Captain Boomerang makes his glorious return to Suicide Squad, and I’ve never been happier to see him!
With the first mission out of the way, Tom Taylor turns the Squad’s attention to one of their former teammates, Captain Boomerang. Whenever Digger is around, you know things are bound to get interesting… Mainly because he’s an idiot. But hey, idiots tend to provide some quality entertainment. And isn’t that why we really love Boomerang anyway? He reminds us all of that one friend we all have.
Anyway, Boomerang is a free man, but there are stipulations to his freedom. One of those stipulations is not talking about Task Force X. Well, throw a few pints his way, and what do you think he’s going to do? He’s going to talk about Task Force X. And when you’re an American, clandestine organization with little oversight, then you know that “Big Brother” will be listening.
The first few pages of this issue are an absolute joy, and I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed Boomerang until I had him again. Tom Taylor appears to have a strong grasp on the character – no surprise – and as a fellow Aussie, he manages to add subtle nuances that most writers aren’t able to capture. The action scene that kicks off the issue is great, and the exchange between Boomer and his mate following the fight with soldiers is a riot!
Unfortunately, we step away from Boomerang to focus on the rest of the Squad for most of the issue, and the balance of the book just doesn’t pack the punch like the opening pages. And that’s not to imply that anything is bad, just that the issue, overall, doesn’t rise to the standards of the first three issues or the opening scene. There are clear moments where the story dips in pacing, but I can’t quite put my finger on why.
If any character gets a spotlight here, it’s Harley, and here scenes are hit or miss. I think Tom Taylor writes Harley incredibly well, but something feels off here. Her arc in this issue is to discover what Deadshot is hiding with the new Squad members. Some of Taylor’s attempts at humor land (the “Are we there yet?” moment comes to mind), and then some of them don’t. For some reason, it just didn’t feel like the team fully played into Harley’s humor and insanity, and if she’s the featured character, you need to do that.
It wasn’t until the end of the issue that I felt as though Harley’s scenes actually delivered. That’s when everything kind of fell in place for me, but it did take a little while to get there. About three-fourths of the way through, Taylor started playing with the balance of Harley’s brilliance and insanity. He doesn’t just go for the slap-stick comedy that so many writers turn towards now, but understands that Harley has a brilliant, but broken, mind. In fact, I’d say that Taylor has such a strong grasp on Harley that while so many writers try to make her an asset, he actually does make her an asset.
In addition to Harley and Boomerang getting a spotlight, Thylacine finally receives some coverage. We don’t really delve into her as a character, but learn about her abilities and get to watch her work. She’s definitely one of the strong, silent types that leads with a quiet confidence, but she’s not afraid to throw in insult out when needed.
In general, the issue feels a bit like “business as usual.” There isn’t much in the way of plot progression, but we do get a deeper look at Osita and her history. In addition to this, we learn what brought the Revolutionaries together, and why they’re purposely targeting Task Force X. If there’s anything in this issue that will hook you, this is it. You’re going to come for the crazy antics of Boomerang and Harley, but the reason the Revolutionaries exist is going to be the foundation that brings you back next month as it provides a nice drive for their mission.
Daniel Sampere steps in to cover art duties for this issue, and does a solid job. There’s not a glaringly distinct difference between his work and Bruno Redondo’s, so I consider that a win. While I don’t think Sampere captures the emotions or nuances of the characters as well as Redondo, but the differences are barely noticeable. Like Redondo, there’s a clarity to the tone he’s conveying in his panels, and that really helps drive the pacing of the narrative.
The opening pages with Boomerang match the same energy and cheeky nature as Taylor’s script, and it feels as though he had a lot of fun drawing it. The minor details honestly make the scene great. There’s juxtapositions of the look and design of Boomerang and his friends – we’ll just say they’re… casual – to the slightly swanky appearance of the bar, everything plays well off one another, helping build the story and bring it to life. The “acting” here is also impeccable. If you didn’t give yourself the chance to really soak the art in, you should go back and revisit it.
While I loved the work with Boomerang, the pages with Harley did fall a little flat for me. I think Sampere could’ve embellished her quirks a little more. It’s a minor note, but it most likely played into the fluctuation of energy for the issue that I discussed earlier. But again, these are minor, nit-picks… seriously.
- Osita’s origin is revealed.
- You want to learn what brought the Revolutionaries together.
- Suicide Squad is a blast! Go pick it up!
When all is said and done, this is a solid issue, but it is very transitional. You need these moments in stories though, and while it may feel like a drop in quality for the issue itself, it will benefit the title as a whole when collected. I always welcome character development and have a much stronger appreciation for Osita and the Revolutionaries because of this issue. Then there’s Captain Boomerang, who creates quite a bang with his return! Literally…