Suicide Squad #30: “Walled In” by Sean Ryan and Andre Coelho

After some ups and (mostly) downs, Suicide Squad releases it’s final issue before rebooting with the New Suicide Squad in July. “Walled In” picks up in the aftermath of Forever Evil – you know, the event that took forever to end, and apparently takes even longer to go away. In their attempt to take over the earth, the Crime Syndicate ravaged numerous US cities. It’s a time of reconstruction all over again, and as with all things, fingers will point, blame will be thrown, and someone will inevitably have to take the fall for recent events. In this instance, it’s Amanda Waller. Well, sort of…

To kick off the issue, Black Manta meets with the Secretary of Defense about receiving a pardon for his crimes due to his involvement in stopping the Crime Syndicate. The only stipulation is that Manta keep his pleasure killing and treasure hunting outside of the U.S. It’s pretty clear that there is some sort of power play here with ulterior motives, and Manta knows it.

Elsewhere, Deadshot gets pulled from one correctional facility, and is being transferred to another facility with two other inmates. Lawton could care less about the transfer, but his ride-alongs have a broader outlook on the whole situation, and see this as an opportunity that can’t be missed.

Interestingly, it’s Amanda Waller that is front and center for most of the issue as she faces the consequences from the Crime Syndicate’s attack on the U.S. There’s quite a bit of drama as an overly dramatic trial positions Waller as the government’s whipping boy… Or girl, I guess. Despite their public statements against Waller, the government knows about Task Force X, and most of the top government officials like it! They like it so much that they’re going to make some alterations to Waller’s dirty, little secret. The question is, is Waller really on the chopping block? What are the government’s plans for Task Force X? Speaking of Task Force X, where is the rest of the team? What’s happened to Belle Reve? And what part will Black Manta end up playing in all of this?

Recommended If:

  • Having Amanda Waller front and center excites you.
  • You’re curious to see some of the repercussions of Forever Evil
  • Black Manta or Deadshot are your favorite villains.
  • You’re interested in the New Suicide Squad
  • You find bad guys to be “oh so good!”

Be warned, potential SPOILERS below.

The Good: I’m excited to see the direction of Task Force X under the government’s control. There’s a ton of potential to tell interesting and complex stories about the government using (or abusing) this team so they can act without political repercussions. And considering how Black Manta asked to join Task Force X, one has to assume he has something up his sleeve for the U.S. government, which should make for a fun dynamic.

The Bad: So… We need to make up our mind about Amanda Waller. I got whiplash from her treatment in this issue. (You’re worthless! It’s all your fault! – Not really. It’s just a show. – You’re worthless! Don’t talk, don’t think! In fact, you’re such a disappointment that you’ve lost A.R.G.U.S. – We love Task Force X though! You’re going to keep running that thing, because it’s cool and ballsy, and we can do the twisted $%*# we’ve always wanted to do to internationals now. – Oh, you’re worthless!)

Also, what was the point of Deadshot in this story? Instead of having some lame villains attempt to spring inmates from their traveling prison, I would have rather cut that, and showcased a line-up of the Suicide Squad waiting in captivity for Waller at Belle Reve. There was just action for the sake of action, and it wasn’t that great. And how in the hell does Black Manta know about Task Force X? Did I miss something for him to know of its existence?

Overall: The cover, while it looks ok, was slightly misleading. I know this is becoming a regular approach for comics, but it irks me. The whole Suicide Squad team is on the cover, except for Waller, and only two of those characters on the cover actually appear in the book. I don’t want to judge a book by its cover, but at least give readers a realistic idea of what they’re getting into. I also didn’t find the internal art that great either. It seemed so cartoony at times, that I felt it made the story overly dramatic to the point of being ridiculous, or it just didn’t fit the tone. It wasn’t terrible by any means, there were just some awkward panels. When reviewing most panels, I couldn’t help but think that it looked rushed.

Concerning the story, I was disappointed with this issue after Suicide Squad’s Forever Evil run. Out of all of the Forever Evil tie-ins, I felt Suicide Squad was one of the stronger, more consistent stories, until this issue. If you didn’t read it, then you should because it was a fun ride (and contained the best depiction of Powergirl that I’ve seen in the New 52). I honestly can’t help but feel that this issue was changed at the last minute, because it’s just so jarringly different than what previously happened. There’s no sign of Harley. No Boomerang or James Gordon Jr., and this whole issue is really nothing but exposition to set up the New Suicide Squad. I don’t mind exposition, but the plot points felt lazy and convenient. And in a story about that is supposed to be dealing with consequences, it feels like there were none. I easily would have preferred an actual close to the Forever Evil arc, and then had this issue as a #0 issue.

SCORE: 5.5/10