For the eponymous Arrow episode in which the group appears, see "Suicide Squad".
"Give me a break, this ain't no task force. Let's call it like it is. Welcome to the Suicide Squad."
Floyd Lawton[src]

The Ghost Initiative,[1] formerly known as Task Force X, nicknamed the Suicide Squad by Floyd Lawton,[2] is a team mostly consisting of incarcerated criminals who undertake high-risk missions for A.R.G.U.S. in exchange for reduced prison sentences.


To ensure their cooperation, each member of the team is implanted with a micro-bomb in their spinal vertebrae, which will be detonated if they demonstrate insubordination, betrayal, etc. However, if members prove themselves to be loyal, they will be given degrees of freedom. One example is Carrie Cutter/Cupid, who roamed A.R.G.U.S. freely in exchange for her work.

Task Force X is shown to be fairly successful in rehabilitating criminals and even treating mentally unstable individuals, having turned Floyd Lawton/Deadshot and Ben Turner/Bronze Tiger into loyal comrades. Furthermore, Carrie Cutter's behavior became much more stable, even though she retained her obsession with the Arrow or whichever man would save her life, but her impulse control was much better refrained.



The team was first put together by A.R.G.U.S. director Amanda Waller, consisting of criminals who've been incarcerated.[3]

Lyla Michaels was in charge of a team which included Digger Harkness, but the mission went wrong. Waller ordered Lyla to terminate the team, which she did, and A.R.G.U.S. came to believe all its members were dead. Unbeknownst to them, however, Harkness' microbomb malfunctioned and didn't kill him. He subsequently escaped and became a mercenary.[4]

Some time after their defeats by The Arrow, Floyd Lawton/Deadshot, Ben Turner/Bronze Tiger, and Mark Scheffer/Shrapnel were drafted by Waller to join the task force. Harley Quinn, Raven, and Torque were also recruited at some point.[2]

Nerve agent and bombing

Waller notified John Diggle and Lyla Michaels of a nerve agent being held by Gholem Qadir. She introduced them to the team made up of Shrapnel, Deadshot, and Tiger, and they proceeded to execute a plan to appropriate the nerve chemical from Qadir. During a mission meant as an attempt to gain Qadir's trust, Shrapnel was killed while attempting to escape. A while after, John and Lyla attended a party held by Qadir. They were able to find the nerve agent, but it was much bigger than they had expected. They evacuated the area above where the nerve agent was being held and Turner killed Qadir. In an attempt to destroy the nerve agent, Waller sent a drone directed towards the mansion. However, it was discovered that the drone was instead coded to the GPS in Deadshot's explosive chip. While the squad was escaping, Lyla was able to cut out the chip, saving them from imminent explosion. After the prisoners were returned later, Waller suggested that they would put the chips in their spines from then on, to ensure they could not be removed again.[2]

Weeks following, Amanda Waller ordered a drone strike on Starling City, prompting John and Lyla to let the squad (except for Quinn and Turner) out of their cells in order to threaten Waller.[5]

Work in the Republic of Kasnia

After John and Lyla Diggle were married again, Deadshot met them at their wedding and told them that they had another mission. Back at A.R.G.U.S. headquarters, Waller briefed them on the meeting - save senator Joseph Cray, who has been taken hostage in the Republic of Kasnia. John, Lyla, Deadshot, and new member Cupid landed in Kasnia and staked out the hospital the insurgents were operating from. Deadshot saved Cupid from being shot by the senator, who had orchestrated the whole operation, and she fell in love with him. The Squad then noticed that the hospital had been rigged with explosives and made a plan. That evening, the Squad took down most of the terrorists, and got the hostages and themselves out, with Deadshot providing cover fire from the hospital's roof. However, Lawton sacrificed himself and stayed behind to allow John and Lyla to get back to their daughter, dying in the hospital's explosion.[6]


During an attack by Shadowspire, Waller was killed and Lyla then became the new director of A.R.G.U.S, reforming the agency;[7] one of her objectives included the disbandment of Task Force X, although she held on to King Shark[8] to use as a sort of guard dog.[9]


Lyla later reactivated the team, now referred to as the "Ghost Initiative", starting with Ricardo Diaz.[10] A short time later, Chien Na Wei and Joe Wilson were also recruited into the group, as well as the returning Cupid.[1]

Ultimately, Diaz decided to turn against the team during a mission to catch Dante. After being subdued, he was sent back to Slabside Maximum Security Prison, and the program was suspended.[11] Diaz was later murdered[11] by Emiko Adachi.

Known members

Current members

Former members



Promotional images



Season 2

Season 3

Season 7

The Flash

Season 3


Arrow: Season 2.5

The Flash: Season Zero


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Past Sins"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Suicide Squad"
  3. "Tremors"
  4. "The Brave and the Bold"
  5. "Unthinkable"
  6. "Suicidal Tendencies"
  7. "Code of Silence"
  8. "King Shark"
  9. "Infantino Street"
  10. "My Name is Emiko Queen"
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Brothers & Sisters"
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