Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Suicide Squad #27 Review and **SPOILERS**

Wouldn’t It Be “Task Force IX?”

Story: Rob Williams
Pencils: Barnaby Bagenda
Inks: Jay Leisten
Backup Story Artist: Wilfredo Torres
Colors: Adriano Lucas
Lettering: Pat Brosseau
Cover Artist: Stjepan Sejic
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: October 11, 2017


You have to wonder how cockamamie Black Ops like the Suicide Squad were even pitched to clandestine government brass in the first place. “Okay, so we’re going to employ incredibly dangerous supervillains, but wait, get this: we’re also going to pack their heads with explosives.” Makes you think of those nutty CIA plans to assassinate Fidel Castro, like planting exploding cigars in his office and using a chemical to make all of his hair fall out (more of a character assassination, that one.) Someone has to type up a memo and some kind of presentation before these concepts get green-lit! And maybe we’ll see some of that paperwork about the beginnings of Task Force X in Suicide Squad #27, which I have reviewed for your convenience! 

Explain It! 

A curious side-effect of historical research is the belief that one is reviewing the records and habits of a more primitive person. Even looking back a hundred, or fifty years ago, we have the impression that we’re more enlightened, more advanced than our forebears—and so will never succumb to their same collective hubris and tendencies. Of course, further research proves that history is cyclical, not linear, and indeed we are not above the lying, cheating, and ripping one another off that sullies our perceptions of the past. Case in point: we know for an actual fact that the CIA conducted drug experiments on U.S. citizens in a program called MK ULTRA. It is a matter of record that the FBI’s Cointelpro campaign specifically targeted Black Rights groups with the intent to diffuse them. Yet many of us accept at face value that these agencies do not engage in the same or similar practices today; that they have learned from their misdeeds, now exposed to the light of day, and promise to engage in only moralistic covert operations from now on. History does not bear this out.
After an unexpected explosion on the moon and an incursion into Belle Reve by a very cool-looking 1950s spider robot with “ARGENT” inscribed on the side, Waller sends half of our Squad (Katana as field leader, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, and Killer Croc) into outer space to find out what all this hubbub is about, something not relished by Captain Boomerang and which always makes Killer Croc toss his cookies. Of course, Waller doesn’t mention that ARGENT was the original name of a splinter group of the original Task Force X, folks with super powers cajoled into government service just like our Suicide Squad. Well wouldja lookit that.
After Croc paints the inside of his space helmet with vomit and they jettison a smaller craft with which to cruise around the cosmos, they come upon a very old, dilapidated space station that, of course, must be investigated. Inside, a giant purple monster makes Boomerang soil himself, but is then made to evert to a more humanoid form by members of the original Suicide Squad: Rick Flag and Dr. Karin Grace! At that same moment, the rest of the squad (Deadshot, Enchantress, and El Diablo, to be specific) arrives at Area 51, since the spider robot had a map of the area in its hard drive or whatever. When they arrive, it’s a graveyard of airplanes…which may have one ghost. Also, Agent King Faraday is there, so that’s something.
I liked the possible double-entendre of using the government agency Argent as a red herring for the superhero half-alien Argent, if that’s indeed what has happened. It was a pleasant surprise to see that monstrous purple blob turn into something also recognizable as a character in the DCU…even if she doesn’t look the same way I remember last seeing her. The story is pretty solid, and there’s lots of opportunity for the character interactions that Rob Williams does so well. The backup story is two pages and reads more like an epilogue, so it doesn’t mess with the flow of anything. Nice issue. Not “knock my socks off” level, but pretty satisfying for what it is.

Bits and Pieces:

So you wanna know the secret history of the Suicide Squad, huh? Well, you won't find out what it is in this issue, but you'll get some tantalizing clues and the reveal of some classic characters from DC's world of covert agencies. Which, considering how many there are, could be any from a thousand people.


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