Random Retrospective #24 – Suicide Squad #58

I came to SUICIDE SQUAD late in the game, to be honest. At the time this was published, I was leaning more towards JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA and GREEN LANTERN and I think my first encounter with this title would have been the two issue crossover with JLA. Over the years, though, I heard more and more good things about it and, after reading Ostrander’s THE SPECTRE, I realised I’d been missing out so started hunting through the back issue boxes until I had the complete run.

And, typically, out of the 67 issues in this series, the one my random selector chooses, is one I’ve already touched on here, as it’s part of the crossovers of WAR OF THE GODS. Rather than do a quick summary again, I’m going to pick out one thing about this issue.

Suffice to say, the Squad had been assembled to attack Circe on her island as part of the crossover and there’s the obligatory shot of heroes and villains about to be briefed by Amanda Waller.

Up in the top right hand corner, this little exchange is going on:

The pale guy with a laptop in front of him is the fictional DCU version of Grant Morrison who had appeared in the pages of ANIMAL MAN about a year or so before and, as they state here, has since become subject to the whims of any other writer. This version of Morrison has become a character in someone else’s story! And they demonstrates their powers to a clearly unimpressed Firehawk and Silver Swan:

Unfortunately for The Writer, as they’re called in the comic, their tenure with the Squad is brief to say the least. The attack on Circe’s island is launched and they run into Amazons and Bestiamorphs and within moments . . .

Writer’s block – perhaps the only time it’s been fatal.

I performed a quick search to see if there was any comment from Morrison about their use and death in this issue and found a Newsarama interview from 2001 that has been saved on a Grant Morrison fan site where they say:

NRMA: One final sidenote – what was your reaction to appearing in Suicide Squad, as “The Writer” only to be killed off in issue #58?
GM: I think it probably served me right after everything I’d put Buddy Baker through. I just come back from the dead, stronger and stranger, like everyone else in comics.