This month, the Suicide Squad heads to Gotham City as they continue to flee Ted Kord and a horde of assassins and mercenaries. And when you enter the city of the Dark Knight, you’re bound to run into him… So, how interesting is it that this – of all the issues to date – is not only the lightest issue in terms of tone, but quite possibly the most fun issue as well? Find out the full details below!
For those of you who haven’t been tuning in, Amanda Waller is no longer running Task Force X. A new handler, Lok, was brought in to control things, and his first mission involved gaining more recruits, specifically the Revolutionaries. As it turns out, the Revolutionaries wanted to be caught by Task Force X because they have an agenda against them. Along the way, the Revolutionaries discover that the operatives aren’t necessarily the problem, but the hierarchy is, which leads to a revolt, a bust-out, and now the Squad is on the run! After a quick detour with the Flash, they’re now in Gotham. If you’re thinking, “This will be interesting!” Then yes, you are correct.
Now, there’s one potential, minor qualm about this issue, and while I don’t personally consider this a negative, I know some people will. This is a very light-hearted, comedic, fun issue, and because of that, it’s fair to say that this chapter doesn’t quite pack the punch that the previous issues do. Is that a bad thing? For me, no. I feel this only helps create peaks and valleys in the various tones of the book, and ultimately create more dynamic.
So, what exactly makes this book fun? A book about criminals going on suicide missions should be dark and gritty, right? And shouldn’t Gotham be seedy? Well, yeah, sure… But this issue is written to be comedic. From the opening scene to the last page, there’s essentially a joke written into every encounter. Now, I get it. There are going to be people who will absolutely hate this because it’s not what they want, but I feel that the attempts at humor are executed incredibly well. So, if you take this issue for what it is, then you should have fun with it.
The book opens with the squad undergoing surgery to have the bombs removed from their necks from a doctor that Harley knows… because that doctor was an inmate at Arkham Asylum. I’m sure that gives you an idea of how well this is going. Anyway, there are some funny bits about the lack of anesthesia, as well as some jokes about how the doctor escaped from Arkham.
There’s a bit of drama before things wrap up, but then the story moves on to a really cute moment involving a dog, Chaos Kitten, and Osita that I personally love… but… I’m a dog guy, so I might be biased. Anyway, the entire encounter results in the dog joining the squad, and I’d be lying if that, alone, didn’t make me want to give this book a 10/10.
Despite their sleuthing, the Squad’s arrival in Gotham hasn’t gone unnoticed. The League of Assassins is hot on their trail considering the bounty that’s been placed on them, and Batman isn’t too far behind either. The question is, who will reach them first? Batman or the League? If you guessed the League of Assasins, you’re correct.
There’s a great set-up with the new puppy sensing the assassins before anyone else, which allows Osita and team a split second to brace for attack… but what follows is quite unexpected. Nothing. Nothing happens. The squad bursts out of their van, guns a blazing, and all of the ninjas are incapacitated. How? Batman!
The book plays into humor a little more – especially with Harley, before delivering some solid action sequences. Reminiscent of The Flash Annual #3, we get to see Chaos Kitten and Thylacine show off their martial arts skills as they go toe-to-toe with the Dark Knight, and I loved every panel of it! I have to say, within two issues, Tom Taylor and Joshua Williamson have done wonders for Chaos Kitten and Thylacine in setting them up as a force to be reckoned with by simply having them hold their own with the likes of Batman and Deathstroke. This shouldn’t be overlooked!
Wink eventually involves herself into the fray – continuing her fangirling trend in the process – before Deadshot takes the lead in battling the Bat. This is where a lot of interesting aspects come into play. Not only is the action and continued humor top-notch – a testament to the skillset of both Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo – but we also really get to play into Floyd Lawton as a character, while also exploring a reveal that takes place in this issue…
After doing some digging into the Task Force X files, it’s discovered that both Deadshot and Harley have earned their freedom from Task Force X. In fact, they’ve had that freedom for a little while, it was just never actually granted to them. Shady! Surprising? Absolutely not.
But this makes Deadshot’s actions all the more interesting. Since he is a free man, he chooses to hold off Batman so the Squad can escape. While it may not seem like much, it does say a lot about Lawton, his character, and his own sense of honor. The action remains incredible, and, yet again, we get even more humor thrown in. Also… Deadshot now has the dog. Trust me, just run with it. It’s a ton of fun.
We get a few more jokes involving Batman, the dog, the Batmobile, and Lawton offering to call Batman and Uber, before the issue ends with a promise that “Deadshot aims for home.” Which, if you’ve seen recent news articles, you know is a bittersweet notion. However, I do have a theory which I’ll get to after I complete my review.
As you can tell, there’s not a whole lot to sink your teeth into here, but this issue is a hell of a lot of fun despite that! Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo essentially buck their trend of intense action and shocking twists so they can have some fun… And, honestly, isn’t that what we’re here for? Fun and entertainment? Personally, if I’m entertained and enjoyed what I read, then I think the creative team did their job!
I don’t think I can praise Bruno Redondo enough. I know I’ve encountered his work before, but I’ve never had to look at it with a critical eye, and I’m so glad I get the opportunity to by covering this book! The man delivers incredible work. Not only does his work look good in its design and presentation, but he’s a masterful storyteller as well. In fact, both he and Tom Taylor have proven just how good they are as storytellers by shifting from one tone to another with ease and finesse. Under a lesser team, these attempts at emotion, suspense, humor, and shock would definitely fall flat, but Taylor’s script nails it, and Redondo’s art elevates that script to more than one would ever expect!
Redondo’s inks also add quite a bit to this issue, as well as Adriano Lucas’ colors. When you think of Batman or Gotham, you expect a dark, grim depiction, and that means that the artists get to play with shadows and lighting. Since Redondo inks his own work, he’s able to execute this with ease. But then you have the contrasting energy and tone of Lucas’ colors. There’s so much flare and vibrancy from the colors that help separate this iteration of Suicide Squad by giving it a unique identity and energy. Add in some killer letters by Wes Abbott – for real, check out the Batman ’66 homage from the Batman/ Chaos Kitten/ Thylacine fight – and it’s clear that we’ve been gifted with a real treat!
- You want a fun book!
- You feel the Suicide Squad needs a dose of humor.
- Batman might need an Uber… just give him a 5-Star rating.
- Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo deserve your time and attention.
Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo shift gears in Suicide Squad #6, taking the team to Gotham City to… deliver a comedic issue? That can’t be right. Can it? Gotham City? Suicide Squad? Comedy? Should those three concepts work together? In the modern-day depictions that we’re used to? No, probably not. However, this issue is executed incredibly well, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was highly entertained from start to finish! Also, there’s a puppy! SOLD!
Ok… Remember how I said I have a theory about Deadshot… Well, here it is…
So, they recently announced that Deadshot would be killed. They also said that the announcement is true and isn’t a psyche out. I can’t help but think it’s incredibly cruel to grant Deadshot his freedom, then kill him. Yes, in some ways it is poetic, and it might actually happen, BUT if that’s not the case, then I think Deadshot – or perhaps even Waller – manages to fake his death to ensure his safety.
And to make things even more interesting, years ago (during the New 52), I actually outlined a Suicide Squad story where there’s a similar plot pertaining to Floyd earning his freedom. I don’t plan on posting any details here, but if you want to reach out to me on Twitter, I’ll happily share the details of my story with you!