The last story arc for Task Force X was certainly a dark yet comedic one. Following the story of the pessimistic Juan Soria, the Suicide Squad took down alien invaders that attacked an amusement park. Realizing that they feed off of happiness, Amanda Waller ordered the Squad to make Juan the saddest human being in the world by any means necessary. The means the Squad resorts to are cutting off both his hands, removing his lame superpower and leaving him a mess. Juan’s depressing state saves the day and he goes off never to be seen again. As fun as it was, however, we return to the drama-filled post-Secret History of Task Force X story. Where does the Squad go from here?
**Some Spoilers Below**
Amanda Waller’s entire world is falling apart. The president has created a new government-issued superhero named The Wall that could potentially replace Task Force X. That, unfortunately, is the least of her concerns. Rick Flagg is stepping away from command, the Squad is getting their rears handed to them by Damage, and her most powerful metahumans won’t fight for her due to the trauma of the last mission. Just when things couldn’t get worse, the moment Amanda leaves Belle Reve, it is attacked. Hack, a former member that was killed earlier in the run, has returned from the dead to find her killer and destroy Task Force X.
This was an OK issue to start off the new storyline. It shows what the team has been up to and the ramifications of the previous story. The government-issued superhero looks interesting as well, though the poke at modern day politics doesn’t add much. Even the emotional story of Waller’s family was intriguing and made me want more. The big problem is that we have a bunch of interesting plots being forced into one issue. Each of these plots could be paired off to make two separate storylines. Now plots will either be thrown aside or try to be forced in. It’s clear which plot will be focused on, but it’s a shame some of these will be forced back for now.
The art was actually a good fit for this story. Eduardo Pansica’s pencil work is able to give off the realistic dramatic feel most of these stories need. This doesn’t mean the more crazy and imaginative illustrations are bad. The battle between the Squad and Damage looks amazing, as well as humorous when mixed with the dialogue. The colors of Adriano Lucas also help set the mood for each story. One minute they’re colorful for the battle, the next they’re subdued as Waller ponders her future. It’s nice to see the art team able to have such range to convey emotion.
There is one downside though which involves both the art and story. The cover of this issue spoils the reveal of Hack’s return. It would have been such a satisfying surprise if the return was kept hidden. While I can’t blame the cover artist too much, as this is a common problem in the industry, I have to ask: There wasn’t any other cover idea? Waller surrounded by a crumbling Belle Reve? A mysterious digital shadow watching from a computer? Anything than just revealing who’s behind all of this? Yeah, this is a nitpick but an annoying one at that.
This is just an ‘Okay’ issue. It’s not terrible but it’s not fantastic either. I don’t feel like my time was wasted but this feels more like it should be in a collected volume. The art is fantastic and does show off the positives of the story so far. In the end, we’ll just have to see if the rest of the story improves to see if this has merit.