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Rick Flag of the Suicide Squad (Pre-Crisis DC Comics)

Rick Flag

(aka Rick Flagg) (Pre-Crisis version)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

This profile should definitely, absolutely, solely be read after perusing our big Suicide Squad (Mission X version) article.

Though the Rick Flag continuity is complex, the pre-Crisis version is straightforward and uses a different character sheet  than the modern character. It can thus be described here in simple terms… if you’ve read the aforelinked Suicide Squad article.


Background

  • Real Name: Presumably Richard Rogers Flag.
  • Other Aliases: Rick Flagg.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None in the strict Earth-1 continuity ; Richard Montgomery Flag (father, deceased), Sharon Flag (mother, deceased) and later a son in the merged continuity.
  • Group Affiliation: Mission X’s Suicide Squad ; Task Force X.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 180 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown


Powers and Abilities

Rick Flag is the Heroic Two-Fisted 1950s American Pilot Hero archetype. As such he’s not just an ace who can fly anything, but he can be assumed to possess almost any military skill from any branch of service, or any action skill. He’s also a well-educated officer, and can follow the science stuff without difficulties.

Flag is of course a very courageous, determined and resourceful man. He embodies the defenders of the Free World who triumphed against tyranny and all that.


History

This version of the character only appears in the original, 1959-1961 Suicide Squad timeline. However it can also be used in the merged timeline we propose in the main Mission X Suicide Squad article.

All the data about Rick Flag’s biography is in the main article since he’s the core character. But here are two brief recaps because we’re cool. If you’re not familiar with the Earth-1 and pre-Crisis span and other bits of jargon, see the ages of DC Comics explainer.

Strict pre-Crisis Earth-1 continuity recap

Rick Flag served as a TBF Avenger  pilot during World War Two, probably underage. He was the sole survivor of his squadron after a spontaneous suicide run to sink an Imperial Japanese aircraft carrier. This experience shaped him into a unusually determined serviceman.

Years later a special unit with three other similarly-driven agents was assembled to take on extraordinary menaces. Flag was its field leader. This Suicide Squad handled a number of strange menaces circa 1960, then vanished.

Suicide-Squad-DC-Comics-Mission-X-h2

An unspecified amount of time later — 1984 in publication time — Rick Flag resurfaces. The Squad has been disbanded after discovering a strange golden temple in Cambodia. They are apparently forbidden from talking with each other.

Knowing that there is some sort of conspiracy linked to these temples, Flag (curiously called Rick Flagg in these stories) join a motley crew called the Forgotten Heroes. The Heroes investigate the mystery of the golden temples. The Crisis on Infinite Earths then occurs.

Merged writeups.org continuity recap

Richard Rogers “Rick” Flag is the son of war hero Richard Montgomery Flag, born circa 1930. Rick Flag, Sr. headed a special unit called the Suicide Squad during World War Two and the Korean War. A version of his Squad then came to serve under special agency Task Force X in the 1950s.

Both of Rick Flag, Jr.’s parent sacrificed themselves for the greater good – Mrs. Flag to save her son from an out-of-control car, Mr. Flag to save his country from a super-weapon.

Rick Flag, Jr. as a Forgotten Heroes member

Rick Flag, Jr. became a pilot (probably a naval aviator) to serve in turn. In 1959 he was chosen by a friend of his late father to head a small special team with three similarly-driven agents. This Suicide Squad handled a number of strange menaces from, roughly, 1959 to 1965. It then disintegrated during a mission in Cambodia.

The 3 other agents were lost. Dr. Evans was killed, Jess Bright was thought dead, and Dr. Grace suffered from severe PTSD . Unbeknownst to Flag, Grace was a few weeks pregnant with their son.

Flag continued to serve as a special operative for decades. During the 1980s he was sent to infiltrate the Forgotten Heroes to discover what they knew. Two years later, after the Crisis, he was recruited by Amanda Waller. Waller was assembling an all-new, all-different version of the Squad.

At this point Flag’s abilities had grown considerably. He now used a different character sheet . See the post-Crisis Rick Flag entry.


Description

Flag is almost always clad in his military pilot uniform. Generally he was a prim, proper officer (though his hat and hair are not always worn to proper regulations to mark his status as a pilot). Grungier looks with the vest worn open came later.

The other Squad members frequently address him as “Skipper”, as per military tradition.


Personality

Flag is the brave military man, the fearless commander, the daring pilot, the intelligent and clear-eyed serviceman who saves the day. Like all Suicide Squad members he’s brave and dedicated to the point of self-sacrifice. Rick is determined to serve even though that will eventually mean death.

Another view of the Suicide Squad in its Silver Age version

Like all Squad members he’s a calm, competent thinker who works well under pressure and faces enormous odds without flinching.

The circa-1960 Suicide Squad were very much the Lawful Good champions of the Free World. They are not pointlessly violent, only kill monsters and people about to kill innocents, raise money for charities, fight for world peace, etc..

Drive

Part of the theme of the team is that they were abnormally driven by tragic circumstances. This made them able to unhesitatingly face disastrous odds for the common good. However, this great strength stemmed from psychological trauma. Thus, there always was a tiny chance that somebody might crack (in DC Heroes RPG terms, a textbook Minor Psychological Instability).

This aspect wasn’t too present in the few original stories. But the sense that someday, somehow, somebody’s ghosts would catch up with them and everything would go wrong was important in the post-Crisis version.

Squad members were driven by an unusual sense of Responsibility, though in practice their actions were of Upholding the Good sort. They felt personally, deeply responsible for carrying on in the name of their comrades after terrible tragedies.

No Squad member made attempts to rationalise away, forget or shirk what had happened. They all accepted a life-changing, 24/7, to-the-death duty ever since.

After Cambodia, Flag was visibly more bitter, more aggressive and less graceful. In the original Forgotten Heroes stories he was cast as being something of an establishment man and conservative. But later flashbacks depicted him more as burnout who no longer quite cared and just did his job with something of a death wish.


Quotes

“I can’t get altitude ! We’re still heading down ! We’ve one chance in a thousand ! We have to bomb off the turbulence around us ! Release the first stick !”

“Go on and ready the ship for an immediate take-off ! You’ve got to figure out how we can combat this new threat ! I’ll try to hold it back !”

(After the Suicide Squad burned 15 Hero Points  and convinced the GM it was sufficient for an environment modification to obtain a super-advanced space rocket) “Task Force X to [NASA] control ! On no account leave your shelter ! Condition red positive ! Fire [experimental moon] rocket on my countdown ! Start countdown now! Ten… nine…”

“Here it comes again, Karin ! Get behind me — in case it doesn’t work !”

The Silver Age Suicide Squad by George Perez

“We can’t [attack] — until we have positive proof that the Wolf country is going to attack first ! That’s always been the American way !”

“Hug the wall, Karin ! I’ll see what effects bullets have upon the beast !”

“With a weapon like that at our disposal — no one would dare to start a war ! It could be the best argument for peace !”

“For the good of our unit… as long as we’re needed… we’ve got to forget about our own feelings…”

“Never thought we’d be trying to save a whale from a flying dinosaur ! Ready on fire lever one, Karin ?”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Flag

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Responsibility
Int: 06 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Mission X agent
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 016 HP: 045

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing): 04, Animal handling (Horse riding, falconry): 04, Medicine (First aid): 03, Military science: 06, Thief (Stealth): 03, Vehicles (Air, space): 07, Vehicles (Land, sea): 06, Weaponry (Exotic, firearms, heavy): 06

Advantages:
Credentials (US Military, High ; NASA, High ; US Intelligence, Medium ; NATO militaries, Medium), Dream Team (with Dr. Grace, Dr. Evans and Jess Bright), Expertise (parachuting, SCUBA diving, wilderness survival, desert survival, mountain/arctic survival), Familiarity (Hard sciences), Iron Nerves, Leadership, Rank (Captain).

Connections:
Mission X (High) and connections from Credentials.

Drawbacks:
Minor Psychological Instability.

Equipment:
See the corresponding Suicide Squad article.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Pre-Crisis DC Universe (presumably Earth-1).

Helper(s): Darci.

Writeup completed on the 15th of September, 2011.

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