Onslaught (DC Comics)

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Clockwise from the right Chimera, Ravan, Manticore, Jaculi, Djinn, Rustam. Artist Luke McDonnell
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceSuicide Squad vol.1 #1,
(May 1987)
Created byJohn Ostrander (writer)
Luke McDonnell (artist)
In-story information
Member(s)Roster below

The Onslaught are a fictional team of state sponsored super powered Quraci terrorists published by DC Comics. They first appeared in Suicide Squad volume 1 #1, and were created by John Ostrander and Luke McDonnell.


The Onslaught is a team of super-powered international terrorists-for-hire operating out of the outlaw nation of Qurac. The team was created and guided by Qurac's President Marlos and had accepted, as its first commission, the assignment of killing the President of the United States. Former Suicide Squad member Jess Bright, now a Soviet operative named Koshchei helped bioengineer candidates for the team. At its inception, the Jihad was infiltrated by Nemesis and Nightshade, members of the advance team of the Suicide Squad, and was the target of a preemptive attack by the Squad. (As seen in Suicide Squad vol. 1 #1 and 2)[1]

After their first clash with the Suicide Squad, Raza Kattuah now calling himself Rustam formed a second team based in an old World War II fortress called Jotunheim in southern Qurac. The name translates as "Land of the Giants", because the Germans believed only a race of giants could have built those mountains. Rustam used this team to terrorize civilians in New York City. Ravan, Ifrit and Agni were captured. Manticore and Jaculi were killed, but Rustam and Badb were able to escape. Ravan was eventually recruited by the Suicide Squad. Rick Flag carried out an unauthorized solo mission to Qurac which resulted in the destruction of Jotunheim, killing Rustam and countless Jihad members. The man known as Kobra would later kill Ravan while engaged in single combat.[1]

Amanda Waller briefs the Suicide Squad, artist Luke McDonnell

Agni assembled a small three-person team to free Quraci President Marlo from United States custody. He brought along Badb, and the Atlantean renegade known as Piscator, a self-styled Janissary. The Suicide Squad preemptively substituted Nemesis for President Marlo. At the same time, Israel's heroes, the Mossad superteam known as the Hayoth were involved in a covert mission on U.S. soil, a failed attempt to abduct Marlo.[1]

As revealed in Suicide Squad #50, Jess Bright had survived the Yeti attack in Tibet, that killed most of the original Suicide Squad. Jess was rescued by the Red Chinese and given a new name Yen Wang (King of the Devils) and was made the head of a secret Chinese project to develop metahumans alongside a Chinese scientist named Deng Zho-Zhi. Unfortunately due to frostbite his nose, lips, toes and fingers all had to be amputated. Deng Zho-Zhi's laboratory was raided by Chinese government officials, and he revealed to Bright that he was actually a dissident and probably would be taken away for reeducation. Jess is recruited from prison by Major Zastrow of the Red Shadows. The Russians gave him cybernetic hands, and cybernetic feet that allowed him to walk again. Zastrow changes Bright's codename to Koschei the Deathless and put him to work on maintaining and improving the Rocket Reds. The Russians then sent him to Qurac where he was put in charge of the program to develop Qurac's metahuman program, Jaculi, Manticore and the Djinn were all his creations. Unfortunately he was killed when Rick Flag destroyed Jotunheim with an Atomic Bomb. But the Quracis were able to revive him as a cybernetic zombie using technology he himself had created, his body was dead and his mind was a digital recording. As part of an elaborate revenge against Rick Flag, Koschei kidnaps his son by Karin Grace, Rick Flag Jr. Unbeknownst to Koschei Flag had apparently died in the nuclear detonation that destroyed Jotunheim. Nemesis eventually convinced him to set the boy free, and he appeared to have been destroyed by an explosion that he set off.[2]

Agni assembled yet another Onslaught team with the help of Njara Kattuah son of Rustam. This new team's mission of vengeance against America was short-lived. After disposing of a team of Checkmate Knights who had tracked them as far as Markovia, the homeland of Geo-Force, they were discovered on an airplane bound for Gotham by the Outsiders, who were also on the flight, and a fight broke out on the plane. Manticore III and Dahak both died in the ensuing battle, with Djinn presumably killed as well. After a crash landing in Gotham, all the surviving members except for Dervish escaped. Dervish later joined the Outsiders in order to find Manticore, who she thought was alive, remaining with them until she discovered what happened to Manticore. In anger she joined the second Strikeforce Kobra. After a clash with the Outsiders, she was captured and imprisoned in the Slab, she later escaped when the Joker engineered a jailbreak. (As seen in Joker: Last Laugh #3)[1]

Njara later returned with a new team including Antiphon, Tolteca, Hyve and Digital Djinn. (Suicide Squad vol. 2 #10) They succeeded in kidnapping Amanda Waller as part of an elaborate revenge, and in killing Squad members Havana (slain by Rustam) and Modem (slain by Digital Djinn). They were no match for the Squad when members of the Justice Society of America were drafted to help. The second Rustam was killed by Deadshot and the other members escaped custody.[1]


Team one (Suicide Squad vol. 1 #1-2)[edit]

Onslaught team five, artist Paco Medina
  • Chimera - She was actually Suicide Squad member Nightshade.
  • Djinn - His body was reduced to a binary code and stored in microchips within a magnetic bottle. Enchantress blew up his bottle, presumably destroying him.
  • Jaculi - A young Bedouin with the ability of moving at super-speed in three second spurts. He carried an assortment of explosive javelins. Slain by Captain Boomerang
  • Manticore - A super strong cyborg from Greece, slain by Deadshot. Named after the mythical Manticore. During the events of Blackest Night, Manticore's corpse is reanimated as a member of the Black Lantern Corps alongside several fallen Suicide Squad members.[3]
  • Colonel Mushtaq - Was actually Nemesis in an undercover role.
  • Ravan - Last surviving thugee. His back was broken in single combat with the Bronze Tiger.
  • Rustam - Raza Kattuah was the first team leader, named after Rostam, a mythic hero in Persian folklore. Rustam wields a scimitar artifact from Skartaris which could generate fiery plasma that could seemingly cut through anything, and open dimensional portals. The scimitar uses its wielder's life force as a power source. According to Raza he was a US covert operative in Qurac who was apparently betrayed by the United States, a situation which led to the deaths of his entire family.[4]

Team two (Suicide Squad vol. 1 #17-19)[edit]

  • Agni - Agni is an Asian Indian pyrokinetic who could create progressively larger fireballs by snapping his fingers. Named after Agni, the Hindu god of fire.
  • Badb - A teenaged Irish telepath who could mentally instill panic and hatred. Named after Badb, the Celtic goddess of war.
  • Ifrit - She was a new artificial intelligence, similar to Djinn, based on the brain patterns of Mindboggler, whose mental engrams were salvaged by Quraci scientists, and twisted to induce extreme aggression and hate; she was healed of this by sentient Israeli computer Dybbuk and fell in love with him. Named after the Persian spirits known as Ifrits.
  • Jaculi - The second Jaculi was a woman of unknown nationality with the speed and weapons of the original. Slain by Deadshot.
  • Koshchei The Deathless - Jess Bright, former member of the original Suicide Squad. He could animate the dead using specialized electronic implants, controlling them via telepresence; this control was accidentally broken by Shade the Changing Man. In Russian folklore Koshchei the Deathless is a powerful necromancer.
  • Manticore - The second Manticore, also of unknown nationality, was tougher than his predecessor; he was slain by Duchess (Lashina).
  • Ravan - Master assassin now wearing a cybernetic harness because of his broken back. After being captured by the Bronze Tiger he joins the Suicide Squad.
  • Rustam - Team leader; the same operative.

Team three (Suicide Squad vol. 1 #59-62)[edit]

  • Agni - Team leader for this mission.
  • Badb - The same operative.
  • Piscator - An Atlantean (see Atlantis) renegade and self-styled Janissary.

Team four (Outsiders vol. 2 #5-6)[edit]

  • Agni - Second in command for this mission.
  • Dahak - A demon who used the body of an old Quraci woman as its host. In Persian mythology Aži Dahāka is the god of evil. Killed when an airplane tail crushed it to death.
  • Dervish - Nema, a female martial artist, romantically tied to Manticore III. Named after the traditional dervishes. Later joined Strikeforce Kobra.
  • Djinn - The original Djinn restored by the group's technicians. Presumably destroyed again after Sebastian Faust traps him in a hand-held TV that he throws into Agni's flames.
  • Manticore - The third Manticore was Saied, who was romantically tied to Dervish. Accidentally killed during a fight with Charlie Wylde of the Outsiders.
  • Rustam - Njara Kattuah, team leader. Son of the original Rustam. Njara has demonstrated pyrokinetic abilities, it is unknown if they were internal, or if he had access to his father's scimitar.

Team five (Suicide Squad vol. 2 #10-12)[edit]

  • Antiphon - A super speedster from Greece. Name based on the term Antiphon (opposing voice).[5]
  • Digital Djinn - New more powerful creation based on the original Djinn.[5]
  • Hyve - A hulking creature able to separate into smaller and smaller copies of itself.[5]
  • Rustam - Njara Kattuah, team leader. Slain by Deadshot.
  • Tolteca - A powerful warrior woman and cannibal. Name is derived from the Toltecs of Mexico.[5]

In other media[edit]


  • While not appearing in TV show, Onslaught feature in the Arrow tie-in comic series, Arrow: Season 2.5, led by a man named Khem-Adam, who wished to transform the country of Kahndaq back to its traditional roots.[6] Due to the intense scale of the fighting they'd caused, the Suicide Squad were sent in to control the situation.[7]
  • Onslaught is featured in Young Justice: Outsiders featuring team members traditionally associated with the Fearsome Five. Jaculi also appears as an assassin who kills Markovia's king and queen under the orders of Baron Bedlam, before being shot himself by Bedlam in his public guise as Frederick DeLamb.


  • It's rumored that James Gunn's upcoming Suicide Squad film will feature Onslaught as the primary antagonist.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Cosmic Teams!". Mykey3000. Archived from the original on April 29, 2007. Retrieved February 9, 2007.
  2. ^ John Ostrander, Kim Yale (w), Geof IsherwoodLuke McDonnell, Grant Miehm (p), Karl Kesel, Geof Isherwood, Luke McDonnell (i), McCraw, Tom (col), Klein, Todd (let), Raspler, Dan (ed). Suicide Squad #50 (February, 1991), DC Comics
  3. ^ Gail Simone, John Ostrander (w), Calafiore, Jim (p), Calafiore, Jim (i), Wright, Jason (col), Wands, Steve (let), Ryan, Sean (ed). Suicide Squad #67 (January 6, 2010), DC Comics
  4. ^ Suicide Squad: Raising the Flag #2
  5. ^ a b c d Cornwell, Jason (July 21, 2002). "Suicide Squad #11 Review". Comics Bulletin. Retrieved February 9, 2007.
  6. ^ Marc Guggenheim, Keto Shimizu (w), Kudranski, Szymon (a), Charalampidis, Jim (col), Bennett, Deron (let), Antone, Alex (ed). "Following" Arrow: Season 2.5 #5 (October 27, 2014), DC Comics
  7. ^ Marc Guggenheim, Keto Shimizu (w), Kudranski, Szymon (a), Charalampidis, Jim (col), Bennett, Deron (let), Antone, Alex (ed). "Ascension" Arrow: Season 2.5 #4 (October 13, 2014), DC Comics
  8. ^ Polito, Thomas. "Rumor: First Plot Details For James Gunn's 'The Suicide Squad'". Geeks Worldwide. Retrieved 10 March 2019.

External links[edit]