Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Raise The Flag: An overview of this pivitol 2008 mini-series

As I was putting together my time line I wasn't able to find a really good summery of this fantastic and important series any where outside of The Suicide Squad's Wikipedia page so I thought I'd put this posting together today. By the way this series is also available in trade paper back form.

The first three issues primarily deal with the details of the return of Rick Flag who was presumed dead from a solo suicide mission to destroy the meta human for hire terror group known as the Jihad (Suicide Squad #26 Vol. 1). Remember the good ol days back in the 80s when nobody knew what that word meant? Although the Checkmate title (issues 1-20 Vol.2) had already started bringing The Squad back gradually in a piece meal fashion it wasn't until the Raise The Flag mini-series did we get the full story on Flag's return. That storyline (told in a flash back style) having to do with him and Rustam (leader of the Jihad) being mystically transported to Skartaris instead of having been blown up with the Jihad HQ. There they had to work together to survive in a dinosaur infested land. But eventually the arch enemies go mano e mano and Flag has to put him down permanently cause he's bad ass that way. He's then mystically returned to Earth and winds up in the middle of some trouble that lands him in jail in some Asian country for several years until rescued by Bronze Tiger.

After that story is told the series picks up with Waller getting things in order at Belle Reve prison with her now having her old job back as director of Task Force X which as you all should know by now is the official govt. name for The Squad. They're about to under go a new mission with the objective of taking out this global corp. called Haake-Bruton that has developed a fast acting viral weapon and as director of Task Force X it's her job to determine what meta human prisoners are suitable for the mission. The final selection is made up of many members from the first SS series but also several brand new recruits as well. Of course true to form the mission has all sorts of problems including betrayal by a few Squad members along with a surprise or two that nobody saw coming. Sometimes I wonder if historical military disasters like The Bay of Pigs or the failed hostage rescue in iran by the jimmy carter didn't help inspire some of these Squad stories.
But I'm happy to say that at the end of the day the mission is accomplished even though nearly everyone of the new recruits ends up dead. At the end of the final issue the Squad is made up of Rick Flag, Bronze Tiger, Captain Boomerang (Owen Mercer), Plastique, Multiplex, Gen. Eiling (in the Shaggy Man's body), Bane, Count Vertigo and Deadshot. King Faraday who was Amanda's bishop at Checkmate is her right hand man for administrative matters. The events of Salvation Run follows the end of this series shortly after as indicated by the time line posting.

There are of course a bunch of nuanced things in regards to the characters and the story line in this mini-series summery I didn't cover but for the sake of not making this posting too long I kept it fairly brief. But I think I covered the most important stuff especially as it pertains to the make up of Task Force X as the continuity moves forward into Salvation Run. With that being the case I'd be happy to go over anything in the comments section I may have over looked that was worth mentioning.
On a side note here I just wanted to mention that about a year and a half later during the Secret Six Suicide Squad Blackest Night cross over Gen. Eiling and Plastique for unknown reasons are no longer with the Squad. Captain Boomerang had become part of The Rogues but was later killed by his father (original Captain Boomerang) who was resurrected by a Black Lantern ring. And of course you know by now that Deadshot and Bane are with The Secret Six. However, Nightshade had returned to the Squad along with solo mission recruit Virtuosa, who's powers are similar to that of The Fiddler.


  1. It was a very accurate description of this series, wich I liked a lot and feel that could have been given a continuation.
    It presents the main story, and opens the appetite for anyone that did not read it, to start doing so, so they can get the details.
    What happened to Eiling after this? I never saw him again.

  2. that's an excellent question. both his Wikipedia page as well as Comicvine describe his service with the Squad going up until Salvation Run which is where his history ends. however there is no evidence of him being part of the Squad in issues 1 & 2 of Salvation Run nor is he mentioned in the Salvation Run Wiki page. and i find it hard to believe that if he was with the Squad during that time that Waller and Flag wouldn't have gotten rid of him along with Deadshot and Bane considering the bad history Eiling has with Waller and Flag.
    however, in Justice League #18 (2008) we see the Squad and the JLA getting into a brawl over the Salvation Run operation. in that particular issue Eiling is still with the Squad but interestingly enough Deadshot and Bane appear not to be.

  3. Ach, what would I do without you Dave? Thanks! No one writes a summary like you. Ever consider submitting a resume to DC for reviving Who's Who?

  4. thanks Craig, i felt it was time for a change. preferably with something that's more reflective of how i'm feeling these days. especially with Sept. being just around the corner. it's not just gonna be big for the comic book biz but also for what is anticipated to go down in the Middle East next month. i'm hoping to have more Youtube videos uploaded of the possible mayhem around here at that time.

    also thank you Randomnerd. but who needs DC when i've got you guys here :)

  5. That's what's up Dave we got ya back. This mini series was good but not good enough. The book focused to much on Flag and Eiling with no growth or spectical from the other true team members. And until that happens my squad wont truely become heavy hitters on the racks ( Dead Shot is the exception ).

  6. To me Task Force X is like the Justice League or the Avengers. The characters on this team are important and should be handled like the big three or the super seven. Not just supporting characters for Amanda and Flag.

  7. This is Task Force X
    Amanda Waller
    Bronze Tiger
    Rick Flag
    Captain Boomerang
    Count Vertigo

    But who out of this group could carry their own title without the rest of the crew? Why? And why would we care? I'll be back in a couple of days to see what you guys think.

  8. holy shit man your a tough crowd! well as you can see from the posting i hold that series in higher regard but i certainly can appreciate your love for the characters. make sure you come back here for the SS relaunch! believe me i'll have plenty to say about it. i'll probably do a Youtube review of it soon after i get back home with it whatever day it hits the shelves. sometimes when i'm really anxious to read something i'll do it in my car after i get out of the comic shop. both before i leave the parking spot and at red lights on the way home. i know i shouldn't do that but sometimes i'm just an idiot that way.

  9. looks like your Task Force X role call comment showed up just after i left my comment above otherwise i would have replied to it already.
    well if you notice in my blog's masthead that i have all the characters you mentioned with the exception of Plastique and Multiplex which is not a coincidence. i like Multiplex and i love Plastique but they haven't logged as much time as members of Task Force X as the others have between 1987 to 2010.

  10. Agreed. In raise the flag Plastique said something to the Tiger that was big for me. She said something in the way of...don't prejudge me as a disloyal woman with no substance to what I do ( Omega interpetation ). That made me want to know more about who she really is and what her crimes are really about you know?

  11. Your master head is masterful. I love it. Thats how I found the blog. Looking for info on the relaunch I saw it and saved it to use as an illustration for something. Because it's so nostalgic and future relevant at the same time.

  12. why thank you for the compliment on my blog site's masthead. i must say it is rather cool. did ya know it's the very first thing i made when i decided to start this blog almost a year ago? i sure wish more people out there were as chatty as you. one of my first postings was this one about Plastique:

    by the way OA1 what city are you from?

  13. Griffin, 30 min below Atlanta. I'm from the hall of justice by way of tatooine and a member of the Suicide Squad.