(WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the comic series Batman: I Am Suicide, up through Issue #11. You've been warned.)
Turns out that leading a team of supervillains is actually as hard as it sounds. A few weeks ago, #DCcomics revealed that #Batman would lead his own #SuicideSquad team against long-time villain Bane, in Tom King's Batman: I Am Suicide, series of #comicbooks. The makeshift team consists of Arkham inmate superstars Bronze Tiger, The Ventriloquist, Catwoman, Punch, and Jewelee. However, despite only being formed just two issue ago, Issue #11 hints that Batman's newly formed team might already be done for, thanks to a traitor in the ranks.
It turns out that Bruce Wayne has nothing on the original Suicide Squad leader, Amanda Waller, when it comes to leading a supervillain team.
Gone were the implanted explosives to keep the team in line and instead, replacing them was the far less effective, Batman-style fear and intimidation. Although with I Am Suicide only a two issues into the comic books, is it too soon to count the team out, or are things, in fact, going exactly to the Bat's elaborate plan?
All According To Plan?
Before we get to the traitor, let’s recap a little. Things seemed to be going well at first — Batman had a team and presumably a plan to illegally invade #Bane's kingdom with the objective of abducting the ridiculously named villain, Psycho Pirate. It looked as though the writer Tom King was ready go full Oceans 13 with the story, complete with elaborate setups and the classic "pretend that Bane broke my back again" fake out.
Things quickly deteriorate as Batman is apprehended by Bane's henchmen, has his back apparently broken for real once more and is then left to rot in a hole in the ground. From here, it would be feasible to assume that I Am Suicide is, in fact, going to revolve around the rest of the team saving Batman by themselves and completing the mission.
Only, in a twist, it turns out that Bane only sort of broke his back, enabling Batman to escape after some quick self-chiropractic aid (no, really). Batman had in fact allowed himself to be caught all along, in order to distract Bane from the rest of the Suicide Squad, who were infiltrating the base. Anyway, things can only improve from here, right?
The Cat's Out Of The Bag
With the team in position, the second part of the plan goes underway, this time involving the "fake prisoner trick" with Bronze Tiger, Punch and Jewelee. Hidden out of sight, Batman wants to strike while #Catwoman is left to guard the Ventriloquist, who for reasons that are still unknown, is vital to the success of the mission. Things seem to be going in a more Batman-like fashion until King reveals his second twist.
Catwoman, who is on death row for 237 counts of murder, is (unsurprising) lacking much incentive to be a good team player. Spotting an opportunity to make a break for it, she subdues Bronze Tiger and exposes Batman's plan to Bane. King further twists the knife when Catwoman apparently murders Punch and Jewelee, seemingly wiping away any doubt that this is, in fact, another fake out.
Tom King has subverted almost all of our expectations with his consistent, unexpected twists and turns. While it's still possible that it is a fake out, it now seems far from likely. It would be a shame for #DC to bring back two obscure villains only to have them be killed as cannon fodder. However, this last twist pretty much confirms that I Am Suicide, is not a story about Batman redeeming a bunch of supervillains. Although, if things do appear as they seem, what does this tell us about Catwoman's future?
Where Does It Go From Here?
It appears that DC is set firm on walking Catwoman down a much darker path. Before DC began relaunching its lineup under the #Rebirth title, Catwoman was transformed into a murderous crime boss. Instead of retconning the status quo, the Rebirth series is continuing it by turning Catwoman into even more of a villain.
Although there have been plenty of times in the past where Catwoman has feigned being a villain, only to come to Bruce's aid, it was done without killing others. Whatever the true outcome of this story is, one thing is for sure: Batman's Suicide Squad is going to, unfortunately, be a very short-lived team.
Not content with the shorter, theatrical verison of Suicide Squad? Good news is that the Extended Cut edition is now here. Check out some of the extra footage in the video below: