Comic Book Review: Suicide Squad #33
As one mission closes, a new chapter begins for the Suicide Squad. I did truthfully hit a quick panic when I saw that Si Spurrier was doing a two-part Suicide Squad story with 33 & 34. The first thought was that we were really moving on to a new creative team, and I wasn’t quite ready for that kind of change just yet. In time of course, though not just yet. Needless to say it was probably about that time for another small self-contained story as a breather.
From the minute I laid eyes on the title of this story arc, ‘The Chosen Juan’, I knew that this would be an interesting one. You could tell that you would be in for a treat when someone who clearly doesn’t fit in this story is thrown into the madness that comes with this team. The best entertainment you can get out of this story when not dealing with the core team directly, is the outside perspective of this team and what it means to be expendable. As far as new stories go, this once was pretty much straightforward with what you needed to know about this mission. There is a new threat that threatens the safety of Earth, but it is what that threat is and how they approach it that you needed to work up to. Nothing shocking, but it was fun again to see that this was almost nothing new to the Suicide Squad. Sure, you maybe would have wanted to see a little influence of the story arc before to add some depth to the characters, but that doesn’t seem to be what they want us paying attention to.
Now Juan Soria himself was fascinating as a new character because there was truly nothing special about him from the start. We’ve had new characters before who are either well-known, have some big introduction, or at least have something visually attractive about them. However, Juan is a character who just doesn’t look like he belongs. Which I should say is nailing the focus of the story which is how terrifying of an experience this is for him. Now how would I describe Juan from the way he is written here? I would probably say he’s what happens if you take the normal panic from Boomerang and crank it to 15. Not his fault obviously when the big impression you get from him is that he is just as expendable as everyone else, if not more. There is one joke about his position that I believe they pulled off very well in terms of this Suicide Squad mission.
Juan’s story? That was probably the most unexpected development to come of this issue. Mainly for the fact that Juan is a case of unfortunate circumstance. He has an interesting power, but aside from that he is like any other person with a power that doesn’t make them superhero material.
There’s only one way to lose readers with a story like this having a different creative team, and that is lackluster artwork. Fortunately that is not the case for ‘The Chosen Juan’. Fernando Pasarin, Oclair Albert, and Blond made an excellent art team. When I saw these names I felt at ease because they have done some quality work before with action-packed stories like this. Off the bat I enjoyed Fernando Pasarin’s work because he is very detailed with the faces of his characters. The features he gives characters are very distinctive from the nose, to cheeks, to wrinkles. Not to mention he of course has his own way of drawing the Suicide Squad like most artists who tackle this book.After that, there was something appealing about Juan admittedly. And that was the way they drew him in a panicked state. Again he takes being scared to a new level when you are so used to Boomerang filling in that role. Oclair Albert was a good addition for the way his inks added to the dark atmosphere of this story. There was nothing hopeful about this mission or the threat they were engaging, so the inks helped bring out the intensity while of course adding depth to the pencils. Blond as usual is a great colorist for a wise and strong application of colors. Always the kind of colorist you would want onboard when the story is in your face with action. Not to mention when you have blasts flying in every direction or just a number of powered people active.
Suicide Squad #33 begins to answer the age-old question. If this is a Suicide Squad, where are these people actually being expendable? Juan Soria serves as that lamb to the slaughter, and while it is funny for how doomed he was from the start, it goes without saying that you do feel some sympathy for this guy by the end. He dreamed big, he fell hard, and everything just went downhill from there. Credit when it is due that this creative team is actually willing to show this team as one full of villains.