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Suicide Squad #9

by John White on January 11, 2017

Writer: Rob Williams & SI Spurrier
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Publisher: DC Comics

It’s a bit of a history lesson in Suicide Squad #9 as we learn the details of the first (and last) mission of the original Suicide Squad. As was revealed in the pages of the Justice League/Suicide Squad crossover, Rick Flag, Deadshot, and the rest are not Amanda Waller’s first attempt at using criminals as covert operatives for the U.S. Government. Before the team we are familiar with, there was another, more powerful and more erratic Task Force X and this issue finally explains why they will stop at nothing to get their vengeance on Amanda Waller. Thrilling from beginning to end, Suicide Squad #9 proves why Max Lord’s team of villains should not be taken lightly and the depraved lengths they are willing to go to accomplish whatever goal they set themselves to.

The issue details the first, and as we come to learn, last mission of the original Suicide Squad. Although we are familiar with most of members from their appearance in the current crossover with the Justice League book, the roster is not completely without surprises.  We learn that Rustam was the original field commander of Task Force X and that before their incarceration in the Catacombs there was another member of the team, the ever mysterious and pouty looking Cyclotron. The reveal that Rustam was, much like Rick Flag is now, not a criminal like the rest of his teammates is not completely surprising but it does add another layer of depth to his character. While the motivations of the rest were, power or a reduced sentence, Rustam served Amanda Waller because he believed it was the right thing to do, a belief that ultimately led to his downfall.

The bulk of the story takes place in the fictional island nation of Jangsun, a stand in for North Korea in the DC universe, which has begun creating its own metahuman weapons in an effort to assert its dominance on an unsuspecting world.  The mission of the Squad is simple enough. All they have to do his destroy the metahuman threat and save the world from autocracy for one more day. All seems to be going to plan as the squad makes their way through the “Jangsun Gods” only for them to realize that their actions are doing more than just killing the metahuman threat. As the truth behind Jangsun’s power is revealed so too is the destruction these psychopaths will create when they are let out into the world without any check, even if it is in the service of the greater good. The ending is surprising and not only sets the stage for the conflict currently going in the Justice League vs. Suicide Squad crossover, but also shows a more ruthless side of Amanda Waller than has ever been seen before.

Without a question Suicide Squad #9 is an exciting issue that you will not want to miss. Although it acts as a tie in to the current crossover, the issue very much stands on its own. Most of the characters are fleshed out and given a chance to stand on their own, more so than even in pages of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, and the reason for Squad Zeros’ unrelenting rage towards Waller is finally revealed. The art by Riley Rossmo, although much different than Jim Lee’s who had been lead on most of Rob Williams run, is nothing short of spectacular. Entertaining from beginning to end, this is certainly an issue you will want to pick up today.

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