Suicide Squad has turned into one wild ride! While the first issue made me a little nervous, every issue since then has proven that the debut was just a fluke. This chapter does drop a little in quality compared to the previous two issues, but it’s still a good, fun read!
If you haven’t been tuning in to Task Force X’s latest adventure, Waller has sent the team to Russia to recover a secret mystical device. What they didn’t expect was to encounter General Zod, who had been locked away in the phantom zone. If that weren’t enough, they also now have what appears to be a team of metahumans that could very well be Russia’s own Suicide Squad. Meanwhile, the short stories continue to provide character spotlights, and in my opinion, serve as the anchor of Suicide Squad.
“The Black Vault”
Let’s be honest, the Squads chances of survival aren’t looking too great at the moment. Zod is more than enough for the team to deal with, and he’s already wasted Boomerang to just his boots (“The MVP of this issue” according to Jay.)
But seriously, as funny as it is to see Boomer’s boots in various panels, they serve as a chilling reminder of how powerful Zod is. Katana has managed to hold her own thanks to her Soultaker, but one mistake and she’s toast just like Digger. The only other person who could give Zod a run for his money, is Enchantress. Unfortunately, she’s a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal. The moment the other metahumans were shown at the end of the last issue, I knew all hell was going to break loose… And that’s pretty much what happens.
From beginning to end, this issue is essentially one big battle. If you’re looking for plot progression, you won’t find it here. There is a little bit of progression at the end of the issue, but it is probably my least favorite moment in the story because it feels really abrupt. And while the fights are entertaining, there aren’t any shocking moments that match Boomerang’s death, or The ass kicking Katana gave Zod, so it might come off as a little lackluster for some readers. Croc does have decent, slightly humorous moment that should please his fans. The best laughs come from a back and forth between June Moon and Zod though. Deadshot also serves up some standard Lawton responses about the Squad’s current situation as well.
Most of the issue is divided pretty evenly amongst the characters, but if anyone stands out in this issue, it is probably Flag. He gets an opportunity to show off some pretty cool heroics. Fair warning, if you were interested by the metahumans revealed in the previous issue, don’t get your hopes up that they’ll play a large part in the plot. Their involvement here is pretty minimal, but considering the introduction they were given, I’m willing to bet that they’ll play a much larger role before “The Black Vault” ends.
The Art: Jim Lee’s art is exactly what you would expect it to be… Good. The guy is a legend for a reason, and his art shines through here. He does have a tendency to over design certain things, but he appears to have pulled back on that with each issue. Granted, I’m pretty sure Lee is pulling back because of deadlines more than preference. Either way, it works for the better!
Breakdowns for “The Black Vault” can be found in the spoiler tag.
Flag. Flag proves that he can be a total badass in this issue! When Hack reopens the phantom zone, Zod is able to resist it’s pull, so Flag jumps into action with Katana’s Soultaker, and makes sure Zod is sent back. It was pretty epic to see him shove the sword through Zod!
Graphic Designer. I had a great laugh when June Moon pleaded for Zod not to kill her, only for him to reply, “I don’t know what that is! Die graphic designer!” Good stuff!
Lawton’s manners. You know what I like about Deadshot? He has manners and is respectful when he cusses you out.
What do we do now? Amanda Waller now has the black vault in her possession, which means she also has Zod, and an added asset in Hack. Watching this play out should be pretty interesting, because we all know it isn’t going to go well. If you’ve read the solicitations for future issues, then you know that things are going to get a little “crazy.”
That ended quickly. If there’s one thing that I disliked about this issue, it’s that the conflict wrapped up really abruptly. I think the main reason it felt so quick is because the other metahumans were just introduced, and then did nothing significant. I can’t help but assume that we’ll see them again very soon, and if we don’t, then I’ll forever wonder why they were featured on a splash page to end an issue.
Speaking of ending quickly… The internet? The Squad traveled through the internet? What!?!
“The Black Vault” Score: 7.0/10
“Full Mental Jacket”
The short story for this issue shares a focus between Harley and Flag. The basis of the story is that Flag doesn’t trust Harley, so he wants to set her up to see how she responds. When the plan goes south though, it’s up to Harley to save the day.
Like Deadshot and Katana’s spotlights, this issue contains a darker, more serious tone. The narrative, though short, manages to explore Flag as a leader, while also examining how capable Harley actually is. The really interesting piece to this story is Harley’s psychology, and trying to figure out her motivations throughout this story. Oh, and did I mention Joker appears? Well he does, and as expected, he brings some mayhem with him. Plus, all of this is illustrated by the incredible Gary Frank! His art alone is worth the $2.99!
“Full Mental Jacket” SCORE: 8.5/10
- You’re curious to see if the Squad can stop Zod.
- Flag and Harley spending some quality time with one another sounds like a riot.
Overall: Although this issue takes a slight step down in quality this week, it’s still high energy and completely entertaining. If Williams and Lee have been delivering a winning formula for you so far, then this is sure to satisfy you as well.
Suicide Squad #4 SCORE: 7.5/10