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

Colonel Rick Flag

(Post-Crisis version) (Profile #1 - pre-Skartaris) (part #2)

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


This entry is the second half of this Rick Flag character profile.

It’s meant to be read right after , and starts right where the previous entry stopped.

History, part 3

Dogs of war, part 1

The nation of Qurac had painstakingly built team of super-terrorists for hire, the Jihad. Qurac’s President Marlo saw this as an income source. Parties with a axe to grind against the USA were the most likely customers.

Rick Flag, Jr. and the Suicide Squad briefed by Amanda Waller (DC Comics)

The field leader of the Jihad was Rustam, out for revenge against the US for Gen. Eiling’s treason and murder of his family. The Jihad was installed in Jotunheim, a fortress built by the Nazis in Qurac during World War Two.

Waller and Flag had already arranged for Nightshade to infiltrate the Jihad. The first major customer was also an undercover Squad member – Nemesis(Thomas Tresser). Though there was one treason and one casualty, the well-prepared operation was a partial success. The Jihad was crippled, but not thoroughly destroyed.

During the raid on Jotunheim Flag clashed with his opposite number on the Jihad, Rustam. But both survived.


Dogs of war, part 2

Flag then discovered that Waller had authorised torture/brainwashing sessions to purge memories of the Squad from unreliable operatives. This was done to Plastique, who had tried to switch to the Jihad during the operation in Qurac. Flag was furious, and intended to resign over the matter.

However, the Female Furies of Apokolips then invaded Belle Reve. This raid’s objective was to reclaim the imprisoned Gordon Godfrey. During the fray Waller came to admit that Flag was right and stated that she wouldn’t again resort to such means. Flag thus decided to stay.

The Squad then sabotaged the rise of William Heller. Heller had been funding White supremacist groups in the US and attempting to trigger race riots.

Dogs of war, part 3

Superhero Firestorm had been demanding the destruction of the world’s nuclear weapon. A Suicide Squad team, mostly made up of known Firestorm opponents for maximum deniability, was sent against him. But the intervention of the Justice League derailed this operation.

Rick Flag, Jr. cleaning his pistol (Suicide Squad / DC comics)

As a consequence, the Squad’s NSC  liaison Derek Tolliver panicked and released the Parasite. Flag was forced to leave Firestorm alone to concentrate on taking the Parasite down with the Justice League’s help.

The mission was a nasty failure :

  1. Squad operatives had been filmed (though they remained amply deniable).
  2. Multiplex was apparently killed by the Parasite.
  3. Firestorm got away.
  4. Civilians had been wounded.
  5. While Batman (Bruce Wayne) assumed that Flag was still working with the Forgotten Heroes, his suspicions were aroused.


Dogs of war, part 4

A Squad team was next sent to count a Cold War propaganda coup. They were to free a Soviet dissident from prison before Gorbachev  would.

This mission went partially sour as the dissident did not want to leave, and the unstable Enchantress went berserk. Furthermore the US State Dept. got into a political fight with the NSC for ordering the mission.

The team made it out of USSR by the skin of their teeth. Nemesis (Thomas Tresser) took huge risks to cover their egress, and was captured. The dissident was gunned down by Soviet troops, making the mission a success for propaganda purposes.

It reminds me of the pain…

Back stateside, Flag wanted to immediately start putting together a mission to rescue Tresser. Waller rejected this as utter folly.

Furthermore, Karin Grace started a campaign of emotional warfare against Flag. It included passive-aggressive accusations of betrayal and the transfer of her lover, Mark Shaw, to the team so Flag would see them together.

When Flag, exhausted by exposure to the Russian winter, grabbed Karin by the shoulders, Shaw punched him out. Ben Turner was made mission commander in Flag’s stead.

… I might leave, leave behind…

During the Millennium crisis, the Squad was not activated. Yet the Manhunter cult was clearly taking an interest in them. Waller and the Belle Reve warden decided to strike first after intelligence indicated that a major Manhunter base was hidden in the bayou near Belle Reve.

Rick Flag, Jr. threatens a man in a suit (Suicide Squad / DC comics)

A car bomb was put together. It was loaded with an explosive so potent that the odds of survival of those delivering it were slim. Flag knew that it was likely a suicide mission, and intended to deliver the bomb himself.

At this point, the combination of guilt over the losses and failures of the various Squads, of his fixation on duty, and of Grace’s harassment made heroic suicide an attractive option, mimicking the death of his father.

Karin Grace was actually a Manhunter double agent. She volunteered to join the mission in the bayou. After the Manhunters stopped most of Flag’s team, Grace drew the Colonel into a trap and had him captured.

…and I feel them drown my name

However, she discovered that the Manhunters had tricked her all along. When they ordered her to gun down the unconscious Flag, Karin realised how badly her memories of her relationship with Flag had been repressed and biased.

Asking Mark Shaw to tell Flag that she now remembered and asked for his forgiveness, Dr. Grace turned against the Manhunters. She delivered the car bomb herself. She also continued the Suicide Squad trail of blood, asking that Flag carry on in her name.

Karin’s sacrifice destroyed the Manhunter base. This avenged her manipulation at the hands of the Manhunters and allowed Flag and most of the team to survive.

Rick Flag, Jr. and the Suicide Squad in a forest (DC Comics)

Colonel Flag was devastated by Karin’s death and last words. Amanda Waller kept him out of command for a while, expecting him to snap if pushed. However, when Batman invaded Belle Reve, Flag faced him hand-to-hand. He then chewed up the operatives present for their behaviour. This impressed even Waller, who reinstated him.

Though he seemed to function more or less normally, Dr. Grace’s sacrifice had been the coup de grâce to Flag’s morale. By that point it was inevitable that Flag would find an opportunity to die as his father did.

Have gun, will travel (part 1)

Waller had generally avoided getting involved in President Reagan’s wars in Latin America. But when reactionary American vigilante Hawk was captured by Sandinista troops in Nicaragua, there was little choice but to send a team and extract him.

Flag went in with two expendables (Mister 104 and the Weasel) and two promising agents (Psi and the Thinker).

The mission went bad as soon as the op area was reached. Mister 104 rebelled and destroyed the whole team’s explosives bracelets. But the Thinker wanted to take the Suicide Squad deal. He thus psychically reined 104 in.

Furthermore, the Doom Patrol had been sent in by rival intelligence agencies to steal Waller’s thunder. The two teams ran right into each other. Mr. 104 had a vendetta against Cliff Steele and attacked, sending the whole situation out of control.

Have gun, will travel (part 2)

The Thinker was killed by the Weasel. Flag took the Thinker’s psychotronic  helmet to regain control of the situation – but the device overrode Flag’s mentality. It turned the colonel into a megalomaniac and control freak. As a result he lashed out against a Rocket Red unit that had come to kidnap Hawk, worsening the catastrophic situation.

Rick Flag, Jr. with a long coat and the early Suicide Squad

Psi and Mister 104 were gunned down by the Rocket Reds. The helmet then forced Flag to murder the Weasel in revenge for the Thinker’s death. The shock of killing one of his own men made it possible for Flag to remove the helmet and regain his free will.

After briefly passing out, Flag lucked out. He stumbled upon Hawk, whom he brought back stateside. The mission was a success, but only Flag had survived it.

Meanwhile, another team was sent to assassinate Colombian drugs lord Cujo and destroy a huge stock of cocaine. They worked with DEA agent Roy Harper and ex-JLA heroine Vixen. The mission was a success, with no casualties.

Have gun, will travel (part 3)

Flag again attempted to have a rescue mission to recover Nemesis (Thomas Tresser) authorised. But as expected it was shot down. Especially since it increasingly looked like the Soviets were using Nemesis as bait.

Flag, Turner and Eden decided to launch the mission anyway, taking a team of super-villains with them without briefing them. At this point, Flag had chosen Nemesis’s life over his career. He was expecting to end up in jail even if the mission worked.

Rick Flag, Jr. as a Forgotten Heroes member

Upon learning of Flag’s unauthorised actions, Waller had the Justice League International scrambled to stop him. The two teams reached an understanding in the field after some minor clashes. Nemesis was recovered under JLI authority.

One clash wasn’t minor, however. Batman was about to quit the JLI in frustration, and Flag reacted in anger to seeing how Batman looked down on him and his motley crew. These tensions led to a fight. Though Flag gave an excellent account of himself, he lost and had to be hospitalised in a terrible state.

Have gun, will travel (part 4)

Thus, Flag couldn’t take part to the next mission to free Nightshade’s brother in her native dimension . Yet he willed himself to recover in time to join the next mission.

While the Nightshade mission had mostly failed, it had led to the Squad meeting with Rac Shade. Shade helped them return home and explained the threat of the Meta Zone infiltrators on Earth. Waller immediately authorised a mission to deal with those.

The strike was a complete success and Flag gunned down Z.Z., Shade’s enemy.

Meanwhile, the Jihad had rebuilt itself under Rustam’s leadership. This time they struck first. The Jihad launched a number of simultaneous metahuman terror attacks throughout Manhattan. While orders were not to engage so as to preserve secrecy, Flag and Turner scrambled what they had and intervened anyway.

The Squad successfully engaged the Jihad, and Flag attempted to kill Rustam for the second time. But the two fighters were again separated before one could kill the other.

The decision is taken

After that case, Colonel Flag overheard their former NSC liaison, Derek Tolliver, threatening Waller with exposing the Squad. He wanted the team to dance to his tune and get the corrupt Senator Cray reelected. Flag snapped and shoved his .45 in Tolliver’s face. But Waller forced him to back down with her own gun.

Rick Flag, Jr. using his wrist communicator

This is presumably at this point that Flag took his decision as to how he would go out. He stopped attending the therapy sessions of Dr. LaGrieve. The colonel became increasingly withdrawn and morbid, staring at photos of Karin Grace for hours and rejecting Eve Eden’s determined attempts at helping him.

Flag felt that his failures as the Squad’s leader had dishonoured the memory of father. In Rick’s opinion Richard Montgomery Flag would have turned the shambling, chaotic Squad into a disciplined crack unit by now.

Death wish

Colonel Flag requisitioned a jet fighter at Belle Reve’s Yeager Airfield. He flew to Washington without filling a flight plan. He murdered Tolliver to prevent him from exposing the Squad, then located Cray.

Waller had sent the Squad to stop Flag, and Deadshot did locate the Colonel. But for personal reasons, Deadshot opted to kill Cray himself then attempt a suicide-by-cop. Flag left before this showdown, to go on with his plan.

Rick Flag, Jr. is told what the Suicide Squad is about

Unbeknownst to Flag, a corrupt police detective found Tolliver’s projected press release. He sold it to the Daily Planet. The deaths of Tolliver and Cray only led to the Planet treating the story as credible enough to publish. The existence of the Squad was exposed.

Flag had already left the country, though, and headed for Qurac. There, Rustam was preparing a third version of the Jihad.

From his father — who during WWII successfully raided the impregnable Jotunheim fortress now hosting the Jihad — Flag knew of ways to sneak into Rustam’s base. He also knew that a Nazi prototype atomic bomb was buried in the basement. Rick intended to find it and detonate it.

Rustam spotted him at the last moment, but Flag was successful. He razed Jotunheim and ended the Jihad. Both Flag and Rustam were at ground zero of the atomic blast.

Post-mortem interludes

Though Rick Flag was later revealed not to have died, there were a few appearances of his in the afterlife. This is a common issue in both the Marvel and DC Universes. One suspects that these dimensions  do not function as people expect them to.

While hovering a bit beyond death, Captain Atom had visions. In those he helped Rick Flag overcome obstacles in a sort of purgatory so they could both reach a sort of paradise. There Col. Flag was reunited with Dr. Grace. Atom soon left this apparent afterlife to face Nekron. It seems likely that his visions and Flag’s presence were mere allegories and hallucinations.

Rick Flag, Jr. is recruited by Amanda Waller

During the Day of Judgement crisis , Rick Flag was among a number of fallen heroes found in Purgatory. These were allegedly heroes stuck there as a result of their own failures and shortcomings.

A task force of living heroes came there to recover Hal Jordan. But angel-like humanoids called Keepers intervened to prevent Jordan from escaping back to life. Seeing another chance at heroism, Flag, the Vigilante (Adrian Chase) and other fallen heroes fought the Keepers. This allowed the living heroes to leave with Jordan.


Flag wears a costume of sorts as a member of Waller’s Squad. He has a tight yellow T-shirt, black trousers with red piping, and a readily visible shoulder holster for his .45.

Flag had previously favoured wearing deprecated USAF uniforms. But wearing something resembling a US uniform was no longer possible with this version of the Squad.


Flag is at this point burnt out – though “hollowed out” might be a better description.

This is the result of decades of service in a hard, treacherous job. He solely exists to carry out his duty as a veteran special operations and military intelligence officer, no matter what the odds and the hardship. He has already lost most of what he had to lose.

Rick comes across as wooden and mechanical. It sometimes feels like he’s just going through the motions.

His core problem is survivor’s guilt – starting with the death of his mother to save his life. The destruction of the Mission X Suicide Squad essentially left him a dead man walking. He could still function fine as an intelligence field officer, but was diminished on an emotional and human level.

The death of Karin Grace finished him off. At that point it was written that he would go out like his father before him – by finding a respectable and heroic way to commit suicide.

Sacred duty

Duty has become everything to Flag. It’s all that he has left, and his lifeline. He’s adamant about accomplishing his duty, grows irritated when his resolve is questioned, and is committed to his mission even if that must cost him his life. He knows, and accepts, that he’s always been expendable.

Furthermore, the Suicide Squad is the familial legacy. And he’s sworn to carry on in the name of all the heroes who fell in service as Squad members since 1943.

Rick Flag, Jr. briefs the Suicide Squad

Flag sees himself as a good guy despite his blood-soaked job. There are extremities that he will never accept, such as torture, collateral damage, or gratuitous deaths. He genuinely fights for democracy and the good stuff. He’s burnt out as a person, but his cynicism doesn’t extend to the principles he defends.

This rapidly eroded after Dr. Grace’s death and the failure of some missions. By the time of the Janus Directive plot , Flag barely blinked when ordered to assassinate American citizens.

Death is here, is there

The Colonel can easily come across as gloomy. He has seen numerous agents die, and knows that more will die yet. He frequently reminds his operatives to be on their toes and that things could go very bad at any moment for any reason.

Flag’s priority is the mission, but his second priority is to bring back as many operatives as he can, even when they are expendable thugs and psychos.

Flag, deep down, would have liked being a super-hero and more clearly fight the good fight. This is impossible in practice, though the Mission X version of the Squad and the Forgotten Heroes took him close to that. He chafes at Waller’s ethically dubious Squad missions and having to operate with criminals. The colonel would much prefer a cleaner situation.

On the other hand that is his duty. He also knows what his father did with a loosely comparable band of misfits, scum and murderers. He seems to feel that he has to measure up to that.


Bronze Tiger: “Looks like we’re off to a flying start.”
Rick Flag: “Could be worse. Probably will be. Let’s get going.”

“My real objection to the mission is that it’s not necessary. Like the Penguin said, it’s for propaganda.”

(To the Enchantress) “Get this straight – I’m not your friend, I’m not your social worker, and I don’t have to be nice.”

“If I don’t make it, you take command. Don’t leave anybody behind, Ben, if you can help it. Okay ?”

(As Batman leaves Belle Reve, Flag chews up Deadshot) “Let me tell you something ! That man is worth any ten of creeps like you or Boomerang ! He’s a man I’d have been *proud* to serve with instead of the two-bit jerks like you I get stuck with ! And now that man’s my enemy ! Just to protect scum like you ! Well, you and the other are going to shape up, Lawton. Or I’ll by God know the reason why !”

Rick Flag, Jr. vs. the Privateer

(As the convalescent Flag comes in to join a field mission)
Amanda Waller: “Who said you were ready, Colonel ?”
Rick Flag: “I did. Want to fight about it ?”

Rick Flag: “Some things in life are worth more than your life.”
Eve Eden: “The Squad isn’t one of them, Rick.”
Rick Flag: “The Squad’s all I got left, Eve.”

“I won’t ask you to ‘carry on for me’, Eve. That’s a dead end I’ve found myself in. Live your life. Get out of the Squad before it poisons you. Be happy – for God’s sake, be happy if you can. That was something I never learned to do.”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Colonel Flag

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Responsibility
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 06 Occupation: Military operative
Inf: 06 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 019 HP: 040

Iron will: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:
Iron will is a Skilled Power, and is limited to effects that would have him abandon his duty as an officer.

Acrobatics (Climbing, Dodging): 05, Charisma*: 06, Martial artist (AV, RV): 07, Martial artist (OV): 06, Martial artist (EV): 05, Medicine (First aid): 03, Military science: 06, Vehicles (Air, Land, Water): 06, Thief (Stealth): 05, Weaponry (Infantry weapons): 06

Credentials (US Military, Medium ; US Intelligence, Low), Familiarity (Lips-reading), Leadership, Expertise (Wilderness survival, Special operations work), Rank (equivalent to a Lieutenant).

Suicide Squad (Low), Bronze Tiger (Ben Turner) (High), Amanda Waller (Low), Nightshade (Eve Eden) (High).

Guilt, SIA toward Duty, Misc.: Flag is implanted with an irresistible post-hypnotic compulsion to freeze then do Gen. Eiling’s binding when he hears the words “dies iræ”.


  • .45 Kimber Compact Stainless [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 04, Range: 03, Ammo: 07, Limitation: Projectile weapons has No Range, used the listed Range instead, R#02].
  • WRIST RADIO [BODY 01, Radio communications: 07]. Used for communication among the field team.
  • Flag can pack additional equipment for some missions. Classics include :
    • Low-light binoculars [BODY 01, Ultra-Vision (Night vision only): 09, Telescopic vision: 05, R#02].
    • Uzi submachinegun [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 05, Ammo: 07, R#02, Advantage : Autofire].
    • Laser rifle [BODY 01, Laser beam: 06, Sharpness (Laser beam): 03, Range: 03, Ammo: 02, R#05, Limitation: Laser Beam has No Range, use Range instead].
    • Knife [BODY 05, Enhance (EV): 01 (Cap is 06), Descriptor: Piercing, Slashing].

Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Colonel Rick Flag (post-Crisis, pre-Skartaris) — Averaged PL 7.6

01 03 02 04 07 03 02 02


Duty-bound ● 1 point ● Descriptor: Discipline, sense of duty
– Enhanced Will 3 (limited 2 to effects that would have him abandon his duty as an officer).
– Second Chance (limited 1 to effects that would have him abandon his duty as an officer).

Combat Advantages

Close attack 1, Defensive Roll 2, Improved Trip, Ranged Attack 4.

Other Advantages

Benefit 2 (US Military connections and rank), Contacts, Equipment 4, Leadership, Tracking.


Athletics 5 (+6), Close combat (Unarmed) 2 (+10), Deception 4 (+6), Expertise (Special Operations soldier) 10 (+13), Expertise (Military intelligence operative) 8 (+11), Expertise (Small unit tactics) 7 (+10), Expertise (Lip-reading) 3 (+6), Expertise (Wilderness survival) 6 (+9), Insight 4 (+6), Intimidation 3 (+5), Perception 5 (+7), Persuasion 3 (+5), Ranged combat (Firearms) 4 (+10), Stealth 5 (+7), Treatment 1 (+4).


.45 pistol Light pistol ● 6 points.
Wrist radio Commlink ● 1 point.
Mission-specific equipment has included:

  • Low-light binoculars — Senses 4 (Extended visual 2, Darkvision) ● 4 points.
  • Uzi — Ranged Multiattack ballistic Damage 4 ● 12 points.
  • Laser rifle — Ranged Penetrating laser Damage 5, Quirk 2 (fragile, 2 shots) ● 13 points.
  • Combat knife — Strength-based piercing Damage 1, Improved Critical 1 ● 2 points.


Initiative +2
Unarmed +10, Close, Damage
Firearms +10, Ranged, Damage by type


Dodge 08 Fortitude 07
Parry 09 Toughness 03*/05
Will 07

* Without Defensive Roll.


  • Baggage Flag lives with crushing levels of guilt, PTSD, survivor’s guilt.
  • Danger trail Flag’s job is hideously dangerous. Furthermore his interests and his superiors’ do not align, and many of them are complete bastards.
  • Service Rick deeply believes in duty and honour, and is the inheritor of the Suicide Squad unit tradition of sacrifice and chain of blood. He also feels he has to measure up to his father’s extraordinary example.
  • Mind control Flag is implanted with an irresistible post-hypnotic compulsion to freeze then do Gen. Eiling’s binding when he hears the words “dies iræ”.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 7, Dodge/Toughness PL 7, Parry/Toughness PL 7, Fort/Will PL 7.
  • Points total 148. Abilities 78, Defences 17, Skills 35, Powers 1, Devices 0, Advantages 17. Equiv. PL 10.


The Limited on the Second Chance in his Power is debatable. I considered that it was narrower than usual for Second Chance, mostly based on the fact it didn’t come up much (the incident with the Thinker’s helmet being the main example).

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: DC Universe (chiefly Suicide Squad).

Helper(s): Frank Murdock.

Writeup completed on the 25th of November, 2011.