Monday, April 18, 2011

The Force of July, now just gone with the wind.

For all of you who checked out the previous posting no doubt discovered the somewhat contentious comments over the debate about the writers of DC making Dr. Light into a sex offender. Well I think all that needed to be said about that was pretty much covered already. But that got me thinking about some of Light's more "memorable" moments in the pages of the Suicide Squad. One of those was this one from the Janus Directive. If you recall, the Janus Directive was this vast scheme devised by Kobra to turn just about every U.S. government agency against each other as a distraction while he prepares his latest dooms day weapon in order to usher in the age of the "Age of Chaos" which is his version of Armageddon. Take note that Iran's president espouses to a similar ideology. Just a little something to help you all sleep soundly at night for when the next time you hear about their latest bit of progress in their nuclear program and long range ballistic missile upgrades.
During the Janus Directive we see a showdown between the Suicide Squad and the hyper patriotic government team The Force of July ( Role call: Major Victory - super strength, Sparkler - Jubilee of the X-Men like powers, Mayflower - can animate vegetation to carry out her will, Lady Liberty - energy discharge through "torch", Silent Minority - Multiple Man like powers). Sparkler as seen above is killed by Dr. Light in a fit of rage, while Mayflower is strangled to death by Ravan. Later as the Janus Directive reaches it's conclusion both Lady Liberty and Silent Minority are killed in the final battle with Kobra's forces leaving Major Victory as the group's sole survivor.
As a result of the Kobra's manipulations and the break down in communications between agencies the U.S. government orders the over haul of many of those agencies and their protocols. One of which was to assign Major Victory to Task Force X. Major Victory (a.ka. Bill Vickers) was only with the Squad for a short time and for the most part we saw a fairly one dimensional character. So much so that Vixen once referred to him as "Major Cliche". However shortly there after Major Victory would find himself among the kidnapped members of the Squad in the ill fated Apocalypse mission compliments of every body's favorite Female Fury Lashina. Fortunately he was one of the survivors although that ended up being a turning point for him. It was on that mission that we started to see some character development for Major Victory. Having felt like he had always been used by some other interest rather it was the U.S. government, Kobra or Lashina Major Victory decided to leave all that behind and get on with his life as just Bill Vickers. What's interesting here is that the narrative of this character at the time (1990) was somewhat prophetic. Given the the political quagmire and ongoing recession of America today Major Victory is basically a metaphor for the frustrations of everyday Americans during these hard times.
Vickers as it turned out didn't turn in his uniform and would take on the role of Major Victory again. We briefly see him in the pages of the Suicide Squad toward the end of the series (#58) as the leader of the newly formed Captains of Industry super hero team. You can find out who didn't make it back from that mission at the latest Task Force X retirement files:

Coming soon: We feature some rare clip art of Captain Boomerang from the pages of Checkmate (Vol.1) during the Janus Directive. See Digger at his best with plenty of action and incomprehensible "Aussie" speak during Checkmate's daring break in at Belle Reve as they try to capture the director of Task Force X Amanda Waller.


  1. I love that first frame, what an intense picture. No black lantern for Sparkler either.

  2. well in the next posting you'll see why he's not in his full costume. stay tuned it'll be a fun read, especially for Capt. Boomerang fans. by the way Siskoid, you just don't seem to want to talk about Annihilators#2 do you? you're a peculiar fellow sometimes.

    that's a good point Craig. i dunno maybe it's because it was so long ago or maybe because Sparkler was such a minor character in the DC Universe.

  3. Harkness had many missions withot costume, but I'll defer to you.
    I'll be waiting for your next post.
    I don't know if I ever mention I dig that guy...
    Maybe not. I mostly keep it to myself.


    About Major Victory... Never cared for the character when I read about him in SS.
    Maybe I'll take another look.

  4. i was wondering when i'd see you here. well like i said we didn't really see any character development until the Apocalypse mission. at that point we went from seeing a very bland version of Capt. America who was soaking in conservative idealism and patriotism to a man who had issues like self doubt and principles that transcended his loyalty to the U.S. government.
    the follow up posting will be up first thing tomorrow for your viewing pleasure my dear. and i think your gonna like it Mrs. Harkness.

  5. Yeah!!!
    And tomorrow is a hollyday here!
    Two good things in a row!
    I'm sooooo glad the timer will be off.
    No self-doubt here.

  6. Annihilator #2 is on the stack and I'll read it soon (from its position), but aside from a quick line on Twitter, no, I won't be talking about it much. The whole point of my Rom posts was because those issues would never be collected. The continuation of the Rom "legacy" can and will be collected and is available to fans right now.