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Don’t do it, don’t try it baby: Graeme gets suicidal.

Graeme McMillan

Unlike Johanna, I had a couple of moments of unexpected disappointment with SUICIDE SQUAD: RAISE THE FLAG #1. The first was how much it centered around Rick Flag; sure, I knew that the title was a play on his name, and that the mini-series would revolve around his still being alive, but I had managed to convince myself that he’s still somehow not be much of a presence in the title itself until the end of the series, partially because I never really enjoyed Flag as a character – for me, Ostrander’s Suicide Squad never really became a must read until after his death – and partially because, with series like “The Search For Ray Palmer”, I thought missing characters were all the rage these days.

The second, and much more disappointing, was how much the book read like an issue of the original series. Undoubtedly, that’s a selling point for many fans, and I can see the logic behind it from that standpoint, but starting off a mini with an issue-long flashback into a decade-old series’ continuity, complete with injokes, nicknames and recurring villains who are barely introduced to new readers was oddly disorientating, as well as weirdly unexciting… It read as if the creative team were playing it safe, sticking to their comfort zone and giving the readers just what they think they want. The thing is, I don’t want that; I want to see what I enjoyed about the original run brought into a new context, and re-examined to an extent. I mean, nostalgia’s a fine thing, but if I want to read the old stories, then I’ll just read the old stories (Nostalgia is the reason behind my purchase of SHOWCASE PRESENTS: BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS, for example, which holds up surprisingly well from when I was eight years old. I’d even go so far as to call it Good). I expected more from this mini, and may even get it in the future issues, but the first, backwards-looking, issue was surprisingly, disappointingly, Okay.

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