New Suicide Squad #18 review

New Suicide Squad 20

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After delivering an impressive debut, Tim Seeley and Juan Ferreyra take another stab at New Suicide Squad, and once again, they don’t disappoint! This creative team is the best to cover the Squad since Ales Kot and Patrick Zircher (although, Steve Orlando and ACO have an outstanding interpretation in Midnighter at the moment as well), and it has me hoping that this team will continue on this title with Rebirth… Because let’s be honest, this book needs a strong team at its helm with the film’s release looming in the near future.

Last month, Seeley did a solid job of “refreshing” this book and its characters. After more than a year of poor storytelling, New Suicide Squad received a jolt of energy thanks to a smartly written script that put a spotlight on the characters more than the mission itself. This approach added some weight to the narrative, and was accompanied by a deliciously dark, yet humorous, tone.  Using Ashmore (the British equivalent of Amanda Waller) as a catalyst to set-up the current story, we were taken through a “Task Force X 101.” This allowed the narrative to reconfirm the purpose of the program and reintroduce our key players, so our allies across the pond would be able to setup their own Task Force X program. The back half of the issue featured the Squad’s mission in China. A mission that appeared to have killed the entire team.

In this chapter, we learn what really happened to the team. I’m going to be honest though, I spent nearly the first half of the book trying to figure out what was going on, and how the story progressed from where it closed in the previous issue, to where it started in this issue. Clearly the Squad survived their mission, but how they managed to get to lounging in a grassy field (as featured on the credits page) was a mystery to me… And while this issue provides an explanation, it felt like quite the stretch that ultimately left me with more questions. That being said, the details of what took place were provided by Harley, so who knows if those details are even accurate. She is slightly insane after all.

My confusion did eventually pass as I read further into the issue and more questions were answered, but I do consider it a negative that I spent so much time questioning what was taking place. That doesn’t mean that this issue is bad. Far from it, actually. Despite stumbling at the beginning, when Seeley found his footing, he continued to raise the stakes, introducing twists and some shocking turns page after page. We get to learn more about the people who attacked the Squad in last month’s issue, as well as the humanitarians that were introduced last month as well. Throw in some decent action, a little bit of Harley’s crazy, and some interesting development between Waller and Ashmore. By the end of this issue, you’re going to be a little ticked that you have to wait another month before you can read the next chapter, and if you didn’t already want Seeley and Ferreyra to continue on this book through Rebirth, you will now.

 

The Art: Ferreyra continues to deliver strong art. There’s a darker tone to his work that is fitting for this title. Whatever he tries to channel, he succeeds: suspense, tension, beauty, humor… He nails every aspect and emotion. I’ve felt that his action scenes lacked “momentum” or “fluidity” in the past, but that doesn’t appear to be a problem here. Overall, there are multiple times that his work feels cinematic, or is just breathtaking.

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His use of color is also outstanding! There are so many shades and tones that he has the opportunity to play with, and he takes full advantage of it. In general, there’s often a nice contradiction in the colorization of the characters (Deadshot and Harley in particular) compared to their situation. You have the vibrant reds and yellows embracing the shadowed tone of the narrative. But that’s just the basics concerning Ferreyra’s use of color. He takes advantage of flashbacks by giving them a white hue with subtle shades of color, and accentuates climactic or high energy moments with splashes of red or yellow. It’s a spectacular technique that showcases how talented and underrated he is.

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Breakdowns for this issue can be found in the spoiler tag.

SHOW SPOILER ▼

 

Recommended if:

  • Seeley and Ferreyra sound like a winning team (because they are).
  • You want to see what happened to the Squad after last month’s issue.
  • You think that twists and turns make the world go round.
  • A badass Squad is what you’ve been waiting for.

 

Overall: If this issue establishes anything, it’s how good New Suicide Squad can be, and how good it should’ve been for years! Seeley creates a world that is engaging and entertaining, and it’s something that I don’t want to give up any time soon! The Squad put a plan into motion to make it look as though they lost their life so they could gain their freedom, and now they’re having to fight for everything they’ve recently gained… their life!

 

SCORE: 8.0/10

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