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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 250

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at the “explosive” farewell of a major Suicide Squad character…

In Suicide Squad #26, by John Ostrander and guest artist Grant Miehm, we see what happened to Rick Flag after he went off the reservation a bit (assassinating a politician who was blackmailing the Suicide Squad)…

Then, after telling the story of his father’s original mission…

However, Rustam, the leader of the Jihad, sneaks up on Flag and they tussle before…

A powerful farewell to one of the major original members of the Squad.

“The” moment, for me, is Flag’s comment just as he explodes.


The “moment” for me is the conveniently placed bubble hiding that women’s nipple inside that glass chamber as everything around her explodes. Ah, censorship, you make me laugh sometimes.

Great moment. It felt perfectly in character and made sense in a “proactive” way that characters talk about but never actually do. The later return in Issue 50 was great as well because they teased, but didn’t actually return him from the dead. Sadly, Flag did return in the recent Suicide Squad mini. I always loved that Ostrander actually killed off people. Let the capes have their revolving door of death, at least the Squad didn’t play that old tune. So, while I thought the mini was pretty good, I disliked that aspect of the it.

Where’s my trades for Suicide Squad!

“Then, after telling the story of his father’s original mission…

However, Rustam, the leader of the Jihad, sneaks up on Flag and they tussle before…”

Is there supposed to be a panel there that I am missing?

It’s a nice moment, even though it does scream “80s Action Movie!”

I’m surprised a group called Jihad didn’t rename their base.

Yeah, Walid, there did seem to be a page missing – it’s fixed now!

I had a love/hate relationship with this issue. I remember thinking it was cool that they killed off the defacto main character and it stuck (until recently), which was pretty ballsy. But I was angered that Flag went out like a chump. Rather than face the music for his actions in previous issues, he ran of and pulled an elaborate suicide mission to give himself a self-important “blaze of glory” ending. It was in character for him considering his downward spiral over the course of the series and while a logical ending to the character, thought there might have been more story around a “redemption of Rick Flag” angle. Still definitely one of the angles that made this series rich and complex.

“Sadly, Flag did return in the recent Suicide Squad mini.”

He came back earlier than that in an issue of the latest Checkmate series; it wasn’t until the Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag mini-series that they revealed how he came back. Not that there’s anything wrong with that since (if I’m remembering correctly) he came back using a backdoor Ostrander built into the original story.

Have a good day.
John Cage

another reason why suicide squad was so cool. not to mention loved learning that rick flag had a connection to the orginal version of the squad. and the sadness and tears eve sheds after reading ricks farewell note is also touching and makes the issue a little bitter sweet. now that the thing is moot with rick being brought back.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

September 8, 2009 at 8:09 am

I always got the sense Ostrander pulled a fast one regarding Flag’s “resurrection” by Greg Rucka, since the same mini where this was explained also revealed that Flag had never actually been Rick Flag, Sr.’s son. In effect, he helped resurrect Flag, Jr. but in so doing made him someone other than Flag, Jr. Was this meta-commentary from the man who killed Grant Morrison?

I’ll also be the one to say that Rucka rather badly mistreated Ostrander’s Squad characters in Checkmate, especially as Amanda Waller goes (though the Jeph Loeb-era Superman titles had already damaged her as a character).

There’s a backdoor way to survive from standing next to an A-Bomb when it explodes?

The magical blade of Rustam reflexively teleported them both away.

Cheezy, of course, but eh, dude has a magical blade, ya know? Once you’ve accepted that, is the rest that much of a stretch?

It is hard to really describe the impact of this, since Rick Flag had been the main guy in “Suicide Squad” up until that point. Ostrander never brought him back during the course of the series, which is what really counts. It is impossible to stop DC Comics from using a property that they own after all. However, Ostrander cut himself off from his crutch for the life of “Suicide Squad”. He had enough faith in the ensemble that surrounded Rick Flag to let them take over the series completely.

Despite all the “Death of …” stories over the years, I have never seen anyone else attempt this. Bendis would never kill Wolverine off and leave him dead for 50 issues. Johns would never pull the plug on the “re-births” of Hal Jordan, or Barry Allen. Never.

“No casualties.” That stings. Great writing.

I never did like the art by Grant Miehm, but the writing by Ostrander was definitely solid.

Didn’t read the story behind Flag’s resurrection, so I can’t say whether the above “death” was diminished or not.

“No casualties” is the moment for me.


Thanks a ton for choosing this one, Brian! It is one of my top 5 Squad issues. Ostrander and Yale were at their best here and I liked Miehm and Kesel’s art a great deal. I hadn’t seen a leading character being killed off so suddenly since Guardian’s death in Alpha Flight #12. The fact that Flag was bloody bonkers by this time made it seem even more surprising. I figured Waller would find the guy first and clean him up like she did with Ben. Instead, Flag’s death helped her gain full control over the Squad. After this issue, it was a sure thing that nobody was safe and that’s what made it such an excellent series.

I loved the recent mini but hated how Rucka brought Rick Flag back over in Checkmate. Flag had one of the most bad ass demises in comics and it should have stuck for the coolness factor alone.

The main guy on the early issues of the seriously overlooked series Strikeforce Morituri also died unexpectedly during one story. Worse, he wasn’t even graced with a “blaze of glory” death.

Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

It’s definitely the “no casualties” panel.

I love Ostrander and I applaud the way does Rick Flag. He leaves the storytelling to the artist during the infiltration/fight scene. No dialog, no thought bubbles, no captions. And this isn’t the first time he does it. I think it’s every fight with Rustam and when Flag fights the Batman. It’s a great way to depict action and each character’s mindset.

Thanks for another great Squad moment.

I totally forgot that Flag was Jeb Stuart’s nephew. G.I. Combat was the comic that made me a fanboy for life.

I’d love to see a Haunted Tank moment.

Or an Enemy Ace.

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