Friday, August 5, 2016

Top 5 Fridays: Top 5 Suicide Squad Stories

“Messin’ With Me, It’s a Stone Cold Suicide” – Busy Bee, 1-800-SUICIDE

Did you know that there’s a Suicide Squad movie debuting in theaters today? I had no idea! You’d think the movie studio would have done a little marketing and publicity for the thing, never mind hiring known actors! I mean, “Will Smith?” Sounds like a fake name if I’ve ever heard one! Luckily, you don’t need to bother with some dumb old movie in a smelly theater, when you can read smelly old comics with your dumb brain! So here are five great Suicide Squad stories you can read right now, despite the fact that the prices for these issues have probably skyrocketed thanks to the film coming out.

5. Brave and the Bold #25 (Sept. 1959)
“The Three Waves of Doom!”

This inaugural appearance of the Squad is one of my favorites because it is very similar to one of my favorite stupid science fiction movies, the Giant Claw. In this issue, a ball of intense heat is making its way across the country, fusing sand into glass and making people complain about how hot it is along the way. The Squad are able to subdue it, only to discover that this ball is actually hiding a giant reptilian monster! Out of the frying pan, into the fire. This issue is also notable for the fact that Pop Artist Roy Lichtenstein used some of this artwork to make his piece Okay Hot-Shot, Okay!

4. Suicide Squad #10 (Feb. 1988)
“Up Against the Wall”

In his guise as Matches Malone, Batman gets himself thrown into Belle Reve Prison, and then sneaks into the Warden’s office to uncover a file revealing the secrets of Task Force X aka the Suicide Squad! The secrets are, primarily, that it’s a secret. Before Batman can escape, Amanda Waller locks down the prison and confronts him, explaining that she’s lifted his actual fingerprints from his cell, and will reveal Batman’s identity if he doesn’t hand over the files. He does, begrudgingly, and Amanda Waller secures her reputation as a bad-ass that even Batman doesn’t mess with.

3. Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad Special #1 (Mar. 1988)
“Red Pawn!”

You know if there was some Doom Patrol involved, I was going to unearth it. And it’s just one month after the previous issue with Batman! This story has so much convoluted political intrigue for the time, it actually features literal Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, not to mention Nicaraguan Sandinistas and the Rocket Red Brigade. I don’t know if a sentence of description could do this story justice, but this issue does feature Erik Larsen’s early work, which is sure to piss some people off at a glance.

2. Adventures of Superman #594 (Sept. 2001)
“The Doomsday Protocol”

This story happened during one of the periods that there was no Suicide Squad comic being published, but it’s one of my favorite versions of the team: Shrapnel, Mongul, Chemo and Steel, led by Manchester Black. Man, I would love to see these guys in action! Unfortunately, we only get to see the aftermath of them being royally fucked up by Doomsday, who they released from the moon at the behest of President Lex Luthor. Oh yeah, it was like that back then! Incidentally, Chemo should be in every issue of every comic book DC publishes.

1. Suicide Squad #13 (May 1988)
Justice League International #13 (May 1988)
“Battle Lines” and “Collision Course”

Wow, that first half of 1988 had some great Suicide Squad storylines, huh? Or maybe this run is just the one I’m most familiar with. Anywho, one of the members of the Squad gets captured behind the Iron Curtain, so the President (who, as established in other issues, is Ronald Reagan) sends the JLI to fetch him from Russia. That doesn’t stop Rick Flag from wanting to launch his own mission, however. I wonder what’s gonna happen when these two teams full of arrogant hot-heads run into each other? They’ll probably have an ice cream social! Great era for the Suicide Squad, great era for the Justice League, and a great era for hip-hop. And people say Y2K didn’t destroy humanity!
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