New Suicide Squad Death Toll: 0 (Men-Bat don't count)
By the way, I wasn't left wondering any of that. I was left thinking, "Am I supposed to feel something here?" Maybe I can force myself to feel something! I hope I don't prolapse my rectum from the strain though.
I'll get to the part where I try to force myself to feel something later. For now I'd like to point out that page four begins "Four weeks earlier." That means the first three pages where Floyd bums a cigarette off the kid and does a little stargazing was supposed to hook me. I was supposed to be wondering what happened and feeling a tingling excitement begin to radiate across my frontal lobe. Or whichever part of the brain causes curiosity and feelings. The heart part of it, maybe?
So four weeks earlier, Floyd is still hanging out in Belle Reve. I bet I don't learn anything about him in the next few scenes! I bet Nick Lachey reveals more about himself in the Twix advert than Sean Ryan reveals about Deadshot.
Lawton is brought into the briefing room to learn about a new mission. His trigger finger is completely healed because Deathstroke isn't very good at ending careers, I guess.
Am I supposed to know who the cheery dude is?
The next page doesn't reveal who the other white inmate is so I guess I'm supposed to have already figured it out from the superb art and the outstanding way Sean Ryan differentiates his characters. I'm sure the problem is inside my own head. Although Victor Sage is back and working side by side with Amanda Waller, so I guess somebody straightened out that problem. Maybe Amanda put a nanobomb in Vic's head too?
Manta mouths off, Vic asks him politely to let Amanda finish, and Amanda thanks Vic. Who are these people?
Waller's mission briefing consists of a long speech about some group calling themselves The League (modern cool minimalist directness or unimaginative pap? You decide!) splintered off from The League of Assassins. Her main point is that they're very, very dangerous. But it isn't enough to tell comic book fans that some threat is the most ultimate threat imaginable so Sean Ryan has Boomerang(?) say in a poorly punctuated way, "They're bad guys, Waller, we get it." But then Waller says sternly, "No, you don't." HOLY FUCK! The League must be a super duper pooper threat like none ever seen before!
How about this plan? Kill everybody you can on the way in. Don't actually go in. Kill more people. Leave. No?
But fuck man. Those three wasted pages are killing me. That's money out of my pocket!
The other three members of the team are Harley, Reverse-Flash (whose name isn't hyphenated in the panel in which he's introduced so now I'm questioning my choice to hyphenate!), and Parasite. Seems like another team with no disposable members. There's a slight chance Parasite will "die" but he'll come back again having regained his life through sucking the life energy out of other people or something. Or they could just get a new Parasite. Maybe some DC Editor just never took to Bike Messenger Slacker Parasite. Was it too on the nose?
I can live with this team and this banter. This makes me feel like I'm reading the team I used to love.
Tomorrow Thief takes the crew to meet with the members of The League who test infidels trying to enter their ranks. They're tortured and quizzed and eventually thrown into a cell. Presumably they passed or else they'd be dead. Later they're taken to a desert where three "heroes" are frozen solid. The three Squad members are given baseballs and told to shatter the frozen people. Sure! Why not? They're already dead, right? I mean, I know in comic books, you can be completely frozen in ice and survive without any problems as long as somebody melts you out. But since it probably wouldn't really work that way, these people are dead. And not like Lawton, Harkness, or Manta have never killed anybody anyway! It's practically the main point of every mission. It's like the second or third bullet point on this mission's list of objectives.
They're videotaped by The League smashing these people into ice cubes after which they receive warm fuzzies from The League's leader and wander off into Part Two.
New Suicide Squad #9 Rating: +2 Ranking. The first part of their mission is a success! And nobody died! I mean, nobody important on the Squad died! Which normally I'd whine and moan about but members aren't supposed to die every issue. The reader just has to believe that there is a chance that one of them might die. Right now, I don't believe any members will die. But I'm actually enjoying this series again. Can we lock in the characterizations now? This is a good place for these guys to be. Except for Vic Sage. Who cut off his balls? My guess is he's working for Checkmate and he was told to play nice with Amanda until he gets his orders from Bishop.