Wednesday, April 18, 2012
The Suicide Squad
The Suicide Squad (also named Task Force X) had four members; Rick Flag, the pilot and leader:
It is revealed in the opening story that all four members of the Suicide Squad were involved in World War II, and all of them had similar experiences where people around them all died, but left them behind to carry on the fight:
Second, the timing. The superhero craze was underway; after the first three issues featuring Rick's daredevil troupe, B&B launched one of the most successful DC features of the Silver Age: the Justice League of America. With so many new and colorful superheros, it was hard for the Suicide Squad to stand out in the spinner racks.
DC did give them another three issues (B&B #37-39) to try to win their stripes, but they ran into a third problem. Comics increased in price from 10 cents to 12 cents effective with the December 1961 issues, which included B&B #39. The effect on circulation was immediate and dramatic, with almost all titles shedding 10-20% of their readers. Under the circumstances it is hardly surprising that DC was less willing to launch a new mag.
This post was inspired by an email from a reader named Kirk. I tried to reply, but the recipient domain refused the message. An aside to Kirk; the reason Andru and Esposito worked on Wonder Woman, Metal Men, Suicide Squad and the War that Time Forgot series has much to do with the editor of those features. In every case it was Robert Kanigher. Each of the DC editors had his own stable of writers and artists back then.
Posted by Pat at 9:39 AM