I was enjoying this series for a while now, but then Ambush Bug joined the team, and I somehow found myself liking it even more.
Except for Major Force. That guy can go to hell.
Issue: Suicide Squad #11, January 2022
Writers: Robbie Thompson and Dennis Hopeless
Artists: Eduardo Pansica, Dexter Soy, and Julio Ferreira
The Plot: The Squad goes off to Earth-3, but stop at Earth-8 along the way.
Commentary: There’s a long tradition between DC and Marvel to occasionally do knock-off versions of their respective characters with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor. The best known example is probably Marvel’s Squadron Supreme/Squadron Sinister, created so the Avengers could smack around the Justice League once in a while, or even team up with them as the case may be. For DC, there were the Champions of Angor, an Avengers knock off so the Justice League could do the same. The two teams actually debuted at about the same time as an inside joke between freelancers working at the two companies. That wasn’t even the only time that happened. There was a sort-of crossover between the two books in the 70s where the Avengers and the Justice League both happened to solve a case in the same small town during Halloween, and you can see each respective team hanging around in the background for the other’s book.
But as for the Champions, these days, that would be the Retaliators on Earth-8. Earth-8 these days is the home to DC’s Marvel knock-offs. And since Amanda Waller wants to liberate Earth-3 from the Crime Syndicate, they need to hit the multiverse, but that isn’t an exact science and the Squad ends up on Earth-, face-to-face with the Retaliators.
And don’t worry, If you don’t know who all the different heroes are supposed to be, the caption boxes just hint really hard in a manner that says the writers are well-aware of what they’re doing, are fairly sure you the reader knows what they’re doing, and if you don’t, they manage to slip in some obvious references for each and every Retaliator so the reader knows which one is Captain America, which one is Thor, and so forth.
That one page made the whole issue for me.
Oh, the Squad does hold their own, but Major Force has no problem killing these guys. He’s kinda alone there, and it makes the generally despicable guy even more so.
Now, there are other elements at play here, including a critical move made by Rick Flag, but for what it’s worth, the Retaliators were a lot of fun and not taken all that seriously. That’s the sort of thing I really enjoy about this series.