Future State: Suicide Squad #1 – Robbie Thompson, Jeremy Adams, Writers; Javier Fernandez, Fernando Pasarin/Oclair Albert, Artists; Alex Sinclair, Jeromy Cox, Colorists
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Anyone following up on Suicide Squad right now would have a tough task, coming after Tom Taylor’s spectacular run, but Robbie Thompson drew that opportunity. His take is definitely more traditional—in some ways. There’s still Amanda Waller leading the team, and the neck bombs have returned, but this isn’t a band of villains as themselves—these villains are impersonating the world’s most famous heroes. You’ve got Clayface as Martian Manhunter, an alien Aquaman, the new speedster Bolt (who has prosthetic legs) as a semi-heroic Flash, the Talon William Cobb as Batman, an illusionist Wonder Woman—and most surprisingly, Conner Kent playing the role of Superman.
This isn’t a smooth team, with Conner obviously having trouble leading a team of villains, and it’s not long before a mission to hunt some alien invaders leads to one of the team getting their head blown off. I didn’t really connect to any of the villainous characters, although Bolt seems intriguing, but the most interesting part of this issue is Conner’s power struggle with Waller. Why did he choose to become a member of the Suicide Squad (or did he choose?) and will he embrace his Luthor side? I’m still not sold that he would actually work on this team, but Robbie Thompson does a good job of exploring that possibility, and Waller is back at her peak ruthless self as she manipulates the team. Solid start, with a very intriguing last-page twist.
Next up is Black Adam, courtesy of future Flash writer Jeremy Adams with art by Fernando Pasarin. This is an odd story, starting with the setting – it’s in the DC One Million timeline, the first Future State story set in a pre-existing timeline. When the Justice League of this era comes under assault from Vandal Savage and the Seven Deadly Sins, a legend falls and the heroes seek help from an unlikely source—Wonder Woman’s secret lover Teth-Adam, who has been isolated in Khandaq for eons.
But this isn’t the Black Adam we know—it’s a peace-loving man who has renounced his power and embraced science and non-violence. When the villains hunt him down, he’s forced into a terrible choice—especially after a revelation from Wonder Woman that surprised me as much as it did the characters. This is a fast-paced, chaotic story that confused me in a few places, but it’s fun—something a Flash run will definitely need. And the surprise character who appears at the end might be the biggest surprise in this week’s Future State Books.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.