June 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Characters Case File #480: The Revolutionaries

See, there was this one Suicide Squad team...

Last week, I covered new character Hunter’s Moon, one of those characters that I suspect may not get many appearances after his creators move on to other projects.  By sheer dumb luck, I found out writer Tom Taylor wrote a Suicide Squad series, and I generally like his work and looked it up on DC Universe Infinite.

It just so happened that that run may have been one of the more unique Suicide Squad series because it was, in many ways, not about the Suicide Squad.  Sure, they were called that, but really this was an eleven issue run introducing a new superteam, one that only seems to appear in titles written by Taylor, called the Revolutionaries.

The Revolutionaries first appeared in Suicide Squad #1 by Taylor and artist Bruno Redondo in February of 2020.  In the opening pages of that issue, the group essentially kidnapped and killed an Australian general just as he was about to announce the public launch of three nuclear-powered subs, one with a missile, before he was teleported off the ground, asked to surrender and order his crews abandon the subs, and when he refused,  dropped from a high height to his death.  Afterwards, two of the subs were sunk and the third taken after the crew had been taken out by the entirety of the team.

As for members, they were:

  • Osita, from Puerto Rico, team leader, angry, and superstrong following experiments by the United States military.  She also had one arm and hated superheroes.
  • Wink, an American, a teleporter and kleptomaniac who, at one point, steals the Batmobile.
  • The Aerie, a non-binary winged person who could fly and talk to birds, Wink’s lover, and whose mom was the progressive and cool president of Badhnisia, the same island nation where JSA member Johnny Thunder got his Thunderbolt from.
  • Jog, a French speedster, but initially only for short bursts that would late require a lot of rest.  He would die and come back to life when it turned out he was half New God and his father was the Black Racer.
  • Thylacine, an Australian aborigine, she was a hunter with incredibly good senses and tracking abilities.
  • Deadly Six, from Somalia, he could use a dial in his chest to manipulate six of the seven deadly sins in others, such as using sloth or greed (for self-preservation) to make an opponent not even want to fight or pride to pump up a teammate.  The sin he didn’t use was lust because he thought that was too gross.
  • Chaos Kitty, a fighter from Hong Kong
  • T.N.Teen, actually siblings Lola and Javier from Argentina, Javier died in an early mission and was later replaced by Lola when the rest of the team rescued her.  They can both explode.
  • Scale and Fin, aquatic telepaths who were also superdense, though Scale would be eaten by the Shark and Fin would get the Shark killed by a feeding frenzy later.

As was eventually revealed, all of these characters had a special gripe because the Suicide Squad hurt them in some way.  Osita lost her wife, the only other survivor of the experiments that gave them both their powers, while escorting the Squad on a mission and a razor-sharp boomerang sliced off Osita’s arm and killed her wife.  The Aerie, Wink, and the two T.N.Teens were all products of a lab experiment where Amanda Waller showed up to claim Lola for future use with the Squad.  Scale and Fin apparently were 0n the receiving end of something that hit their underwater home hard.  As for the rest…OK, Taylor didn’t really give much characterization to the likes of Chaos Kitty, Thylacine, and Deadly Six, but you get the idea.  Regardless, Osita’s rage meant she held most superheroes at the same level of contempt as the Suicide Squad, referring to the Justice League as their daytime equivalent since they didn’t really fix problems.  Basically, this was a superhero team as a bunch of leftists who really want to change the world, and when you have a member whose mother runs a small country, there’s always a place to go back to when all is said and done.

As it was, Taylor’s series showed what happened when greedy billionaires somehow took control of the Suicide Squad, shuffling Waller out the door and threatening the likes of Harley Quinn and Deadshot with longer sentences if they didn’t follow orders, even hiding the fact that those two were pardoned.  Waller’s replacement as top guy was a sadistic idiot who didn’t mind giving whole teams a powerful electric shock in the field if he thought they weren’t doing as he wanted them to, and it wasn’t that hard to get first Deadshot, then Harley, and finally established DC villain Zebra-Man on board with what the Revolutionaries were really doing, namely taking down the evil billionaire that was behind a massive powergrab to take over Badhnisia and get the large oil deposit underneath it:  Ted Kord.

Wait, Ted Kord was the villain?  The Blue Beetle Ted Kord?  That seems way out of character, to the point where even the Revolutionaries noted Ted was, like, the one good billionaire.

Though, to be fair, the team’s feelings on superheroes were somewhat mixed.  Batman showed up at one point, and the team was reluctant to fight him except Osita, and there was a similar reaction to Superman at one point.  Since when was Ted Kord a sadistic villain?  Well…he wasn’t.  Black Mask got himself some sort of tech to make himself look like Ted while holding the real Ted hostage, though this seems like Black Mask punching above his weight limit too…

Regardless, once the Revolutionaries (with Zebra-Man, Harley, and Deadshot) took care of Black Mask, they settled down in Badnisia and, after threatening various powerful people behind the Suicide Squad…that seems to be about it.  Taylor did use them when he was writing Superman: Son of Kal-El, the series where teenage Jon Kent was Superman, but that’s about all I can find on them.  Somehow, I suspect other creators won’t be as interested in them as Taylor was.

That sort of thing happens sometimes.