Leader of the Lost
Story: Rob Williams
Art and Color: Stjepan Sejic
Lettering: Pat Brosseau
Cover: Otto Schmidt
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: June 28, 2017
**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**
Now they they’ve finally cleared the place of General Zod and probably de-stinkified the place (did he ever shower once during his imprisonment), hopefully things can get back to normal at Belle Reve. Meaning: it’s going to be insanely violent and disturbing. Can’t wait to see it for myself! You can read my impressions in my review of Suicide Squad #20, right here and now!
Rick Flag is presumed dead ever since he jumped into the Phantom Zone with pockets full of C-4 and flipped his detonator switch to “boom,” so that means there’s two vacancies to fill: one, in Harley Quinn’s silly heart, and two, the position of field team leader, which is the person that tells Amanda Waller to stuff it when she asks that something particularly heinous happen to the Squad. At least, that’s what Rick Flag did most of the time. So Amanda Waller is taking applications, beginning with Katana. She thinks she’s best-suited for the job because she’s not a criminal and has a crazy haunted sword. Captain Boomerang seems like a plausible option aside from the fact that he can’t be trusted and he’s an unremitting drunk. Deadshot is a brilliant tactician, but he essentially wants revenge on nearly everyone in the Suicide Squad and will always go with the more lucrative offer. Hmm. This is gonna be a toughie.
Killer Croc and the Enchantress can’t be asked to lead the team because—get this—they’re on a date. It’s the most adorable thing you have ever seen, the two of them flitting around New York City, peddling June Moon’s terrible fashion designs. When rejection causes her to hold all of Manhattan Island in magic imperilment, Killer Croc speaks convincingly to some corporate toady and he decides to accept her proposals. This makes June Moon power down and give Killer Croc all the hugs and kisses, even though she knows she didn’t succeed on her own merits. That’s the cool thing about being a villain, though: you don’t need to be true, you just need to win. Back at Belle Reve, Amanda Waller has picked the new field team leader: Harley Quinn! She thinks this is a swell idea because Harley has shown great dedication to the Suicide Squad, though she is troubled by the fact that Quinn seems to have had a mental break since her brand-new boyfriend Rick Flag died. Not to mention, Harley had literally killed three prison guards with her bare hands that day. But it’s nothing. I’m sure she’s worked it out of her system.
Here’s something not difficult to do: gawk over an issue’s worth of Stjepan Sejic’s incredible artwork. It could have been the Suicide Squad sitting around a table playing a game of cards, which this issue practically was, and it would still be stunning. As for the story, it was pretty fun and a little downtime was warranted after the bombastic way the last arc ended. I loved watching the relationship between Enchantress and Croc develop, as well as peer into Amanda Waller’s mind and how she relates to every member of the Suicide Squad. I wouldn’t want this kind of pacing in every issue, but after a few issues of nearly non-stop world-ending threats, I welcome it. Nice one, creative team!
Bits and Pieces:
We take a break from our usual non-stop bullet-time beheadings for a more contemplative issue of character studies. After the last arc, such a thing is welcome, particularly when drawn by Stjepan Sejic. I mean, let's be real: even if it were Katana doing her laundry, it would still be great if Sejic drew it. If the story can be engaging and funny besides, that's a bonus.