Belle Reve

Belle Reve Penitentiary is a fictional prison and sanatorium appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The prison first appeared in Suicide Squad #1 (May 1987), written by John Ostrander and art by Luke McDonnell.[1]

Belle Reve is pseudo-French for "beautiful dream" and is an allusion to the name of Blanche and Stella's family estate in Tennessee Williams's play A Streetcar Named Desire.

Belle Reve
Belle Reve Suicide Squad vol5 16
Art by Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea
First appearanceSuicide Squad #1
(May 1987)
Information
TypePenitentiary
PublisherDC Comics

Fictional background

Belle Reve Suicide Squad 1 1987
Belle Reve Penitentiary in Suicide Squad #1 (May 1987). Art by Luke McDonnell and Karl Kesel.

Belle Reve Federal Penitentiary is a special prison for metahumans and other supervillains located in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.[2] Being the prison for many supervillains, it was chosen by Amanda Waller as the base of operations for the Suicide Squad. Criminals can have their prison sentences reduced if they take part in the deadly missions of the Suicide Squad. Some of the more untrustworthy ones are required to carry devices that will cause maiming or death if they try to escape.

Many, but not all of the staff, work both as prison employees and facilitate Suicide Squad operations. Some of the staff are friends with the more level-headed Squad members. Mechanics work on Squad vehicles. Prison doctors treat prisoners and Squad staff alike. The existence of the Squad brings the facility under attack many times.

The prison has been the focus of many governmental investigations, as it would be a scandal to learn that the United States is using murderous supervillains to further its own ends. Noted reporter Lois Lane did an investigation, only partly turned away by a fake warden installed to divert attention away from Suicide Squad activities. Amanda Waller herself served time in Belle Reve when she was convicted on charges stemming from her Suicide Squad operations.

A Belle Reve prison riot is calmed by Superman and the time traveling Kal Kent in DC One Million #1 (Nov. 1998).

Belle Reve was the site of a Mageddon-caused riot in JLA #34 (Oct. 1999), in which many guards and other prison staff members were killed, including the warden. It is not made clear if the warden who was killed was the same one featured in the pages of Suicide Squad. The villain Hector Hammond had been taken over by an emissary of Maggedon, which influenced much of the riot. Members of the Justice League, namely Aquaman, Green Lantern, Zauriel, and Plastic Man, managed to calm things down. Most of the riot was stopped by Plastic Man, who used his shape-changing abilities to fool the prisoners into thinking Batman was on the scene.

During the Day of Judgement storyline (1999), one of the many portals to Hell opened near the prison. Plastic Man and some of the prisoners worked together in containing the situation.

Volume five of Suicide Squad shows members of the team operating out of Belle Reve, including Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Enchantress, Katana, and Killer Croc.[3]

Notable inmates

Alternative versions

Kingdom Come

In the DC Comics Elseworlds limited series and graphic novel Kingdom Come, Belle Reve is destroyed by Genosyde, killing all its occupants.

Flashpoint

Belle Reve appears in Flashpoint.[4] Heat Wave is imprisoned at the end of the Flashpoint mini-series, due to his defeat by Cyborg, and is later confronted by his former partner Eel O'Brian in his new cell.[4]

In other media

Television

  • Belle Reve appears in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Task Force X". In this version, the Suicide Squad is called Task Force X and their headquarters (like their comic book counterparts) are in Belle Reve Penitentiary. In "Panic in the Sky", the core Justice League members (except Batman) turn themselves over to the government and end up incarcerated at Belle Reve after the Watchtower's Binary Fusion Generator fired on the abandoned Project Cadmus headquarters until it is discovered that Lex Luthor hacked the Binary Fusion Generator controls.
  • On the television series Smallville, Belle Reve Sanitarium is an insane asylum. The meteor freak villains Clark fights are almost always held here for their insanity similar to how many of Batman's enemies end up in Arkham Asylum. In the episode "Freak", Chloe Sullivan laments that all meteor rock-infected Smallville citizens end up either dead or in Belle Reve indicating that insanity is a likely side effect of Kryptonite exposure in humans. Lex Luthor is also held there for a short time, while his father, Lionel, tries to erase memories Lex would use to incriminate him.
  • Belle Reve appears in the Young Justice episode "Terrors". This version is run by Amanda Waller with Hugo Strange as the prison psychiatrist. All prisoners are equipped with special collars that would negate their superpowers and would deliver a shock if any of them got out of line. Known inmates are Abra Kadabra, Blockbuster, Brick, Captain Cold, Devastation, Hook, both Icicles, Killer Frost, Mammoth, Mr. Freeze, Professor Ivo, Professor Ojo, Riddler, and Shimmer. Brick claims the Joker is also an inmate, but he is never seen. Batman sends Superboy and Miss Martian undercover disguised as the Terror Twins to Belle Reve when it comes to the Justice League figuring out why the ice-based villains were defeated easily. Superboy and Miss Martian discover that Icicle Sr. has assembled the ice-based villains at Belle Reve, in addition to Blockbuster and Mammoth, in a plot to bust every prisoner out of Belle Reve. The Ice villains begin their move as Amanda Waller activates the lockdown when Mr. Freeze is brought to her. Mr. Freeze manages to incapacitate Amanda Waller and shut down the master control for the collars enabling the villains to get over the controls and attack the guards. After tricking Icicle Jr., Superboy reactivates the collars on the prisoners. Mr. Freeze finds out that Icicle Jr. was behind this and leads Blockbuster and Mammoth into attacking Icicle Jr. and a disguised Superboy. After breaking through to the women's side, Superboy saves Miss Martian from her frozen trap as they shed their disguises. After the prison is reclaimed and the prisoners were rounded up except for Riddler, Hugo Strange becomes the new warden of Belle Reve. It turns out that Hugo Strange and Icicle Sr. are revealed to be in cahoots with the Light (Project Cadmus' Board of Directors). In "Humanity", the Team visits Professor Ivo in Belle Reve in order for him to tell them where T.O. Morrow is hiding out. In "Revelation" Injustice League members Poison Ivy, Black Adam, Atomic Skull, and Ultra-Humanite are imprisoned. In "Coldhearted", Count Vertigo is imprisoned after evidence surfaced of his attempts to have his niece Princess Perdita assassinated. When Batman and Flash visit Hugo Strange with the suspicion that the ice-based villains were behind the flying ice fortresses, Hugo Strange stated that the ice-based villains were in their jail cells the whole time. In "Insecurity" the real T.O. Morrow is revealed to incarcerated in Belle Reve.

Video Games

  • In Injustice 2, Belle Reve is mentioned by several characters such as Deadshot and Green Lantern John Stewart in certain pre-battle dialogue.

Film

  • Belle Reve appears in the post-end credits scene in Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, where Ocean Master is being locked away after he was defeated by the Justice League.
  • In the final act of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, prison guards with the Belle Reve patch on their uniforms are seen transporting Lex Luthor from holding in Metropolis. However, due to outside influence from Batman, it is implied Luthor will later be transferred to Arkham Asylum instead.
  • The prison was featured in the 2016 film Suicide Squad, with it first being shown in a production photo released of the team of antiheroes. Its full name is shown to be "Belle Reve Special Security Barracks", a CIA black site located in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. Its known inmates at the time are Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, El Diablo, and Killer Croc
  • Twenty One Pilots' song "Heathens" is set at the prison in its music video. This award-winning song shows a prisoner (played by Tyler Joseph) in the prison singing while effects go through the scenes. Throughout the song, clips of Suicide Squad are shown.

Other Locations

  • An earlier Belle Reve in media was as the name of the fictional DuBois' Laurel, Mississippi family plantation in A Streetcar Named Desire. It was sold off a little at a time until the remaining family member at the plantation, Blanche, recognized the family was now without means precipitating her to move in with her sister and brother-in-law – Stanley and Stella Kowalski.
  • In the dystopian 1955 science fiction novel Gladiator-At-Law, "Belle Reve" is the original name of a shoddily built suburb that has become populated by people living on government assistance, is run by gangs and is known by all as "Belly Rave".

See also

References

  1. ^ "Comic Book Database".
  2. ^ Green Lantern Rebirth #2 (January 2005)
  3. ^ Suicide Squad vol. 5, #1-20. DC Comics
  4. ^ a b Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #3 (August 2011)
A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire is a play written by Tennessee Williams that opened on Broadway on December 3, 1947. The play dramatises the life of Blanche DuBois, a southern belle who, after encountering a series of personal losses, leaves her aristocratic background seeking refuge with her sister and brother-in-law in a dilapidated New Orleans tenement.

A Streetcar Named Desire is Williams' most popular play, is considered among the finest plays of the 20th century, and is considered by many to be Williams' greatest work. It still ranks among his most performed plays, and has inspired many adaptations in other forms, notably producing a critically acclaimed film that was released in 1951.

Belle Reve Farm

Belle Reve Farm is a horse farm in Versailles, Kentucky, owned by actor William Shatner. It breeds American Saddlebred show horses.

Black Spider

Black Spider is the name of several fictional characters who are DC Comics supervillains. The first two were both primarily the enemies of Batman.

Brick (comics)

Brick (Daniel "Danny" Brickwell) is a DC Comics villain and enemy of Green Arrow. Although his origin has not been revealed, Brick is a metahuman with a reddish, stony skin that grants him invulnerability and super-strength. His success as an underworld kingpin is due to his brilliant criminal mind rather than his superhuman powers.

Vinnie Jones portrays Brickwell as a recurring character on The CW television series Arrow.

Donna Moore (horse trainer)

Donna Moore (1931-2014) was an American Saddlebred horse trainer. She trained horses for William Shatner at his Belle Reve Farm, and owned her own stables near Versailles, Kentucky.

Forever Evil

"Forever Evil" is a 2013–2014 crossover comic book storyline published by DC Comics that began in September 2013 and ended in May 2014, consisting of an eponymous, central miniseries written by Geoff Johns and art by David Finch. It is the first line wide crossover since The New 52 reboot of the DC Universe, and focuses on all the villains of the DC Universe. The miniseries spins out of the events in "Trinity War". Johns revealed in August 2013, that the Crime Syndicate, an evil version of the Justice League from Earth-3 in the Multiverse, are the true villains of the event and not the previously thought Secret Society. The event was originally scheduled to end in March with Forever Evil #7, yet ended in May 2014, after the final issue got delayed to April, and eventually again to May. The final issue's delay was due to Johns realizing he needed more pages to conclude the story than originally intended.

James Gordon Jr.

James Worthington "J.J." Gordon Jr. is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of the superhero Batman. Created by Frank Miller and Dave Mazzucchelli, the character first appeared in Batman #407 (May 1987).

He is the son of James Gordon and Barbara Eileen Gordon, and the adoptive brother (or biological brother, depending on the continuity) of Barbara Gordon, who later tries to bring James Gordon Jr. to justice as Batgirl.

Kanto (comics)

Kanto is a fictional extraterrestrial assassin published by DC Comics.

List of Suicide Squad members

The Suicide Squad's roster has always been one of reformed and/or incarcerated felons promised commuted sentences in return for participation in high-risk missions. The Squad's lineup has changed many times over the years, since its creation in 1959, and this list groups membership by the team's various eras and incarnations. Bolded names indicate current Suicide Squad members.

First appearance is the issue where the character first appeared as a member of a particular Suicide Squad incarnation. It is not necessarily the first appearance of the character in print, nor the story depicting how the character joined the Squad. The Squad was made up by five members.

List of Young Justice characters

The following list is of characters that appear in Young Justice.

Manhunters (DC Comics)

The Manhunters are a fictional race of extraterrestrial robots that appear in titles published by DC Comics.

Ocean Master

Ocean Master (Orm Marius) is a fictional supervillain and in some cases an antihero appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy, the character first appeared in Aquaman #29 (September 1966). He is an enemy of his half-brother Arthur Curry, otherwise known as Aquaman, and is commonly depicted as an adversary of the Justice League, the superhero team of which his brother is a founding member.

The character has been substantially adapted from the comics into various forms of media, including the Justice League cartoon television series, the animated movie Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, and several DC-related video games. Ocean Master made his live-action debut in the 2018 DC Extended Universe film Aquaman, portrayed by actor Patrick Wilson.

Professor Ivo

Professor Anthony Ivo (pronunciation: Eiy-voh) is a fictional character, a mad scientist in DC Comics.

Anthony Ivo appeared in the second season of Arrow played by Dylan Neal.

Professor Ojo

Professor Ojo is a DC Comics supervillain. His main enemies are Richard Dragon and Green Lantern. Ojo is the Spanish word for "eye".

Robert Crichton (comics)

Robert Crichton is a supporting character in various media based on DC Comics series. He is typically established as the warden of a prison or mental hospital.

Crichton appeared Warden of Gotham Prison in several episodes of the 1960s Batman series played by David Lewis. One such episode is "Fine Feathered Finks" (1966). Much like Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara, he was depicted as a well-intentioned official, if somewhat dependent on Batman.

Crichton was not seen in Batman: The Animated Series but a document seen in the episode Double Talk mentioned him as the warden of Arkham Asylum.

He has also been established in some adaptations as the warden of Belle Reve.

Warden Crichton appears in Batman '66 as the warden of Gotham Penitentiary. In contrast to the original depiction of the character, this version of Warden Crichton is an African-American woman.

Stanley Kowalski

Stanley Kowalski is a fictional character in Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire.

Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad is the name of a fictional supervillain team appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The first version of the Suicide Squad debuted in The Brave and the Bold #25 (September 1959) and the second and modern version, created by John Ostrander, debuted in Legends #3 (January 1987). One of the two teams saves the world from a threatening race of savages.

The modern incarnation of the Suicide Squad is Task Force X—a team of incarcerated supervillains who carry out secret missions in exchange for reduced prison sentences. The Suicide Squad's name alludes to the dangerous nature of their missions. The team is based out of Belle Reve Penitentiary under the directorship of Amanda Waller.

Various incarnations of the Suicide Squad have existed throughout the years as depicted in several self-titled comic book series, from its origins in the Silver Age, to its modern-day Post-Crisis reimagining, to the current version that was introduced in the 2016 DC Rebirth continuity reboot. The current incarnation of the team appears in the fifth volume of the Suicide Squad comic series, and the recurring members include Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Enchantress, Harley Quinn, Katana and Killer Croc.

The group has appeared in various adaptations, including television series and an eponymous 2016 feature film.

T. O. Morrow

T. O. Morrow is a comic book supervillain published by DC Comics. He is responsible for the creation of the Red Tornado, Red Inferno, Red Torpedo, Red Volcano and Tomorrow Woman androids, the last of these with the help of Professor Ivo.

Current members
Notable former members
Adversaries
Film
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