Under the guise of Australia’s fabled swamp creature, the Bunyip, a villain has planted nuclear devices in all of Australia’s major cities. Threatening the nation’s complete devastation, the Bunyip craves complete control of the county. The only man who can stop this maniac: Australia’s greatest secret agent, Captain Boomerang. From a plethora of gadget-infused boomerangs and tuxedos, to pun fueled feminine names and hologram messages hidden within beer cans, Suicide Squad #47 embraces all of the absurdity of early James Bond films in the best way possible. Rob Williams and Philippe Briones have created a fun, done-in-one issue exploring the boomerang master.
Following the “Sink Atlantis” crossover with Aquaman, Rob Williams chooses to focus on one of the characters who was absent from the previous mission: Captain Boomerang. Admittedly, I know very little of the character beyond what has been shown in DC’s live action and animated movies. So, basically, I know that he is an Australian supervillain who throws boomerangs very well. Also, he is one of The Flash’s rogues. Perhaps it is best to just ignore the movie’s bit about the unicorn. Thankfully, this issue serves as a fun introduction to the character.
One of the best parts of this issue is just how much it embraces the absurdity of James Bond movie tropes as well as the inherent silliness of a character named Captain Boomerang. At one point, Digger points this out to the reader when he states, “People even find it way too easy to laugh at a bloke named Captain Boomerang.” Rob Williams does an excellent job of leaning into the inherent silliness by constructing an equally silly, yet enjoyable, one-shot story that sometimes borders on parody. This is a smart choice as trying to explore this character by infusing unnecessary melodrama or darkness would come off as insincere.
Additionally, I think the character’s irreverence for his hometown is something that will resonate with many readers. At some point in all of our lives, we have all had that moment where we just wanted to leave the cesspool behind and never come back. The boomerang-inspired humor utilized within the issue helps this sequence come off as authentic.
Comic books do not always need to be serious or dark to be entertaining. Suicide Squad #47 is largely fun because it is neither of those things. Unfortunately, when you dance along the line of absurdity, it is easy for things to fall apart in the final act. One of the only problems that I have with this issue is the reveal of the Bunyip. Although this comic also serves as a reintroduction to a character previously unseen in the Rebirth era of DC Comics, the reveal of the character’s identity seems to come out of nowhere. There are a few lines of dialogue throughout the issue that may allude to the Bunyip’s identity. However, the intent of these lines is questionable.
One of the most difficult aspects of writing a character like Captain Boomerang while embracing humor is to not make the character look inept. Rob Williams and Philippe Briones go a long way to make the character still come off as a mostly viable threat through the issue’s action sequences. My favorite sequence in the issue is the resolution to the battle with the Bunyip. It was something that didn’t register upon my first read-through, but was certainly foreshadowed throughout the issue.
Ultimately, Suicide Squad #47 is a fun one-shot story about Captain Boomerang that embraces the character’s inherent silliness with an equally silly spy-thriller parody. Philippe Briones’ art does a great job conveying the story as well as the action sequences. Unfortunately, the reveal of the Bunyip’s identity seems to come out left field.