Bright decides to blow himself up but let everyone go, and Nightshade barely teleports them out in time.
Amanda makes Oracle her second-in-command, putting her in charge if Amanda dies. Nightshade returns to the Squad permanently, but Nemesis still refuses to work with Waller. Count Vertigo asks Deadshot if Deadshot would kill him, and Deadshot tells him to make sure that's what he really wants. Deadshot's costume is stolen by an impostor. Henri Ducard sets up a gunfight between the two men, and Deadshot kills the impostor then tells him to keep the costume. Doctor Light returns from the dead after a brief period trapped in Hell by the demon Biff A. Stopholies. He begs Waller to let him back on the Squad but she refuses because he is too silly.
The Squad eventually disbanded.
Amanda Waller puts a new Suicide Squad together to take down the Silicon Dragons cartel in Hawaii. Their field leader is Sam Makoa and their members include Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, King Shark, Knockout, and Sidearm. Superboy volunteers to help and they travel underwater to the cartel's ocean base. Lady Dragon sends Stinger to kill them. They battle Stinger and escape. Sidearm tries to betray the team, and he is killed by King Shark. Lady Dragon captures Superboy and challenges him to single combat. Captain Boomerang is revealed to be working for Lady Dragon. Deadshot tries to kill Boomerang by shooting his hands while he's hanging from a ledge. Superboy rescues Boomerang but his throwing hands are destroyed. They blow up the underwater base, but Lady Dragon and Stinger escape.
The CIA puts another Suicide Squad together under the authority of Loren Freitag. They are sent to hunt down and capture the new Hawk and Dove. This lineup includes Bronze Tiger, Count Vertigo, Deadshot, Flex, Quartzite, Shrapnel, and Thermal. Checkmate operatives Vigilante and Vixen battle the Squad to protect Hawk and Dove. Freitag goes mad with power and sends the Squad to kill Hawk and Dove in a residential neighborhood. Hawk and Dove defeat Freiberg, putting Amanda Waller back in control. Waller invites Hawk and Dove to become part of the Suicide Squad, but they decline.
The D.E.O. sends Cameron Chase to Peru, where she is supposed to blow up a temple and destroy the Construct. Waller puts Chase in charge of a new Suicide Squad with members including Bolt, Copperhead, Killer Frost, and Sledge. These villains betray Chase in the field, and throw her off a cliff while they escape. The area is surrounded by guerilla insurgents called the Shining Path, and the villains have to fight their way through. Chase survives and discovers that the Construct has infiltrated the Rocket Red Brigade. The Suicide Squad wipes out local military and destroys their base, crippling the Construct so it can't get out. The villains escape with the Russian army, leaving Chase behind.
Our Worlds at War
Amanda Waller and Director Bones put together a new Suicide Squad when Earth is threatened by Imperiex. This is under the orders of President Luthor, and he puts General Lane in charge of them. This team includes Chemo, Plasmus, and Shrapnel, with Manchester Black as field leader. Their first mission is fighting Superman for practice, and he defeats them. Superman warns Luthor that the Suicide Squad is a bad idea, and he will come for Luthor if it backfires. Mongul and Steel are added to this roster, with General Rock placed in command. They are sent to release Doomsday, who is imprisoned in the JLA Watchtower. Manchester Black alters Doomsday's mind so that his hatred of Superman will be directed at the Imperiex Probes. Every member of this team is nearly killed in the escape, and Mongul dies.
General Rock's Suicide Squad
General Rock later reopens the Suicide Squad program, with Easy Company veteran Bulldozer running operations. Their first recruits are the old Injustice League and they're sent to stop a biological weapon in Iceland. Major Disaster is the only survivor, with Big Sir, Clock King, Cluemaster, and Multi-Man all killed in action.
Rock recruits a disgraced government agent codenamed Havana and a hacker codenamed Modem to help him run the Squad. Amanda Waller has them all declared legally dead to protect their identities. A new team of villains is sent on their next mission including Bolt, Eliza, Killer Frost, Larvanaut, and Putty. Everyone except Frost dies fighting the LexCorp-engineered "army ants" known as the MYP Project, and the mission is a success. Rock recalls his Suicide Squad mission during World War II while bonding with Havana at a bar. Deadshot is recruited to the team by having him respond to a contract on Modem.
Black Adam begins gaining political power in the Middle East when several countries adopt his Freedom of Power Treaty. The American government still views Black Adam as a terrorist, and Amanda Waller has Atom Smasher build a team to stop his old friend. This new team includes the second Captain Boomerang, Count Vertigo, Electrocutioner, Persuader, and Plastique. Black Adam has rehabilitated because of his new Black Marvel Family, and the Suicide Squad attacks them in Kahndaq. Persuader threatens to kill Isis, and Osiris is so scared that he accidentally kills Persuader. They fail to arrest Black Adam, but Waller says that she got what she needed. It is later shown that Waller got video footage of the murder, which is enough to ruin the Black Marvels' political reputation. Waller tries to build another Squad to kill Black Adam during World War III, but Atom Smasher refuses to participate in another setup and threatens her with blackmail. Bronze Tiger is convinced to join her team for future battles, when Waller tells him that Rick Flag is still alive.
Bronze Tiger rescues Rick Flag from a secret Quraci prison, where Flag had been imprisoned for four years. Afterwards, Amanda Waller enlists the aid of both men in tracking down a rogue Suicide Squad team led by the Mirror Master. The team is eventually revealed as having been under Waller's control all along, and now being led by the newly returned Rick Flag.
The Suicide Squad largely remained behind the scenes for awhile after 52, although a largely unseen version of the Squad was seen active in Santa Prisca during an attempt to falsify their new democratic elections. Colonel Computron defected from the team and attempted to contact Checkmate in an attempt to play the two organizations against each other. He was unaware of the connections between Suicide Squad and Checkmate, and was assassinated by Amanda Waller's agents shortly afterwards.
It was revealed that Amanda Waller was using the Squad, in conjunction with her Checkmate resources, in a campaign against Earth's supervillains. After the events of World War Three, the US government had concluded that chaotic superhumans were too dangerous to leave unchecked. Waller and the Squad were secretly tracking down supervillains and capturing them. If the villains agreed to work with the Suicide Squad then they would be recruited. If not, they would be sent through a boom tube to an unknown location. The other leaders of Checkmate suspected Waller's involvement in the disappearance of the supervillains, but ousted her for other reasons before they could delve further into her scheme. Waller succeeded in deporting the majority of the world's most well-known supervillains prior to the events of Salvation Run.
The Suicide Squad were later forced to go to war with the Secret Six. They were both attacked by the Black Lantern Corps, an army of zombified members of both teams. These deceased members included The Atom, Brain Wave, Manticore, Psi, Punch, Ravan, Shrike, Twister, and Yasemin Soze. It was later revealed that Amanda Waller was posing as Mockingbird, and manipulating the Secret Six.
- Amanda Waller created the Suicide Squad while acting as head of Task Force X.
- Ambush Bug was with the Squad very briefly during Invasion!.
- The Atom
- Atom Smasher is recruited by Waller to help take down his old friend Black Adam. He quits after this mission, feeling that Waller manipulated him.
- Big Sir
- Black Adam
- Black Orchid becomes an undercover operative working for Waller when they discredit William Hell.
- Blockbuster is recruited by Waller during Legends to fight Brimstone. He is killed by Brimstone.
- Briscoe was the team's pilot, usually flying the Sheba as air support. He was killed on a mission to Apokolips.
- Bronze Tiger is recruited by Waller during Legends to fight Brimstone. He chose to stay with the Suicide Squad so they would help him recover his memories.
- Cameron Chase was temporarily put in charge of a Suicide Squad team during a mission in Peru. They betrayed her hilariously quickly.
- Captain Boomerang is recruited to the team during Legends to fight Brimstone. He stayed with the Squad for many years.
- Captain Boomerang, Jr. is recruited to the team sent after Black Adam. He later joins the team in a permanent capacity.
- Captain Cold was recruited on the mission to stop Doctor ZZ. He was released after completing his second mission.
- Chemo is part of President Luthor's Suicide Squad. He is torn apart by Doomsday in the JLA Watchtower.
- Chronos is part of the team sent to discredit William Hell.
- Clock King
- Count Vertigo is one of several new recruits during the Ogaden mission. He stays with the team long-term because of his death wish.
- Deadshot is recruited by Waller during Legends to fight Brimstone. He chose to stay with the Suicide Squad because of his personal death wish.
- Doctor Light volunteers for the program to secure an early release, but he is told he's not dangerous enough. He is later recruited during the Ogaden mission.
- Double Down
- Duchess meets the team as an amnesiac, and offers them her services.
- Enchantress is recruited by Waller during Legends to fight Brimstone. She chooses to stay with the team because Waller promises to help tame her evil side.
- The General
- Hugh Evans is an astro physicist who was part of the Silver Age team. He was killed by a Yeti in Cambodia on their last mission.
- Javelin is part of the team that rescues Nemesis out of the Soviet Union.
- Jess Bright is a nuclear physicist who was part of the Silver Age team. He was believed to have died when a Yeti attacked them in Cambodia. It was later revealed that China had recovered him, and they turned him into a monster called Koschei.
- Karin Grace was a combat medic who fell in love with Rick Flag and followed him to Task Force X. She became a member of the Manhunters after they broke up, and died during Millennium.
- Killer Frost is part of the team sent to capture a rogue Firestorm.
- King Faraday
- King Shark
- Lady Liberty became a member of the Squad when they captured her team, the Force of July, in The Janus Directive. She saved the world by blowing up Kobra's pulse cannon, but died in the explosion.
- Major Disaster
- Major Victory was appointed to the Squad after the rest of his teammates in Force of July were killed during the Janus Directive.
- Manchester Black is forced to become the field leader of President Luthor's Suicide Squad. They force him to comply by injecting nanites into his spine. Manchester leads his team to release Doomsday in the JLA Watchtower, and alters Doomsday's mind to attack Imperiex. After this mission, Manchester negates the nanites with his powers and escapes.
- Mindboggler is one of the first recruits to Waller's team. Captain Boomerang betrays her in the field and she is killed by Rustam.
- Mirror Master
- Mongul: Mongul was among the members of the Suicide Squad assembled by Lex Luthor to release Doomsday on the space satellite that the Justice League had originally left him on. When they released the creature, he tore the Squad apart, brutalizing most of the members, including Mongul.
- Mr. 104 is part of the team sent to retrieve Hawk in Nicaragua. He is killed by the Rocket Reds.
- Multiplex is part of the team sent to capture a rogue Firestorm. He is apparently killed by Parasite.
- Nemesis is recruited by Waller to work as an undercover operative, and his first mission is infiltrating Jihad.
- Nightshade is the second operative chosen by Waller, after Rick Flag. In her first mission she goes undercover as a member of Jihad.
- Parasite is part of the team sent to arrest a rogue Firestorm. Flag believes he is too dangerous, but Derek Tolliver releases him. Parasite goes on a killing spree attacking both Firestorm and the rest of the Suicide Squad.
- The Penguin is recruited to plan the kidnapping of Zoya Trigorin in Moscow. He leaves after this mission.
- Persuader is part of the team sent to attack the Black Marvels. He is killed by Osiris.
- Plastique is an early recruit by Waller. They erase her memory when she betrays the team to terrorists.
- Poison Ivy
- Power Girl
- Privateer was enlisted by Waller for his experience with the Manhunters. He later quit to go freelance.
- Psi is part of the team sent to retrieve Hawk in Nicaragua. She is blasted by a Rocket Red and later dies of her injuries.
- Punch and Jewelee are recruited during the Ogaden mission. They leave the Squad to raise their child after it's discovered that Jewelee is pregnant.
- Ravan was originally a member of the terrorist group Jihad. Bronze Tiger convinced him to defect to the Suicide Squad. His first fieldwork was during the Ogaden mission. He later died in combat fighting his nemesis Kobra.
- Rick Flag was a pilot who originally lead the team. Waller later recruited him as her field leader. He was supposedly killed when a bomb exploded next to him and Rustam. It was later revealed that he survived.
- Sam Makoa
- Sgt. Rock
- Shade the Changing Man becomes a member when they rescue him from the Zero-Zone, and help him kill Doctor ZZ. He was returned home to Meta by the Omega Effect when they met Darkseid.
- Shrapnel is part of President Luthor's Suicide Squad. He is torn apart by Doomsday in the JLA Watchtower.
- Shrike was recruited during the Ogaden mission. She was killed by enemy gunfire on her first mission.
- Silent Majority became a member of the Squad when his team, the Force of July, was captured by them during The Janus Directive. He was shot dead by Kobra's forces during his first mission.
- Silver Banshee
- Silver Swan
- Slipknot is recruited when they send a team to arrest Firestorm. Captain Boomerang tricks him into blowing his arm off with the security bracelet.
- Solomon Grundy: Gruny was among the villains that were recruited when Amanda Waller assembled a version of the Squad to scare Lois Lane away from pursuing her shocking and controversial story about Lex Luthor's presidency, Superman arrived and saved Lois from certain death at the hands of the Squad, and Waller aborted the mission, forcing Grundy and the other villains to leave.
- Speedy briefly joins the team to take down drug czar Xavier Cujo. He leaves after this mission.
- Star-Spangled Kid
- Steel is part of President Luthor's Suicide Squad. He is nearly killed while releasing Doomsday.
- Tattooed Man
- Thinker is part of the team sent to retrieve Hawk in Nicaragua. He is killed by Weasel to disable his mental control of the team.
- Thinker II
- Vixen teams up with the Suicide Squad to avenge a friend that was murdered by drug dealers. In her anger she kills Xavier Cujo, and she accepts Waller's invitation for permanent membership because she believes she should serve time among criminals.
- Weasel is part of the team sent to retrieve Hawk in Nicaragua. He is killed by a deranged Rick Flag wielding the Thinking Cap.
- White Dragon
- The Writer was with the Squad very briefly where he died on a mission during the War of the Gods.
- Yasemin Soze
Equipment: None known.
Weapons: None known.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- The phrase "carry on for us" is thematically important to the Suicide Squad. This phrase brings Hugh Evans, Jess Bright, Karin Grace, and Rick Flag together in the original team. They have all experienced great losses, but instead of succumbing to tragedy, they "carry on" for the sake of others. The phrase is directly spoken to Evans and Bright. It is later retconned to be something that Rick Flag, Sr. taught to his son Rick Flag, Jr.. When Karin Grace sacrifices herself, she tells Rick to carry on for her. The night that Rick Flag dies, he leaves a letter for Nightshade telling her to carry on for him.
The Mad Pieman
There is a running gag in the original Suicide Squad series about a mysterious assailant pieing people in the face, known as the "Mad Pieman." Amanda Waller is the first victim. She immediately suspects Boomerang is taking revenge on her for humiliating him, but he is hit with a pie shortly afterward. Nemesis is hit with a pie during the meta-gene bomb detonation in Invasion!. Vixen gets hit with a pie while making out with Bronze Tiger. Tiger begins to laugh at her and then is immediately hit with a pie himself. Lois Lane is hit with a pie when she threatens to expose the Suicide Squad during the Janus Directive. Jewelee is the next victim. Doctor Light fakes getting pied in the face because he wants to fit in, and then nobody believes him when he's pied in the face for real. Pies are discovered in Punch's locker, and the Squad corners him intending to beat him up. Murph deduces that Punch was framed, and the true culprit is Captain Boomerang... who pied himself in the face with a "Pie Boomerang" to throw off suspicion. Boomerang insists there is nothing they can do to punish him since he wants to quit anyway, so Waller leaves him stranded on a deserted island. Waller is then pied in the face again by Murph, who has decided to carry on the tradition.