Owner: United States Government
Designation: Federal Penitentiary
First Appearance: Suicide Squad #1 (May 1987)
The Belle Reve Federal Penitentiary is a government funded prison facility used to contain metahuman criminals. Used as a prison and holding facility, the penitentiary is also used as the base of operations for Task Force X (aka the Suicide Squad).
Built on the estate of an old plantation, the penitentiary is located in the middle of swampland in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. It was chosen by Amanda Waller as the headquarters of Task Force X because of the high concentration of super humans who had very little to lose and everything to gain by participating in a program that could shorten their sentence, should they survive their missions.
Many of the prison staff double as the "Ground Crew" staff for Squad operations. The prison has been attacked numerous times, and has also withstood numerous governmental and civilian inquiries due to the questionable practice of housing a group of convicted criminals for use in dangerous missions.
During the Janus Directive incident, Belle Reeve was subject to a joint attack by Checkmate, the Atom Project and the Force of July.
One year after the Squad was shut down due to political pressure, the Squad was reestablished and operated out of the Institute of Metahuman Studies until it was shut down again.
Secretly restarting the Squad following the Infinite Crisis, Waller used the penitentiary to contain and send the country's supervillains to as part of the Operation: Salvation Run. When she was removed from Checkmate due to this Waller returned to Belle Reve, using the doubles of Multiplex (Danton Black) as staff until the Ground Force was reestablished.
Squad members use an underground subway tube to travel to the Yeager Airfield, where the Squad's aircraft and vehicle support crew are stored. After stealing Big Barda's Mega Rod, Lashina used the tube to transport herself and the Suicide Squad to Apokolips.
The penitentiary's chapel had been converted to serve as the Suicide Squad's mission control center.
Despite the penitentiary's defenses, Batman once infiltrated the prison following the Manhunter incident in an attempt to shut the Suicide Squad down. In another incident, Oracle hacked into the Squad's network to offer her assistance to the program.
Belle Reve was the site of a Mageddon-caused riot in which many guards and other prison staff members were killed, including the stand-in warden. 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 the riot. Most of it 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, one of the many portals to Hell opened near the prison. Plastic Man and some of the prisoners worked together in containing the situation.
For a moderate time, the prison was "haunted" by the "Mad Pieman"; an unknown assailant who would spontaneously hit people in the face with cream pies. While no-one knew or saw the "Pieman" during his attacks, it was later deduced by that the culprit was Captain Boomerang. Following this revelation, Amanda Waller personally dumped him from the team and abandoned him on an island near Australia.