“New Suicide Squad” issues 17 – 21

Written by Tim Seeley
Wildstorm Concepts: Mercs - Brutus Mercs - Deathtrap Mercs - Kilgore Mercs - Razer Mercs - Slayer Rose Tatoo

All-Star WesternThe Suicide Squad is sent to Honk Kong to act as bodyguards for a politician. They were expecting the mission, as the Squad’s members are working with the Horus organization to escape from the goverment’s clutch. Horus works to defend human rights and they find a Squad using inmates as assassins is wrong. Once the Squad is in Honk Kong, Horus hires a group of faceless superhumans who look tough enough to take the Squad on — the Mercs from Wildstorm. The Mercs inject the Squad with life-sign hacking-nano-projectiles, so the Squad seems dead to the computers and they’re able to escape.

At first it looks like the Squad and the Mercs are going to clash due to their strong personalities, but it turns out the Mercs are the Squad’s biggest fans. While they’re waiting for the heat to blow over, Deathtrap sings a Rose Tattoo poem; the patron saint of killers. He tells her story to Deadshot; Rose is a spirit born the moment one person took another’s life. Suddenly, their boss from Horus kills his girlfriend; it turns out he was an agent from The Fist of Cain, and he begins a tournament where assassins from The Fist are going to compete to kill the Mercs and the Squad. Brutus dies on the opening shot. Razer goes next, and then Kilgore. D-List characters don’t have the best odds compared to the main characters.
Meanwhile, Deathtrap teams up with Deadshot and they protect each other as Deathtrap uses his power to create guns from the walls around them. The two reunite with the rest of the Squad.

Things go bad when the girlfriend of the boss of Horus who was killed turns into Rose Tattoo. The spirit smelled blood, so many killers in one place. She meets Slayer, who does not survive the encounter. As the surviving characters freak out about Rose, things look grim, but a backup team arrives with three Suicide Squad members. Rose catches up to them and kills Hunky Punk, but Cheetah engages her to let the others escape

Meanwhile, Deathtrap and Deadshot get cornered by the big boss. Deathtrap could kill the boss, but he would be killing him before he becomes shepherd of the Fist of Cain. Deathtrap is obsessed with cementing his legacy, so he shoots Deadshot instead. But he used a fake rose bullet, so Deadshot survives and turns things around. The boss is killed.
Back with Rose, Cheetah is losing the fight. El Diablo knows Rose will kill everyone if she’s allowed to walk the earth again, so he decides to use his underworld fire powers to open a door there and take Rose back. He succeeds, but he’s sadly absorbed as well.

Everyone reunites, but even without their boss the Fist of Cain thinks the game is on. Deathtrap decides to stay behind and buy the others a escape – he uses his powers to turn the entire place into a gun, bringing it down. The Mercs got to star in a story that was beautifully illustrated, but none of them got to survive.

Next: “Midnighter and Apollo” issues 1 – 6, written by Steve Orlando.

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