The Suicide Squad’s New 52 debut was Bold, Brash and Beautiful. ‘Suicide Squad: Kicked In The Teeth‘ was a brilliant beginning that showcased the perfect balance between action, drama and balls to the wall fun. It was clear that the Squad had all of the right characteristics to stand out from the crowd and their first volume really highlighted just how ahead of the curve that they really are.
However, many sequel stories often suffer from a sophomore curse. I’ve seen it happen numerous times across the board in books, movies and games. Often the creators had a tale that they wanted to tell, they told it, and they are now stuck in a job in which they have to produce works that have to live up to the hype of the initial project.
I’d love for Suicide Squad Basilisk Rising to break the mould (as the Squad often do) and really live up to the potential that was shown in Volume one.
Can they do it?
That’s what I’m here to find out!
So without further ado let’s dive right in to my Basilisk Rising Review and see if the Squad are here to stay.
Kicked In The Teeth
The book opens immediately after the climax of Suicide Squad: Kicked In The Teeth. Harley Quinn has been shot by Deadshot and the team are returning to Belle Reve. Amanda Waller is furious with the Joker’s sidekick and takes it out on the current members of the group. She looms over them like the figure of death that she is. Threatening them and enforcing that there is no escape.
This was the first real look that we got at Waller and her New 52’s reimagining paints her as an authoritative and intimidating presence. If it wasn’t for her position she would be at home amongst the ranks of the team but fortunately for her she’s on the right side of the law. Due to her vindictive acts it’s not long before other agencies want her dead. She’s caught the eye of Basilisk and they have trained sleeper agents to infiltrate her organisation.
From the off the book does a brilliant job at parodying bureaucracy and a Republican mindset. Waller is brash in her ideology, doing all manner of bad in order to achieve good. The first issue immediately grabs your attention and demands you read more.
The Resurrection Man
The team are tasked with bringing in Mitch Shelley, a man capable of reviving himself upon death. His capture becomes paramount and it’s a mean feat when other agency’s start getting involved. I loved the bickering phonecalls that the agency directors have back and forth, set to the backdrop of chart topping ring tones. It’s clear the music choice of famous songs may have somewhat influenced the tune choices for the Suicide Squad film and it’s interesting to see their pop culture roots sprouting here.
Waller enforces just how twisted she is by capturing the Resurrection man, amputating his hand to study, letting him go and placing a bomb in the neck of his girlfriend so that she always has leverage.
I love how cunning and devious Waller is in every book that she appears but this takes the cake. Nefarious to the end she is a tactician that plans out every possible outcome in order to win, no matter the cost.
It’s a Machiavellian mindstate that makes her an interesting anti hero to rally behind. She tortures teammates to show them their strength, murders hostages to take away the captors leverage and is methodical in every move that she makes. Whether you like the character or not Basilisk Rising does a fine job of showcasing all of her complexities and it’s difficult not to admire the writing.
Judas At The Table
The team’s next skirmish involves infiltrating the Basilisk base and taking out it’s leader, Regulus. On paper it’s par for the course, however, there is a traitor in the team and everyone is a suspect.
This distrust amongst the group leaps off the pages and I constantly found myself coming up with theories as to who was the disloyal member…and it still shocked me.
It’s difficult to hide twists, especially with the knowledge of hindsight from reading the latest Squad runs in Rebirth, the creative team however, have done an excellent job of hiding all the twists and turns. Much like ‘Kicked In The Teeth’ the book does an outstanding job at pulling the rug out from under you and there will be several moments that you don’t see coming.
A book is never better than when it keeps you on your toes and Basilisk Rising had me on the edge of my seat throughout. It’s tales of betrayal and sleeper agents are epic like no other and it’s definitely worth picking the book up for these aspects alone.
The plot wraps up nicely with the team taking down Basilisk in their usual brash fashion and we get an insight into Amanda Waller’s past. It’s a cinematic way to fill in the blanks as to why the squad was created whilst also depicting personal motivations within each team member.
Suicide Squad Basilisk Rising does a brilliant job of matching the first story (even bettering at some points) and feels like a well crafted comic book arc. There is very little to find fault in here and the creative team have exceeded in telling a well paced tale with several twists and turns.
I enjoyed the book from beginning to end with every page being a triumph in either action, drama, art or storytelling.
Suicide Squad Basilisk Rising is an outstanding story and that’s why it gets a…