If you like your superhero comics with realistic characters, a sense of adventure and fun, and even a little meta commentary, Suicide Squad is your kind of book. The series has been a delight as it introduces us to brand new characters, revels in the joy of some fan-favorite characters, and has built up to a new kind of team. The latest issue has been hinted at and teased the death of the main character. At this point, Tom Taylor has made us care so much about the entire crew that I’m not sure fans can bear it.
I can’t get over how good this series has been at zooming in on character moments, zooming out to carry the plot forward, and zooming in again when the time is right. This issue does that in spades with Deadshot, who is concerned about his daughter taking up his mantle of being a merc. The team is also excellent, with characters maybe not having a hand in every fight, but they are present. That could mean a side-eye as something occurs with other characters or an off-the-cuff comment. You won’t forget this crew is in the moment and experience along with the characters who are the focus.
This issue also completely subverts your expectations. Similar to how Deadshot used a puppy in a previous issue to thwart Batman from punching him, this issue uses a shocking beat to stop everything and allow the characters to talk things out. What matters most is it’s not a shocking moment or a twist for the sake of it, but a well-earned turn in the story that changes everything. It’s in these kinds of moments where the book feels cinematic and exciting.
The art by Bruno Redondo are top-notch telling the story on multiple levels. Take for instance a scene with Harley Quinn and Deadshot talking as they sit on the edge of their transporter. To the left of them is the ship itself sitting in a stream, which blends well into their moment. It’s a beat to give us context of where they are as they discuss things. It’s tranquil and remote, giving the reader the sense that this is an intimate moment. As Harley watches Deadshot talk, her looks tell you so much about what she’s thinking. This adds layers to the experience so you’re not just reading what characters think or feel, but reading their intentions. That permeates the entire book.
The colors by Adriano Lucas are striking, adding volume to faces with shadow and color. The feel of the forest as Deadshot speaks to his daughter adds warmth and atmosphere. You can practically hear the trickle of the stream as she practices her shooting. The eye is drawn to the color in some respects because of the thicker dark line Redondo uses.
To say more about this issue is to give too much away, so let’s just say this book lives up to the solicitation and its promise. Suicide Squad defies your expectations, constantly connects you to its characters, and is a joy to read.
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