Task Force X Retirement Files 024-028

This week, we WikiLeak a rather costly mission...
Files 001-003 - Files 004-007 - Files 008-011 - File 012-015 - File 016-019 - File 020-023

Subject: Briscoe and ShebaProfile: Suicide Squad support personnel
Powers: Hotshot helicopter pilot and his sweet ride.
Mission: Keep forces of Apokolips busy while Duchess/Lashina kills Female Fury Bernadeth. UNAUTHORIZED
Chance of survival going in: Fair. Though only support staff, Briscoe and his helicopter Sheba were on their way to achieving Deadshot status, but still, it's hard to put unpowered people on Apokolips and expect them to survive.
Retirement: DECEASED. Moments after the team was transported to Apokolips, para-demons downed the helicopter and its pilot. (Suicide Squad #34)
Final report: Of all the deaths and departures, this may be the saddest for the book. In the coming months, Suicide Squad was going to become much more of an espionage book, with the characters wearing civilian clothes instead of their superhero and supervillain uniforms. Briscoe would have fit even better in such a team. No Sheba Mark II was ever assembled.

Subject: Doctor Light I
Profile: Classic Atom villain turned lame Teen Titans villain
Powers: Light manipulation.
Mission: Rescue Task Force X team members kidnapped by Duchess/Lashina and brought to Apokolips.
Chance of survival going in: Low. A joke since day 1, Dr. Light filled the same social role as Captain Boomerang in the team, and it was a wonder he had survived even to this point.
Retirement: TEMPORARILY DECEASED. At the very moment that the ghost of his first murder (Doctor Light 0) convinced him to be heroic, Light was brutally and ironically cut down by the soldiers of Apokolips. (Suicide Squad #36)
Final report: Himself turned into a ghost, Light would haunt the halls of Belle Reve until a light-hearted issue brought him back to life. Despite wanting to stay, the Wall promptly sent him on his way. Dr. Light has gotten a few revamps since then, including a power boost in Underworld Unleashed and the now infamous rapist retcon in Identity Crisis. I really wish his death had been more permanent.

Subject: Flo Crawey
Profile: Suicide Squad support personnel
Powers: Computer technician and liaison to Oracle.
Mission: Keep forces of Apokolips busy while Duchess/Lashina kills Female Fury Bernadeth. UNAUTHORIZED
Chance of survival going in: Low. Being Amanda Waller's cousin really didn't help this whiny character who suffered from a debilitating crush on Bronze Tiger. Her insistence on being taken on the next mission by Duchess made it obvious she would die a tragic death.
Retirement: DECEASED. Killed off-panel by Apokolipsian crossfire, possibly shouting Bronze Tiger's name while he was doing the same with Vixen's. (Suicide Squad #36)
Final report: Civilians don't usually get the same opportunities to come back from the dead.

Subject: Duchess
Profile: New God/Suicide Squad regular
Powers: Super-strong, super-tough weapons expert (spec. big guns and steel lashes).
Mission: Kill Female Fury Bernadeth to get back into Granny Goodness' good graces. UNAUTHORIZED
Chance of survival going in: High. Though this was the culmination of her storyline, and there was a chance she would consequently leave the Squad, it was unlikely that a classic Kirby creation would be permamently killed, especially one that had grown so popular as "Duchess".
Retirement: TEMPORARILY DECEASED. Destroyed by Darkseid's Omega beams as punishment for bringing mortals to Apokolips. (Suicide Squad #36)
Final report: What Darkseid destroys, Darkseid can make live again. She has since done battle with Mister Miracle, Wonder Woman, the Birds of Prey, Young Justice, Superman, Supergirl and many others.

Subject: Shade the Changing Man
Profile: Obscure hero/Suicide Squad regular
Powers: Miraco-Vest providing various powers, from fear-inducing illusions to flight to force fields.
Mission: Keep forces of Apokolips busy while Duchess/Lashina kills Female Fury Bernadeth. UNAUTHORIZED
Chance of survival going in: High. An original Steve Ditko creation, it was doubtful this hero would bite the dust while so many things remained unresolved in his personal story.
Retirement: REMOVED FROM OUR REALITY. When Darkseid sent the Squad home, Shade was transported back to his home dimension of Meta. (Suicide Squad #37)
Final report: Six months after this appearance, Shade was Vertigo-ized (in the days before there was a Vertigo) by Peter Milligan. This does not appear to be the same Rac Shade as appeared in Ditko's series or the Suicide Squad. The Absolute Crisis on Infinite Earths hardcover mentions the series as taking place on Earth-85, though John Constantine once made an appearance. Shade has recently done John the same favor and appeared in Hellblazer. As for the Ditko original concept, it has yet to reappear.

That's six characters lost on a single mission, the most the Squad has ever lost. Things get quieter in the next installment (maybe).

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Apokolips trip was AWESOME! One of the highest points of the first stage of the series. Also, Granny Godness versus Amanda Waller!

Count Vertigo was almost killed in that fiasco.

Sheba and Briscoe death was a touching moment. I was almost sorry we never heard the history of that strange couple.

Siskoid, please don't forget talking at some moment about the misterious pie-thrower, the Squad worst enemy!

Roger

Loki said...

Seconded, Roger.

Please do a file on the mysterious pie thrower - that was one of my favourite subplots. A complete list of those pied would also be awesome :)

Michael Hoskin said...

>Count Vertigo was almost killed in that fiasco.

...But instead gave us his Crowning Moment of Awesome.

De said...

I thought the Who's Who Update entry mentioned that Briscoe had built Sheba.

David H. said...

didn't Briscoe name Sheba after his deceased kid? which makes his death on Apocalypse all the more tragic. especially with the way he was screaming at the para-demons about how they were "killing Sheba". powerful stuff! 34-37 was just an all around great climax to the whole Duchess/Lashina story line. and yeah Michael, that moment with Vertigo kicked ass!
Siskoid it's ironic that you posted a retirement files characters today covering the Squad's adventure on Apocalypse. just last night i posted on the Suicide Squad blog site about Darkseid which included SS issue #37.

Quilty said...

That Apokolips story was one of my favorites too. Dr. Light had one of the best death scenes in the entire series, and I wish it hadn't been reversed. Ostrander wrote him as the most pathetic criminal ever, someone even Boomerang held in contempt, and his death was hilarious.

I didn't realize that Vertigo-Shade took place on a parallel earth. I always thought he inhabited the same "nobody-talks-about-them space" as the Doom Patrol. My pet theory was that the Ditko-created Shade was one of the "solidified madness" illusions that appeared in the early issues of teh Vertigo series.

Anonymous said...

>...But instead gave us his Crowning Moment of Awesome.

In the "Ten Coolest Moments of Task Force X" list, Vertigo against Kanto is high!


I think the SS'Shade reapeared some time ago.

Remembering all this awesomeness, back in the day I was surprised Major Victory survived. He smelled like cannon fodder.

Roger

 

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