Thursday, August 11, 2016

Suicide Squad A Little Harley, Croc and Slipknot

Go to any comic book store this week and the topic is the Suicide Squad.

Skipping around a bit, and quickly covering the three characters from the comics in the movie that are members of the Suicide Squad who haven't been covered in previous Suicide Squad articles here with more coverage of Harley Quinn and Killer Croc to come later!


Harley Quinn

Harleen Quinzel was the Joker's psychiatrist....and he drove her crazy.  Crazy in love with him, that is.  Harley would do anything for her "puddin'", but Joker never felt that way about her, really.  She was a way to escape prison, and later even an annoyance to the clown of crime.  But, that didn't stop Harley from pursuing the Joker, much to her own harm (though after 38 issues of her own series, and 26 issues of Gotham City Sirens, with Catwoman and Poison Ivy, among others, Harley finally was able to shed the Joker for a time (at least until Flashpoint brought us the New 52.....).

Harley Quinn first appeared in the Batman Animated Series, and was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm.  Harley first appeared in the comics with Batman Adventures #12 (October, 1993), in comics set in the universe of the animated series.  Harley Quinn first appeared in DC Universe comics in Batman: Harley Quinn #1 (October, 1999), with a stunning Alex Ross cover that they echoed in the Suicide Squad movie. 

Harley started her move to her more Deborah Harry styled costume with her first new 52 appearance, which also heralded her entrance to the Suicide Squad, in Suicide Squad #1 (November, 2011). 

Check with your local comic store for reprints of these and many other Harley Quinn stories.

Killer Croc

Waylon Jones first appeared in Detective Comics #523 (February, 1983) by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan, but was part of a multi-issue storyline over Batman #357 to #359 in 1983, with art by Dan Jurgens, Dick Giordano, Curt Swan and Don Newton,  that led to Jason Todd becoming Robin, culminating in Detective Comics #526 (May, 1983).  At this time, Killer Croc was an unloved boy, born in the Bayou, shunned by humanity because of his appearance, who, with his toughness and raw ability, moved to being a crime boss, and nearly taking over Gotham, making him one of Batman's toughest villains that he had faced.

Time wasn't so kind to Waylon, ending up in Arkham Asylum, experimented on, being broken by the newer and deadlier Batman foe, Bane, given more strength and regenerative abilities (including by Batman foe, Hush), but at the cost of his intellect.  The boy who didn't want to be a monster, became a monster in spite of himself (but, Waylon did always want to be stronger, and didn't mind shying away from other humans....). 

Oddly, Killer Croc really wasn't a part of the Suicide Squad (that was Superboy foe, King Shark....), but they both were monsters, who occasionally ate humans....and you can find more on Killer Croc on the just released Batman: Arkham Asylum: Killer Croc tradepaperback.


Christopher Weiss was the name of the assassin that the Monitor sent to face Firestorm (though the readers didn't learn of that until much later) in Fury of Firestorm #28 (October, 1984, by Gerry Conway, Joey Cavalieri and Rafael Kayanan).  A man who manipulated ropes was a threat to Firestorm, as the ropes were organic, and Firestorm couldn't use his transmutation powers on the organic material of the ropes.  Slipknot returned to face Firestorm, along with Blue Devil, working with Blue Devil foe, Bolt, and Firestorm foes of Mindboggler, Hyena and Multiplex in Fury of Firestorm #45 to #47 and Blue Devil #23 all in 1986.

Being a team player got Slipknot recruited to a collection of Firestorm foes in the Suicide Squad, when the Squad (including Multiplex, Killer Frost, Deadshot, Rick Flag and Captain Boomerang) was sent to bring down Firestorm in Fury of Firestorm #64 (October, 1987) and Firestorm Annual #5 (1987), and, amazingly Slipknot survived this mission, only to get recruited again as the Manhunters attacked Earth in the Millennium mini-series of 1988, getting his arm blown off (thanks to encouragement by Captain Boomerang) in Suicide Squad #9 (January, 1988). 

Slipknot survived, turning to the religion of the Cult of Kobra (Kobra being a quasi-religious leader who vexed both Batman, the Outsiders and the Suicide Squad, as revealed in Identity Crisis #4 of November, 2004).  Slipknot later ran afoul of Ink (the newer version of Tattooed Man) during the Final Crisis Aftermath: Ink mini-series of 2009, leading to a final confrontation between the two in Titans #31 (March, 2011), with Ink the one coming out alive to greet his teammates of Deathstroke, Arsenal and Cheshire. 

All of Slipknot's later appearances starting with Millennium have been collected (mostly as Millennium, Suicide Squad in the Nightshade Odyssey, and the Final Crisis and Titans in collections of their books), but his Fury of Firestorm and Blue Devil appearances still need to be roped in.....

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