Sunday, December 4, 2011

Suicide is Easy... it's getting people to buy the title that's hard

Everybody knows DC had the Suicide Squad first in the 60s, as is so often the case with “what everybody knows” everybody is dead wrong. Seems it's been around longer than that, and been used by more than DC. 

First off I personally was a little disappointed to find out where the phrase came from, it seems that it first was used in football, the suicide squad being the squad used on kickoffs, that being more dangerous than other plays, or so they tell me. 

However a expression with umpf like that can't be expected to say on the gridiron. 

The first fictional Suicide Squad appeared from March 25, 1936 to April, 1943 in 22 stories in Ace G-Man Stories featuring 3 tough as nails FBI agents battling gangsters, Nazis, and even the occasional super-villain, a Mr. Zero to name pseudonyms, written by Emile C. Tepperman, the man who gave use Operator # 5, Secret Agent X and a number of the adventures of The Avenger (the one with the gray moldable face) the first Squad fought crime and / or evil in such stories as Mr. Zero and the Suicide Squad, Suicide Squad Reports for Death, The Suicide Squad's Murder Lottery & Blood, Sweat, and Bullets. Mostly forgotten they they have recently had a bit of a revival with the reprinting of all 22 of their adventures just last July.  

The next Suicide Squad was a comic printed in Australia by Frew starting in 1952. I have been unable to find out a single blessed thing about this crew.... however I'm willing to bet the guy with the pipe on the cover of # 1 is the boss. 

Then DC did the Squad, not once but twice, at least one of these teams you probably already know about. The latest version most likely, just like the first two the 60s version, also sometimes known as Task Force X, kind of quickly slipped from the collective mind as well... must have something to do with the name, it is, lets face it, a little bleak.

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