Obscurity of DC Presents: Obscure Book Club, Week 114 (June 16-June 22) --- BURNING WORLD!

Why hello there, @ObscurityofDCClub and other members of the DC Community! Welcome to Week 114 of Obscurity of DC’s Obscure Book Club! This week, we’ll be focusing on…


Number of Issues: 5

Description by me (made at 11:45 at night, so I’m sorry for the lackluster description): Burning World is an enemy of the Suicide Squad!

Now that that’s over with, here are some discussion questions:

  1. What sets Burning World apart from other villainous teams?
  2. Why do you think Suicide Squad was the group that fought Burning World? Why not another group?
  3. Fighting corruption is typically seen as a heroic job. Do you think Burning World is a group of anti-heroes or villains? Explain.
  4. Why do you think they chose the name “Burning World”? What does it signify?
  5. Who’s your favorite member of the team? Why?

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Oh, it’s been a a while since I read this! Good pick.

They see themselves as - and arguably are - the heroes of the story. They are attempting to overthrow global corrupt institutions, not just do villainy for personal gain. While other individual villainous characters see themselves the hero (Lex, Sinestro, etc), it is rare that when these characters come together they are all acting in the same spirit and we don’t have any “well, my purpose is pure, but I guess I need the service of these terrible people to accomplish my goal.” In Burning World we have a unified sense of liberating the Squad and the world at large from corruption and tyranny.

Out-of-universe, because that’s where their origins were established back in th '87 Ostrander run. And because this incarnation of them allows for a spin on the classic “is Waller good” motif at the core of all Squad stories by presenting a “villain” team that is operating on the same moral premise that Waller does; there is evil in the world that needs to be removed, and sometimes we have to go beyond what civilized folks would consider civilized in order to do that. And in this case, Waller is part of that evil. Which makes for a delicious spygame ouroboros.

In universe, because Rustam worked for Waller, and rose to a leadership role, he has both firsthand knowledge of her corruption and the skills and expertise to take her down. Or so he thinks. If we envision the story without this aspect, and he were just assassinating the corrupt leaders, with another “hero” team poised to take him down, there would be no weight to it. Just some lecture from Supes or Starfire about letting the corrupt officials face their local legal systems and grumblings about the futility of it all. With Waller being the target and the puppermaster we have a fuller, more satisfying, narrative.

Yes. :grin:
As above, the true “heroes” would figure out a way to get evidence on the corruption and try and bring them to “justice” without bloodshed. But, they haven’t. I think we’ve had multiple narratives where Superman explains how sovereign nations need to be allowed to fix their own problems, including the US. So this allows for Burning Hand to step in an “solve” the problem. (And even then, they’re not cleaning up all corruption; just those complicity in The People. Presumably, those guilty of simple embezzling, or accepting bribes, or human trafficking, arms trading, and so forth are free to go about their business. Because they need to leave some skeleton of governments standing?)

The idea of burning a broken system to the ground is a tale as old as time. Razing a field to plant new, etc. In this case, the World is broken, so they’re burning it down to let new ideas seed.

Also, by renaming to Burning World, separates their cause from actual Jihadists, and separates them from Qurac.

I think Ravan. He’s a bit mysterious, and a martial artist instead of metahuman, with kind of the inverse of all our kung-fu heroes’ philosophies.


Great answers!