It’s time to head back to the frontlines and see how everyone’s favorite squad is doing. Last issue, we had the Suicide Squad split up to cover different fronts when an Argent robot tries to kill Amanda Waller. Harley Quinn, Katana, Killer Croc and Boomerang are sent to space to find the source of the robot. Deadshot, Diablo, and Enchantress are sent to an abandoned Argent Airfield. Both parties encounter relics from the past, but while the Airfield team are getting attacked, the Space Squad finds something shocking: Rick Flagg Sr. and Karin Grace, the original Task Force X.
After their arrival to the space station, the Suicide Squad finds themselves face to face with members of the original Suicide Squad. The old team explains their now retconned (or reimagined) origin story and how they were trapped in space. They then ask the Squad that they need their help in finishing their final mission to protect Earth. Meanwhile, on the Earth below, the other members of the Suicide Squad are having trouble on the abandoned airfield. Argent robots have appeared to stop them from learning Argent secrets. While all of the action takes place with the ground group, the meat of the story is towards the Squad in space.
Retconning a Classic
The way Rob Williams has altered the origin story of Task Force X worried me at first. Thankfully, he was able to make changes that worked. In fact, the retcon made the original team cool again. Essentially the original Task Force X was charged with protecting Earth from alien threats and their final mission had them trapped in orbit.
This retcon makes sense for two reasons. First, the Squad before the retcon was made to replace the Justice Society. Since that group has been taken out of the continuity, the origin of their replacements had to change. Task Force X has changed to fighting Aliens, which makes sense considering the team’s history involves them fighting giant monsters. Second, as I mentioned before, their history in battling giant monsters ended up sending the group into space. This ties into the current plot by making their first monster from their comic run the enemy that they need the current Squad to help end it.
This issue is used mostly to explain who the original team is, their history, and what they need help to fight. It’s very exposition heavy, which might turn away a few Squad readers, and I can’t blame them. This story so far has been used to establish the players, at least the space squad, but now with them finishing the issue heading to face the enemy, we might finally get that action we love. Personally, I’ve enjoyed this story. It gives a chance for people to look past the insanity of the present and honor the past of Task Force X.
This was a massive improvement from last issue in terms of art. Eleonora Carlini’s art in the Green Arrow Rebirth series has always been a personal favorite of mine. The expressions that the characters make walk the line between being realistic and comic-like. This actually benefits the story during certain moments. You can feel the pain that Harley feels when she sees Rick Flagg Sr. Then on the next page, we get a laugh of the expression she makes to try and cover it.
The color work in the book is phenomenal as well. It is used for the powers by having them more vibrant. This gives the impression of how powerful the characters’ are. A nice touch to the book was the use of grainy subdued colors for the flashback story. It gives off a classic feel that fits the post-World War II time period which helps the tone of the story.
I enjoyed this issue. It may not be the action romp the Squad has been known for but continues to rebuild the history of Task Force X in an interesting way. The story grabs hold of the reader and refuses to let go until the final page. The art is beautiful and imaginative, benefitting from the strange setting. Overall, I enjoyed this book and recommend it.