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Saturday, February 1, 2020

Suicide Squad: The Janus Directive (Superhero) (Graphic Novel)

by John Ostrander  (Author)  

Publisher: DC Comics (July 19, 2016)

Softcover, 272 pages

This was one of those multi-issue crossover stories that strafed across five titles. The kind we got plenty of in the late eighties and which quickly became tiresome. The purpose was to boost sales in flagging books, but all it really achieved, from the standpoint of a reader, was to interrupt the storylines of the series you were interested in in order to shoehorn in some part of a bullshit story of which you were only half aware.

That being said, when the entire collection is put together like this, it makes it much more palatable to read, but it is still slightly annoying. After all, you've bought a book about the Suicide Squad and they only appear in about half the issues. The rest of it is filled with various characters to which I have only a peripheral knowledge of, or their Pre-Crisis version, or an Elseworlds version, or whatever. This book collects issues 26 - 30 of Suicide Squad, 15 - 18 of Checkmate, #14 of Manhunter, #86 of Firestorm, and #30 of Captain Atom (the last one could've been jettisoned from the pack in my opinion).

A cold war has erupted between the American intelligence services various metahuman (DC talk for superhero) teams. People have been killed and secrets compromised. This results in a lot of back and forth conflicts. One team hits another. Some people are killed. Lois Lane investigates. Then the real culprit is revealed and finally defeated. Unlike most crossovers however, this one has lasting effects for the Suicide Squad.
Like most Suicide Squad arcs, it is uncertain which characters will survive to see its end. The team itself is made up of 2nd tier super-villains, all of them easily expendable. In fact, this series was famous for making wash-up villains more interesting (Deadshot & Captain Boomerang, are two examples) and promoting their popularity so much that they had to be written out of the series.

      For more readings, try books by Rex Hurst. 

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