Written by: Sean Ryan
Art by: Phillipe Briones, Blond and Dave Sharp
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 18, 2015
If you thought that last month's cliffhanger showing Vic Sage hitting the "Heads Go Boom!" button and ending the run (and the lives) of the current Suicide Squad, then I have some swampland in Florida I can get you real cheap. However, I'm sure that Sean Ryan wasn't trying to make us think that DC's future plans for Harley Quinn and crew were doomed, but to show you what Vic really is...a dick! Things are going to come to a head between him and Amanda Waller and my guess is it will be sooner than later because unfortunately, Sean Ryan and Phillipe Briones will be leaving the book in January to make way for a new creative team. It's a real shame because they have been putting out one of the most underrated books that also has had some consistently good sales numbers to boot. That really sucks, but this issue doesn't. How good was it? Let's find out...
The issue picks up with Vic and Bonnie reacting to the old button pushing. Bonnie can't believe what just happened and Vic...well, Vic is being a dick. If it wasn't clear before, he will do whatever it takes to stop Amanda Waller, even if it involves killing a bunch of "innocent" bad guys.
We then cut to Amanda Waller who is walking through a full blown riot (like a bad ass) until she finds the very much alive Boomerang and tells him to get the very much alive Harley and meet her downtown. Yes, the Squad is very much alive including Deadshot and Parasite whom Waller goes to next. Parasite may be alive, but he is pretty much useless since absorbing too many powers last issue and Waller doesn't miss the opportunity to jab at Deadshot about his lame arm as well. Yes, Teamwork makes the dream work!
This opening shows why I have really enjoyed Sean Ryan's run on this book. He doesn't treat the Squad as a one dimensional wrecking ball of craziness, he has put in some solid work with these characters so when Harley tells Boomerang, "But I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing", it's both funny and bittersweet. That continues when they all get together downtown.
Waller has gathered them in an old church to tell them Vic Sage is a traitor (check), they have gone dark (check) and their neck bombs have been deactivated (BIG CHECK). I am not sure what Waller expected Harley, Deadshot and Boomerang to do once they found out this little nugget, but she must have a very odd sense of how she has been treating them since they "joined" the team. Would it shock you if I told you the three of them attack Waller? I didn't think so.
After a brief peek at Vic Sage that confirms he is indeed a traitor (again, not a shock), it's back to the Squad beating the crap out of Waller. Actually, they are trying to beat the crap out of her, but Waller is doing most of the beating and it's not just physical. She makes fun of Boomerang while punching him in the face, gives Harley a free psych evaluation while hitting her with a floor candelabra and even continues making fun of Deadshot even when he gets the upper hand. I know everyone in this book hates Amanda Waller, but I love her!
The issue ends with Amanda Waller "convincing" the Squad to not only spare her life, but to follow her into battle against Sage and then we see Vic start his own recruitment drive. The first member of Team Sage is again, not a big surprise, but it still is great.
I really can't say enough about Sean Ryan's New Suicide Squad. It's fun, smart and action packed and if you don't believe me, read this issue. Sure, there is a lot of setup here, but if you've been reading up until now, there is also a lot of great character moments. Plus, the setup of a showdown between Team Waller and Team Sage is so good.
Phillipe Briones' art is so good as well. Every since jumping on this book he has been nailing it and it's not just the big explosions you'd expect for the Suicide Squad's adventures, but the facial expressions and body language he is able to portray. His art works so well with Ryan's character moments.
Bits and Pieces:
It's impossible to have "quiet moments" in a Suicide Squad book so Sean Ryan gives you some great character work amid a riot and a knock-down-drag-out fight and I loved it. There is going to be a showdown between Vic Sage and Amanda Waller and I can't wait to see it. Until then, I'll just keep telling everyone to check this book out before Ryan and artist Phillipe Briones leave and it's too late. Unless you get back issues or the Trade Paperback, but you know what I mean.