|First appearance||Hitman #18 |
|Created by||Garth Ennis|
Steve Dillon (Dogwelder only)
Jean de Baton-Baton
Section 8 is a fictional comic book team of superheroes appearing in books published by DC Comics. Created by writer Garth Ennis and artists John McCrea and Steve Dillon, the team first appeared in Hitman #18 (September 1997). The team is named after the military designation for "mentally unfit for duty".
The team is based in The Cauldron, the Irish section of Gotham City, and is led by Sixpack. They apparently have some sort of heroic history (though this is questionable, owing to the fact that several of their members seem prone to complicated hallucinations) prior to the events of Hitman. The team is headquartered on an artificial island in a sewer. As of the start of the series, the team is split up, although they are all still located within Gotham City. Friendly Fire, Shakes, and Jean de Baton-Baton had retired; the Defenestrator was in Arkham Asylum after throwing a cop through the same window fourteen times; Dogwelder and Flemgem were still stalking the streets of Gotham; Sixpack was a regular at Noonan's Sleazy Bar, believing his drunken dreams of superhero work were real. 
The team reforms to provide critical support for Tommy Monaghan and his crew during the "Ace of Killers" storyline. Collectively, they kill many mafia soldiers that were trying to kill Tommy, Natt the Hat, Detective Tiegel and Catwoman. The group later aids Tommy during his encounter with the Czarnian mercenary anti-hero Lobo. Specifically, they aid Tommy in creating material blackmailing a stunned Lobo with the help of Bueno Excellente which prevents Lobo from taking revenge against any of them. Sixpack makes several solo appearances in Hitman as comic relief and an ally in some battles.
In their last appearance, the team was starting to split up again after Friendly Fire pointed out how pathetic they were and that all they did was meet once a month and achieve nothing. Sixpack is left distraught when Friendly Fire points out, in anger, that all his 'superhero' missions are just drunken dreams. However, when the demonic Multi-Angled Ones arose in Gotham, Section 8 rallied to fight them. Their attempt was completely unsuccessful: most of the team die or accidentally kill themselves. The Many-Angled Ones become interested in Sixpack when the flames from an explosion don't touch him, and when he tells them that he'd be willing to die standing against them because "that's what superheroes do". The demons are left amused and a deal is made where Sixpack will leave with them and try to battle against them for his own soul, in exchange for leaving Earth alone.
Sixpack has a statue built in a park in his honor of his sacrifice (a parody of the end of Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?), though he is shown still alive (and sane) in New York City at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, implying that his "battle for his soul" is facing his addiction to alcohol. Bueno Excellente survived the battle as well and avenges their loss on the scientist responsible for releasing the Many Angled Ones.
In June 2015, DC began publishing "All-Star Section Eight", by Ennis and McCrea.
When Sixpack has a near-death experience, the Phantom Stranger reveals that the dead members of Section Eight were sent to Limbo, with the exception of Dogwelder, who was apparently condemned to Hell because, "he welded dogs to people, for ******'s sake!"
Following Sixpack's accidental return to alcoholism, he assembles a new Section 8 to combat a mysterious (and possibly imagined) threat. Sixpack convinces Bueno Excellente to reenlist, brings in five new members, and attempts to fill the vacant eighth position with someone from the Justice League.