Heading into the end of its second year and having a supernatural superhero story behind them, issues 17 and 18 of Suicide Squad see the rturn of The Jihad, the “all-terrorist” group that is sort of the anti-squad, or this book’s version of The Fearsome Five.
It’s a … well, I don’t want to say problematic concept because these comics were produced 30 years ago when terrorists tended to be of the “Jihad” persuasion and to Ostrander and McDonnell’s credit, they don’t make this as comically stereotypical as True Lies would. But this story of the group attacking New York City by literally inducing terror and then the Squad having to take them on is probably the most dated of the stories that I’ve read so far.
It’s a great take on what is essentially a classic superhero vs. supervillain team storyline. The villains arrive and begin some sort of terror campaign before the heroes finally go in and take them down. The first issue sets this up nicely and the payoff in the second is also very good. As has been the case in this book since the beginning, Luke McDonnell’s artwork is perfectly suited for this type of book. He manages the quick cuts between the various action scenes while also allowing the reader to be able to follow the story and give the character moments that Ostrander is putting into an issue-long fistfight the attention they deserve.
Speaking of character moments, issue #19 is the second “Personal Files”, which I hope is a truly annual occurrence (I haven’t looked or read ahead) because I enjoyed both the breather of downtime after a big action story and the consequences of recent events. And it’s a great way to build up Amanda Waller as the person pulling the strings both with the Squad and with the bureaucrats and Congressmen who are out to manipulate her or shut the Squad down. We also get Nightshade dealing with the events of her storyline from the past year, talking to a priest about how she literally has a demon inside of her, and we also have an interlude where Waller tries to get the character Duchess to admit that she is one of Darkseid’s female furies.
I feel, as I write this, that I’m not doing these books justice, mainly because this series is becoming must-read and must-recommend for me. But in the very least, these first two years (and I’m about to come up on the first annual) have been some outstanding comics.
Keep, Sell, Donate, or Trash?