Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Suicide Squad #21 Review and **SPOILERS**


Be My Nihilist

Story: Rob Williams 
Art: Gus Vazquez 
Color: Adriano Lucas 
Lettering: Pat Brosseau 
Cover: Eddy Barrows & Eber Ferreira & Adriano Lucas 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: July 12, 2017


Now that Harley Quinn is in charge, do you think she’ll make them all dress like her? Maybe in crop tops and Daisy Duke cutoff jeans? I suppose this might be okay for Deadshot or Enchantress, but something tells me I don’t want to see what’s happening under Captain Boomerang’s coat. Brrr. Let’s see how Harley is doing in her new role by reading my review of Suicide Squad #21! Right here!

Explain It!

Now that Harley Quinn has become the John Bender of that murderous Breakfast Club known as Task Force X, it’s time for her to lead her first mission—a full-on extermination of that terrorist/freedom fighting organization the People, in snowy Bulgaria! They do so using a hijacked commercial airliner, but when the plane is hit by a missile, Enchantress turns it into a fire-breathing dragon that lays waste to the soldiers below. And it’s pretty goddamned spectacular, I mean if Enchantress is going to start turning planes into dragons and city buses into packs of gorillas, then she’s going to take the spot formerly occupied by John Constantine on my list of Favorite DC Magicians. While Enchantress revels in her destruction of humanity, Harley is all business, ordering the Squad to press on and keep up the steady murderin’.

At just this moment, Amanda Waller is appearing before Congress to explain her connection to Task Force X. Which is, she says under oath, nothing at all. She’s just a civilian advisor to the Department of Defense, not a cold, calculating manipulator of incarcerated supervillains that are forced to perform Black Ops. All the while, she considers how she will never see her family again, in part because she alienated them with her crazy manipulation of supervillains several issues ago. She’s even advised by covert earpiece that her daughter had a child—Amanda Waller’s grandchild—that she cannot ever meet. I’d feel a lot more sympathetic if Waller wasn’t a huge bitch to everyone most of the time.

Back in Bulgaria, Enchantress’ dragon is still destroying everything, until Cosmonut knocks her out with a solid headbutt. He’s fighting for the People now, specifically Direktor Karla, who took him in when he was just a lil ballpeen hammer. Why they brought him over from Belle Reve in the first place, I’m not sure, but Harley stops his headbutting rampage by kicking him in the, uh, head and then…oh god. She just hammers this poor bastard to paste. The Squad enters the People’s compound, where they find a time bomb, because of course there’s a time bomb. As Waller heads back to Louisana from Washington, D.C.—and her plane is hijacked by a member of the Annihiliation Brigade!—nihilistic Harley watches the clock countdown to two seconds, all prepared to meet her maker. Which is probably whoever made up the Hot Topic retail chain, come to think of it.

Boy, this is one heck of a comic. It pretty much had me the moment the Enchantress turned a plane into a dragon. Like, if her only power was to turn airplanes into dragons, that would be enough for me. But I also loved all the characterization, from Captain Boomerang’s treasonous tomfoolery to Killer Croc’s curiously touching feelings for the Enchantress. I thought Amanda Waller’s bit in this story was also pretty revealing, about her and about Task Force X in general. This is where I’d hoped the comic would be all along: ludicrous, over-the-top action combined with sarcastic commentary and loads of silliness. I hope Cosmonut can pull it together soon, though. I have a miniseries planned for him in my head.

Bits and Pieces:

Now that Harley Quinn is the field commander for the Suicide Squad, everything goes completely smoothly with no issues or conflicts whatsoever. NOT! Man, I still get 'em with "not!" The old gags are still the best. No, but seriously the very idea is insane, and so is this issue. In the fun way, not in the "make me think about my own fragility" way.


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