If there were an MVP for comics, Captain Boomerang would win it for Suicide Squad #29!
An attempt on Waller’s life has lead the Suicide Squad on an interesting mission that delves into the history of Task Force X! After learning the assassination attempt was executed from an Argent android, Waller divides the Squad into two teams, and sends one to space, while the other is sent to an abandoned airfield. The space team, consisting of Katana, Harley, Boomerang, and Killer Croc, board a space station to find… Flag! No, not the Flag Harley was having boom, booms with, his grandfather. As it turns out, Flag was a part of Task Force X, and had been stuck on the space station for decades due to an incident that occurred on one of his missions.
Flag confesses that he sent the droid to kill Waller, but he wouldn’t have really killed her. He needed help, and he needed it from Task Force X. Since coms don’t work, the droid was his only way to get Waller’s attention. But what does he actually need from the Squad? He needs to stop the Red Wave.
Meanwhile, Deadshot, Enchantress, and El Diablo investigate the abandoned airfield to learn more about Argent. Everything appears normal until zombie robots start attacking them. A mystical presence takes over Enchantress, knocking her out of commission, leaving Deadshot and El Diablo to fend for themselves until Waller arrives with backup!
That’s where this issue picks up. Both teams are in interesting circumstances, and while Waller and Deadshot’s situation feels dire because of the immediate threat, it’s, unfortunately, the less interesting plot. The action is fun and high energy, but the zombie robots can only pack so much of a punch when it’s clear they’re just cannon fodder. Enchantress ultimately gets a relatively cool moment, that serves as the highlight for this plot. Unfortunately, some of these highs are short lived thanks to the need to reconfirm to readers that the Suicide Squad is made up of bad guys. For whatever reason, there’s been a recent need for Suicide Squad writers to make a point to ensure the characters say something along the lines of, “We’re the bad guys!” rather than just let them be bad. Maybe editorial is blocking some terrible actions from unfolding, or perhaps writers think it’s cool to have characters remind everyone they’re criminals… I just know I’m not a fan.
In outer space, the story contains a much slower pace. I’m ok with this because there’s a lot of mystery intertwined throughout the narrative to keep you intrigued. Flag, alone, is an interesting character. I keep finding moments where I think, “Don’t trust him. Something seems fishy.” But then I think about the nature of Task Force X and the fact that this is Flag, and I back off of my suspicions. This chapter does provide more insight into what Flag really is up to, so that should satisfy a number of readers. And even if you think the story is just ok, you’re guaranteed to enjoy Boomerang in this issue! Williams brilliantly uses Boomer for some outstanding comedy! To give you an idea of what to expect, just imagine Captain Boomerang being scarred for life after watching Aliens or The Thing, then send him into space so he can encounter aliens…
The bow the ties these two stories together is the third narrative, “King For a Day” that serves as the backup for this arc. This story is a flashback story that explores what ARGUS and ARGENT were created for, and what lead to the current story. Each chapter provides a little more insight and helps round out story elements that were touched on in previous issues. In the end, it’s a fun read with action and comedy that should satisfy most readers.
The Art: My least favorite aspect of this issue is the art. In general, the work presented here doesn’t meet the expectation we’ve come to expect in Suicide Squad, and Tony Daniel’s incredible cover only makes this shortcoming more obvious. When you turn from the cover to the first page of the comic, it’s impossible not to compare the work completed by Daniel compared to internal art by Barnaby Bagenda. Bagenda’s pencils are a bit of a mess, and it definitely takes away from the story.
Breakdowns for this issue can be found in the spoiler tag.
Boomerang. I mentioned this above, but Williams writes an incredibly funny Boomerang! His approach to Boomer helps make Suicide Squad an engaging title to read, and that’s not always easy in a book like this.
The Heart Cannot Be Whole. This phrase was mentioned in the previous issue, and I took it as a warning from Flag. But in this issue, it’s almost as if the Red Wave takes control of Flag, and he repeats the phrase. I then began to wonder if this were less of a warning, and more of a cry made because of desire. It’s as if the Red Wave is stating “the heart cannot be whole” because it’s been separated from him. It’s subtle, but I really enjoyed this touch.
Goodness is Silenced. The mystical undertones of this arc are really interesting! Enchantress has commented on sensing something odd twice now, and in this issue Katana comments on the fact that she can’t hear the souls in her Soultaker. Whatever power the Red Wave has – if it is the Red Wave – it impacts the mystical arts.
Faraday Lied. I’m just going to say it, this is creepy! If you had any inkling something was off with Flag, then this should solidify it. Run. Run now!… Actually, don’t run yet, because I want to know what Faraday lied about…
Red Wave. I told you to run! Now look what’s happened! A mystical, alien, dragon creature has been set free! I can’t say I’m super excited to see the Squad fight a dragon, but it’s definitely something new, and should be entertaining.
We’re the Bad Guys. Ok! We get it! The criminals used to assemble the Suicide Squad are bad guys! I think we understood that quite well with “criminals.” It almost feels as though this line has become a PR statement to excuse any morally ambiguous decision this team makes, or to account for any attempt at self-preservation that may come across as heroic. Just let their actions speak for themselves!
- You want a good space romp.
- Zombie robots, aliens, and dragons! Oh my!
- Captain Boomerang soils himself.
Overall: Suicide Squad #29 isn’t without its faults, but it is a fun book to read! Williams is reverting back to his approach that made Suicide Squad a fun and engaging story to read at the launch of Rebirth. If there is one downfall here, it’s Barnaby Bagenda’s art. Other than that, this issue is well worth your time and money.
SCORE: 7.5/ 10