Rebirth. Suicide Squad: The Black Vault Vol 1
Collects: Rebirth. Suicide Squad #1-4
Written by Rob Williams. Artwork by Jim Lee
By now everybody knows the Suicide Squad, a collection of DC villains kept in a high security prison until they are needed to perform a risky task for the US government. They are a disposable resource, after all who’s going to miss this rag tag collection of crazies and homicidal killers. Oh, and did I mention the bomb installed in the brain of each member of the team, just in case they try to make a run for it.
The Rebirth comic before the storyline starts in earnest lets the reader in on how Rick Flag becomes the new leader of the squad. Flag is currently being kept in Guantanamo Bay charged with terrorism after defying a direct order (really?). Amanda Waller gives him the ultimatum join the team or rot in his cell forever. Not much of a choice really.
That sets the scene for the first mission, the retrieval of a cosmic item from a Russian facility. The first few pages give us an idea of what’s to come: Boomerang has the trots and keeps pooping his pants, whatever he’s eaten was obviously shared with killer Croc because he projectile vomits continually into his space helmet, until Flag must risk crashing the ship to stop him from drowning in his own puke. Yes, poop and puke. The message, don’t take anything in the next 100 pages too seriously.
To go with those bodily fluids, we also get much blood and gore while the bad guys (i.e. the Russians) get diced, sliced, and generally mullered by Katana and Harley Quinn.
Now it’s all going fine and dandy until they get to the item they are there to find and inadvertently open it. This is where I had a problem with the storyline, up to this point the storyline has been irreverent and fun, but suddenly we’re expected to believe that this mismatched group are powerful and clever enough to beat and catch a Kryptonian. And they don’t manage to do this without losing one of their own (whether this character will make a return has yet to be established).
I like the way Harley Quinn was portrayed here. Yes, she was crazy but you see her intelligence alongside the madness. And I loved her outfit. But seriously, what happen to her boobs? For some reason, they have been noticeably inflated.
Apart from the magically inflating bosom, I enjoyed the artwork. It’s quite busy with a lot happening in each frame that kept me on a panel long after I’d read the words.
The story here is quite short (and leaves most of the questions unanswered) but the extra pages are made up with back stories for several members of the team. (I particularly like Boomerang’s because you have no idea if any of it is true or not.)
Did I enjoy it? Yes. It was a fun, if not exactly taxing, read, but ultimately unsatisfying because nothing was resolved.
Would I read on? Yes, probably. Although there are other titles I would pick up before this one.