Friday, January 12, 2018

Hitting The Fan (DC)
Suicide Squad #6 When: October 1987
Why: John Ostrander How: Luke McDonnell

The Story So Far...
When the Soviet Union proposes a trade with the United States for a controversial novelist's freedom; The Suicide Squad are called upon in secret to extract the prisoner right from under their noses!

It was a politically charged mission to Moscow none of them wanted to take, but the ingenious plan of new recruit Oswald Cobblepot, (aka; The Penguin), makes the trip behind enemy lines seem possible! There's just one catch: Nobody thought to ask Zoya Trigorin if she wanted to be rescued!

A hostile prisoner throws the mission into disarray -- much to the delight of Enchantress! With the Soviet Army closing in fast, Colonel Rick Flag has no choice but to order Deadshot to bring the wild witch down when she goes rogue!

Tale of the Tape...
Strength: Deadshot 3 (Athlete)
Intelligence: Enchantress 5 (Professor)
Speed: Deadshot 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Enchantress 4 (Athlete)
Agility: Draw 3 (Acrobat)
Fighting: Deadshot 4 (Trained)
Energy: Enchantress 6 (Cosmic Power)
Total: Enchantress 24 (Champion)

Floyd Lawton is Deadshot by name, Deadshot by reputation -- but can a bullet from the assassin's gun really pierce the magic veil of the Enchantress? That's what we're here to find out in a battle of Suicide Squad teammates!

We have, of course, seen another Squaddy take down Enchantress in a previous instance: Bronze Tiger was on-hand to make sure she played nice when the team went up against Brimstone in their inaugural mission [Legends #3].

Deadshot's aim was true, successfully taking Brimstone down with the use of a specialized laser weapon. The next mission was also a success for Deadshot, who defeated Manticore in a deadly close-quarters battle [Suicide Squad #2].

There's no denying Deadshot is a master marksman, but not quite every shot is a bull's eye! His very presence with the Suicide Squad is a result of being captured by The Flash, who was too fast for Deadshot's draw [in Legends #1].

No hero has gotten under Lawton's skin quite as thoroughly as Batman! Their multiple run-ins include Deadshot's very first outing, when he posed as a masked vigilante to oust The Bat. He nearly pulled it off, but as in most of their clashes, it ended in Deadshot's defeat. His eventual comeback in Detective Comics #474 is one such example.

Enchantress doesn't have the hand-to-hand fighting prowess of Batman, nor his unique insights. She does, however, possess a broad spectrum of magic powers as a witch that should be able to deal with most guns and munitions.

Without specialist weaponry, Deadshot seems pretty out of his depth against Enchantress. His greatest strength lies in long-range sniping to get the drop on an unprepared Enchantress. That's how Bronze Tiger closed similar odds.

Enchantress was supposed to impersonate novelist Zoya Trigorin while the Squad extracted her from Russia, but with the mission thrown into chaos, she's completely off the leash. That bodes well for Deadshot, who can capitalize on her distraction. Will it work? Let's find out...

The Tape: Enchantress Ranking: Deadshot (#114)

What Went Down...

An explosion rings out from the Novogorod Psychiatric Hospital. The mission has gone bad. Real bad! The Suicide Squad regroups in the snow covered woods just outside, while The Enchantress delights at the opportunity for chaos!

With Russian troops rapidly closing-in; Colonel Rick Flag is forced to make an urgent decision about the witch flying overhead. With time running out, he turns to Deadshot with a non-lethal order to shoot.

Deadshot feigns concern that he may not be able to bring Enchantress down without accidentally killing her. Flag puts a gun to his head and warns him not to miss!

Unaware of the conspiring gunmen below; Enchantress is completely unprepared when she hears the sudden explosion of Deadshot's rifle!

The searing sting of the bullet follows in an instant. Struck in the head, The Enchantress plummets from the sky to the thick floor of snow below.

Flag orders Nightshade and Nemesis to collect the body. A dark smile creeps over Deadshot's face as he assures the Colonel his shot was made to order -- on target and non-lethal.

Enchantress is groggy when Nemesis lifts her from the snow by the shoulders. He demands to know her name, but she instinctively refuses! If spoken, it will return the wicked witch to the darkness -- restoring innocent June Moone.

So Nemesis tells her she's June Moone: a spy who will be shot on sight! The barely conscious witch denies this, too. With time running out he leans over her face and asks who she really is. At last she says it: "Enchantress!"

The Hammer...
This one may challenge your definition for a "fight", but the fact is: some conflicts end not with the throwing of fists, but with the firing of a single bullet! Such is the stock & trade of Deadshot!

As we build a bigger profile for Deadshot, it'll be interesting to see what his strike-rate as a marksman is really like. The reputation of killers in comics doesn't always match-up to results. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see what today's win does for his overall fight rank!

Today we're here to track the movements of Enchantress, whose early tenure with the Suicide Squad provided one of the great sub-plots of the first couple of years. It loosely inspired elements of the 2016 movie, but as with most things in that adaptation, the source material was not well represented.

The premise is simple: The Suicide Squad are a band of convicted villains operating as a black-ops team to work-off their sentences. They're guided by trusted agents like Rick Flag and Bronze Tiger, but the criminal nature of most of the team means there's always an underlying tension of mistrust.

Enchantress is arguably the most openly hostile of the group, but she's tethered to the pleasant alter-ego of June Moone, who volunteered her services.

Moone initially has enough sway to keep the wicked witch in check, but every time Enchantress is summoned, her dark powers grow. The threat that she'll turn on the team is always there, but the trade-off is that her magic is one of the Squad's most powerful weapons, and sometimes can be directed.

Inevitably, this dangerous game means various members of The Squad are forced to take Enchantress down once her work is done.

We saw this in their inaugural mission, when Enchantress saved the team from being scorched by the flaming aftermath of Brimstone -- only to immediately turn on them! Bronze Tiger became the first teammate to shut her down.

Comics being what they are; there are different flavours to the various times Enchantress is thwarted. The next time we visit the theme it will probably seem vaguely comical, but each indignity is only building toward the inevitable.

The reader knows Enchantress' power and hostility is growing, and the tension that mounts is one of the great threads weaved into the tapestry of John Ostrander's early Suicide Squad!  It could've greatly enhanced the film had they taken it in the same direction, rather than abruptly making her the arch-villain of the first film. One of many mistakes.

If you're looking for more Suicide Squad, or follow-up entries, be sure to check out the Secret Archive. You'll easily find featured fights indexed by publisher, series, and issue! If you just want to read these issues in their entirety for yourself, you can support the site by using the Amazon link provided!

You can also follow Secret Wars on Infinite Earths on Facebook and Twitter to get daily links to fights inspired by the topics of the day! A like, share, or retweet is a much appreciated way to show support!

Additional Note: Assist stats will be recorded for Rick Flag for ordering the hit, as well as Nemesis & Nightshade, who helped ensure Enchantress switched back to June Moone. These details were important to securing Deadshot's triggerman victory.

Winner: Deadshot
#66 (+48) Deadshot
#846 (-314) Enchantress
#383 (--) Rick Flag [+1 assist]
#420 (+75) Nemesis (Tom Tresser) [+1 assist]
#527 (new) Nightshade (Eve Eden) [+1 assist]

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