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Suicide Squad Reading Order

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The Suicide Squad as we know it today wasn’t always like that. First created by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Ross Andru in 1959 in the pages of The Brave and the Bold #25, the first incarnation of The Suicide Squad was a team of good guys with a scientific edge led by Rick Flag Jr. They faced monsters and nuclear bombs. It didn’t last long, and we will not talk about it more here.

The Suicide Squad, as we know, was introduced by writer John Ostrander (with Len Wein) and artist John Byrne in the pages of the Legends miniseries in 1986, the first major DC Universe crossover after the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. This governmental team controlled by the morally ambiguous Amanda Waller is really called Task Force X and is composed of supervillains like Blockbuster, Bronze Tiger, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, and Enchantress. Rick Flag Jr. is still the leader. The team is sent on “suicide” missions—sometimes, everybody is not coming back.

From 1987 to 1992, John Ostrander wrote the Suicide Squad ongoing series with the help of Kim Yale, and art by Luke McDonnell and John K. Snyder III, among others. It lasted 66 issues. After that, the Squad didn’t retire but only guest-starred in other titles for a while. A new ongoing was launched in 2001, written by Keith Giffen, with art by Paco Medina. The members changed quickly and Sgt. Rock became the squad leader (the members changed regularly).

As part of DC New 52 continuity reboot in 2011, The Suicide Squad was once more relaunched—this time by Adam Glass, with art by Federico Dallocchio and Ransom Getty. Amanda Waller built a new team around Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and King Shark. This series concluded after 30 issues, but the Suicide Squad came back rapidly after that. In fact, it never really went away since.

Suicide Squad Reading Order:

Note: All of the original Suicide Squad stories are collected in Suicide Squad: The Silver Age Omnibus Volume 1 (Brave and the Bold #25–27, 37–39 and
Star Spangled War Stories #110–111, 116–121, 125, 127–128).

The Suicide Squad by John Ostrander (aka Volume 1)

The Suicide Squad Volume 2 & 3

Before the relaunch in 2001, the Suicide Squad made appearances in a certain number of series. Most of them are not collected (and really only for completists): Superboy (vol. 3) #13–15, Hawk & Dove (vol. 4) #3–5, Chase (vol. 1) #2–3, Superman: Our Worlds at War Secret Files & Origins #1, and Adventures of Superman (vol. 1) #593–594.

Volume 2 of Suicide Squad from Keith Giffen and Paco Medina was short, only 12 issues. Run by Sgt. Frank Rock with Bulldozer, Havana, Modem, and a roaster of expendable characters like Big Sir, Clock King (William Tockman), Cluemaster, Deadshot, Killer Frost (Louise Lincoln), Major Disaster, and Multi-Man.

After that, the Suicide Squad went back to its guest-starring status in the DC Universe, but it was even more anecdotical than before. Completists can still track down Superman (vol. 2) #182, Superman Secret Files & Origins 2004, 52 #24, 33-34, 45, and World War III, Book Three: Hell Is for Heroes, Checkmate (vol. 2) #6–7.

Volume 3 of Suicide Squad was even shorter than Vol. 2, but it was written by John Ostrander with art by Javier Pina. It’s about the return of Rick Flag Jr. and the formation of a new Squad.

In the pages of Countdown to Final Crisis, the Suicide Squad makes brief appearances (#43-42, 39, 28, 25, 22) during which they are seen rounding up the world’s villains for an unknown purpose. The truth is revealed in the Salvation Run miniseries:

Suicide Squad New 52 (Volume 4)

Written by Adam Glass with art by Federico Dallocchio and Ransom Getty, this new Suicide Squad was launched as part of The New 52 reboot of the DC Comics universe. Deadshot was the field leader of the team of criminals controlled by Amanda Waller, and Harley Quinn became a key member, like King Shark. Now, they are outfitted with micro-bomb implants and inducted into the Squad.

The New Suicide Squad

Writer Sean Ryan and artist Jeremy Roberts took over in 2014 with the relaunch titled “The New Suicide Squad.” This time, Deadshot and Harley Quinn teamed up with Black Manta, Joker’s Daughter, the Reverse-Flash, Deathstroke, El Diablo, Captain Boomerang, Cheetah, and more.

Suicide Squad Rebirth (Volume 5 & 6)

In 2016, with the “DC Rebirth” reboot of the DC Comics universe, the Suicide Squad was rebooted once more… Written by Rob Williams and shifting between Jim Lee, John Romita, Jr., and Tony S. Daniel for art. This time, Amanda Waller recruited Deadshot, Rick Flag, Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Katana & Enchantress. Yes, it was meant to mirror the movie’s team.

This is when the Dark Nights: Metal event took place (reading order here). That event is led by Barbatos, the dark god who plans to unleash darkness across every Earth. Stopping him will change the DC Universe forever.

  • Dark Nights: Metal: The Resistance
    Collects Teen Titans #12, Nightwing #29, Suicide Squad #26, Green Arrow #32) And “Bats Out Of Hell” (The Flash #33, Justice League #32-33, Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #32, Plus Batman Lost #1 And Hawkman Found #1.

Suicide Squad (Volume 6)

At the start of 2020, The Suicide Squad was relaunched with Tom Taylor as the writer and Bruno Redondo as the artist. The team was composed of  Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Magpie, Cavalier, the Shark, and the Zebra-Man.

Suicide Squad – Infinite Frontiere (Volume 7)

With a new DC Era came a new Suicide Squad series. This time, it was written by Robbie Thompson with art by Eduardo Pansica. Amanda Waller has recruited Peacemaker, Nocturna, Match, Talon, Culebra, Bloodsport, Ambush Bug, Black Siren, and Major Force.

Last Updated on February 10, 2023.

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