JLUCast Task Force X

Chris and Cindy discuss the animated debut of the Suicide Squad in “Task Force X”. Rick Flag recruits Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Plastique and the Clock King to infiltrate and steal something locked deep in the vaults of the Justice League Watchtower. Will they succeed? And which side will you be rooting for by the end?

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Clip credits:

Clips from Justice League Unlimited “Task Force X”, music by Kristopher Carter, theme by Michael McCuistion

22 responses to “JLUCast Task Force X

  1. I really think the JLA Having an army and BEING an army of superheroes is a theame. They’re going wrong. I mean the old series the seven are worried they might go wrong but the right answer is never “more people and a death-ray

      1. See, this is a good clarification. I thought the right answer must be “better people and a death ray.”

  2. I wonder how DC specifies creator credits for the Suicide Squad? Yes, it’s Robert Kanigher’s idea for sure, but all the adaptations in other media are adapting Ostrander’s reboot of the concept. I actually owned the issue of BB where they debuted; really wish I hadn’t sold it, at least before the movie came out and the price went up…

    I remember the first time I was aware of the BATMAN episode that featured The Clock King as the villain and then was really crestfallen when no one showed up wearing that amazingly goofy costume from the comics.

    Big Seven Soldiers fan here, too, Chris!

    1. Good question about the proper credit. With Flag leading the team, you have that direct connection to the original four characters, so I think Kanigher should get a nod, for sure. But Ostrander came up with the “Dirty Dozen” type idea of using the super villains. Hmmmm…

      I was disappointed Count Vertigo on BTAS wasn’t in his Trevor Von Eden-designed garb too!

    1. The biggest axe next to the hawk shield is Hro Talak’s, I believe. He was the Hawkman analog (anagram for Katar Hol) who was Shayera’s fiance. He used that axe to chop the top off of GL’s Power Ring. I think that enitre case there is full of Thanagarian weapons.

      We haven’t met Warlord…yet!

  3. My favorite element to this episode is the flirting banter between Plastique and Dead Shot. I was disheartened with Plastique’s… let’s call it “capture”, at the end. I was hoping to see more of them together just for that! I agree that Dead Shot was having a ball and I loved it when he asked GL about Hawkgirl. I never put my finger on it but Chris, you are right – I realize now that I was rooting for Task Force X to accomplish their goal. And I have to say I did partly enjoy seeing the League get out swindled for a change.

    I don’t have the comics history or insights that you do Chris so I don’t think I spotted any other items to call out in the vault, except for maybe one thing. I might be reaching here but just over the left shoulder of Lex’ power suit, is that the rocket that brought Superman to Earth? I’m not sure why it would be in the Watchtower vault, except to keep it away from Emil Hamilton and STAR labs. But again, it’s not too clear so maybe I’m imagining things.

    1. Yeah, Plastique and Deadshot would have made good foils for JLU power couples like Green Arrow and Black Canary, and (coming soon!) the Question and the Huntress. Too bad Floyd is a total scumbag.

      Hmmm, that rocket does look like the more traditional Kal-El rocket, but the DCAU version is like a full-on, one-man starship, because adult Superman uses it later, after Hamilton(!) makes him a spacesuit, etc. It could be the creators sneaking in a multiversal version, though!

  4. Great show, Cindy and Chris. I’ve loved the Suicide Squad since Ostrander’s run in the 80’s, so this episode was right in my wheelhouse. It’s a terrific Dirty Dozen/Mission Impossible blend with a compelling group who are irredeemable (is that copywritten, Shag?), but you can’t help but root for them. I wish they had the Squad show up again, because they definitely had more story to give. I’m with you that the Justice League satellite employees make no sense. Who hires these people? Are they able to tell others where they work? Wouldn’t that alone be a massive security risk? Where’s that cornfield? How’s the pay? Can we see one of their W2s? Follow the money!

    1. I agree Brett, I’m really sorry the Squad never reappeared (minus Captain Boomerang, but with other Flash Rogues). I can’t believe I never once mentioned The Dirty Dozen or Mission: Impossible in our actual episode, since they were of course on my mind.

      You bring up some going points about the Watchtower staff. Is the cornfield on the Kent family farm? That would seem a little..suspect? Maybe they put it on Ben Hubbard’s land? Who’s reporting this on their taxes? Bruce Wayne? I’m sure the Question figured all of this out before joining the League.

  5. Enjoyed this week’s podcast, as always.

    Chris, to your question about Plastique, I think she’s really most sincerely dead. If she lived, she would’ve talked (either just out of revenge or to get a deal legally). Waller wouldn’t have hesitated to eliminate her if there were any risk of that. We can safely assume she didn’t live long enough to say anything of value to the League.

    The “civilians” working at the Watchtower bugs me as a concept, in part because it forces me to think about who funds the League. Bruce Wayne is a billionaire but he’s not annual US defense budget wealthy. I also don’t like the implication that Batman is sort of the League’s boss, even if he’s just writing the checks.

    I can handwave all that, I guess, but I think I personally prefer the League headquarters as a place where the members can relax. If Joe and Jane Random work there, then the Leaguers obviously can’t unmask and would have to watch a lot of what they say. That’s too much like a workplace than a club house!

    1. Good point about Plastique. Even if she had survived…how long would have Cadmus let her live? She did have the explosive nanites in her as well, I suppose. So Waller could have just pushed a button, and BOOM.

      Maybe the League mined gold or other precious metals off of an unihabited planet that Green Lantern knew of? That’s how they fund the Watchtower and run the payroll?

      I get you about preferring a club house-like enivironment, like the old JLA Satelite. This is definitely more of a workplace situation. Does the Watchtower have cubicles?

  6. Oh, you both talked about rooting for the villains in this episode, and I agree. It’s a classic heist film, but in the twist is that the bad guys win! Usually in a heist film, it all goes to hell (Reservoir Dogs) or the “bad” guys prevail but they aren’t so bad (“the heist” is usually for a greater good).

    Also, Timm and company were right that Cadmus needed a clear victory to pose a believable threat. This was something that I wished Marvel had remembered with the recent Quantumania film.

    1. I was surprised at the ending of Quantumania too. Apparently the ending wasn’t so great for the two leads, but Marvel backpedaled it at the last minute with reshoots. I think it’s pretty obvious too. They should have stuck to their guns.

  7. I wouldn’t remember this offhand, but whenever I watch this episode, it may be my favorite of the entire series. Like, the ENTIRE series! So now I’ll have to bore you with why, and I apologize if I’m repeating points Chris and Cindy already made.

    The squad’s depiction here is fantastic! The characterizations, the dialog, the voice acting, the designs and animation, it all channels Ostrander’s Suicide Squad delightfully. Now, it’s not identical, because I cannot see Deadshot being flirty with anyone, and Boomerang isn’t quite as skeevy. But that’s not important. It’s a valid interpretation of the squad, and works perfectly in the Timm-verse.

    I don’t find myself rooting for the squad that much. Maybe some because this story is from their POV. But definitely I’m impressed by this group. They’re smart, tactical, and dangerous. Put another way, their best moments for me are the ones where I think “whoa, that’s cool” followed by “oh crap, League’s in trouble”. A couple of those moments include Boomerang saying about Flag “That one don’t need weapons,” and Deadshot putting his ceramic gun together and quickly sighting it. Those give me chills.

    Now, is Flag augmented by Cadmus? If ordered to, he’d acquiesce. But I think not, because nobody else in this squad is enhanced, just supremely skilled with their weapons of choice. Flag himself IS a weapon. Quick reference in the comics is the JLI #13-Suicide Squad #13 crossover, which finishes with Flag and Batman brawling, and Flag fights until he drops, more than holding his own against Bats. Anyone who can go toe-to-toe with Batman should not be underestimated.

    More episodes featuring the squad would have been great, but it must not have been in the plans, because how do you top invading the Watchtower? For repeated appearances, there should have been less direct missions, maybe showing the intel gathering, mysterious break-ins at Wayne Enterprises, and this be the final step. But when you start with the Watchtower, how do you beat that? And both sides are too smart for that to happen again. Ah well.

    Thanks for putting up with my gushing, Franklins. But oh, such a great episode, and you did it justice as always. I’ll sign off with “75 cents is 75 cents. I’m supposed to throw away money?” BWAH-HAH-HAH!

    1. Good point on Flag. I remember that encounter. I meant to mention that when I said I would have liked to have seen Flag and Batman tussle here on JLU. Black Canary or Wildcat would have been good to see up against him too.

      And another good point Tim (you’re on a roll!) with them starting out at the top by successfully heisting the Watchtower. Hard to go up from there, unless they steal Darkseid’s Vizine, or something.

      1. I’m on a roll? Oh man, I sat right on it! Dang it.

        Darseid: “Where are they? Desaad, have you seen my throat lozenges?” Boomerang: “Crikey, best scarper, mates!”

        Ooo, I had another thought. (Sorry.) Where did Deadshot see pictures of Plastique? My theory is as a bikini babe in Guns & Ammo, perhaps the DCU edition has a “Bombs & Bombshells” Summer Special.

        Ok, that’s enough from me. Take care, Chris!

  8. I will say that I was disappointed that Plastique didn’t have a Quebecker accent. The risk is always that they go for a French-from-France accent, but since the casting is one of the DCAU’s greatest strengths, I wish they’d done gone for the more on-model ethnicity.

    1. Good point. With a lot of shows, I’d say you’re probably better off if they didn’t try, but with Andrea Romano at the casting helm, they could have pulled it off.

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