Why Suicide Squad's Prison Is Called Belle Reve | Screen Rant

Belle Reve is a maximum-security prison used to house supervillains in the DC Universe, traditionally acting as Amanda Waller's recruitment pool for the Suicide Squad. Belle Reve has largely replaced Arkham Asylum in the pages of DC Comics as the primary facility to send super-criminals, and has at times held such heavy hitters as the Joker, Lex Luthor, Enchantress, Ocean Master, and other extremely powerful DC villains. Overseen by Amanda Waller, Belle Reve is also the home of Task Force X, otherwise knows as the Suicide Squad. As most DC fans are aware, the prison is used to assemble black ops teams for near-impossible missions. These missions have a high mortality rate and are often morally dubious in nature.

Belle Reve first appeared in the pages of 1987's Suicide Squad #1 by John Ostrander and Luke McDonnell. The prison is located in Louisiana and was at one time a plantation owned by Isaiah DuBois, which was sold after his death due to the financial hardship of his heirs. If this sounds familiar, it's because it bears more than a passing resemblance to a major plot point in A Streetcar Named Desire.

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In the renowned 1947 Tennessee Williams play, and the Oscar-winning 1951 movie starring Marlon Brando, Belle Reve is a plantation owned by the DuBois family until Blanche loses it in foreclosure after her father's death. The name Belle Reve translates to "Beautiful Dream," which in A Streetcar Named Desire represents the DuBois family's flawed dream of the Antebellum South. Belle Reve is a memory seen through rose-colored glasses, beautiful on the surface, but built on unacknowledged pain and suffering. At one time opulent, but now lost to decay and hardship, Belle Reve is a beautiful dream masking an ugly truth - a truth that is ignored because the fantasy is easier and less painful to believe. This analogy of the flawed dream strikes at the heart of John Ostrander's original run on Suicide Squad.

The original Suicide Squad never shied away from politics, and the naming of Belle Reve is only one of the subtle comments on American society that was made in its run. An apparently above-board institute, Belle Reve is something far darker just beneath the surface, taking lethal advantage of those with little to no choice in the matter. One of the hallmarks of Suicide Squad as a series is to point out the disturbing truth about superheroes, the world, and the government. Task Force X is originally used by ARGUS to mold the world into how the US Government believes it should exist, oftentimes engaging in assassinations and tampering with other countries' governing bodies.

As in A Streetcar Named Desire, DC's Belle Reve is a fantasy built on pain, suffering, and death. While ARGUS and Amanda Waller engage in the "Beautiful Dream" of saving the world, they are not just blind to the fact that many of their missions actually just cause more harm and chaos, but willing to overlook the suffering and immorality right at the core of their pet project. Belle Reve is a cover for the Suicide Squad's true reach and purpose, but it's also the site of incredible pain and suffering carried out in the name of empowering America, hence the blatant reference to the ideas present in A Streetcar Named Desire.

More: DC Pokes Fun At Suicide Squad's Enchantress Movie Costume



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