Saturday, September 3, 2016
Review: Suicide Squad:Special War Crimes #1
August 31, 2016
Suicide Squad Special: War Crimes #1
Writer: John Ostrander
Artists: Gus Vasquez & Carlos Rodriguez
Hey! Riding high on the heels of the popular movie, Suicide Squad, comes the Suicide Squad Special : War Crimes #1! A special one shot, 39 page double sized issue! Before we had the yearly multi-title crossover events that we all have come to know, all we had was the double sized annual. It was basically a one shot deal with the story told and wrapped up neatly by the end of the issue, just as War Crimes is here. If you follow the exploits of the Suicide Squad, you get to enjoy a double-sized adventure!
War Crimes deals with issues most of us have heard about from time to time , especially after the end of the second Gulf War. Blackwater, mercenaries, war profiteering and war crimes. The story begins with the kidnapping of just such a man, an ex-Secretary of Defense, right off of US soil by the super powered European group known as Strikeforce Europa. The reason?! To stand trial for war crimes in the Netherlands. It isn’t made clear what those crimes were, only that he orchestrated the war against the wrong people. Hence, the Suicide Squad is brought in to get him back! Harley, Deadshot, Boomerang, El Diablo , Flag and newcomer, Mad Dog (a former bounty hunter who tried to arrest the Suicide Squad in Suicide Squad #3) are debriefed on the mission and are introduced to Strikeforce Europa. It’s also not clear why the Netherlands would risk their relationship with the United States by kidnapping one of its citizens, but regardless, a plan is hatched for a covert retrieval. So, as one part of the Suicide Squad acts as a diversion and confront Strikeforce Europa, Flag and Deadshot kill the Dutch guards and rescue the target. In the ensuing escape, Mad Dog is killed by the detonation of his head-bomb.(Killing one of Strikeforce’s members as well.) The battle between the two groups is flat and unremarkable. The only shock is the death of Mad Dog, who had been around since the emergence of DC’s New 52.
The more interesting ninja warrior, Shado, out of the pages of Green Arrow, shows up to extract the Secretary by his organization, Black Mountain. Shado has played a main part in the lore of Green Arrow, since creator, Mike Grell’s run on the title and even in the tv show, Arrow, but here, sadly, she is just a bit player. Even her battle with Harley Quinn (which could’ve been great to see!) is omitted, instead only referred to afterwards by the Secretary as he says, “She wouldn’t stop hitting the ninja with the bat.” Boooo! Boo! The story concludes after a lengthy chase and the Suicide Squad narrowly escapes from the Dutch police and Strikeforce Europa. All is for naught, however, as Amanda Waller guns down the Secretary in the name of national security once they return to US soil.
The verdict: For me, the story was unimaginative and predictable, not clear in a lot of the important areas that needed further explanation. It left me with some questions to say the least. The artwork is OK but the Netherlands appeared deserted and void of people throughout the tale. All in all, a so-so book that seemed crammed in spite of its extended size, but enjoyable if you are a die-hard Suicide Squad fan.