For months now, I’ve praised Suicide Squad as being one of the best in-continuity books hitting shelves for DC Comics. While that sentiment remains, this chapter is easily one of the weakest in the run.
It was recently announced that this iteration of Suicide Squad would end with issue #11. Feel sudden? Yeah, I agree. Despite “company talk,” there’s no way I’m buying that this was “the plan.” No publisher would announce a book as an ongoing series, then end it after 11 issues claiming that was the original intention. And, honestly, the fact that publishers make stupid decisions and comments like this is insulting to our intelligence as readers. Just be honest. Anyway, the point of this isn’t to discuss the ins-and-outs of publishing initiatives – DC is making some changes and I respect that – I’m only bringing it up because I genuinely feel that this decision impacts our story to a degree.
So far, Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo have delivered an excellent book! The pacing has been brisk and intense, with each issue building on what came before it, and created more intrigue for each new chapter. This issue somewhat abandons that trend, and while I consider that a negative, this issue is far from bad.
The Squad recently broke free from Belle Reve and went on the run. As wanted fugitives, the team managed to ditch their brain bombs and discover that Ted Kord is now running Task Force X. That discovery quickly turned the Squad’s crosshairs onto Kord and are actively working to bring him down. In an attempt to learn everything they can about him, the team also discovered that Deadshot and Harley had actually earned their freedom.
Now a free man, Deadshot decides to reunite with his wife and daughter. A moment that, for many of us, feels somewhat overdue for the Squad’s greatest marksman. As much as Lawton may be done with the government though, they aren’t finished with him. As far as the outside world is concerned, Deadshot is still a wanted man, and Kord will use whatever he has at his disposal to ensure things remain that way.
The showdown at Lawton’s house left me feeling certain that the chase for the Squad would only intensify from here, but, instead, it doesn’t. Rather than continue the trend to build on the issue before it, this chapter takes a side-step to showcase the origin of Wink and Aerie. Surprised? Yeah, I was too!
I don’t want to sound as though I’m unhappy with the direction of this issue. I really like Wink and Aerie, so I welcome the opportunity to learn more about them. And, if I’m being honest, their story is quite good! If you weren’t a fan of them already, I feel you’ll be hard pressed to dislike them after this issue. My only problem is that this feels like an unnatural direction for the title based on pacing and trajectory of the previous issues.
Regardless, this is what we have while it does feel early, Taylor handled it as best as possible before setting up the plot that should drive the remainder of the title. This issue reveals why Kord took over Task Force X, how he did it, and why he’s interested in Badhnisia.
If you’re like me and concerned about Kord’s treatment in this book, I have a suspicion that this isnt actually him. That’s been my hope for a few issues now- or that we didn’t understand what he was trying to do anyway – but this issue gives us a tease that there might be more at play. Yes, I’m crossing my fingers.
My biggest complaint here are some political comments that appear early in the issue. To be clear, I don’t mind politics in books, but how they’re handled and executed is important to me. There are a barrage of issues thrown out rapid fire, and they’re presented in a “stupid American” sort of way. What’s a shame is that there are valid conversations to be had here, butthey come off rather preachy and that usually turns people off rather quickly.
Daniel Sampere steps into cover art for this issue and does a nice job. While I dont feel his art is quite up to the standard of Bruno Redondo’s, it is similar and will make for an easy transition when collected in trade.
The storytelling is quite good, and there are moments that really stood out to me. In particular, the first time Wink and Aerie meet is beautifully executed. I’m not sure if Taylor scripted it this way, or if Sampere just ran with the moment, but having Wink peek through Aerie’s wings is an incredible moment visually.
I know I said I didn’t feel as though Sampere’s art was quite up to par to Redondo’s but I don’t want that to come across as a negative. There are just certain nuances and details that Redondo manages to create, while Sampere comes in just under that. Overall, it is still good work.
- You’re a fan of Wink and Aerie.
- You want to know how Kord acquired Task Force X.
- You’re curious to learn what Kord’s endgame is.
Overall, Suicide Squad #8 is a solid read. There’s good character work with Wink and Aerie, and Taylor reveals the direction we will be heading to close out the book. Aside from feeling the effects of ending the book early, my only criticism here are some clunky lines drawing attention to political situations. I don’t mind when writers do this, but the instances of it in this issue could have been executed with a little more grace.