Scripter: Len Wein
Penciller: John Byrne
Inker: Karl Kesel
Letterer: Steve Haynie
Colorist: Tom Ziuko
Editor: Mike Gold
Cover: Standing atop Mount Rushmore is Brimstone; behind him, left to right, are the faces of Superman, Changeling, Flash and Batman.
At the foot of the mountain are the members of the Suicide Squad. Left to right are Enchantress; Bronze Tiger; Captain Boomerang; Deadshot; and Blockbuster.
Page 1 – Panel 1: Titans Tower, home of the Teen Titans, and now besieged by supporters of G Gordon Godfrey.
Page 1 – Panel 2: Apokolips, home of Darkseid and his fellow New Gods. For much of this issue, the lower quarter is taken up with events on Apokolips, while the remainder of the pages deal with events on Earth.
Page 2 – Panel 1: Inside the Tower, from left to right are Sarge Steel; the Flash; and Changeling. The President issued an executive order banning superheroes from acting in public at the end of the previous issue.
Page 2 – Panel 2: A close up of Sarge Steel, complete with his Steel hand.
Page 2 – Panel 3: Changeling and the Flash reject Sarge Steel’s right to keep them locked up.
Page 3 – Panel 1: Sarge Steel literally threatens to kill them both if they attempt to leave.
Page 3 – Panels 2 and 3: However, the heroes call his bluff and walk out anyway.
Page 4 – Panel 1: Captain Boomerang, continuing the tradition of characters introducing themselves.
Page 4 – Panel 2: He handily introduces the others but, for the sake of completion, on the left in green and black is the Enchantress; in the middle, facing Boomerang, is Amanda Waller; and on the right is Blockbuster.
Page 4 – Panel 3: Back on Apokolips, here, in silhouette at least, is Darkseid.
Page 5 – Panel 1: Amanda Waller lays down the law to Captain Boomerang.
Page 5 – Panel 2: And once again, a character introduces themselves and other. Bronze Tiger’s on the left of the panel, Rick Flag in the middle, and Deadshot on the right. Task Force X is, of course, the Suicide Squad referenced in the title of this issue.
Page 5 – Panel 5: Amanda slaps a bracelet on Boomerang’s wrist – what on Earth could it do?
Page 5 – Panel 6: And here’s Darkseid in all his close up glory.
Page 6 – Panel 1: And there’s the explanation for the bracelets – they’re explosive and will go off if the wearer attempts to escape.
Page 6 – Panel 2: Interestingly, Flag says that some of the others aren’t wearing them.
Page 6 – Panel 4: Waller tells them their mission is to destroy Brimstone who, as we can see on the monitor, has made it 1700 miles or so west to Mount Rushmore.
Page 6 – Panel 5: Darkseid speaks to the Phantom Stranger, clearly aware of the Suicide Squad’s creation and mission.
Page 7 – Panels 1 to 3: Billy Batson wanders around, still wracked with guilt because he thinks he killed Macro-Man in issue #1; we know, of course, that he’s blameless thanks to Darkseid’s explanation in the previous issue.
Page 7 – Panel 4: This is Lisa Sutton, the young girl we saw in the previous issue.
Page 7 – Panel 5: Desaad, aide and torturer to Darkseid. The “retro-screen” Darkseid mentions will act as a flashback device over the coming pages.
Page 8 – Panel 1: The Suicide Squad have arrived (very quickly) at Mount Rushmore. Left to right are Enchantress; Bronze Tiger; Blockbuster; Deadshot; Captain Boomerang; and Rick Flag.
Page 8 – Panel 2: Presumably Brimstone has been expecting them because, as seen earlier, Apokolips is aware of the Squad.
Page 8 – Panel 4: Flag mentions “analysis” that they’ve had, presumably from the team examining Brimstone in Firestorm #55 as seen in Crossovers Part 2.
Page 8 – Panel 5: Desaad begins his flashbacks.
Page 9 – Panels 2 and 3: Blockbuster lifts the ground beneath Brimstone’s feet but, despite the captions in Panel 3, Brimstone isn’t shown falling.
Page 9 – Panel 5: For a key player in this story, Glorious Godfrey/G Gordon Godfrey has been absent from this issue so far.
Page 10 – Panel 3: The Enchantress’s power, like that of Firestorm, is unable to affect living things. Bronze Tiger, rather clumsily in terms of dialogue, refers to her alter ego of June Moone.
Page 10 – Panel 5: Macro-Man as seen in issue #1.
Page 11 – Panel 1: Gotham City and Bruce Wayne aka Batman.
Page 11 – Panel 2: In the bed is Jason Todd, Robin, who was beaten by a mob at the end of the previous issue. At this point in time, Jason hasn’t long taken on the role of Robin.
Page 11 – Panel 3: The Dick Grayson Jason mentions was the original Robin who, by this time, had long left Batman and become Nightwing.
Page 11 – Panel 4: Billy Batson transforming into Captain Marvel.
Page 12 – Panel 2: Batman is convinced that the city, and the public, need him and the other heroes; without them, the criminals are running wild.
Page 12 – Panels 3 to 5: Robin, perhaps understandably given the beating he’s recently received, is more cynical than Batman who believes G Gordon Godfrey is behind the mob mentality.
Page 12 – Panel 6: Batman is determined to strike back.
Page 13 – Panel 1: Rick Flag and Deadshot back at Mount Rushmore.
Page 13 – Panel 4: It was a long-standing character trait of Deadshot’s that he was looking for a way to die.
Page 13 – Panel 5: Captain Boomerang and Blockbuster.
Page 13 – Panel 6: The apparent death of Macro-Man as shown in issue #1.
Page 14 – Panels 2 to 4: Brimstone grabs Blockbuster and reduces him to a smouldering husk. Panel 4 has a colouring mistake with Brimstone’s speech balloon having a white background while all his others have a green background. This wasn’t corrected in either the first collection or the 30th Anniversary edition.
Page 15 – Panels 1 and 2: Deadshot takes a shot at Brimstone with the specially designed rifle.
Page 15 – Panel 3: Where Firestorm, Cosmic Boy and the Justice League failed, Deadshot succeeds.
Page 15 – Panel 4: This is Brimstone’s first appearance as shown in issue #1.
Page 16 – Panel 1: Brimstone’s words are a corruption of one of the sayings of Christ on the cross: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Page 16 – Panel 2: Bronze Tiger and Enchantress.
Page 16 – Panel 3: Enchantress is able to turn Brimstone’s remains to snow now that he is no longer alive.
Page 16 – Panel 4: The Justice League of America – on the ground, left to right, are Vibe, Elongated Man, Gypsy, and Cosmic Boy; in the air is Martian Manhunter. This scene was shown the previous issue.
Page 17 – Panels 1 and 2: Too much magic sends Enchantress over the edge and Bronze Tiger subdues her.
Page 17 – Panel 3: The rest of the Suicide Squad pull themselves out of the snowstorm.
Page 17 – Panels 4 and 5: Boomerang’s anger at being treated as cannon fodder is subdued when he learns that Flag himself was expendable.
Page 17 – Panel 6: Robin attacked by the mob as shown in the previous issue.
Page 18 – Panel 1: President Reagan who is pondering on whether he was right to issue the executive order banning superheroes.
Page 18 – Panel 2: Superman tries to reassure him.
Page 18 – Panel 3: Despite his conciliatory tone, Superman states he strongly disagrees with the President’s order.
Page 18 – Panel 4: Desaad says that Reagan is “even now … ordering all super-heroes to cease their public activities” but as we’re seeing this in his retro-screen, this is showing events from the past.
Page 19 – Panel 1: Billy Batson has been taken to the home of Lisa Sutton, his new friend that he made back on Page 7.
Page 19 – Panel 2: Billy is, indeed, an orphan.
Page 19 – Panel 4: Darkseid views the battle between Task Force X and Brimstone and reflects that, with the death of Blockbuster, “a second of Earth’s legends has come to an end!” Referring to Blockbuster as a legend is stretching it a bit.
Page 20 – Panel 1: Lisa’s sister switches on the TV to show G Gordon Godfrey. The picture above the TV is labelled “Museum of Modern Art July 4 – 15, 1986” The New York Museum of Modern Art (to which I’m assuming the picture is referring) has a website which details all its past exhibitions; the closest I can come to those dates is the Vienna 1900: Art, Architecture and Design exhibition which ran from July 3 to October 26, 1986. There are some designs in that that look similar to the picture, but nothing definite. However, the picture could be a “Mondrian squares” picture which don’t appear to have been exhibited at the NY MOMA in 1986.
Page 20 – Panel 2: Lisa’s sister plays with a Superman action figure; the other figure is a green robot that appears to be generic. If you think differently, use the Contact Me page to let me know.
Page 20 – Panel 3: Both Billy and Lisa are clearly not fans of G Gordon Godfrey.
Page 20 – Panels 4 and 5: Lisa’s father disagrees, however, and throws the Superman action figure in the fire.
Page 20 – Panel 6: The Phantom Stranger has seen enough of the overly long flashback and destroys the retro-screen.
Page 21 – Panels 4: Billy is clearly traumatised, the simple image of an action figure in flames bringing back the memories of Macro-Man’s death for which he still blames himself.
Page 21 – Panel 5: Lisa says she still believes in heroes . . .
Page 21 – Panel 6: . . . which the Phantom Stranger is aware of. He then claims that “the children will always believe in heroes!” a sentiment that seems at odds with Robin – a child himself – and his feelings as seen on page 12.
Page 22: Darkseid doesn’t care about the children’s “hearts and minds” . . . as he prepares to unleash the Warhounds.
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