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The Doom Patrol Review

SUICIDE SQUAD (VOLUME ONE & TWO)

Suicide Squad chronicles the missions of Task Force X, the second incarnation of a secret government counter-intelligence force. This version of the team primarily used incarcerated super-villains as operatives (in return for reduced sentences or their freedom), as well as certain super-heroes who had the need or desire to work for the 7group. The team was first led by Colonel Rick Flagg, who had also lead the original Suicide Squad. Later, Amanda Waller took full control of the Suicide Squad, with Bronze Tiger, Nightshade or Nemesis often acting as field commanders.

The third incarnation of the team, rechristened Task Force Omega, was led by Frank Rock (better known as Sgt. Rock) and Amanda Waller. Unfortunately, no one (including writer Keith Giffen) seemed to know where this series was going, and it seemed to be a place for Giffen to get rid of a lot of his old (and then popular) ideas from Justice League International, such as the destruction of the island of Kooey-Kooey-Kooey and the deaths of most of the Injustice League/Justice League Antarctica.

Please see also the Doom Patrol/Suicide Squad Special #1.



Suicide Squad (Volume 1) #58Suicide Squad (Volume 1) #58

"The Center Cannot Hold (Breakdowns Part 8)"
Script by John Ostrander and Kim Yale
Art by Geof Isherwood and Robert Campanella
Cover by Geof Isherwood and Karl Kesel

SYNOPSIS: Karma (Wayne Hawkins) was a member of the team that Black Adam organized with Amanda Waller and the Masters of Industry to attack Circe's island during the "War of the Gods". The team also included the Writer, who was the comic book version of Doom Patrol scribe Grant Morrison (who had appeared in a similar form in his last issue of Animal Man).

The team assembled consisted of Black Adam, Nightshade, The Bronze Tiger, Major Victory, Maser (a.k.a. Air Wave II), Catalyst, Count Vertigo, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot (out of costume), a new Sportsmaster (ala Marvel Comics' Taskmaster apparently), Firehawk, Javelin, John Henry, The Silver Swan, The Enforcer, Karma, and The Writer. With the destruction of Circe's island, the confirmed dead can me noted as Karma, The Writer and The Enforcer. Former Squad member of Poison Ivy was rescued on the island.

COMMENTS: The "War of the Gods" crossover was probably the worst companywide crossover DC had until the advent of "Genesis" and "Our Worlds at War", mainly because the actual War of the Gods limited series was shipped so haphazardly that it didn't jibe up with the crossover issues. That said, the Suicide Squad's involvement in the crossover went fairly smoothly, and the fate of final member of Paul Kupperberg's 1987 Doom Patrol was revealed. Some folks believe that Karma could've survived, but I think that besides the machine gun bullets he took, the destruction of the island certainly helped end his life in a most permanent fashion, making Rhea Jones and Valentina Vostok the only new members of the New Doom Patrol to survive (though both in substantially different forms than they started out as).

At least the deaths in this battle weren't too gratuitous and were actually there just to add a little drama and realism to the battle, though I think that using the Writer was a tad on the lame side and almost cheapened a really good story (both this tale and Grant Morrison's appearance in Animal Man).



Suicide Squad (Volume 2) #6

"Thou Shalt Not..."
Script by Keith Giffen
Art by Medina and Sanchez
Cover by Medina and Sanchez

SYNOPSIS: Former Doom Patrol and Supergirl/Power Girl enemy Reactron was a part of the team assembled to investigate the island of Kooey-Kooey-Kooey.



Suicide Squad (Volume 2) #7

"Act of War"
Script by Keith Giffen
Art by Medina and Sanchez
Cover by Medina and Sanchez

SYNOPSIS: Reactron was frozen by Killer Frost during an argument, and was later killed by Deadshot in the hail of bullets he fired to kill the representatives of the mysterious city that had appeared on Kooey-Kooey-Kooey.



Suicide Squad (Volume 2) #8

"Thou Shalt Not..."
Script by Keith Giffen
Art by Medina and Sanchez
Cover by Medina and Sanchez

SYNOPSIS: Reactron's body disappeared with Kooey-Kooey-Kooey (and Blackstarr) as everything moved into another dimension (much like the Legion of Super-Heroes' Tyroc's island Marzal).

COMMENTS: Sigh. The second series of Suicide Squad was a definite case of "you can't go home again". I'm not sure exactly what Keith Giffen was trying to accomplish with this series, but the entire book came off as a ramble more than anything else. The artwork by Medina seemed to want to be Manga-esque, but never really came close to emulating that artistic style ... though it was at times very remiscinent of Harvey Comics.

The only Doom Patrol-related thing about this series was the appearance of Reactron as the highlighted cannon fodder for that particular story. I'm not sure what kind of research Medina did before drawing the story, but he obviously didn't look at any of Reactron's previous appearances, since he looks like he shrunk in the wash somewhere along the way. Though his feet did remain the same size, and looked to be bigger than his head. Reactron wasn't the greatest character to begin with, but I think he deserved a little better send-off than he got in this story (much like the Injustice League deserved better in the first issue of the series).

Suicide Squad (Volume 2) #6 Suicide Squad (Volume 2) #7 Suicide Squad (Volume 2) #8


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