Comic Book Reviews (Week November 25, 2020): Suicide Squad Issue 11, X-Men, and More!

suicide squad issue 11 review
Suicide Squad Issue 11 (Image: DC Comics)

Welcome to my comic book reviews for this week (November 25, 2020). I will be covering Suicide Squad issue 11, The Department of Truth issue 3, and my thoughts on upcoming X-Men books during the ‘Reign of X’ era!

Let’s begin by talking about the final issue of Tom Taylor‘s Suicide Squad comic book. Suicide Squad issue 11, in my opinion, offered a satisfactory conclusion while leaving the door open for the Revolutionaries to return. Considering the fan support surrounding queer characters Wink and Aerie, I think we’ll be seeing them pop up across the DC Comic Universe. Also, the way Aerie’s mother handled Batman had me laughing.

As I have shared before, Taylor’s was the very first Suicide Squad run I read to completion and I’m glad I did. Let’s see what the new run will look like.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

department of truth issue 3 review
Department of Truth Issue 3 (Image: Image Comics)

The Department of Truth Issue 3

From writer James Tynion IV, The Department of Truth issue 3 showed just how dangerous the villainous Black Hat organization continues to be. Due to narrative reasons, the current issue decided to focus on a mother (named Mary) who lost her child in a school shooting. Of course, conspiracy theories began about how the shooting didn’t happen and gun violence was being faked to pass laws for gun control. Owing to her state of mind and the reality-altering powers of the Black Hat, Mary started to believe the conspiracy theories. 

Now, this is where I can see certain readers feeling a bit uncomfortable. School shootings are a very real thing. And having a parent act in such a way after losing a child can definitely read as being insensitive. But then again, the supernatural Black Hat organization was manipulating Mary and making her think she could have her son back.

Can you blame Mary for not being able to stand against a paranormal entity? Can Tynion be faulted for deciding on such a narrative choice? I think the mileage will vary depending on how particular readers feel about the situation.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Be cautious because of the subject matter.

breaklands season 2 issue 1 review
Breaklands Season 2 Issue 1 (Image: ComiXology Originals)

Breaklands Season 2 Issue 1 (of 5)

I was provided with a free copy of Breaklands Season 2 Issue 1 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

Breaklands is back for a five-issue second season. From writer Justin Jordan, Breaklands Season 2 issue 1 opened with Kasa and her brother Adam on the run with their group (I guess I can call everyone friends now, right? Ha!).

For those unfamiliar with the first season of this series, here’s the description:

Set 150 years after humanity developed psychic powers and ended the world as we know it, a new world has emerged. This post-Break world has become almost entirely dependent on talents for nearly everything, especially fighting. Kasa Fain, is a young teenager, an outsider, who was in hiding with her younger brother, Adam, until the day he was kidnapped for his shaper ability. With their mother gone, Kasa, armed with her smarts and a bow and arrows, set out to rescue her brother from the Rumblers. Now reunited, Kasa and Adam are on the run and being pursued by Skypirates, land bound criminals, and the God King Rask. But when Kasa learns she just might possess the most powerful talent of all, can they get to safety?

The debut issue for the second season was very action-packed and told us more about Kasa’s ability. Due to the way that everything worked in this fictional world, Kasa being able to nullify stuff can be extremely dangerous and world-changing in the wrong hands.

With how things ended for Kasa in this issue, I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen to her and Adam. It won’t be getting easier, from what I can tell.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP! 

Now that I’ve talked about the comic books I read this week, I’m going to address my current opinions about the X-Men franchise. The 22-part X of Swords event finally concluded this week. Due to how Marauders issue 13 handled Storm and her relationship with T’Challa, I decided not to waste money on any new X-Men books. Now that the X of Swords event has ended, I have to say that I still won’t be buying X-Men comic books until I feel the writers are treating Storm right.

X of Swords retconned Skybreaker breaker into Wakandan lore and it was obvious such an item only existed to mess T’Challa and Ororo’s bond in a manner that did away with the years of work writer Ta-Nehisi Coates put into mending their relationship. Seriously, did Storm even use the sword once to break the sky or something? Of course she didn’t!

From what I know, the final issue of X of Swords had Storm return Skybreaker to Wakanda. I guess such a sword will be retconned out of existence soon enough. I doubt if it will ever be mentioned in the main Black Panther comic book series.

X of Swords Destruction Storm
X of Swords: Destruction Issue 1 (Image: Marvel Comics)

The conclusion of the X of Swords has brought the Reign of X era for mutants. Storm’s quite prominent in the promotional material.

reign of x marvel comics
Reign of X (Image:

Apparently, she will be accompanying Jean and Scott on their mission in space. While certain Storm fans are happy about her going, I’m just rolling my eyes at this point. Time will tell if the X-writers will have Ororo do anything comparable to what Coates had her do in space in his Black Panther run (which will have its final issues released in February of 2021).

The X-writers have continued to talk about having big plans for Storm in 2021. And you know what? I’m willing to wait and see what the Reign of X era will bring for her. I have heard empty promises from creators before. The “keep consuming our content because it will get better” line is one I just don’t accept anymore, especially when I’m spending money on said content.

If I think Storm’s received some interesting narrative arcs in the Reign of X era, I will be more than happy to buy X-Men books again. Until then, I’ll be saving my money.

Also, here’s hoping the new Reign of X storylines for mutants feature queer elements because X of Swords was a huge heteronormative mess revolving around marriage as well as husbands and wives needing to be with each other.

Which comics books did you read this week? Did you enjoy Suicide Squad issue 11?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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