Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Still picking this Nemesis/Rock/whoever scab...


Over at Siskoid's Blog of Geekery, said Siskoid has been running down the "Retirement Files" for the Suicide Squad. And he mentioned a dropped subplot that still bugs me today: Sgt. Rock's postwar time with the Suicide Squad, and his reintroduction to the modern DCU as General Rock, from around Our World at War.

Or was it Rock? In the last issue of the Rock-centric Suicide Squad series, 'Rock' and 'Bulldozer' unmasked Mission: Impossible style and walked away. The theory has been that Nemesis was in disguise as Rock...for some undisclosed reason and purpose. But that leads us to today's scan, from Superman #182, "The Secret, part one: Dead Men" Written by Jeph Loeb, pencils by Ed McGuinness, inks by Cam Smith.

As Clark and Lois piece together the conspiracy behind the Luthor presidency, Amanda Waller sends the Suicide Squad (this time, Deadshot, Killer Frost, and Solomon Grundy) to try and scare Lois off the story. (Which, duh, is about the absolute worst way to get Lois to drop a story; which makes me suspect Waller knew how Lois would react. If you wanted Lois to drop a story, send her a typed, formatted narrative of your evil plan; she'll get bored and throw it away.)

And Rock calls Waller on it. Or 'Rock.' In fact, as the issue opens, Lois visit General Rock's grave in Arlington, after hitting a dead end in her investigation; but Rock looks fine here...if that was him. Was Rock killed, then Nemesis took his place? Or was Rock ever Rock? The thing is, Waller knew Nemesis. I'm pretty sure she knew his tricks--for example, that the masks he wore would make him itch at his collar after a while. I could see Nemesis fooling Waller short-term, maybe even more than once; but not for any extended period of time. So, I'm positive whatever was planned for General Rock was scrapped, possibly at the editorial level, and Nemesis was kludged in there to cover the plot hole.

I mentioned this in the comments at Siskoid's, but it's kind of sad that I find this more interesting than most of DC's current output. Sadly, I don't think Nemesis: the Impostors set any sales records, so I don't know when he'll return, either. Phooey.

6 comments:

Dale Bagwell said...

Interesting piece, very interesting. I highly doubt DC will directly address this issue, unless it involves current storylines such as Flashpoint. And since this is Giffen we're talking about, that really increases the odds this will never be mentioned again, or at least for a very long time. I don't know why, but Didio or someone up there, seems to have it out for Giffen lately. Yeah JLI is back, but Giffen's not on it. They cancelled Doom Patrol, and anything else he's written that was even remotely humorous or relevant is often ignored or shit-canned. Methinks a return to Marvel or even Image is in order for Mr.Giffen.

By the way, what's the status on Doom Idol? I eagerly await the final installments. Oh, and I've just begun to give Flashpoint a good-natured ribbing.

googum said...

Dale,
I saw that! I doubt I'm going to be picking up Flashpoint, since right now I'm not reading any DC books regularly except Xombi. And I love that one, so if it makes it twenty issues, I'll be surprised.

In recent years, every DC book I've read has been cancelled: Warlord, Unknown Soldier, Doom Patrol...even Nemesis looked like it was going to be a run of limited series, but I don't think it'll be back.

Doom Idol, though, will return! I have a couple episodes ready, but I don't think it'll start again for a bit.

Dale Bagwell said...

Cool, can't wait! I took it upon myself to briefly comment on their cancellation using of course, Cliff and Larry. Check it out if you dare.

About Flashpoint, after reading the review/spoilers for it, I have to say it doesn't look all that bad; I agree with the reviewer that Johns's initial first issues starts off strong, but then they go to crap after that towards the end. I really hope this event is worth all the canceled titles it took to make all this possible. If not, I expect fans/message boarders to really be pissed at DC, which really isn't that hard to do nowadays.

Susan said...

Regarding Sgt. Rock's status: according to a backup story in the recent DC Legacies mini, Rock died at the very end of WWII (the final shot in the final battle, just like the rumors always said). However, it turns out that he and Madamoiselle Marie had a kid together: a boy named Frank Rock, and he's the spitting image of his daddy, plus he joined the military. So this "General Rock" we've seen in other stories is most likely the Sarge's kid...or at least that's what this story implies. Either way, it's a very touching story, and drawn by Joe Kubert at that.

googum said...

Susan,
Damnit, now I'll have to look for that. I've picked up a couple issues of Legacy and hated the main story, and loved the backups...

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

this short lived SS series was God awful!