Suicide Squad Sent to Sink Sea King's Sovereign State

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Suicide Squad 45

SUICIDE SQUAD #45 kicks off the adventure that will cross over with AQUAMAN. Following the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, there's been a little bit of fallout, the most globally noticeable being the arrival of a new continent in the Atlantic Ocean between the United States and Europe: from the murky depths of the sea, Atlantis has risen once more, triggered by a thought from Aquaman and creating unrest all across the world. 

And when there's unrest, there's bound to be a small-minded musclehead with a modicum of power who knows better than the rest of us and decides to "fix" things. In this case, it's Admiral Meddinghouse, who sees the arrival of the new continent -- an arrival that triggered tidal waves off the eastern seaboard -- as nothing less than an act of war. So he calls in his chips with Amanda Waller to have Task Force X sent in via submarine to meet up with an Atlantean contingent who also feel that the fabled city should remain under the sea.

Armed with a magical device to counteract a magical problem, the team is joined by Lord Satanus as a fill-in for the lost Enchantress, and Master Jailer, who will be responsible for breaking into the heavily fortified area beneath Atlantis to sink it once more.

In Atlantis, the population prepares itself for the coronation of Queen Mera--and if all the cosplays of Catwoman in her not-a-wedding gown could happen, then someone has to make Mera's coronation gown and hair a thing, pronto, because artist Jose Luis has made her look stunning! Aquaman, however, remains under the water, choosing not to attend and detract from Mera's special day. He's also rightly suspicious that the surface world will try something, so he and Vulko are keeping watch.

As it turns out, not all the Atlanteans are thrilled with the return to the surface -- or with the coronation of Mera as queen, whom they see as illegitimate because of her heritage. They have holed up under the city, meeting with Task Force X. But when Deadshot learns there are children among the masses, his suspicions of Waller's motives and messages have him do a quick inspection of their tools for the job, revealing a horrifying truth about the true objective of their mission.

Rob Williams and Dan Abnett do a bang-up storytelling job with this one, giving each character of the Suicide Squad a unique depth of personality. The blend of humor and seriousness is well-balanced, and the climactic reveal is just the kind of big moment that makes comic book reading fun! Jose Luis has rendered every panel with exquisite penciling, embellished to perfection by Jordi Tarragona and Vicente Cifuentes. Adriano Lucas makes each panel pop with color, and the undersea terrain scenes were obviously a playground for his palette.

I'm not usually one for the SUICIDE SQUAD books, particularly in the New 52 Rebirth incarnation, but this issue has all the right stuff, and I look forward to picking up AQUAMAN #39 next week to see how it goes from here.

Grade: 
4.5 / 5.0