We’ve reached the end of Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo’s Suicide Squad! Does the creative team deliver a satisfying conclusion or does the book crash and burn on its way out? Find out below!
Despite stating otherwise in interviews, there’s no way that DC – or Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo’s for that matter – plan was to just tell an eleven-issue Suicide Squad story. In fact, if you look at the structure and pacing of the run, it also makes it clear this wasn’t the original approach. But with DC openly stating they want to create more of a synergy between comics, television, and film, this run just doesn’t align with those plans as far as James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is concerned. So, while this title is ending, for now, I have no doubt that a new run will be announced in no time. And that’s a shame because they really created something special here.
Coming into this final issue, Taylor and Redondo have a lot of ground to cover. Not only do they need to wrap up the plot concerning Black Mask, but there are also a number of lingering character threads that need to be dealt with as well. I wasn’t sure how the team would manage all of this, much less how they’d manage it well, so imagine my surprise when the book decides to introduce a new plot and bring a character back to life!
That’s right, Deadshot returns!
In the opening pages, Jog, the speedster that was blown up earlier in the run, is brought back to life by the Black Racer. Why? Well, he’s the Black Racer’s son. I’m not going to lie, that’s a bit of a bombshell that I wasn’t expecting, especially in the final issue of a run that was cut way too short. Since Jog is the Black Racer’s son, that makes him a demi-god, and now that he’s experienced death, Jog can now be reunited with his father and elevate to more than he’s been. Unfortunately for the Black Racer, he doesn’t want to. All Jog wants to do is help his team, and it’s a request that his father assists him in.
As expected, Jog races in to help save the day, and the looming threat of TNTeen destroying a nation is resolved rather quickly. In fact, if you blink, you’ll miss it. The threat and Black Mask are handled rather quickly, but it’s still an entertaining sequence. The Justice League rides in to assist as well, and their introduction leads to some funny exchanges between Harley, Osita, Black Mask, and the League.
Everything isn’t sunshine and roses though. The Justice League views The Revolutionaries as criminals and are here to apprehend them as well. Will this lead to a conflict? I’m not going to give that away, so you’ll have to read the book to find out. What I will say is that the book runs through the motions really quickly. And while that is frustrating – only because I would’ve liked to have seen these plots unfold naturally – I don’t want to hold that against the creative team. All things considered, Taylor and Redondo do a stellar job in wrapping this book up as well as they do.
On the character front, the best moment occurs with Harley Quinn. She ends up leaving The Revolutionaries because she has some unfinished business to tend to… Namely, Zoey Lawton. I’ve praised Tom Taylor’s ability to write Harley as far back as Injustice, and he proves, yet again, that he’s got a strong grasp on the character. He’s also honed in on what appears to be the most natural direction for her character arc in the current state of the DC Universe. Anyway, seeing her take time to share what happened with Zoey, but also comfort her in the wake of her father’s death is probably one of my favorite Harley moments ever. I can only imagine how much more impactful all of this would’ve been had it not been rushed.
And that’s the real disappointment here. It isn’t the way things unfold necessarily, but the fact that we were robbed of so many good things. This issue touches on a number of themes and elements that would’ve undoubtedly come into play over time, and I find myself desperately wanting to read that series. Beyond that, Taylor and Redondo delivered some character gold with The Revolutionaries. I know Tom Taylor has promised that we haven’t seen the last of them – thank God – but I’m concerned as to whether or not they flourish in whatever way they do move forward. I mean, do they have enough momentum to carry a book if they get their own title? Only time will tell.
In the end, I am happy with the final product. Is it perfect? No. The rush to wrap the series definitely drops the quality a bit, but it’s still far from bad. There are moments where Taylor gets a little heavy-handed with his writing, and there’s a scene involving a character that is clearly supposed to be Trump that people will either love or hate. But these are minor callouts and don’t really hinder the story much.
I’m happy that Bruno Redondo was able to wrap his run here. He deserves to be able to do that, and after having a fill-in artist wrap up Batman & the Outsiders, keeping the core art team helps the book end on a positive note. As always, the work is quite good here, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that Redondo has become one of my favorite artists in the industry. He’s just an incredible storyteller. There’s also a certain energy in his panels that is often missing from many artists.
I hope that he gets more high-profile work after this because he deserves it. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be on one of DC’s top-tier books, and if he gets paired with a talented writer, it’ll be a guaranteed treat! I also wouldn’t mind seeing him come back to The Revolutionaries depending on where they go. While I want Redondo to get to work on some A-list titles, he co-created The Revolutionaries and also deserves to be the guy who continues their story.
- Getting a satisfying conclusion is a rare thing in comics, so go get this book.
Suicide Squad is a short, yet strong, run from Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo. With the title ending early for reasons other than story and sales, the team had to rush to a conclusion, but despite the hiccups that would naturally create, the book still managed to tell a satisfying, complete story. Is it perfect? No. But there are plenty of moments that are incredible throughout the run that it deserves your attention.