We’re at the halfway point of Suicide Squad’s Most Wanted! If you’re wondering what’s in store for you, it’s more of the same! Deadshot continues to tell an intriguingly dark story, while Katana babbles along like a bushido Amanda Bynes.

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First up out of the two stories, is Deadshot! Thank God! I didn’t realize this last week, but it’s so much easier to read a solid story first when picking up a two-part book, rather than a crappy one. Last month, I found myself very unmotivated to even sit down and read this title, because I kept putting Katana down, and would think, “Why am I doing this to myself? I should have kept quite instead of defending why we should cover this title on a Batman site…” I’m not joking, it probably took me an hour to finish that issue because I kept procrastinating… But that didn’t happen here! Why? Because Deadshot is actually good!

Buccellato is helming this book, and while the first issue was your average dip into the Deadshot pool, last month’s issue kicked things into high gear, and turned the story on its head! Buccellato took to a dark place, retconned Deadshot’s New 52 origin, and jumped right into a morally ambiguous character study of Floyd Lawton. And this issue continues that.

If you haven’t been following along, Floyd finds out that his father is dying, and wants to go visit him. As I stated in a previous review, I thought this was code, because I believed his parents to be dead based on the current continuity. I actually thought this had something to do with his daughter. I was wrong… kind of.  Floyd requests a leave to go meet his father, and Waller denies the request. Because of that, he decides to take his life into his own hands, and skips out on a mission, leaving a new Squad member – a guy I’ve been referring to as “Rookie,” who is essentially a copycat of Deadshot – to fend for himself. Considering “Rookie” is a new, slightly annoying character, I expected this to happen because… well… cannon fodder.

Naturally, Deadshot’s abandonment pisses Waller off, so she collects Harley, Boomerang, Cheetah, and Diablo to go after Deadshot. Floyd knows that he has a limited amount of time before he’ll have to defend himself from Waller and the Squad, so he settles his domestic troubles quickly. (I’m not going to go into detail, so if you didn’t read last month’s issue, I highly recommend you do so…. Just skip Katana.) What he does discover, is that something DID happen involving his daughter – something Waller knew about and kept quiet – and now he wants Waller in a pine box.

This is where this issue picks up. Deadshot has taken cover on his parents’ estate, and he’s preparing to face Waller. Before Waller can get there with Task Force X, her soldiers arrive, and a brutally fun action sequence occurs as Deadshot stands his ground. With the momentum on Deadshot’s side, as well as the fact that he’s on his “home turf,” Waller has her soldiers stand down until back-up arrives. We’re treated to some nice moments as each of the Squad members act on their feelings towards going after Floyd. Boomerang and Cheetah act as suspected, but Harley and Diablo both take some interesting stances – all of which feel completely true to their character.

In all of this, you have to keep in mind that Amanda Waller is the puppeteer in all of this though, so she’s playing with all parties at all times. Buccellato creates a proverbial standoff between Lawton and Waller, and watching it unfold is captivating. But be ready for some twists, because sometimes those cannon fodder moments come back to bite you!

 

The Art: I was “called out” last month for not being as positive towards Bogdanovic’s art… and I have to agree. I really haven’t praised him as much as I should. There are very minor issues that I have with how he draws faces, and I’ve completely let that take away from how amazing everything else is that he does.  He’s actually improved his craft quite a bit. If you take panels or pages from this book, and compare them to his work on Arkham Knight, there’s a vast improvement! Someone else also pointed out that it looks as though Bogdanovic has been studying Capullo, and I have to agree with that as well.

His work looks more polished than it was before, and he’s worked on his “opportunities” to strengthen his final product. There’s a drama and flare to his art that I don’t remember seeing from him in the past, and it’s something that I hope he’s able to continue with DC after this book’s run!

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Breakdowns can be found in the spoiler tag.

 

Spoiler

The Good: Deadshot. This book is working really well at the moment, because Buccellato is writing Floyd Lawton really well! You often hear me talk about making the character the foundation before the plot, and he’s doing that here. We’re invested in Floyd, and as flawed as he is, he’s relatable. Because of that investment, we’re prepared to go on this journey with him, and we get more of a payoff from each issue because of it. Kudos Buccellato!

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The Squad. Continuing my characterization rant, your supporting characters are as important as your lead protagonist/ antagonist, because if they’re not strong, they can bring down a good thing. I’ve found that writers often lose their characters when dealing with teams, and they fail to find ways to allow the characters to maintain their identities when sharing pages (case in point: Sean Ryan’s New Suicide Squad compared to Tim Seeley’s New Suicide Squad). Well Buccellato, thankfully, falls more into the Seeley category, and delivers some subtle, yet strong, characters. Watching each of them react in their own way is captivating. Unfortunately, Waller in mixed into that grouping, and she’s always playing to each character’s weakness. With that, she finds her opportunity to get Deadshot before he can get her…

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Cannon Fodder. Remember “Rookie?” Remember how I criticized the character in the first issue, and even a little last month? I take that back… He’s not a waste of space after all. In fact, he just became one of those people you say, “Oh crap… I shouldn’t have taken him for granted” kind of person. His skillset is very similar to Deadshot (I’m refraining from saying he’s as good), but this is more personal than that. The whole story about Deadshot’s parents being killed by drug lords in a shootout, the one that he’s been passing around for years to keep people off his family’s trail… it’s “Rookie’s” actual history.  Deadshot actually stole it from him, and he doesn’t even remember that it was Rookie who told it to him years ago…

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The Bad: One of the big looming question marks that I have at the moment, is “What now?” Deadshot received multiple gunshot wounds that have put him out of commission, and on top of that, Rookie – or perhaps we should give him the respect of calling him by his real name, Evans – is now Deadshot… so does he take over the story now? I’m intrigued by the character, but I hope that’s not the case… On the other hand, it’s not plausible for Lawton to jump back into action, so if that happens prematurely, it’s going to leave me a little miffed. I guess you could jump forward a couple of months, but then that would be a little annoying. Again, this isn’t bad, but it makes me curious.

 

Recommended if:

  • You’re looking for a character drive story.
  • You’re a fan of Deadshot.
  • You tend to enjoy Deadshot stories that put a focus on his personal life.

 

Deadshot Overall: Buccellato and Bogdanovic carry on, guns a blazing, as they dive deeper into Deadshot’s history and personal life. Suicide Squad’s Most Wanted: Deadshot lives in a heap of moral ambiguity, and challenges your idea of what’s acceptable, or right or wrong. If the team continues to deliver on this level, this will become required reading for Deadshot fans.

 

SCORE: 8.0/10

(now close the book and pretend like there isn’t a second story…)

 

 

 

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Ok fine… If you insist I talk about this book, I shall… but I’m erasing everything that occurs from my memory once I’m done. Why? Because this book is bad. The plot is ludicrous. The writing is terrible. The characterization is horrendous. It looks and reads as if it’s written for children, and then someone get’s their head chopped off… I don’t really know what else to say other than it’s a waste of time, and damaging to the characters that it features.

I hoped that the introduction of the Squad would bring about more action to cover up how poorly written this book is, and improve it strictly on entertainment value…

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But then you get situations like this where automatic weapons are being fired at people who are just a few feet away, and NOBODY is getting injured… This is one of the many moments that I had to take a deep breath, and come to terms with the fact that I’m never going to enjoy this book. Let’s not stop there though, let’s check out the sound effects!

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Would you like some other examples of why this book is so bad? Here’s some of the terrible dialogue and writing:

Katana continues to sound… well… like this…

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I thought that the dialogue for the Squad would be better, but Barr pretty much drowned those hopes rather quickly…

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And when I thought it couldn’t get worse, it did by combining both atrocities…

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Now, you must be thinking, “Josh, you’re being really harsh! The has to be something relatable in Katana!” Guess what? There is! If you like cats, you might get a little sad.

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What’s that? You want to know about the plot? Of course! They do stupid stuff like this:

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Recommended if:

  • Swords (Katana)
  • Deflate gate (Deadshot deflating boats that are needed to get off an island)
  • Amanda Bynes is a Bushido Warrior.

 

Katana Overall: I think I rest my case with the examples above… If you choose to read Katana, that’s on you. If you like Katana… well… some people like Spam. Moral of the story? Katana = Spam!

 

SCORE: 4.0/ 10

COMBINED SCORE: 6.0/10