DC Comics reviews for the week of 1/10/18

Suicide Squad #33

suicide squad #33 cover

After a movie, figure line and random TV appearances, the Suicide Squad have come close to being sanitized. It’s almost easy to forget the core concept is the worst of the worst super villains getting sent on impossible missions. And if they die, no one will miss them anyway since they’re such lousy human beings.

Si Spurrier hasn’t forgotten and the first issue of his two-part story, The Chosen One, is a great reminder the Suicide Squad is comprised of some very not so nice people.

Spurrier tells the story from the perspective of Juan Soria, a guy who grew up idolizing the Justice League. He thought his destiny was to become a hero as well and his dream seemed like it was coming true when he developed powers. Sadly, they weren’t of much use to a team with Superman … or Batman and he was rejected.

The narrative box is written very tongue in cheek, but Spurrier quickly makes Juan a realistically relatable guy. And there’s a touch of real world tragedy as well with Juan out of options and turning to crime to make ends meet and getting a severe sentence despite being a first-time offender. I’m curious if Spurrier wrote for Juan instead of John as a commentary on the American justice system.

Volunteered by Amanda Waller, Juan is sent along fellow redshirts and regular Suicide Squad members to deal with an alien invasion threat. The synopsis did not seem all that interesting after the Squad’s recent battle in space, but Spurrier isn’t so much focused on the conflict, but the mindset of other Belle Reve prisoners. Seeing Juan’s reactions and the Squad’s actions really crystallizes how awful they are and that they are definitely not heroes. That was the best takeaway from this issue and a terrific callback to the Squad’s original purpose.

It doesn’t hurt that Fernando Pasarin handled the art. Pasarin needs regular work ASAP and Suicide Squad would benefit immensely from his talent. Similar to his semi-regular Justice League run, Pasarin packs details into every panel and conveys the action very well. His realistic drawing style helps keep the more bizarre elements of this story in line. Oclair Albert’s ink work helps bring out Pasarin’s pencils and Blond’s colors accentuate the pages beautifully.

After a run of big stories, it’s nice to have more of a cool down two-parter that casts the Suicide Squad in an appropriate light. I’m looking forward to seeing how Spurrier wraps this up story and how he handles a character on Suicide Squad worth rooting for.

Rating: 9 out of 10 

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