So, Amanda Waller wins the War For Earth 3. She sends the Suicide Squad back home to Earth 0 while vanishing from view with her new ‘Justice League’. And what happens the minute they get back to their Belle Reve prison HQ?
Apparently, Waller divorcing herself from the Task Force X project means everyone else is excess to requirements. Who knew the US Government was as brutal as The Wall?
But, despite this being the Suicide Squad, nobody dies. Rick Flagg Jr winds up injured in hospital but, one way or another, everyone else escapes – I’m guessing Mirror Master and Ambush Bug’s teleportation gimmicks. Oh, and Culebra is already dead, although she’s still around as a ghost and displaying Deadman powers. And Talon died on Earth 3, also turned phantom and faded out just before the jail was junked.
Time marches on. It’s six weeks since Task Force X was rather messily taken off the books, and Flagg is up to no good. Or perhaps good. He has Peacemaker and Ambush Bug doing a spot of Superboy clone-napping…
… Boffin Rodriguez testing her new sand-shifting powers on a surveillance mission…
…Mirror Master and Culebra annoying a scion of Intergang…
…and Bloodsport trying to work out Waller’s endgame, while being distracting by a bunch of alt-universe brothers.
It’s all a lot of fun, but if Flagg has a master plan here, it’s not shared with us. Well, there is a line about him needing funding, so maybe he wanted to ransom Superboy clones, for example. A bit more clarity wouldn’t have gone amiss. My only other complaint is that Talon has gone and we never did learn who this undercover agent was under the mask. Still, the action is big and stupid, the character interactions are a good laugh – Peacemaker now fully lines up with his screen character – and the final page promises a cracking finale to the series next month. It’s a shame the book is ending because writer Dennis Hopeless (didn’t he go back to his real surname, Hallum?), in his first solo outing, brings real verve to proceedings.
As ever, we don’t get a single artist, but the book doesn’t suffer from having the assignment shared between the penciller/inker team of Eduardo Pansica/Julio Ferreira, and solo stalwart Dexter Soy. The cast members look powerful and pained by turns, and there’s a palpable sense of danger throughout. My favourite panel shows Rodriguez really growing into her power, but it’s a good-looking issue all round.
Jeremiah Skipper and Pete Pantazis hit the right note with their colours, while Wes Abbott makes some good lettering choices. The cover by Pansica, Ferreira and colourist Marcelo Maiolo is fun, though it’s more like a filler pin-up for a War For Earth 3 collection – several of the characters shown have left the series – than an image suited to this issue.
If DC plans to relaunch Suicide Squad soon, I hope they keep Hopeless – his Avengers Arena run showed how great he is at handling intrigue among damaged souls – and if that doesn’t shout Suicide Squad, I don’t know what does.