New Suicide Squad: Futures End #1 “The Replacements”
Written by: Sean Ryan
Art by: Andre Coelho

Based on the solicitation, I felt like this issue had a lot of potential to be really good. Since we’ve only had two issues, I was really hoping for New Suicide Squad to accomplish what Grayson accomplished, and give a nice teaser into the themes, plots, and relationships that could be in-store for this title. Now, if I’m completely honest, I didn’t expect this issue to be as good as Grayson – I’m convinced I will walk away from this month with that as my top Futures End tie-in – but like Grayson, it had the opportunity to make the biggest impact since the book is new.

I opened the issue, and I swear, I verbally said, “Oh $h!?” when I saw the first page. And it was the good kind, not the, “Crap, I’m going to hate the next 15 to 20 minutes of my life” kind! Great way to start! The issue kicks off five years in the future, with Deadshot in his cell at Belle Reve. The prison looks relatively empty, and he’s the reason I had my outburst on page 1. His internal monologue sets up the issue nicely, and it makes me even more excited. My mind immediately starts grasping for where this issue will take me, and I’m still on the first page! Here, check it out for yourself!

Spoiler

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There’s a huge commotion outside of Lawton’s cell, and Waller shows up to break him out. Apparently, the government had ideas for the Suicide Squad that Waller didn’t support. Knowing she couldn’t just walk away from the project, she decided to go into hiding, and remain under the governments radar for years. The whole time Waller was in hiding, she was working to bring the government and Suicide Squad down. And then we find out what happened to Deadshot (yes, the thing that resulted in me cussing on page 1)… And the story goes downhill from there… Way downhill…

The reveal concerning Deadshot was a letdown. I thought the story was going to be a little tragic – and I suppose it is in some ways – but it wasn’t what I was expecting or hoping for. I know I’m being vague, I’m just trying not to give too much away.

Spoiler

I thought Deadshot had lost his arm in a mission, and they just left him in Belle Reve to slowly die. No more missions. No early release. Nothing to give him purpose, or a desire to live… But instead, the government decided to cut off his arm, to give him an arm that was a gun, and it failed. I’m sorry, but I hate this and find it kind of stupid.

Apparently, as much as the government loved Task Force X, they wanted to make them better. Accept this time, instead of finding a new, better team, they decided to experiment with the team they had. Waller continues her attempt to rescue Suicide Squad members, now with Deadshot assisting her. And with each member they encounter, the issue just gets worse. Waller frees Black Manta and Harley, who have both been experimented on as well. I cringed at everything Black Manta said, and especially at how Waller convinced him to help her. It’s bad. Then Harley… Poor, poor Harley. Terrible memories of The Dark Knight Volume 1 suddenly came rushing back… On the plus side, Joker’s Daughter is nowhere to be found! She’s not even mentioned! Woo hoo!

There’s a lot of action in this book, but I’m not sure I would consider it great. We eventually learn that the government has moved on to another “project” to fulfill their plans. Of course, the Suicide Squad is forced to encounter this, and the results could be tragic for some members. Will Amanda Waller and the Squad be successful with their mission? What did the government do to each of the Squad members? And what has the government planned and set-up for the Suicide Squad’s replacement? You’ll have to pick-up the issue to find out! Or… you can save your money and see in the spoilers below.

Recommended If:

  • You’re curious to see the potential future of the Suicide Squad.
  • You want to read an issue of New Suicide Squad that doesn’t have Joker’s Daughter
  • You think classified government experiments are cool.
  • You were a fan of The Dark Knight Volume 1.

Be warned, there are SPOILERS below.

The Art: The art is ok. Something about it just seemed off. The characters didn’t really look like themselves, and I was bothered by a lot of the facial expressions. It was a little distracting. And I mean this in the most un-offensive way possible, but Harley looks like a drag queen when she’s doped up on venom. At least Batgirl looks like a really muscular woman in her title and Birds of Prey. Harley just looks ridiculous.

The action panels were a little choppy as well. At one point, Manta is sprayed with acid by one of the cloned Joker Twins from a good distance, and the next panel he’s following through on a kick. I literally thought, “He moved that far, and the Joker clone didn’t even try to evade him?” On the positive side (well “positive”), there were some panels that were meant to be gruesome, and they definitely were. Black Manta getting stabbed was a little intense, and Deadshot shooting clone Deathstroke in the head was also pretty graphic. But I like that type of edge in a title like this.

The Good: Joker’s Daughter isn’t here!

I found the opening and closing of this issue to be pretty good, but mainly because of Deadshot and his internal monologue. We were able to see a glimpse into his emotional outlook on his life as a member of the Suicide Squad, and as an inmate of Belle Reve.

I also thought the cloned Joker twins were enjoyable, and pretty creepy in a devilishly, devious way.

The Bad: The government’s modifications/testing of the Squad: Floyd “the government was going to give me a gun as an arm, but it failed” Lawton; Harley “One Face” Quinn; Black “Fish Stick” Manta. I also had an issue with the cloning plot that was hinted at. I don’t want cloning… it leads to cheap storytelling.

And I’m sure if it was meant to be shocking, but did everyone aside from Waller really need to die? Couldn’t they just kill Waller and let the rest of the Squad escape? That would’ve been a happy ending, right?

Overall: I was really disappointed with this issue, and I’m honestly concerned about the direction that they plan on taking this book. Aside from Lawton’s opening and closing piece, there’s really nothing worthwhile here unless you want to see experiments gone wrong and clones having it out with one another. It’s just not my cup of tea.

SCORE: 4/10