Friday, December 18, 2015

Episode 17: Action Comics 598 and Suicide Squad 8

Welcome back once again, Squadmates!

I bring to you... Episode 17: Action Comics 598 and Suicide Squad 8

This month I look at Action Comics 598, the first appearance of Checkmate, with a very special guest host.  From the Superman Homepage, From Crisis To Crisis: Superman Podcast, Views From The Longbox podcast, plus many more, and one of the spiritual founders of this Headcast, Michael Bailey!

Action Comic 598 - Checkmate!

Action Comics #598
Title: "Checkmate"
Cover Date: March 1988
On Sale Date: December 1, 1987
Cover Price: $0.75
Editor: Mike Carlin

Plotter/Penciller: John L. Byrne
Writer: Paul Kupperberg
Inker: Ty Templeton
Letterer: John Costanza
Colorist: Petra Scotese (Goldberg)

Cover Credits
Artist: John L. Byrne

Reprinted In:
Superman:The Man of Steel Vol. 8 TPB (2014)

Lois Lane conducts an interview with Khareemali, Qurac's defense minister, who is in Metropolis to denounce Superman's actions against his country. Angered that a woman is sent to do the interview, the minister has his guard seize Lois. Members of a rival terrorist group known as the Angels of Allah then storm the office and take Lois and the minister hostage.

To ensure Superman is distracted, other members of the terrorist group hijack a Navy aircraft carrier and plant a bomb on its nuclear reactor. Lois is rescued by a man in black wearing a modified knight's mask. Superman meets a man in similar garb aboard the carrier. This man helps Superman defeat the terrorists. After the crisis is over, both "knights" disappear.

Lois then returns to the Daily Planet to write up her story. Clark writes up the story about the carrier. Elsewhere Harry Stein and Harvey Bullock hold a meeting. Their secret government organization, known as Checkmate, employed the two knights. Harry receives a report that the defense minister has left American airspace. He then detonates an explosive on Khareemali's plane, destroying it.

Checkmate ad with a Knight

Also, I look at Suicide Squad issue 8, entitled "Personal Files".

Cover Date: December 1987
On Sale Date: September 22, 1987
Cover Price: $0.75
Editor: Robert Greenberger

Writer: John Ostrander
Penciller: Luke McDonnell
Inker: Robert Lewis
Letterer: Todd Klein
Colorist: Carl Gafford

Cover Credits
Artist: Jerry Bingham

Reprinted In:
Suicide Squad:Trial by Fire TPB (2011)

When the Suicide Squad returns from Russia, Dr. LaGrieve worries about the team members. Amanda Waller takes out her anger on Dexter Tolliver, the Squad's NSC liaison. Tolliver then puts a plan in motion to protect his own interests.

Rick Flag is also angry when a rescue mission to save Nemesis is not considered. An argument with Waller and Karin Grace causes new team member Mark Shaw to punch Flag. Waller then temporarily relieves him of command.

The Bronze Tiger is put in charge of the team. He takes the Enchantress to visit Madame Xanadu. She gives him a necklace and ring that will prevent the Enchantress from going out of control. However, Xanadu warns that the witch will become more powerful and begin merging with June's persona.

A counseling session between LaGrieve's associate Marnie Herrs and Deadshot leads to an argument. The two then share a kiss, before Deadshot storms out. Both agree to keep the incident quiet.

Finally, Captain Boomerang has assumed the costume and equipment of the late Mirror Master. He begins a crime spree in New Orleans.

Also, we have two Character Profiles: Henry Stein and Mark Shaw

Harry Stein
Privateer aka Mark Shaw

Thank you for listening to this episode of Task Force X.

Be sure to check the Facebook page for news and updates on the Suicide Squad movie.  That's where I tend to post information as it comes to light.

As you might have noticed, you can now get directly to our page by going to  You can still go to and click on Headcasts to get to the embedded Stitcher player.

Other news for the Headcast family...

On Christmas day, The Headcast should have two presents for you.
1) A special Christmas episode of Head Speaks: Oh S**t, it's Christmas! where I'll play a selection of Christmas music for you.  This episode is not Family Friendly no Safe For Work.

2) G.I. Joe: A Real Christmas Hero will look at the first wave of toys, with our special guest host, Jif Fishman (from Comic Book Fight Club podcast).

Look for both show Christmas day.

Then, look for G.I. Joe: A Real American Headcast the first week of the month, where Ryan, Kyle, returning guest host, Jif Fishman, and myself look at G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero issue 5 and the third episode of the cartoon.

The following week, look for Head Speaks episode 19 which will probably be another Star Warscentrc episode!

Finally, be sure to return next month and listen as I talk about Checkmate issue 1 and Suicide Squad issue 9.

Again, thanks for listening and be sure to tell people about us.  Also write in and let me know what you think of this episode!

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