Suicide Squad Volume 1: Trial By Fire by John Ostrander and Kim Yale is 80’s action Suicide Squad more influenced by the 80’s TV show the A-Team then anything else. I wanted to read this in anticipation for the movie coming out that will have lots of obscure characters from the series, and I thought the 80’s Suicide Squad would be a good place to look. I got to learn a lot of the history of the squad originally called Suicide Squadron during World War II. I found out that The Penguin was briefly a member. The main members are Deadshot, Enchantress, Captain Boomerang, Bronze Tiger, Nightshade, and lead by Randall Flagg commanded by Amanda Waller. Suicide Squad Volume 1: Trial By Fire collects Secret Origins 14 and Suicide Squad issues 1-8.
The Plot: We get a brief but through history of how the Suicide Squad was created, starting in World War II when it was called the Suicide Squadron and ran by Randall Flagg’s father, it wasn’t about super heroes, just extreme impossible missions. Different versions of the Squad were used in Vietnam and Korea. Amanda Waller is calling for a new Suicide Squad that is Super Villain based, using criminals on the missions, since they’re expendable. There first mission is stopping a terrorist organization called the Jihad. The next is against a super hero that only arrest people of color and is a member of the Aryan brotherhood. A three part issue of the Squad rescuing a Russian political figure, featuring the Penguin as a member of the Squad.
What I Liked: Captain Boomerang really stick out, his character doesn’t want to stop being a criminal, he’s just looking for something to do. He is the most ruthless killing members of the Squad he does not like on missions. Deadshot is another favorite who does what he wants and has his own kind of vengeance. I liked some of the political issue it touched on especially race and equality, this does in with Amanda Waller backstory. On the topic of the naming of the title Suicide Squad, Amanda Waller says it’s got a past and they have a past, they will love with it. There’s some pretty good fight scenes. There’s a great moment with Captain Boomerang fighting a speedster, where he throws him off a building, and says like the Flash you’ll run up the wall to save yourself. Then we see a splat.
What I Disliked: The drawing of Deadshot and Enchantress. Enchanted has the worst costume ever, Deadshot looks in his fifties, too old. The dialogue is so stale, except for Captain Boomerang. It is good she they are fighting supervillains but not regular soldiers.
Recommendation: if you’re a fan of the current Suicide Squad then you can skip this and won’t get too much out of it. The comic has its moments 50% worth it and 50% not worth it. I bought this graphic novel in a bargain bin for 3.50 and feel it was worth it for that. I was introduced to a couple of new characters, only one I didn’t know of previously. I rated Suicide Squad Volume 1: Trial By Fire 2 out of 5 stars