How Peacemaker’s The White Dragon Was Killed in DC Comics

Today, learn how one of the main villains in peacemakerWhite Dragon, was killed in the DC Comics, where he had a connection to a whole other member of the Suicide Squad.

This is a feature called “Written in the Book.” It is basically the reverse of another feature of mine called “Follow the Path,” where I spotlight changes made to comic book characters that are based on outside media, as well as characters who entirely came from outside media. Nowadays, there are so many comic book films and TV series out there that we can spotlight examples of TV and film adapting specific and less famous comic book stories to other media (so no “Spider-Man lifts up debris” or stuff like that) .


This time, we’ll look at White Dragon, who was adapted into the peacemaker TV series on HBO Max as Peacemaker’s father, August Smith…


Robert Patrick Auggie Smith Peacemaker White Dragon

and how he was killed in the DC Universe.

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HOW DID THE WHITE DRAGGON DEBUT?

William Heller, the future White Dragon, was introduced in suicide squad #4 (by John Ostrander, Luke McDonnell and Bob Lewis) as the seemingly heroic William Hell, who we see in action with his crossbow, apprehending a group of robbers. The robbers were a mixture of Black and White criminals, but the shocking thing is that Hell then tells the White guys to run away and head to an Aryan Empire recruiting house and then arrests just the Black crooks…



He then gives all of these interviews as the new hero of the area, while obviously barely even secretly talking about racist stuff…


As it turns out, Floyd Lawton (Deadshot) was a friend of William Heller growing up, but Heller’s parents were then killed in a race riot and Heller became a hardcore racist ever since. Interestingly, the whole “villain pretending to be a hero” shtick that Heller was doing as William Hell is precisely how Deadshot was introduced (he pretended to be a new superhero).

The Squad wants to take Heller down, but they can’t just kill him, as that would just make him a martyr. Instead, they come up with a very complicated plan. First, Hell shows up at the Aryan Empire to give a speech, but he is interrupted by…the REAL William Hell?!?!



Captain Boomerang, who had been recruited by Hell after stopping a crime by Boomerang and a Black supervillain (secretly Bronze Tiger in disguise), suggests that he and the impostor have a competition to see who is the better shot and therefore the REAL Hell.. ..


The one Hell hits the apple on Boomer’s head, but the other Hell MISSES! He is then, obviously, considered to be the impostor….


The “real” Hell claims that his name was stolen and abused by the Aryan Empire. And then one of Hell’s men kills the “real” Hell, making it all a disaster…


Of course, the “real” Hell was actually Deadshot in disguise, whose death was faked. The Squad had used the powers of Chronos (guest star in the issue) to adjust time and make Heller’s shot miss, making Deadshot appear to be the winner (Deadshot might have beaten him anyways, but we’ll never know).


Hell/Heller was disgraced.

A few years later, in suicide squad #41 (by John Ostrander, Kim Yale and Geof Isherwood), Heller hires Deadshot to kill Amanda Waller…


Waller, then, in suicide squad #43, offers him a dollar more to work for her and he agrees. She then orders him to shoot Heller, instead.


He shows up at Heller’s headquarters as Batman (who was working with the Squad) showed up to arrest Heller, but Batman can’t keep Deadshot from shooting Heller…


Of course, Waller didn’t say to KILL Heller, just SHOOT him, so Deadshot made sure to non-fatally wound him…


Okay, so that was it for Heller for almost two decades, but then in 2007’s Justice Society of America #2 (by Geoff Johns, Dale Eaglesham and Ruy Jose), Heller was now going by the name White Dragon as he attacked a Heywood family reunion with a bunch of Nazi and Neo-Nazi villains…



At the time, he actually rode a dragon somehow, along with his fancy armor. Power Girl took care of him in Justice Society of America #4…


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HOW WAS THE WHITE DRAGON KILLED IN THE COMICS?

The next year, White Dragon became a member of the Suicide Squad in Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #4 (by John Ostrander, Javier Pina and Robin Riggs)….


He was still a racist piece of trash…


But at least we got to see Amanda Waller shock him with electricity…


In the next issue, he was recruited by Wade Eiling to betray the Squad…


The betrayal occurred in the seventh issue of the series, but one of the Squad members, Twister (who had come from the Church of Baron Blood), used her powers to mess with White Dragon’s mind…


Eventually, Twister’s powers were distracted, allowing White Dragon to free his mind and then he uses his armor to kill her in cold blood….


This freaked Plastique out, to see him murder Twister in cold blood like that, so she decided to end White Dragon’s life. She used her explosive powers on him, but he seemed like he was able to fight off her attack from her …


But then she snuck her fingers into the eye holes of his mask and blew him up….


Plastique was a fascinating character. She was a Quebec separationist who eventually actually married Captain Atom before divorcing and ending up on the Squad. Anyway, that was a great way to see that racist loser die.

Now you can see how it compares to the peacemaker TV series whenever you get the chance!

If you have any suggestions for future Written in the Book installations, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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