The Squad and Waller are at a Boiling Point (Suicide Squad #21 Comic Review)

Suicide Squad #21 Comic Review

Written by Rob Williams

Art by Gus Vazquez, Colors by Ariand Lucas

Cover Art by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira and Ariand Lucas

All of Amanda Waller’s deadly machinations are finally catching up to her and it spells bad news for the members of the Squad as they undertake their next mission – taking down the home base of The People. While Waller is being questioned in a congressional hearing in DC over the disappearance of Rustam’s “Burning World” terrorist group, Harley Quinn works as the callous new team leader, still silently suffering over the loss of Rick Flag. While it appeared to be a fling, from the change in her mood and her brash way of commanding the team it appears there was more to Harley and the recently removed team leader than what was presented on the pages of recent issues. Her careless attitude has the group questioning her choices and her ability to problem solve the issue waiting for them when they find The People’s home base.

What You Need to Know: It’s no secret that the Justice League and specifically Batman, as most of the Suicide Squad pulls from his own Rogues Gallery, is no fan of Amanda Waller and her parody of a justice-serving group of controlled criminals. Amanda Waller is determined to use super-powered criminals as a special task force at the United States’ disposal, often taking innumerable risks to prove her point. In DC’s Rebirth run, these two opposing groups came to blows in the six issue crossover series “Justice League vs Suicide Squad” that resulted in the Justice League begrudgingly admitting that Waller’s group of controlled criminals might be an asset to the country and the world.

Unbeknownst to the League, it turns out that Amanda Waller orchestrated the entire conflict, almost throwing the world into Armageddon to prove her team’s usefulness to the world’s greatest heroes. Either by mad genius or pure insanity, Waller felt the risk was worth being able to operate the task force without the League constantly trying to undermine her group or shut them down.

As the Rebirth run progressed, the reader learns this is not Waller’s first attempt of creating the Suicide Squad, and the current members are not her first choice. Rustam and the “Burning World” terrorist group turn out to be – surprise! – former Suicide Squad members. Their public disappearance is also a ruse, as Waller has plans for them.

What You’ll Find Out: This issue has The People one step ahead of Waller, who is a master at manipulation. Who are they and what do they want with Amanda Waller? Do they plan to kill her or use her? Do they know all of her secrets, including those of the events that cause the Justice League and Suicide Squad to battle, or those of Rustam’s team and their connection to her past? How does her dangerous attempt at bringing Zodd into the Squad play into this?

One thing is for sure, Amanda Waller is going to crack or prove she’s the real star villain once more in future issues.

What Just Happened? While most of the issue focused on the aftermath of Amanda’s recent daring plots, the Squad is also shown feeling the aftermath of Rick Flag’s death and Harley Quinn’s rise to team leader. She is more indifferent than empathetic to the team and their needs, pulling all the stops to complete the mission, regardless of who is injured or killed in the process. When they arrive at the home base of The People and discover they have little time to solve a problem that could end the Squad forever, the reader is left hanging until the next issue to see if they solve it in time or are done for good.

Rating: 9/10

Final Thoughts:  A good tie-in to all the shading dealings over the course of Rebirth. Wherever the Squad is heading, they’ll come out the other side completely changed.

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