Spoiler Warning: It should go without saying that there are spoilers in my reviews, so if you want to experience these stories and their surprises for yourself, maybe skip the rest of this article. Long story short: I enjoyed El Diablo’s story in Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo and Boomerang #1, so I’ll definitely be checking out issue #2, but Boomerang’s arc didn’t catch my interest as much!
This week, DC is really hammering home the Suicide Squad thing. In addition to the movie, we’re being treated to a new Suicide Squad comic, Harley Quinn, and Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo and Boomerang. Plus, at the end of the month, we’ll be getting Suicide Squad: War Crimes Special by John Ostrander, the granddaddy of Suicide Squad.
The third and final review in my Suicide Squad bundle today is Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo and Boomerang #1 (you can read my review on Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1 here, and my review of Harley Quinn #1 here).
Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo and Boomerang #1 features two different stories, and as the title suggests, each story features a different character. First, we get a look at El Diablo’s story, and honestly I felt this one was the more compelling of the two. Written by Jai Nitz, with art by Cliff Richards and colors by Hi-Fi, El Diablo’s story will seemingly continue throughout all 6 issues of the Suicide Squad Most Wanted miniseries.
The comic opens with a couple of flashbacks establishing El Diablo’s time with the Suicide Squad and highlighting the importance of faith in Chato Santana’s (Diablo’s civilian identity) life. With Diablo looking forward to getting released from Belle Reve prison, he gets a nasty surprise when Amanda Waller tries to strong-arm El Diablo into leading a new black ops unit called Task Force Y.
A major theme of the story seems to be redemption, making El Diablo a more nuanced character than I had expected. Chato Santana doesn’t seem like he regrets his gang activity, but he does regret hurting innocent people. He doesn’t want anything to do with super-villainy, seemingly, but he recognizes that he can’t really escape his past – in fact, this message is hammered home when Uncle Sam and the new head of Checkmate try to recruit El Diablo to their organization.
As a side note, I love how hardcore El Diablo is – he literally spits in Amanda Waller’s face, and considering that he’s worked with her long enough to know how dangerous he is, that immediately made me want to read more of his story as it unfolds!
One thing that bugs me about having so many comics with various creators behind them all featuring the same characters: Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad Most Wanted doesn’t look anything like Waller in Suicide Squad. In one, she’s a bit older and heavier; in the other, she’s younger and slimmer. It’s a minor annoyance for a comic book fan, but for new readers it can lead to a lot of confusion and inconsistency. Just sayin’.
The second half of the issue focuses on different characters throughout the miniseries run. The first two issues feature Digger Harkness, aka Boomerang, and will be written by Michael Moreci with art by Oscar Bazaldua and colors by Beth Sotelo.
Boomerang’s story is set in Pesario, South America, where the Suicide Squad has been sent to kill a villain named El Jaguar. In the midst of a fight with El Jaguar’s mercenaries, a group of masked metahumans forces the Squad to retreat, leaving Boomerang stranded in the country without any contacts, unable to speak the language, and utterly out of his depth.
Boomerang is a very different character than El Diablo – Digger Harkness is an unrepentant jerk. He’s amoral and takes a perverse joy out of his work, and he’s quicker to cut someone’s arm off than he is to try and save them (read Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1 to see what I mean).
While the writing and art on Boomerang’s arc are solid, they ultimately didn’t catch my interest as much as El Diablo did under the guidance of Nitz and Richards. Luckily, I can follow both of their stories when issue #2 hits shelves, since they’re bundled together. Who knows – maybe Moreci can make me like Digger Harkness in the next issue!
Have you read Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo and Boomerang #1? If so, let me know what you thought in the comments!