Well, if I had any doubts as to what Amanda Waller is willing to do to Task Force X to get what she wants, it sure did become obvious with this issue.
Oh, and she recruited Ambush Bug at some point.
Issue: Suicide Squad #7, September 2021
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artists: Eduardo Pansica and Julio Ferreira
The Plot: The next step in Waller’s plan involves sending the Squad to Hell. Literally.
Commentary: Well, Ambush Bug. That’s an interesting character to bring in. Ambush Bug may or may not be an in-continuity character. He did start off as one before he became more of a comedic character who broke the fourth wall, teleported wherever he wanted, was fully aware he was a comic book character, and rarely appears outside his comedic special issues. And yet, here he is, breaking the fourth wall and even trying to tell the Squad that they’re comic book characters and not where they think they are.
He’s actually kinda right as he knows the sunny beach he meets most of the Squad on isn’t real. It’s a VR experiment by Waller to see if the Squad can handle the next step in her plan: go to Hell and find a route to the Rock of Eternity. As for explaining to the Squad that they are comic book characters, the others all ignore that and think he’s crazy. He kind of is, but the point stands. Plus, Ambush Bug even knows things he shouldn’t, like how Nocturna isn’t from this Earth and how she, like Black Siren, was kidnapped by Bloodsport on behalf of Waller from another Earth she doesn’t remember.
Huh, I was wondering why she was appearing here and in that Arkham City mini-series at about the same time.
However, Waller seems to be getting a bit more extreme as she sent Peacemaker off to “recruit” Swamp Thing. She said before she is testing him as he may have been the one who helped Rick Flagg escape his cell. If the Annual was not trying to trick the reader, it’s actually someone else, but that guy isn’t in any better shape. Meanwhile, Waller is telling the outraged Nocturna that Waller made Nocturna something when she was “nothing” on her Earth, but that is clearly not how Waller feels about the Squad as she not only sees no harm sending them on a one-way trip to Hell (and yes, she tells them their head bombs still work), and even tells an aide that the Squad, to a person, deserves to be there.
Have you looked in the mirror lately, Waller?
I wouldn’t say the Squad is made up of misunderstood or harmless people, but the Squad here isn’t exactly coming across as the worst of the worst. Bloodsport is a bit bad, but Nocturna and Black Siren came from other Earths. Culebra seems like someone who maybe committed a crime by accident and the worst that can said about her is she cracks nonstop bad jokes. Talon is brainwashed. Match is a science experiment that thought he was a good guy for a while. These are the worst of the worst? I’m sure part of this is about making them look innocent at least compared to Waller (mission accomplished there), but they seem far more human and personable than the cold person running things from the top.
Oh wait, Ambush Bug’s first appearance showed he was, no joke, an assassin.
Still largely enjoying this series.