Friday, November 6, 2009

Great Comic Book Supporting Characters: Rev. Craemer

One of my all-time favorite comic books is Suicide Squad, which ran for 66 issues under the authorship of John Ostrander. It concerned a secret squad comprised mainly of super villains who were sent on suicide missions by the US government in exchange for clemency. The Squad was run by the pragmatic Amanda Waller and based out of Belle Reve, a prison in Louisiana. In issue #10 (1988), we met Belle Reve's new chaplain, Father Richard Craemer:

Although most of the Squad members were unrepentant villains, there were also some heroes on the team and the nature of the Squad's missions often took a toll on them; Craemer was there for everyone on the team:

Although initially the Squad had a psychiatric staff to treat the team's often-warped members, the staff eventually resigned in protest of the way Waller treated the inmates. Craemer stepped up as the team's defacto counselor and issue #31 (1989) followed a day in his life as he looked in on the Squad's members and support staff, a format called "Personal Files" which had been used in previous issues back when the psychiatrists were around:

The highlight of the issue was Craemer's confrontation with Waller, where he serves as her conscience:

This last week, Ostrander returned to Craemer in Secret Six#15, where ex-Squad member Deadshot seeks help in controlling his homicidal urges:

Boy, it was great seeing Craemer again! Ever since 1988 he's been one of the best Christian characters in comics, and as a revisit--

Wait, he's Episcopalian now?!

Huh. Well, if he can't be Anglican, I'll take that. Cool.

1 comment:

David H. said...

Rev. Craemer was a good example of the great support staff characters for The Squad.