A DC superhero and longtime Justice League member is the mysterious (and potentially dangerous) force behind the latest iteration of the Suicide Squad, fans discovered in last week's issue of the comic. Moreover, it's a character who has a long and tortured history with Maxwell Lord, the man behind the Justice League vs. Suicide Squad crossover that came out at the start of the DC's "Rebirth" era in 2016/2017. Going even one level deeper, it's a hero with a kind of Kevin Bacon-style tie to the Suicide Squad, in that longtime member Peacemaker was originally a Charlton Comics hero before that company was bought by DC.
At this point, a spoiler warning is likely pointless, since most of our readers could have guessed the hero's identtiy from that description. Still, spoilers ahead if you really don't want to know what happened in Suicide Squad #5 from Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo, Adriano Lucas and Wes Abbott.
Former Charlton character (and Steve Ditko creation) Ted Kord, one of the characters who has been known as the Blue Beetle and a longtime member of the Justice League International and Justice League America, is secretly the man behind Suicide Squad's new leader, known as Lok. That leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and makes for a pretty compelling reason for fans to keep reading.
Since the relaunch of the series last year, Task Force X founder Amanda Waller has been gone, replaced by the mysterious Lok. Lok served at the whim of a higher and seemingly sadistic power, who now seems to be Kord -- dressed and looking every bit like the Maxwell Lord of old. Could he be working Lord's plan, to some end? Certainly the radical shift in the team's lineup is straight out of Lord's playbook, as the Justice League he founded bore little resemblance to the ones that had existed before it.
Those new members, a kind of super-powered subgroup known as the Revolutionaries, supposedly got themselves arrested specifically to become part of Task Force X and destroy it from within -- a destiny that got one step closer to being fulfilled when Deadshot flipped to their side and took out Lok and almost all of his henchmen. It was the final survivor who contacted Kord.
The obvious guess here is that Ted is somehow behind a plot to undermine Task Force X, since Maxwell Lord was intsrumental to it and it is routinely used to subvert international law while killing "expendable" metahumans. If that is the case, though, it raises problems now that people have died on his watch. That's...not very heroic.
Suicide Squad #6 should be in stores at the end of June to help make sense of all of this.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.