Maybe not the best Suicide Squad story, but good fun to see Ostrander playing with his toys once He has to do a fair bit of playing the ball where it lies in relation to various crossovers like the continual references to Checkmate but he finds intriguing ground, as when Deadshot is reluctantly paired with Captain Boomerang s son And there s a special delight in seeing the Amanda Waller Chemo vomiting on the bad guys It s the kind of book that makes you wonder whatever happened to Javier Pina Having read the original Suicide Squad series from 1986, I was pleased to see a collection that picked up where that left off I never thought I d see Rick Flag again outside of a flashback, but they found a way for him to survive the nuclear explosion he set off to destroy the Jihad s Qurac headquarters I was glad to see his return it doesn t seem like the Squad without him leading the charge Of course it doesn t seem like the Squad with no Captain Boomerang, but he died Guess that s why they recruited his son to take his place Bronze Tiger is still there as the team enforcer, Deadshot of course rounds out the core group, and Amanda Waller has her covert strike team to use as she sees fit.
As usual, there was an impressive array of B, C and D villains to round out the team Count Vertigo and Multiplex seem to have found their way onto the core team, and Cliff Carmichael of Firestorm fame was there too Apparently he graduated from school bully to super villain at some point, and fell into Waller s hands as her new tech guy William Hell returned as the White Dragon, along with Twister, Windfall formerly of the Masters of Disaster , Marauder, Blackguard, Plastique with no memory of her first tour of duty with the Squad , the General and Chemo.
Their mission was bloody as usual, largely because of duplicity from within I was pissed about Windfall she was a good character and deserved better than to die as cannon fodder on the Squad It was classic SS though, which is always good to me The movie version notwithstanding, this is the Squad to me.
Was the original Squad series this good This book was a blast It starts slow, lots of Rick Flag backstory and an all you knew was a lie revelation I didn t know anything, so I wasn t really bothered , but once it starts to cook, this story sizzles.
Man, that was a corny line Sorry.
Ostrander does a good job setting up all the players, establishing loyalties, etc Some of the cast don t get much character time, Bronze Tiger for example, but Ostrander still conveys the important information The action s really good, absolutely brutal, and lots of good twists packed in I enjoyed it a lot.
I found myself really enjoying this one The first half is kind of revisiting of past squads along with the secret history of Rick Flag The 2nd half winds the pieces of the first half for a current at the time story of the squad reforming As a fan of John Ostrander s original run I really enjoyed how this one came together.
A really messed up and slow paced volume, the real deal only picked up in the final 2 issues Waller is back to assemble her suicide squad, this time they must fight Jihad in Dubai a paralelle story is about Rick Flag escaping Qarac This volume was gruesome, the team suffered HEAVY casualties and even the bad guys all met gruesome ends Deadshot was awesome though, I loved this iteration of him, but there weren t many redeeming factors.
I m in the camp of DC readers that considers John Ostrander to be a vastly underrated writer, and when the Suicide Squad movie was announced, I eagerly got my act together and picked up some of Ostrander s runs For some people, this particular volume will be a miss it s a slow paced story with focus on the politics of the story rather than an action packed ensemble narrative For others, though, especially those who enjoy classic DC pre 52 , this is a throwback to 1980s comics and a web of backstabbing and an every man for himself attitudes.
Things I Liked1 Amanda Waller Ostrander writes Waller very well she s ruthless and not afraid to do the dirty work herself, but she also has very real fears and refuses to give up on a situation that can be saved even if it s hard.
2 Dinosaurs Oh my god there are dinosaurs in this story What For the record, I m sure Skartaris appears elsewhere in DC, but I was totally not expecting the dinosaurs on my first read through I love it when comics do this Sure, let s add dinosaurs.
3 Art All of the art in this book is fantastic It s not super stylized, but leans to the traditional, realistic comic book styles Still, that s not a bad thing The lines are very clear, the composition is great, and there s a lot of dynamic movement to really capture the attention.
Things I Didn t Like1 Narrative Fluidity I found this volume extremely difficult to follow There are jumps between past and present, and I wasn t always sure when those occurred There s also some disjoint between issues, so I wasn t sure how they all fit together at times You ll also have to have some knowledge of the Squad and backstories before coming to this volume, since there are references to things that aren t fully explained.
2 Attachment to Characters Because this story was mostly focused on Flag and the politics of the universe, I never felt like I really got to know anyone other than Flag If you re a fan of the character, this is fine, but I m a person who likes to know everyone a little bit.
3 Racism Sexism There are a few characters in here that throw around racist and sexist language I know that this is supposed to be a team of villains, and the racist and sexist ones are the worst of the worst not characters we re supposed to like , but still, I m not so interested in this language being thrown around in order to illustrate someone s badness or to make things edgy.
Recommendations I would recommend this book if you re interested in superpowers, supervillains, Rick Flag as a character , and political stories including backstabbing and betrayal You might also like this book if you like other villain team ups like Thunderbolts and Secret Six.
With From the Ashes Ostrander updates his idea of villains turned government operatives think the Dirty Dozen in a tale that bashes big corporate warmongers with thinly veiled political overtones that simultaneously don t come off as heavy handed.
Fans of the original series from the 1980 s won t find anything new here, but they won t be disapointed either Ostrander stays on top of his game creating a veritible lair of asps and throwing the characters into it face first What follows is a meat grinder of backstabbing, betryals, and personal preserverance that makes for a damn fine tale, worth reading again and again.
This is definitely a series I d like to see continued, especially in the current global perspective I really only have two words to say to Mr Ostrander More Please.