Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Bullet Review Back Issue Box: Suicide Squad #10

I continue my look back at Mark Shaw's history in the DC Universe and seeing if his past predicts his current persona of Leviathan. 

We close a brief chapter in the Shaw timeline by looking at Suicide Squad #10. Writer John Ostrander capitalized on the Manhunter craze of Millennium to rescue Shaw (as the Privateer) from comic limbo and bring him into the Suicide Squad.

Obviously, with an ongoing company hook of 'Who is a Manhunter sleeper agent?' readers must have wondered if Shaw was brought back only to be revealed once again as a Manhunter. Instead, he is shown as a debonair character who is also incredibly skilled in espionage. 

After having shown his true colors by helping the Squad destroy a Manhunter temple, and with the New Guardians formed, Shaw was looking for the next stop in his life path. And that is where this issue comes in.

Millennium is over. 
And with his mission over, Mark Shaw's debt to Amanda Waller and the Squad is paid off.

Here we see Shaw exit Task Force X. 

He visits Rick Flag and tells him of the plan to become Manhunter again, making that name mean something good. But this is also a business. He'll be a bounty hunter. Maybe Flag wants to join him.

Flag, still grieving the betrayal and death of Karin, broods instead, telling Shaw to leave. You can only imagine the world that might have been if Flag left and they became partners.

Trying to tie this into Leviathan, I guess Shaw gets another example of what secrets do people. Karin harbors a terrible secret, belonging to a shadow society, and ends up dead. Plus, her duplicity has inflicted pretty significant trauma to a good man like Flag.

More bricks in the wall to form an identity like Leviathan.

The main plot of this issue is Batman infiltrating Belle Reve and learning all about the existence of the Squad. And he isn't happy. 

For me. the joy was seeing this scene which I have seen before in the excellent first Deadshot mini-series, albeit in flashbacks by Lawton. Seeing the actual scene was a treat.

But this brief chapter of Mark Shaw's life is over. No more Privateer. Once again, he is the Manhunter.

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