SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Suicide Squad #47, by Rob Williams, Philippe Briones, Gabe Eltaeb and Pat Brosseau, on sale now.
Death in comics is something of a revolving door, with very few exceptions to the rule. Whether it’s weeks, months or even years later, characters that are killed off in the pages of a comic book are practically destined to return to the land of the living in some way, shape or form.
Nevertheless, when a character has been dead for the better part of a decade, it still comes as somewhat of a surprise when they pop back up, and in Suicide Squad #47, Digger Harnkness, aka Captain Boomerang, gets the surprise of his life.
Rather than a standard team story, this done-in-one issue focuses solely on Boomerang, who’s granted a 24-hour release from Belle Reve to assist the Australian Secret Service in taking down a criminal called the Bunyip. His mission leads him to Tasmania, where he encounters a woman named Para Dice, and while the pair makes quick work of the attendees of an arms dealer convention, they’re soon separated.
Not for long, though.
After tracking the Bunyip to the “crummy little outback town” where he grew up, Boomerang is shocked to find Para Dice waiting there to greet him. However, what’s even more shocking is that not only is she working with the Bunyip but that the Bunyip is none other than Boomerang’s son Owen Mercer, aka Captain Boomerang, Jr.
Mercer was first introduced in 2004’s Identity Crisis #3, by Brad Meltzer and Rags Morales, where it was revealed that he was the estranged son of Boomerang and Meloni Thawne, the latter of whom was a descendant of Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash. As such, Mercer inherited both his father’s boomerang-throwing prowess and, thanks to his Thawne lineage, the ability to move in short bursts of superhuman speed.
When Digger was killed by Tim Drake’s father, Mercer took up the mantle of Captain Boomerang and served brief stints with both the Rogues and the Suicide Squad. However, in 2010’s Blackest Night: Flash #3, by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins, Mercer died after his heart was ripped out by the reanimated corpse of Digger. Despite being reanimated himself, thanks to a Black Lantern ring, he and his father were both encased in ice by Captain Cold.
Oddly enough, while the Owen Mercer we see in this issue is well aware that Captain Boomerang is his father, the knowledge isn’t reciprocal. In fact, Boomerang seems to have no recollection whatsoever of his son, which is peculiar when you consider how much of the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe has been creeping back into continuity since Rebirth.
That could change in the near future, though; the issue ends with Boomerang saving his son and Para Dice from an explosion, which means this most likely isn’t the last we’ve seen of Owen Mercer.