In Suicide Squad: War Crimes #1, writer John Ostrander brings you a gritty and grounded story truly fitting for Task Force X. Right from the start it feels like a classic Suicide Squad story; a kidnapped government official, off book covert ops, some good ol’ back stabbing, and Amanda Waller in true form as the coal hearted puppeteer.
This one off Suicide Squad opens with Netherlands’ meta-team Strikeforce Europa retrieving Ex Secretary of Defense George Carmody to stand trial before the International Criminal Court for supposed war crimes. The only problem is that his crimes aren’t so supposed. Amanda Waller, understanding the inevitable fallout of a potential trial, does what she does best: Assembles the highly disposable Task Force X to clean up the mess and bring Mr. Carmody back to American Soil. Hijinks galore ensue, a few deaths for good measure and Harley Quinn being her joyfully insane self makes this issue fly by. Ostrander’s love for this team is never more evident than in this thoughtfully crafted tale.
With the recent box office success of the Suicide Squad movie it only seems fair that the writing duties would fall to the man who created the concept of the felon hit squad. It was in the DC miniseries Legends where Ostrander took a ragtag group of underdeveloped C list villains imprisoned at Belle Reve and gave us a team that was as charmingly evil as it was deadly. In fact it was so well received he was given a self titled Suicide Squad arc lasting 68 issues from ’87- ’93. If you had as good time as I did with War Crimes # 1, I would highly suggest taking a peek at Ostrander’s Suicide Squad Vol 1.Honestly, this issue had me nerd-gasming in all the best ways. My only real criticism with War Crimes #1 is that it’s a one and done by Ostrander. It’s frustrating to realize that everything that makes the Suicide Squad so amazing seems to be lost on the team writing the main series. This goes double for the movie. Suicide Squad isn’t about world ending events orchestrated by possessed hula dancers or cosmic boogie men that need a bullet in the head. Task Force X has always been at its best when dealing with international scandals that need to be dealt with by those with looser morals then the more upstanding heroes of the DC Universe. Warner Bros. would do well to have Ostrander help write the script on the eventual sequel to Suicide Squad.
Suicide Squad: War Crimes #1 is every thing one should want out of a comic bearing this name. Tons of action, thoughtfully crafted dialogue and a strong visual style by artists Gus Vazquez and Carlos Rodriguez. This issue is a must read for fans of the movie, but most of all for fans of the original Ostrander run. You’d be doing your self a great disservice if you don’t pick this issue up when it hits the shelves August 31st.