Peacemaker’s First Suicide Squad Encounter Was Bloodier Than the Movie

Today, we look at when Peacemaker, who is a member of the Squad in the DC Extended Universe and now the current Suiicide Squad comic book, first met the Squad in the DC Universe.

In “When We First Met”, we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore, like the first time someone said, “Avengers Assemble!” or the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny or the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth or the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter. Stuff like that.

One of the fascinating aspects of the DC Universe in the wake of Crisis on Infinite Earths is that, at least in the books dealing with the United States Government, things were taken very seriously in the connection between the various titles, all of which were starring characters that were working for the government, but, of course, different groups had different agendas.


The three main projects were the Suicide Squad, the spy group, Checkmate, and the Atom Project, which created Captain Atom (they all starred in their respective comic books, Suicide Squad, Checkmate and Captain Atom). There was a lot of overlap between the books, like Nightshade was a member of the Suicide Squad while being Captain Atom’s liaison over in the pages of Captain Atom. There were also a couple of side projects in the various government agencies that appeared here and there, namely Project: Peacemaker (Peacemaker often showed up in Checkmate) and the American Security Agency’s Force of July group (who fought the Outsiders during Mike W. Barr’s acclaimed run on the series). The main groups were pretty much all considered Take Force X.

The Janus Directive storyline begins in Suicide Squad #27 (by John Ostrander, Kim Yale, John Snyder and Karl Kesel) following Checkmate #15 (by Paul Kupperberg, Steve Ervin and Al Vey) when Amanda Waller reveals to the heads of Checkmate and the Peacemaker Project that the other groups within Task Force X (namely The Force of July and the Atom Project) are working against them and that they need to be taken out…

RELATED: Suicide Squad: When Was a Supervillain’s Head First Blown Up?

Peacemaker and a few Checkmate agents take Dr. Megala, the top scientist of the Atom Project, captive and in the process, nearly kill Wade Eiling, the guy in charge of the Atom Project. The Atom Project then sends one of its agents, the sadistic Major Force, who hunts down the kidnapped Dr. Megala and is met by Peacemaker, who plans on killing him…

The Squad are brought in to take out Dr. Megala themselves while he is in Ckeckmate custody and when the Squad shows up, they see Peacemaker and Major Force duking it out and Vixen orders the Squad to take them BOTH down and Shade the Changing Man uses his belt to deal Peacemaker a major blow to start…

Peacemaker, you see, was the son of a former Nazi Commantdant and he was REALLY messed up due to that, psychologicaally. His father was a strict disciplinarian, so he imagines his father yelling at him to motivate him, but at the same time, he is disgusted at his father’s Nazi beliefs. The end result is one mentally tortured dude. A dazed Peacemker decides to complete his mission and kill Dr. Megala…

The explosion kills Megala (seemingly) and almost kills Count Vertigo…

There was a lot more bloody in this panel than you would see in a typical 1988 comic book, so in the context of that scene, the Suicide Squad movie might not even be as bloody as this, all things considered!

The interesting thing is that before this moment, Vixen was planning on the mission going withOUT killing anyone, despite Waller outright ordering her to kill Megala. Earlier in the storyline, the Squad had taken on the Force of July (who had been prewarned that the Squad was coming) and the Squad ended up having to kill most of the patriotic-themed superheroes, which was also not the plan of the Squad leader, the Bronze Tiger.

RELATED: How Spider-Man and Doctor Strange Teamed Up For the First Time

Peacemaker later attacks the Suicide Squad to gain revenge for them attacking him during his Major Force fight (the whole thing was becoming a total mess as the various agencies attack each other)…

We then learn that the villainous Kobra has been trying to replace key government figures with clones that he controls while he has a plot to fry all electronics in the United States from a sort of space laser (that will also fry the nervous systems of most people in the United States) and one of these clones was meant to replace Waller, but instead, Waller defeated the doppelganger and is now just going along with her orders from Kobra until she learned more about the villain’s plot. She didn’t know who she could trust, so she played the part of the villain to a tee, including ordering the deaths of the Force of July and Dr. Megala (she defiantly tells the lone survivor of the Force of July that she would do it again if need be). Now, though, she can reveal the truth to the other project heads…

The combined team travels into Outer space to take the Kobra down in Suicide Squad #30…

In an awesome sequence, Squad member Duchess (who is actually the Female Fury known as Lashina, which was an open secret among the Squad, even though she insisted that she had amnesia) and Peacemaker share a moment…

Kobra is eventually defeated by the combined groups. Once things were settled, though, then-President George H.W. Bush reorganized the groups, putting Sarge Steel in charge of all superhuman activities while putting General Eiling in charge of the military’s side of things, superhuman-wise. Waller was essentially demoted, as her lone wolf routine was not making anyone happy (she would soon take the Suicide Squad freelance).

If anyone else has a suggestion for/question about a notable comic book first, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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