Warning: This review contains spoilers for Suicide Squad 2021 Annual #1 and Suicide Squad #7.
With the secret identity of Amanda Waller’s “Superboy” finally revealed and the Justice League hot on their heels, the Wall has no choice but to relocate her operation to the team’s Black Site Prison. Undeterred by these massive setbacks, Waller’s devotion to building her own Justice League now drags the Suicide Squad into the depths of Hell. Thankfully, Task Force X’s recent acquisition of Ambush Bug means that the team has a teleporter tailor-made for dealing with the insanity storming the underworld. Will Ambush Bug help the team retrieve the Rock of Eternity from Hell, or will his involvement only serve to inspire more dissent within Task Force X?
Humorous and cinematically illustrated, Suicide Squad #7 is a great set-up for Task Force X’s conflict in Hell. A large portion of this issue’s success is due to the inclusion of Ambush Bug on the roster. However, Robbie Thompson’s mastery of the team’s dynamics is a true highlight of this issue. Additionally, Eduardo Pansica’s pencils, Julio Ferreira’s inks, and Marcelo Maiolo’s colors balance the cinematic scope of this issue’s action sequences with its humorous character interactions. Unfortunately, if you haven’t read Suicide Squad 2021 Annual #1, you may be lost regarding some of the series’ finer details.
One of my favorite parts of this issue is the inclusion of Ambush Bug. Within Suicide Squad #7, Ambush Bug serves as the title’s amusing narrator. Here he cleverly catches the reader up to speed by poking fun at the synergy between James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad and the current volume of the series. Ambush Bug’s narration provides a fun introduction to new readers of the series that evokes the movie’s hilarious tone. It’s a smart move by Robinson that creates the synergy necessary for capturing new readers.
Ambush Bug’s knowledge of his fictionality also propels the plot forward by providing new revelations for our characters. Here, Robinson’s work is a refreshing take on the info dump necessary to build this series’ mysteries. With this issue, Robinson lays all the groundwork for upcoming stories that will allow him to dive deeper into these characters.
As a result, Robbie Thompson’s work with each of these characters is a highlight of Suicide Squad #7. With this issue, Thompson perfectly captures the team’s dynamics in a humorous and engaging manner. Following Suicide Squad 2021 Annual #1, Robbie Thompson is unencumbered by the secrecy surrounding Amanda Waller’s “Superboy” as the character was revealed to be the hero’s 90’s clone, Match.
With this issue, Thompson can finally build meaningful relationships between Match and the rest of the Suicide Squad because all his cards are finally laid on the table. Moreover, Ambush Bug reveals that Amanda Waller has been messing with the characters rewriting their memories and placing them in some form of virtual reality strengthens the bond between Nocturna and Match. As a result of this information, the duo can connect over their mutual mistrust of the Wall.
This reveal also highlights another strength of Thompson’s work with his run on the series. Although the Suicide Squad encounters many enemies throughout their missions, the true villain of the tale is Amanda Waller. Much like Gunn’s interpretation of the character, Thompson’s Waller serves as the ultimate antagonist of these characters, threatening to blow their head bombs for merely questioning her dubious morality. Her antagonistic role is something that Thompson perfectly captures with every character interaction.
None of Robbie Thompson’s character work would be as effective without Eduardo Pansica’s pencils, Julio Ferreira’s inks, and Marcelo Maiolo’s colors. The artwork for this issue perfectly cinematically captures each action sequence. However, one of my favorite pages comes during Suicide Squad #7’s conclusion. Throughout each panel, Bloodsport and Match argue over each other’s ideas. Pansica, Ferreira, and Maiolo perfectly capture the humor or horror of this conflict as the team is picked off in the background of this squabble.
Unfortunately, one of my biggest complaints with this issue is that you may be a little lost if you haven’t read Suicide Squad 2021 Annual #1. In the annual, Thompson lays the groundwork for the future of this series. If you haven’t read the annual, you will still understand a lot of the series’ broader strokes, but you may find yourself questioning some of the finer details.
Ultimately, Suicide Squad #7 is a great set-up for Task Force X’s conflict in Hell. This issue’s success is due in large part to the inclusion of Ambush Bug on the roster. However, Robbie Thompson’s mastery of the team’s dynamics is this issue’s true strength. Additionally, Eduardo Pansica’s pencils, Julio Ferreira’s inks, and Marcelo Maiolo’s colors perfectly capture the balance between cinematic action and humorous character interactions. Unfortunately, if you haven’t read Suicide Squad 2021 Annual #1, you may be lost regarding some of the series’ finer details.
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