Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Suicide Squad #17 Review and **SPOILERS**

Kneel Before Squad

Story: Rob Williams 
Penciller: Tony S. Daniel 
Inkers: Sandu Florea & Le Beau Underwood 
Colors: Tomeu Morey 
Lettering: Pat Brosseau 
Cover: Daniel and Florea 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: May 10, 2017


Last issue was a real breath of fresh air to me, after being mired in that Justice League crossover, followed by some virtually incomprehensible fluff that looked like it was drawn in the dark. That mess is behind us, and if the solicits are something to go by then we’ll be dealing with Russia’s Annihilation Brigade in this issue! So let’s not dilly-dally! Read my review of Suicide Squad #17, right here!

Explain It!

Okay, so now that General Zod has a Kryptonite-laced bomb implanted in his skull, it’s (finally) time to face the Annihilation Brigade head-on! And I couldn’t be more in love with how the action begins: a two-page title spread of the whole team hurtling through the air, faces contorted in gleeful screams (excepting obvious members), screaming epithets before plowing into the side of a Russian glacier. See, to face the Brigade, they have to go back to the crazy Russkie meta-prison that they sprung him from in the first place. At least he has the proper motivation to wreck shop, while he does. Back at Belle Reve, Harcourt notices that Captain Boomerang isn’t with the team, and Waller tells her that he’s on another assignment…one she did not tell Harcourt about. And why should she? Amanda’s in charge of the team, she doesn’t need to clear shit with Harcourt. Why the hell is she still around anyway? Didn’t Waller make her look like an idiot last issue? Ultimately, it’s revealed that Harcourt is a double-agent for super secret organization the People, but let’s get back to our buds in the A. Brigade, okay?
First, it’s Zod versus Tunguska, basically a nuclear meltdown in a containment suit. Zod does the only sensible thing for a crazed Kryptonian: cracks the suit. That puts Tunguska out of commission as he prepares to detonate. Next, Cosmonut bursts onto the scene and hammers Zod in the face with his hammer-shaped head. That’s about all he can do, I expect, but it’s definitely enough for me. I see a solo series where he defects to America and tries to assimilate with normal society by renting an apartment and holding down a modest job at a florist’s shop. Just imagine the fun when it’s time to hang pictures around the place! Next, we have Tankograd, a guy with tank armor that peals off bullets from a rotating gun barrel in his chest. Croc can withstand the constant barrage of bullets, which I found a little surprising, but Katana nullifies his threat with a snikt to the medulla oblongata. While Tunguska is still bitching and moaning about his imminent explosion, Harley and Deadshot happen upon the other prisoners here. They’re all pleading for release, which isn’t that strange, but further explain that it’s because they’ve had bombs implanted in their brains, which is more strange. Before they can exchange complaints that only people with brain bombs in their heads would know, Tunguska goes supernova, so Rick Flag directs Enchantress to teleport them away. He’s able to round up the rest of the team in the nick of time, plus Cosmonut, which only strengthens my hope for a Cosmonut solo book. Come one. Even a one-shot.
Back in Louisiana, Harcourt kills four employees to get access to a special server that allows her to engage Belle Reve’s self-destruct sequence, because that’s a normal thing prisons have. Seems her feeling is that if she can’t run the Squad, no one can, and makes off for a pre-planned helicopter escape on the roof. There, she’s confronted by Amanda Waller. Harcourt tries to shoot her point blank, but her gun is empty—and of course the entire thing was arranged by Amanda Waller from the very beginning. Of course! Amanda could have a booger dangling from her nose, she would say it was all part of a grand scheme. When Harcourt pistol whips Amanda, Boomerang steps in and sends a sharp one right into her cranium—before Harcourt can reveal that he was the one who killed Hack! Which I’m sure Waller knows already. Shit, what doesn’t she know? She can just look at you and tell what you’ve had for breakfast. Every day that month.
I am so, so glad that this book has one artist, one complete story, and that the art looks absolutely spectacular. This feels like the Suicide Squad Rebirth we should have had all along: off-the-wall, action-packed stories full of quips, and with light sexual innuendo peppered among the limb-snapping and face-melting. The individual characterizations are spot-on, but that’s never been a problem with Williams’ writing. The problem has been the fragmented, scattershot story telling and subpar artwork. Those problems are gone now, and it’s safe to come back in the water. Figuratively speaking, of course. I mean, the water is full of the Suicide Squad, so it’s categorically not safe to dive in. But you can certainly read their adventures in comfort and security, if so inclined.

Bits and Pieces:

If you want to read about a capable paramilitary strike force execute a well-planned mission with exacting precision, well this won't help you. But if you want to read about a bunch of dangerous dopes that fight a guy with a claw hammer for a hear, then you've found your comic book! I had a good time reading this, and Tony Daniel's artwork is as dynamic and bold as expected. The boys are back in town! And the girls, the girls are back, too.


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