Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New Suicide Squad #10

Killed by camels. Worst Squad ever.

I haven't pretended to do anything exciting lately so I'll just get on with reading the comic book.

Oh wait! I have one thing I want to mention! The clerk at one of the stores on my floor cleaning route last night is new. I thought I recognized his name--Dolfin--from way back in October and asked him if he began working at the 7-11 then. He said he wasn't even in the country in October. So I asked him where he was from and he said, "Ethiopia. It's a country in Africa." Thanks for embarrassing me, Americans! This guy thinks I don't know where Ethiopia is because you're all stupid jerks who can't bother to learn Geography! Of course I know where Ethiopia is! Rock stars saved it from starvation in the eighties with "We Are the World" and Michael Bread! After that video came out, nothing bad ever happened in Africa ever again.

Oh, I'm sorry for jumping all over you, Americans. It's not your fault our educational system is Eurocentric and we never actually learn anything about the individual countries of Africa. Is it our fault that we're taught to think of Africa as a continent and not as a whole bunch of nations as individualized and different from each other as the nations of Europe? Maybe if a World War had erupted there instead of just being the backdrop for some exciting tank battles we'd actually be taught something about the place.

This is a map of Africa based on my entire public education. I didn't include Ethiopia because I learned about it from MTV.

The issue begins with the Squad's League guide showing them around The League's school because even for a terrorist organization, education is important. Why is education so undervalued in America? I think it's because you don't have to be smart to get rich in a capitalist democracy. You simply need to be unethical, ruthless, and driven to make money at any cost. How does knowing a place called "Mauritania" exists help put dollars in my pocket?! Unless, you know, I can manipulate the people of Mauritania for my own ends. Can I do that?

Captain Boomerang is all, "But what does anybody do for fun around here?!"

Ugh. Work and extreme dedication are the worst.

Captain Boomerang (who is probably just Boomerang now but since that's a Marvel character, I'll keep referring to him as Captain Boomerang) gets his head slammed into the ground for daring to care about leisure activities and speaking flippantly. I would not fit into this League place at all!

I wish Captain Boomerang were not Australian but American so I could identify with him!

Meanwhile the Extraction Team is hanging out in the desert engaging in tomfoolery. Harley keeps shooting Parasite with rocket propelled grenades. Reverse-Flash is worried that it might attract undue attention but he doesn't seem to care that every time he runs at super speed he causes a sandstorm. You don't think anybody is going to notice that, Daniel? Reverse-Flash is Daniel West, right? It's so confusing having a Professor Zoom and a Reverse-Flash!

Last issue I was beginning to turn around on Sean Ryan writing this book. By this exchange, I'm completely on board.

Sean Ryan has found his mojo (unless it's his groove) on this title. Before Convergence, it was just a showcase for a bunch of high profile DC Characters. They were just names on the page to pull in readers. After Conversion, Sean Ryan is treating the super villains like people. He seems to have figured out the voices he wants to give to each of them and he's doing the best job I've seen on the Suicide Squad since The New 52 began. If he can keep up what he's been doing for the last issue and a half (minus the first three or four pages of last issue!), this comic might become a contender for my favorite DC comic book. And that's not an easy task to accomplish. I just wanted to get some actual review soundbites out of the way before slipping back into making fun of the comic book. Y'all often seem overly concerned when you can't tell if I actually like a book or not so now you know where I stand on the New Suicide Squad as of Issue #9.

Back at Belle Reve, Vic Sage charms Amanda's assistant Bonnie into giving him a tour of the place. That jerk is working for Checkmate, isn't he?! Spy! Spy!

This is the scene where, if I were in the audience and it were taking place in front of me on stage, I would turn to my football player buddy and we'd high five as if we had something to do with it.

The Squad's first mission with The League (and hopefully their only mission since they should learn about The League weapons which is the first bullet point of the mission. After that, Bullet Point #2 is "kill lots of The League as you turn in your two week notice") will be to destroy a factory that is trying to synthesize Lazarus Pits. Because, as Tomorrow Thief puts it, "man was meant to die." Exactly! That's why the original incarnation of the Suicide Squad was so awful with Amanda's Lazarus Protocol in which she kept all of the Squad members alive. What a stupid plot point that was! Hopefully the Squad resists taking the factory for themselves! This team is packed full of heroes that aren't going to die, so it's probably tempting to throw in another resurrection device so that high profile members can be killed. But that really screws with the tension of the series and is the worst place a writer can go with it. I'm hoping this League guy's speech is simply Sean Ryan's way of emphasizing how idiotic the Lazarus idea was.

Boomer doesn't even want to go on the mission. He figures they saw the armory and that's good enough to tick the box on Bullet Point #1. But Black Manta wants to stay for the mission to find out as much as they can. But Boomer's all, "You heard they don't have weekends, right?!" And Black Manta is all, "I hate weekends! Aquaman loves weekends!" Boomer walks out to get some air while Deadshot sits around avoiding taking sides. Although he really can't take Black Manta's side since Black Manta seems to be falling in love with The League's ideals.

Later that night, Black Manta goes out on curfew patrol with the League Liaison (who might be Tomorrow Thief still but since I don't totally remember what he looks like and his name hasn't been mentioned in the comic, I just keep referring to him as their guide or liaison). They go to investigate the sounds of fun near the children's dorm and find Digger playing soccer with the kids. Captain Boomerang really never knows when to not poke authority. If Waller was never able to fully tame him, how is The League going to? They're probably only 15% as scary as Amanda Waller.

Digger is like Ozzy Osbourne and Socrates!

New Suicide Squad #10 Rating: +5 Ranking. I don't know what happened to Sean Ryan during Convergence but it must have been magical because he somehow returned with a Suicide Squad I don't think I've seen for many years. The characters all have distinctive voices now. Ryan's treating them as people and not costumes which is exactly how these characters need to be written. This book is not supposed to be about the flashy, popular characters. It's about severely broken people trying desperately to find something to live and fight for. Plus sometimes it's just about a few crazy criminals thrown on the team by Amanda Waller as fodder so the title actually means something. I truly hope this book can continue at this level (or better! Getting even better would be better!) but I hope Sean Ryan has found his center on this thing and has fallen in love with the characters he's writing. I would cross my fingers but I'll probably need them uncrossed to masturbate later.

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