Suicide Squad is the best in-continuity book being published by DC Comics at the moment! That’s all you really need to know, but if you want me to lavish praise on the book and creative team, then just keep reading!
Tom Taylor has been doing excellent work on Suicide Squad. When I say it is the best in-continuity book being published at DC at the moment, I mean it. I’m not trying to add hype for clicks, I genuinely feel that if there’s one title worth investing in… This is it. And that is, very much, a testament to the craft and skill of Tom Taylor. And I don’t want to shortchange any of the artists involved – there have been a few at this point, but mostly Bruno Redondo – because they’ve definitely done their part in elevating the scripts… But man, in general, Tom Taylor and team are killing it!
The Suicide Squad has been taken over by new leadership. Waller is out, and a new, mysterious benefactor is helming the ship. The Squad recruits a group of terrorists called The Revolutionaries and starts utilizing them for missions. As it turns out, The Revolutionaries may not actually be terrorists, and they might have an agenda against Task Force X. Actually, there is no “might,” they definitely have an agenda against Task Force X.
As The Revolutionaries begin to put their plans into motion, they slowly begin to recruit members of the Squad into their ranking, before initiating a full revolt and escape from Belle Reve. During their escape, they learn that the man behind the new Task Force X regime is none other than… Ted Kord! (WHAT!?!? I know!) Now on the run, the team has encountered and escaped the likes of Deathstroke, Flash, and even Batman. During this time, Deadshot and Harley also learn that they’re actually free. They’ve repaid their debts and should’ve been released, but the government kept that bit of information quiet so they could continue to utilize their skills. That brings us to this issue… Knowing that he should have been released, Deadshot decides to leave the Squad so he can be with his daughter.
If you’ve read various runs of Suicide Squad, then you know that this has always been Deadshot’s endgame. He’s always been working to get back to his daughter. While I would never really consider Deadshot a good man – I mean, he murders people for a living – there is a tinge of good in him, and it’s something that appears to grow more and more over time. And there is a sense of honor to him as well. It’s very much his own brand of honor, but it is there and ever-present.
So, what happens in this issue? Well, Deadshot reunites with his family. That is pretty much the gist of this chapter, and it’s a freaking magnificent read. Floyd has put the Suicide Squad behind him. He knows he’s received a second chance at a life his previous actions took from him, and he has no intention of letting that happen again. For all intents and purposes, he is a changed man.
Tom Taylor and Daniel Sampere do an incredible job of slowing things down to focus on the human and personal aspects of this issue. This is a story that very much focused on family and relationships, and nothing makes me happier than seeing Floyd reunite with his daughter. But it’s the subtlety of how it’s handled that really makes this issue so good. You get to see Floyd go through a range of emotions. He has hesitations and fears, joy, sadness and regret… It really is a beautiful story.
What I really love though, is Zoe’s ability to look past her dad’s faults and see the good in him. Despite his shortcomings, he’s still her hero. She’s even created an alter-ego that mirrors her father’s. The main difference is that she wants to be a symbol of good and light that doesn’t kill. It’s heart-warming, but also heartbreaking. There’s something to be said about children, their inherent innocence, and their ability to see the good in everyone and hope for that. And while I think that, for some people, that hope can be misguided and wasted energy, I think it’s exactly what Floyd needs right now. The naysayers of the world would probably say that this hope is naive, but I have no doubt that it can lead to change for some. It may be a small fraction, but it’s possible.
Unfortunately, as ready as Floyd may be to leave his past behind him, Task Force X may not be ready to let him go. Ted Kord is still after the Suicide Squad, and that includes Deadshot. Considering they hid Floyd’s freedom from him, one should know that they’re not going to let him have it freely.
The back half of this book leads to an altercation with Deadshot and the FBI. I spent every page of this altercation on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen. I mean, we know what happens to Floyd because of solicitations – whether or not it occurs in this issue, I will not reveal – but there are other dangers and outcomes at play here. The officers are nervous. Floyd is nervous. His family is there and they’re innocents in all of this, but innocent people aren’t safe from crossfire… And that reality is a bit nerve-racking.
I don’t want to give the ending away. Unlike DC, I feel that stories should be experienced. Writers and artists put a lot of effort into their creations, and I think its a jab to them when you take away from what they’ve crafted. So, go read the book. And if you haven’t been reading Suicide Squad, then you need to. Check your local comic shop to see if they have back issues. It’s well worth it, I promise! Also, if you’re wondering, nearly every picture I’ve used is from the first half of this book, so there’s still plenty of story that follows – especially in the climax!
The art team does a phenomenal job here. I was initially disappointed to see that Bruno Redondo wasn’t delivering pencils here – especially since I knew this would be an emotional issue – but Daniel Sampere delivers some incredible work that’s equally worthy of praise. Redondo and Sampere’s styles aren’t too different from one another either, so that helps maintain a consistent experience for readers. More than anything, I was concerned that Sampere wouldn’t deliver on the acting, but he does. He nailed every emotional beat throughout the story and it honestly makes the issue great. I’m not going to lie, I felt a range of emotions while reading this book, and that has become an experience that happens few and far between these days.
The storytelling executed through art is also great. I love the transitions from panel to panel. There’s one moment in particular where an FBI agent is about to shoot at Floyd’s family. The concept alone is enough of a horror in and of itself, but the way it plays out is brilliant. You have a panel showcasing a “wide shot.” Then you have a close-up panel on the officer showing his adrenaline/ fear, and then a close-up on the officer’s finger on the trigger, before reverting to a panel showing Floyd’s fear. That, ladies and gentlemen, is sequential storytelling at its best! And in addition to the action that plays out, these panels are also captured from interesting angles.
In general, the work is great all around. Juan Albarran and Adiano Lucas provide equally wonderful inks and colors. Since this issue takes place during the day, there isn’t as much play with shadows and lighting as we’ve seen in the past, but the work is still noticeable. I especially loved the warmth of the colors for this issue – especially during the first half of the issue. Lucas manages to create a certain tone through his colors. Again, great work all around.
- You need to be reading Suicide Squad! Just do it!
- You like balanced narratives that keep you engaged from start to finish.
Tom Taylor and team continue to prove that Suicide Squad is the book to read at DC Comics! Packed full of strong characterization, action, plot twists, and emotional beats galore, this is easily one of the most balanced and engaging books hitting shelves right now. This issue, in particular, is a heartfelt gem that focuses on Deadshot and the person who is his reason for existence, his daughter.