New Suicide Squad #10 “Monsters” Part 2
Written by Sean Ryan
Art by Philipe Briones
Colors by Blond
Before I start this review, I just want to point out that the title page is hilarious to me! It’s almost as if Sean Ryan is calling kids monsters! Ha!
Alright, let’s get to the actual review. Last month Sean Ryan returned to writing duties for New Suicide Squad, and I was shocked that I actually enjoyed the book. It was fun, it was intense, and I felt like we actually got to see shades of the characters we know and love, rather than generic representations that could’ve been almost any character from the DC Universe. Again, I was shocked that we got quality work from this team!
In this new arc, Waller sends a small team (Deadshot, Manta, and Boomerang) to join a rogue, terrorist group that has branched off from the League of Assassins. The terrorist group was originally supposed to be Isis, but someone, somewhere decided it should change. The Squad’s mission is to learn more about this sect of the League, find their weapons storage, and discover their leader. Issue 9 introduced us to this sect of the League, showcased some of their brutality, and put the Squad members through the group’s initiation.
This issue picks up with Deadshot, Black Manta, and Captain Boomerang operating within the League as they learn about the foundation of League’s success – children. Their future success depends on the beliefs and training they instill in children at an early age. This is something that doesn’t sit well with Boomerang as he brings up ridiculous questions about the children’s freedom and ability to have fun. And this is where Ryan’s old habits start coming into play. Having Boomerang ask questions about recess to one of the generals of a rogue sect of the League of Assassins makes no sense to me! Clearly, this group isn’t going to support these ideas, and if you’re supposed to be infiltrating a group as a spy, you’d be smart enough not to comment on things such as this… then follow up with, “…where’s the fun in that?” Or, you know, start a fight with the terrorist group you’re supposed to be infiltrating because you think the kids should be allowed to have fun… It’s just bad writing.
Now, I want to clarify, I don’t think it’s bad for Boomerang to feel this way, but I think anyone with half of a brain would be smart enough to not challenge authority in this current situation. To me, it feels like this is Ryan’s way of trying to make this book “dramatic” or “edgy,” and unfortunately it just comes off as stupid. The narrative is just another example of the beginning stages of a mission going terribly wrong, with the team exposing themselves. And speaking of exposing themselves, there’s a second unit of the Squad consisting of Harley Quinn, Reverse Flash, and Parasite that are waiting to serve as an extraction team for the 3 team members infiltrating the League… and what are they doing? Harley is shooting Parasite with a rocket launcher. A freaking rocket launcher! On one hand, this is really funny, and kind of awesome! On the other hand, you’re supposed to be hiding until your team needs you! I’m all about throwing this joke in, but don’t ruin your plot while doing it. But it doesn’t stop there, the book continues down the quality slope as one of the members of the Squad decides he likes the League’s views, and starts turning rogue himself.
Worst of all though, was the scene at the “new” Belle Reve. Sage asks Bonnie (the assistant/ office manager for Amanda Waller) to give him a tour to show him how the place works. There are so many things that are just bad here. First of all, there is no reason Sage should need a tour of the place to understand how it works when he’s in the position he’s in. At this point, it’s essentially the same as Amanda Waller asking for a tour and an understanding of how Belle Reve works. Most of my irritation stems from Bonnie’s naivety though. I can’t imagine an adult being this naïve, especially one that’s in a position such as this. It would be one thing if she were charmed, but openly admits that she thought he was genuinely interested and sincere. It had me rolling my eyes. Yes, we’re already back to the point where I’m rolling my eyes. Waller addresses Bonnie’s naivety, but addressing stupidity doesn’t make it right.
For nearly a year now, I’ve read this book wondering how Ryan could deliver this type of quality and get away with it. I’ve wondered how he thought this could be good writing. None of it connected for me until I sat in a panel he was on at Comic Con, and then everything made sense. In short, he was asked to comment on this issue in particular, and he said, and I’m quoting, “Amanda Waller is really mean in this issue. She just gets really mean. More than usual.” Here is your problem. He’s too damn nice, and this is not a “nice guy’s book.” If this issue shows Amanda Waller being “really mean,” then I want to know what adjective Ryan would use to describe her in one of her many moments where her morality is completely questionable. This book is called New Suicide Squad… as in, people will die (although they haven’t for some time now). This team kills people for the U.S. Government. They are secretly committing acts of war on the U.S.’s behalf, and they’re doing it to try and earn their freedom. I’m all for fun stories, but let’s throw some grit in there as well… with a little sensible logic if you don’t mind.
The Art: Briones delivers solid art once again, and it’s the saving grace of this book. I do have issues with his eyes from time to time, but compared to what we’re used to seeing on this book, I’m scared to complain. And I honestly don’t think it’s worth complaining about, because the other aspects of his art have remained consistently good. In some regards, his art delivers in ways that Ryan’s writing fails, and that should be a testament to Briones’ skill.
To see some samples of the internal art, check out the spoiler tag below.
- An Isis inspired version of a rogue sect of the League of Assassins intrigues you.
- Seeing Harley Quinn with a rocket launcher is reason enough for you to buy a book.
Overall: Although New Suicide Squad is in its strongest arc yet, as long as Sean Ryan is writing this book, it will not reach its full potential. I’m sure Sean Ryan could be a great writer for one of DC’s titles, but New Suicide Squad isn’t that title, so unless you’re a loyalist, I’d advise you support other books that deserve more support.