Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Suicide Squad: War Crimes Special #1 Review

MD 20/20

Written by: John Ostrander
Art by: Gus Vasquez and Carlos Rodriguez, Gabe Eltaeb and Nate Piekos
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: August 30, 2016

I am usually against any book that looks like a money grab and putting out a Suicide Squad one-shot this month certainly fits the bill.  However, if it looks like everyone involved is putting their best foot forward and at least giving it the old college try, I will give it the benefit of the doubt and at least look at it.  This is certainly the later and after looking for two seconds and seeing "Ostrander" on the cover, my whole attitude changed.  The writer who made the Suicide Squad famous coming back during "Annuals Week" to write an issue just turned it from a money grab to a "here, take my money" situation.  Really, whether it's good or bad has a little less significance, but I still have to review it, right?  Right?!?  Okay, I guess I do.  So, does the creator still have what it takes and is this Special worth throwing down a fin at the local comic book shop?  Let's find out...

The issue opens in New York City where the former Secretary of Defense, George Carmody, is kidnapped by Strikeforce Europa so he can stand trial for war crimes in the Netherlands.  Yea, it sounds ridiculous and it is, if you really sit down and think about it.  My suggestion is to leave your brain a bit in neutral and enjoy the cool Strikeforce team as Europe's awesome answer to the Suicide Squad.

Speaking of our favorite anti-heroes, we go to Belle Reve in time to see Amanda Waller filling the team in on the sitch.  The Squad is the usual suspects, except for Mad Dog, a bounty hunter who hunted the wrong bounty and got his ass locked up.  We have Harley, Deadshot, Boomerang, El Diablo and...Mad Dog.  I wonder who's going to lose his head???

The best part of the scene is the interaction with Mad Dog whose real name is revealed to be "Rex".  It's a Stripes like comedy bit and it really made me wish Rex's name was actually Francis.  Oh well, we do get some pretty funny moments from Harley and Boomerang before finding out the plan to get Carmody back.  Would it be cheesy to say that it's a suicide mission?  Okay, I won't say it then. totally is, though!

We jump right to the field and Harley and the gang take on Strikeforce Europa in a straight up, no frills fight.  While this is going on, we are shown that the real plan involves Deadshot and Rick Flag grabbing Carmody while the Squad runs distraction.  When Carmody is grabbed, the rest of the Squad hightails it from the fight.  I say the "rest of the Squad", but actually, one guy doesn't make it.  Can you guess who???  I'll give you a hint, it's not Deadshot!

Shit goes from crazy to crazier when Shado shows up and grabs Carmody for herself and takes off.  Shado?  Where the hell did she come from?!?  The Squad along with Strikeforce Europa are trying to get Carmody back in a fucked up version of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and I loved it.

After Harley hits Shado with her bat a whole bunch of times, the Squad has Carmody back and even he seems taken aback by the way everything is getting messed up.  After a "Oh Yeah, You Blend" moment with Harley, they all board a boat and head into a huge storm! They really can't catch a break!

The issue ends with the team delivering Carmody to Waller and getting a pat on the back for a job well done.  You don't believe that, right?  Good, it shows you've been paying attention. The issue actually ends in a brutal, messed up way that also makes complete sense in the grand scheme of things, especially in a Suicide Squad book.  Everything is reset (except for Mad Dog...pour one out for my homie) and the Squad gets a day off before heading back out yet again.

John Ostrander shows he still knows his stuff.  The mission, action and dialogue were really good and I even got a few chuckles as a bonus.  I really like Strikeforce Europa and hope they return again and hopefully Ostrander is with them.  All in all, this wasn't just a cash grab, it was a kick ass one shot that was the highlight of my Annuals Week.

The art team lead by Gus Vazquez and Carlos Rodriquez did a fine job as well.  Each page was filled with between 4-6 panels which allowed the action to flow naturally.  The art itself was mostly about the characters and Vazquez and Rodriguez make sure they all look great.

Bits and Pieces:

This was a fun little one-shot Suicide Squad story by the biggest name ever to write the book .  In the end, nothing and everything happens which is par for the course for the Squad.  One mission just leads to the next, but it was fun to ride along with John Ostrander as he takes another spin around the block.  He still has it and I hope DC let's us see more of it in the near future.


1 comment:

  1. Read this last due to it being ANOTHER Suicide Squad issue. And you are correct Mr. Jim, worth every penny. Don't read too much into this issue just have fun with it.