Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Suicide Squad #1-#2

Well, after a long break, I'm back into this whole "talking about comics" gig. This time is a little different though. Instead of talking about a certain GN, I will be talking about certain single issues in this segment called " The _______!" I don't know what I want to put in that blank yet, but I'll find a name for it.I'm either going to go with "Singles", "Floppies", or even better, "tales from the 50 cent bin"...nah!

Today's two issues are Suicide Squad #1-#2.  As you can tell by the top images, this is John Ostrander's version, not the new version with Amanda Waller on WeightWatchers. This is old-school, and this is pretty awesome. Now the team was formed (or re-formed if you have never read Secret Origins #14) by Amanda Waller. The goal was to have villains working for the government to do jobs that are too risky. If they survive, they get time served and let go. Some members like Bronze Tiger, Rick Flag, and Enchantress aren't villains, but they have their own reason to be on the team. So let's get to it and see the Suicide Squad take on the Jihad...not kidding.

Suicide Squad #1 and #2
Writer: John Ostrander
Artist: Luke McDonnell
Inker: Karl Kesel

Issue One: Trial By Blood
We start out American airport is attacked by a bunch of terrorists. No joke. "Danny Trejo with a Flattop" and "Dr. Strange with a Tan" look to be doing something shady until DTF lets the operation commence. A black portal opens and out comes a Rambo look-alike and a Sabertooth look-alike.The two start to maim and kill folk. A woman in a mask comes out of the portal and tells DTF to come with her and DTF runs into the portal. Another attacker then joins the fray: a ghost-like Sagat?... Look, I'll reveal their names soon. Just look at these dudes and you'll see what I see. Doc Strange then kills a mayor and his guards, and DTF is teleported outside where he uses a flame-sword (kinda cool).... to destroy Air Force One....... yes, that just happened. The lady comes back to teleport the attackers out of there.

That was some messed up stuff. What we find out in a minute makes it still messed up. It turns out that this was all but a test (a real live test using actors) for this "jihad" to show their killing skills. 3 men show up and walk through the wreckage. Marlo, the president of Qurac (yep) aka Mr. A-Hole, a curly-haired man called the General, and Mushtaq aka Mr. Whitey, talk about how the team will do well against America.

We then gratefully cut to Belle Reve Federal Prison in Louisiana where reporter Vicki Vale is trying to figure out what the prison is for. It's apparently a prison for super-powered villains. As the guy over some of the prison gets her to leave, we cut to Amanda Waller (aka "The Wall" or "The (Insert word here)") talking to the SS's  residential psychologists to see if the team is mentally fit for the mission. This is where we get introduced (or re-introduced if you never read Legends) to the team:
  • Co. Rick Flag - the leader. He led the team before and his father was also the leader for the team back in the day.
  • Bronze Tiger -  aka BT. A guy who was brainwashed by the League of Assassins and is trying to make up for what he's done as well as trying to get his memories back. The BMS of the team.
  • Deadshot - an assassin who has done his time on the team, but stays for some reason. Oh yeah, he's probably suicidal.
  • June Moon aka Enchantress - Think Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix and you get this girl. She's here to get help with her other side.
  • Captain Boomerang - The..."Guy Gardner" of the group. On the team indefinitely (and against his will) because of his actions in Legends.
  • Plastique and Mindboggler - Two characters who may or may not be around in these next two issues.
Everything is explained about how everything works. Waller then briefs them on what happened in Qurac. She got the info from some undercover operatives who are with the Jihad. This where we also get the names of the terrorists:
  • Rustan - aka DTF. The leader of the Jihad.
  • Ravan - aka "Doctor Strange with a Tan". An assassin.
  • Djinn -  aka "Ghost Sagat". The world's first digitized man (don't know how that works).
  • Jaculi - aka "Rambo Look-alike". A speedster with a javelin.
  • Chimera - the woman who creates portals.
  • Manticore - aka Sabertooth- Look-alike". A genetically altered man in a battle suit.
  • Marlos - aka "A-Hole". Funds the Jihad.
  • Mushtaq - aka "Mr. Whitey". Secures the Jihad.
Now you see what i saw at first glance!

She then tells them their mission: Take out the Jihad before they attack the US.  As they head to the hanger Captain Bommerang shows why he the team's "Guy Gardner" by messing with Plastique, ticking off Mindboggler, and almost getting into a fight with BT. Rick also runs into an old flame named Karin. We also get introduced to Briscoe, the team's mechanic. The Squad then heads out to kick some terrorist butt.

Issue 2: Trial by Blood
We start out with the Squad landing in Qurac.  As the team start to plan, Chimera shows up. It's revealed that Chimera  is actually Nightshade and she is the undercover agent who told Waller about the test. She's also peeved at Rick for not getting her out of there sooner. Now that everyone is here, planning commences. Deadshot will take on Manticore, BT will take on Ravan, Boomerang will take on Jaculi, June will take on Djinn, and Rick will take on Rastan. Nightshade will stick with Flag and teleport everyone to where they need to be at. Plastique and Mindboggler will provide support.
Deadshot: 4 stories, eh? Make it 8.

Nightshade teleports everyone where they need to be and the operation begins. Deadshot takes on Manticore, and has to take him out permanently, Boomerang takes on Jaculi straight up kills the wanna-be Flash. BT takes on Ravan, and he takes the guy pretty quickly. Dang. He doesn't kill him though. Plastique doesn't follow through with her orders and goes to Mushtaq's quarters. She finds "Mr. Whitey" there and tells him that the base is under attack and that she wants to join the terrorist group. Fortunately, she and the reader is in for a surprise when we find out that Mushtaq is actually Nemesis (Oh...wait, Who?), the other undercover agent for Waller, in disguise.

Plastique distracts him and runs off. She warns Marlo and the alarms go off. Nemesis ends up subduing Plastique and knocking her out.  Rick ends up fighting Rustan and beating him up. June transforms into Enchantress and takes on Djinn. She beats him but is weakened and BT has to come save her. Mindboggler uses her powers to mess with the guards at the base as all of this stuff is going on. She ends up being the one person that dies on the mission. Boomerang could have saved her, but because of that bug up his butt he doesn't and then leaves to regroup with the team in the hanger. When their ride comes, they leave with the job accomplished.
 "KRAAAAK!" doesn't sound good.

... ... ... ... ... ... .. .

And that's the end of this two part arc. Is it good?.....Did Michael Jackson create the greatest album of all time? Yes and yes. This was some good reading. I really don't have any complaints for these two issues. The story, art, layouts, inks, and colors were good. I see why a lot of older fans have said that this book in general was a good one. It's different from the norm, and since it's using other different characters, you can play around more with their development and what not. The villains for this story were interesting. The opening scene involving the airport was kinda disturbing, especially living in this post 9/11 period.  We get introduced to the Squad and the many different personalities on the team. We even have a couple of shocking twists in that second issue. So, do I recommend these issues? Yeah, I do. If you're looking for something that isn't the superhero norm, then this is for you. I may even look for the rest of this 66 issue run, so you're gonna see some of this on here.


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