I’m so sick of that fucking Arrow banner across the top of every single comic. You know, the one I always crop out of every cover? You’re welcome.
Fuck. Seeing Duane Swierczynski’s name on the front of this book just gave me a stomach ache. It’s not that I’m championing Adam Glass as the great writer of Suicide Squad. It’s just that Duane was writing Birds of Prey and that comic book was a confusing, shitty mess. Even people who liked the comic because they loved the characters eventually had their bias worn away by his horrible story and came to see the crapfest that was Birds of Prey. And now here he is to defecate all over the Suicide Squad. What’s even more disturbing is that Adam Glass left the Squad in a pretty major cliffhanger at the end of Issue #12. So did he just abandon his story to let Duane guess at the way it should end? Or did Duane approach the editors and say, “Dudes and Dudettes! I’ve got a great idea for how Glass’s story should end!” And they all applauded and let him take over the story by introducing a surprise plot element about how all the members of the Suicide Squad were actually clones? Or perhaps the story Glass was telling was really just the editor’s idea anyway, so Glass said, “Fuck this! I’m done writing your stupid story!” and took off, leaving Duane to step in and write the editor’s story for him.
I don’t know anything! All I know is Duane Swierczynski, you better fucking clean up your act and write like the novelist you supposedly are. This comic was at least passable (probably because I enjoyed the characters and was ignoring any really horrible faults with it just like I accused the Birds of Prey fans for doing!) so the bar isn’t that high for you to come in and make it better! Good luck, sir!
And Duane starts off with a big twist that just makes me mutter, “Oh my god.” And I don’t even have one!
The big twist is that Black Spider is the traitor except the traitor isn’t Black Spider!
I guess the trigger word that caused the rest of the Squad to turn on Deadshot and Harley also cause them to stand in silent confusion when the speaker of the trigger loses his brains all over the floor. Someone should also tell the artist that Iceberg doesn’t have glowing ice powers that come out of his specially treated gloves. He needs to remover his stupid gloves to touch things and turn them into ice. And where’s unconscious Captain Boomerang? At least show him lying at their feet. I put him in the Tumblr Tags so he needs to appear or people searching for him will be disappointed.
The reason this Black Spider isn’t actually Black Spider is because the real Black Spider is the one holding Amanda Waller’s grandmother hostage. So this Black Spider was simply a plant to distract the Squad so they wouldn’t suspect what Basilisk’s real plan was: to go after Waller. So I take back my muttering from earlier. This actually wasn’t such a bad moment after all. Nice recovery, Duane. Deadshot even explains to Harley that the fake Black Spider was so convincing that he wasn’t completely sure that he wasn’t Black Spider until the fake didn’t dodge his bullet. Black Spider can dodge bullets? Damn!
And back in Louisiana, Amanda Waller begins negotiating with the real Black Spider. At least I think it’s the real Black Spider! Who knows now? Amanda stalls him long enough so that her grandmother can get the jump on him. So he can dodge bullets but not Grandman reflexes? What a chump!
Um. Wait a second. Writer: Adam Glass?
Fucking DC and their lousy editorial team. I guess I have to take back all of my worries about Duane Swierczynski ruining this title! Adam Glass is still the writer! Mediocrity has been restored! I should also take back that sentence where I said, “Nice recovery, Duane,” since it was Adam who made a nice recovery. Unless the cover actually had the correct attribution. Who the fuck can tell? Does anybody at DC have any fucking idea what they’re doing anymore?!
After Black Spider is shocked, Amanda tries to shoot him. But before the bullets can splatter his brains on Nana’s gaudy wallpaper, Black Spider throws down his ninja smoke bombs and disappears. It is the real Black Spider! He dodged bullets!
Amanda and her grandma try to make it to their safe room full of automatic weapons and hard candy. But Black Spider does his ninja thing and reappears. There’s a back and forth struggle in which Amanda ends up on top and is ready to shoot Black Spider when a bunch of Basilisk Agents crash through the window. Why this prevents Amanda from pulling the trigger one time before she runs, I can’t guess. Maybe because she wanted to wait until she was well drawn before she immortalized the moment of Black Spider’s death.
Just kind of phoning it in at this point, aren’t you Cliff?
Back at the Basilisk Compound, Deadshot and Harley Quinn are running for their lives. They flee down some stairs only to be confronted by the brainwashed members of the Squad. I guess being brainwashed comes with elevator privileges. Harley and Deadshot engage in some awkward conversation that may or may not be flirting. Whatever it is, it’s cheesy dialogue. But it’s soon forgotten as the comic makes me laugh out loud in the next few panels. And I’m not laughing with it.
The first thing I would do when converting an ancient stone structure into my super villain headquarters is install fire hoses throughout. Safety first!
It would have been more believable if Harley had simply pissed on his head as she somersaulted over him. Also more adorable! What’s cuter than an incontinent gymnast? Amirite?
Deadshot gives up on his gun because the bullets just melt as they approach El Diablo’s face. So he picks up a sword as Iceberg finally remembers he needs to take his gloves off of his hands to be at all effective. And since that last sentence I wrote has both “sword” and “hands” in it, you should be able to guess what happens next.
Oh stop bitching! Just put some ice on it! HA HA!
Question! Since Iceberg turns things to ice by touching them, is El Diablo dead now? Because he’s all ice, right? Or does it not turn him into solid ice? Perhaps just the top layer of his epidermis was converted. Still a bad situation, right? And again, since Iceberg needs to touch things to turn them to ice, he’s now at half-effectiveness with one hand! Way to go, Deadshot! Maybe they can reattach his hand since they can keep everything nice and cold until they can find a medic.
Iceberg seems to take the loss of a hand fairly well. Perhaps it’s because he’s in shock. But now that the team is all back to normal, they’re ready to go after Regulus. And that’s when Captain Boomerang arrives! He probably regained consciousness a long time ago and has been waiting for things to calm down before stepping out from around the corner where he’s been cowering for the first half of this comic book. But now he’s ready to lead them to Regulus!
Back in Louisiana, Black Spider blows down the wall of the safe house crushing Amanda’s Nana just as she was explaining to Amanda that she kicked young Amanda out of her house in Chicago because she loved her so much. And her awesome plan of sending Amanda onto the streets so that she doesn’t end up on the streets worked! She ended up in a loving home with lots of opportunities to become a cold hearted assassin! Amanda then proceeds to defeat Black Spider with her Team Seven know-how and her high heel shoes.
Back back in Basilisk’s compound, Regulus finally makes an appearance. This time, Harley Quinn has been reprogrammed to shoot the shit out of everyone. She’s not as good with guns as she is with over-sized hammers, so she doesn’t manage to kill anyone. But she distracts Deadshot enough so that in one panel he’s twenty feet in front of her with Regulus behind her and in the next panel, Regulus has grabbed Deadshot from behind. That’s good cover fire!
Deadshot takes the name of the group literally!
Please. Deadshot has been shot up so many times, I think he thrives on it. The Next Issue Blurb says, “Guess who’s coming to a funeral?” Well, since Suicide Squad is crossing over with Death of the Family, it’s obviously referring to The Joker. But it’s the funeral part that’s the misleading piece. Glass is trying to make it look like it’ll be a Deadshot funeral but this is Suicide Squad! Deadshot isn’t going anywhere. And there are so many other people to choose from for a funeral! Black Spider. El Diablo. Nana!
Suicide Squad #13 Rating: +1 Ranking. I don’t know if Swierczynski or Glass wrote this issue. But I liked it even though I don’t like Harley’s attachment to Deadshot (although it’s probably more of a Doctor Harleen attachment since she’s kind of both personalities right now) and the fire hose in the ancient ruins was just ridiculous. I know they probably outfitted the place with computers and high tech shit and elevators and air conditioning and television lounges. But a system of hoses to put out burning blocks of stone? Seems low on the priority list.