Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Suicide Squad #16 Review and **SPOILERS**

Lull Lex With Sex

Story: Rob Williams 
Pencils: Tony S. Daniel 
Inks: Sandu Florea 
Colors: Tomeu Morey 
Lettering: Pat Brosseau 
Cover: Daniel and Florea with Morey 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: April 26, 2017


New arc, new artist! That’s right, I said “artist!” As in one artist, no wacky back-ups or switcheroos here. So let’s not dally, shall we? Check out my review of Suicide Squad #16, right here!

Explain It!

After that nasty business with Amanda Waller almost bringing down the country’s infrastructure by manipulating Rustam into assassinating certain targets, she now can represent America’s interests once again in a strangely informal meeting with Lex Luthor at LexCorp. It’s a ruse, you see, to distract Lex while the Suicide Squad breaks into the vault beneath his skyscraper and retrieve…something important. Lex is disarming and coy as usual, offering Waller a wrapped gift before they have a circular conversation of implications and double entendres. All very calm and tickety-boo, while in the sub-basement is absolute chaos.
Now, some of this is ridiculous on the face of it. Enchantress is able to suppress any alarms or distress calls using some magic spell, and this is the real thing that’s keeping Lex in the dark about the pilfering of his drawers. Amanda Waller refusing a glass of wine is just more of her posturing and terrible ability to keep secrets. One thing we learn from their conversation is that Amanda stole General Zod from that Russian prison so he’d be useful in a forthcoming fight against the Annihilation Brigade, which is something I’d been wondering since about issue #6. And it means we are likely to see the Annihilation Brigade in the near future, which is fantastic news because we’ve only been teased thus far. But the real action is beneath LexCorp, where the Suicide Squad subdue guards, take out robots, and battle a couple dozen Bizarros with differing qualities like octopus legs and weirdly overgrown arms. Eventually, they trip the alarms.
And when they do, Lex suits up and greets his uninvited guests with the usual Lex Luthor smarm. He produces the gift-wrapped box Amanda Waller refused earlier, and shows everyone his intended present: some shards of Kryptonite. He seems to know everything going on Belle Reve and is happy to support Amanda in her crusade to subvert the wills of criminals to keep America safe. And so we find her back at the Louisiana prison at the end, directing some surgery on the captive General Zod: a kryptonite-laced brain bomb jammed into his brain! I don’t know why I got specific, it’s not like they perform a lot of other surgical operations there. “While we drop the brain bomb in, I’ll extract your wisdom teeth.” It would be a nice courtesy.
So this was a pretty fast read. A lot of it was just lovely, wanton destruction by the Suicide Squad while they trade quips and japes. And you know what? I enjoyed the heck out of it. This is what I’ve wanted to see: over-the-top action and Harley Quinn’s bumbling over the backdrop of Amanda Waller’s cruel bureaucratic sensibilities. God, I feel like we’ve been wallowing in these cramped, over-inked spaces for months now, and the crisp, expressive lines of Tony S. Daniel have washed away all that clunky ugliness. This is closer to the Suicide Squad book I want to read, and what this team could be: a bunch of loveable assholes that you root for despite their intense ineptitude and monumental personal issues. It’s like a microcosm of all our lives.

Bits and Pieces:

Will Amanda Waller and Lex Luthor cancel out each other's smug evasiveness? You'll have to read to find out, and you might enjoy what you find. I know you're going to dig the artwork and plotting, expertly handled (for once) by Tony S. Daniel. Feels like a Rebirth to me.


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