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“Going Sane – Part 4: I Believe In Miracles”

You know what I like about Suicide Squad? You can count on it to be one hell of a fun read! Rob Williams and Jim Lee have crafted a story that I look forward to reading each and every time an issue is released. The action is great! The characters are great! There’s a nice balance of wit, humor, grit, and suspense! No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it here. Even when I don’t like certain aspects of an issue, I still find it enjoyable overall. And that’s no different with this chapter. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that this issue is one of the most fun chapters of Suicide Squad to date.

“Going Sane – Part 4: I Believe in Miracles” is the conclusion of the “Black Vault/ Going Sane” arc. Williams has delicately crafted an overarching narrative infused with plot threads for each character, and because of that, he’s able to wrap this narrative up quite nicely! There is a sense of predictability found here, but it didn’t bother me too much. Knowing that there would be some form of conclusion in this story, there were only so many outcomes that could take place, but the “how” remained to be seen.

For those of you that haven’t been following along, Amanda Waller sent the Suicide Squad to Russia to steal a mystical weapon called the Black Vault in hopes of studying it, and eventually use it as a weapon. During the mission, the team discovered that the Black Vault is actually a portal to the phantom zone, and housed the Kryptonian Zod. The Squad manages to hold off Zod, and get the Black Vault back to Belle Reve, but not before losing Boomerang. Back at Belle Reve, the Black Vault begins to act up, and starts turning everyone homicidal, except for Harley and Croc. Harley turns sane, and Croc becomes content… Which is pretty much where we are when this issue kicks off.

Yet again, Williams delivers a great balance of characters, with nearly every character receiving a small spotlight. Harley earns most of the focus here. If you remember, I had some minor issues with Harley’s capabilities while sane and scared, but I feel as though she were presented much better, and much more true to form in this issue considering her circumstances. That bad thing is that Harley is a little boring when she isn’t crazy.

Thankfully, there is plenty of action and an abundance of laughs as well. Unlike another book I review (Batgirl and the Birds of Prey), Suicide Squad successfully creates an action and narrative that is mostly believable (over the top, but still more believable than B&tBoP), while inserting near perfect humor and character work throughout. This is where the other characters come into play. Flagg makes more heroic, and crazy, sacrifices. Enchantress does more in this issue than she’s done to date (and I didn’t find her irritating). Hack plays a crucial role while Croc gets some good slugs in… But the MVP of this issue…. That honor belongs to…

Spoiler

Boomerang. We saw the digital ghost of Boomerang in the previous issue, and he takes a fair share of this issue as well. I laughed out loud at a number of his panels. From the “big sausage Boomerang” to “I’m God aren’t I?” to “Call me General Boomerang from now o…”… I just kept laughing. Williams knows how to write Boomerang, and I’ll take as much as I can get!

As exciting as all of this is, the real question is “Where will Suicide Squad go next?” I mean, we know that the crossover event is coming with Justice League, but after that. Williams will clearly have another arc in mind, but with so many character plots open, you have to assume they’ll continue. And considering the introduction the Russian Suicide Squad was given a few issues back, you have to also assume that we haven’t seen the last of them either. So far, Suicide Squad has done a solid job of dealing with consequences, so I don’t foresee that changing any time soon.

 

The Art: While reading this, I got the feeling that Jim Lee had a good time drawing this issue. There was just a certain energy to these pages that sucked me in. Maybe it was because he was able to highlight certain characters who had been in the background, or maybe he had more ideas for the action in this script. Whatever it was, it connected with me more than usual. The action was top notch, and Lee nailed the humor in this script! It must suck to be one of the best.

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

Spoiler

The Good:

The action. As I mentioned earlier, the action was great, as expected. With a strong writer like Williams, and an artist like Lee, you’re pretty much guaranteed to receive top-notch work.  What I like about the action though, is that it’s a little intense and high energy. This book is full of jokes and humor, but they don’t tend to fall in the middle of someone trying to kill you.

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Boomerang. If you read the spoiler in the middle of my review, then you know that Boomerang clearly comes back.

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And as I mentioned, he won the MVP for this issue because of his humor! (Plus, he technically stopped Zod thanks to Hack, but that’s semantics.)

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Consequences. There’s an understated divide, verbally and physically, at the end of this issue. Flagg and Katana are growing in issue with Waller, and Deadshot has always been somewhat opposed with how Waller treats the prisoners. I’m curious to see if this is something that Williams expands on, or if he just sticks with the theme of these characters morally opposing Waller.

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The Bad:

Croc. I’m still bothered by Croc’s power and invulnerability. Maybe my memory is failing me, but I feel like they really dosed up his abilities for this book.

The electrical Boomerang ghost was also a little odd.

 

“Going Sane – Part 4: I Believe In Miracles” Score: 8.0/10

 

 

“Warm Heart”

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This issue’s supporting story changes the formula a little bit. While it remains a character spotlight, the way the character is featured is different. The focus is on Killer Frost this time, and she isn’t receiving an evaluation from Waller. Instead, she’s entering Belle Reve for the first time as a new prisoner. She’s given the grand tour, introduced to key players, and finally presented with the offer of joining the Squad to reduce her prison sentence.

This story isn’t as gripping as the others, and the character introductions, while done incredibly well, don’t really add anything new. That being said, the attention put into Frost is outstanding. She continues an internal dialogue throughout the entire story, and it honestly endeared me to her as a character.

As teased on the cover, this is the prelude to Justice League vs Suicide Squad. If you were hoping for some plot insight or set-up, I’m sorry to tell you that you won’t find that here. This is literally just an introduction of Caitlin Snow. That being said, it’s still enjoyable and worth your time.

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“Warm Heart” Score: 7.5/10

 

Recommended if:

  • You want to know how the madness ends.
  • You’re curious to learn the final fate of Boomerang.
  • You’re down for some solid action and a good laugh.
  • You’ve been itching for anything relating to Justice League vs Suicide Squad.

 

Overall: For me, Suicide Squad is the book that will please any comics fan. Considering the action, character work, humor, and multiple plot threads, there’s hardly anything left to be desired (except for maybe some romance, but that appears to be in the works). If you’re a comic fan and you’re not reading this run, then you’re doing yourself a disservice.

 

SCORE: 8.0/ 10