The last time we checked in on Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad, General Zod was drilling into his brain with his heat vision! So what should you expect from this issue? The usual: sex and mayhem… Ok, the sex is kind of new, but the mayhem is standard fair by now.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a huge fan of Suicide Squad. In my opinion, Rob Williams hits all of the right notes, and he does so over a course of issues. I never fully know what I’m going to get each month. Sometimes the issues are plot driven, other times they’re character driven, and then there are issues that just give you a nice jolt of energy with endless action. Yes, this leads you to preferring certain issues or styles over others, but it makes for a much better reading experience once collected.
This issue falls into the endless action territory. There’s a lot of action here. A lot. All physical. In more than one way. (I’m making sex jokes, because apparently I’m ten.) Anyway, all of the tension has been built up for some time now (this isn’t intended to be a sexual pun, but if it works…), so that helps bring more weight to the action. What I mean by this, is that the action has purpose. This isn’t just action for the sake of action.
Picking up exactly where we left off, General Zod is risking his life to remove his kryptonite brain bomb. I’m warning you now, this is crazy and graphic. I’m not a squeamish guy, but he practically lobotomizes himself. If this were captured in a film, it would automatically make the film rated R. The entire thing is intense. Meanwhile, Harley and Flag are in the boom-boom room having intimate time… But back to Zod.
While watching him burn through his flesh, I did wonder if this is even possible. I admit, aside from major stories, I didn’t religiously start reading Superman or Action Comics until Rebirth. Because of that, I’m not an expert on the limit of a Kryptonian’s abilities, or their invulnerability. Considering that, this moment didn’t bother me much, but by all means, share your thoughts on it in the comments.
What follows this scene is what makes the issue enjoyable. To put it lightly, all hell breaks loose. Amanda Waller has taken someone who is practically a god compared to humans, and she’s turned him into a slave. He’s not going to look kindly on that. And unlike Zod’s previous encounter with the Suicide Squad, he is more coherent now – gaping head wound and all. Be prepared though, because this is way worse than just having General Zod on a rampage. Stick to his guns, Williams throws in other elements from the Squad’s past, and the future of our favorite degenerates doesn’t appear promising.
The Art: Tony S. Daniel continues art for this arc, and my God is it brutal… In a good way. The panels of Zod tearing out his brain bomb were definitely graphic, but it’s Daniel’s art that makes this moment! He’s viewed as one of the best talents in the business for a reason, and his work always adds to the narrative. Aside from the spectacular detail of his technical work, he’s also a great storyteller with his art. His layouts storyboard Williams’ script to fully accentuate and enhance the narrative. Williams’ script is amazing, but Daniel’s art would be worth your money even if everything else sucked.
Breakdowns for this issue can be found in the spoiler tag.
Zod. I fully expected Zod to go on a total rampage this week, but I didn’t expect him to be as calculated as he is. I feel as though writers often use General Zod strictly for his physical presence (much in the same respect that many writers approach Bane), but we have to remember he was an actual general. Behind all of that power, there’s a tactician. When he begins his assault, it’s calculated. Zod’s first targets are the things – human and non-human – that can counteract his abilities. Fair play Zod/ Williams. Fair play.
The Black Vault. This is way worse than I realized. I’ve grown so used to plot devices and things being a means to and end that I forgot all about the threat of the Black Vault itself. In case you’ve forgotten about it as well, there’s plenty of other people trapped in there, all of them answering to Zod. Yes, now is the perfect time to say, “Oh $#!%,” Deadshot.
Rick and Harley. Sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Ok, I’m sure there are a number of people who hate the relationship/ potential relationship between Rick and Harley (I have my qualms with it as well, but more on that later.), however, there are some interesting aspects to it. First off, it allows us to see Harley in a different light. This isn’t just sex for either of them, and that’s refreshing. There is actually emotion involve. Some sense of care. Harley, as a character, needs a little growth after years of being the “crazy one” or by simply being defined as “Joker’s girl.” It’s time to expand, give her a little more texture, and this allows for that. I also like that Rick sees the good in her, and is trying desperately – yet ever so patiently – to bring that side of Harley out… Oh, yeah, and there’s sex.
Hammer Head. I didn’t see this one coming… That’s good, right?
Children of Krypton. Yeah… $#!% just got real.
Waller. The one thing that didn’t sit well with me is Waller’s shock and disbelief that she couldn’t control Zod. I don’t buy it. She knew he was going to be a difficult turn, and I have to believe that somewhere in the back of her mind, she knew a day would come where her control would slip – even if just a little.
Rick and Harley. Yes, I literally just praised this, however, as I’ve stated before, I wish there were a little bit more of a build in their Rick and Harley’s relationship. Not necessarily dates or anything, but more of a growing concern for one another while on missions. It’s a very minor complaint, but I figured it was worth mentioning.
- You want to see Zod get an upper hand on the Suicide Squad.
- You think Amanda Waller needs a good dose of karma.
- You’re a pusher of Flinzel. (Flag + Quinn)
Overall: Does this chapter of Suicide Squad deliver in the same way that recent issues did? No. Despite that, this is still a fun, action packed, high energy issue that sits perfectly in the over-arching narrative that Williams is crafting.