Last we left Task Force X, they’d successfully(?) broken Talon out of prison, and were gearing up to go after Bolt, a new speedster on the block. Will they succeed? What perils await them along their journey? More importantly, will we see Peacemaker get his after last issue’s altercation? Let’s find out, shall we?
Robbie Thompson has given us another solid book this week, and there’s only one word for it: awesome. This issue’s action pieces are the coolest thing to come out of this series so far (yes I know it’s issue 3, but grant me this), and the dialogue hits just right as well. We begin with Waller asking Nocturna, who has hypnotized Superboy for a little therapy session, about Conner’s loyalties and where they lie. After clearing him for duty, Nocturna heads inside where she’s confronted by Peacemaker, who seems to have his own plans for the Squad. I’m excited to see where these plans take Task Force X in the future, and I hope there’s some big things in store. Peacemaker grills Nocturna about the fact that there’s something not quite right with their Kryptonian comrade, but is interrupted by some of the weirdest dialogue I’ve seen in a while.
This is insanely awkward for several reasons. For one, it’s incredibly “how do you do, fellow kids? See, we know about fanfiction too!” and it just comes off weird. Like Teen Titans Academy level of cringe. Secondly, Culebra is talking about shipping her coworkers. People that she knows personally. Granted, not friends, but she still presumably sees and talks to them every day. It’s just creepy, especially as an attempt to make Culebra “hip” or something. If that wasn’t Thompson’s intent, it’s difficult to discern what is.
This incident is especially strange considering how much I love the dialogue in the rest of this issue. Peacemaker’s dialogue is hilariously over the top, exactly as he should be, and there’s an interaction between him and Superboy that is just too perfect.
It’s funny, it’s intense, it sets the perfect tone for this book, just goofy enough to make sure that we know it’s not taking itself too seriously, but serious enough to make sure the story is still respected by its audience.
Another thing I wanted to touch on is the agency of the characters on the Squad. One of the appeals of Suicide Squad books is obviously the fact that the Squad consists of agents who don’t necessarily want to be there, and Thompson handles this quite well. Characters, like Peacemaker, have their own goals and desires, and it all leads to some nice moments and setups for Squad members to die. This agency is shown especially well in this issue, with characters making decisions that have direct, immediate consequences on the plot. There’s one moment with Superboy in particular, where he tells Bolt to run while speaking at superspeed, ensuring that only she will hear him. It’s a wonderful way to showcase that, despite being under the threat of Waller blowing his head off, Conner is still trying to do the right thing.
Overall, this a really solid issue with lots of plot developments, new threads to follow, and an exciting cliffhanger that I won’t spoil here. I get more and more excited for this series as it goes on.
The art keeps growing on me every issue, I swear. Eduardo Panisca, Julio Ferreira, and Marcelo Maiolo have knocked it out of the park as usual. The colors are bright and loud when they need to be, but mute with a change of light so that they’re not overbearing.
Speaking of light, I know I heaped copious amounts of praise on the artists last issue for its use, but there’s a two-page spread in the book that I wanted to acknowledge this time around.
This is incredible. I just don’t have any other words for it. The glow coming from Bolt’s powers being the main light source for this panel is a brilliant idea, not to mention my love for speedsters being drawn in multiple places at once. It makes the whole scene feel dynamic, and allows for the artists to play with shadows in a really fun way. Bolt’s face is also a treat, the way she starts out determined and afraid but slowly pauses to realize that Talon just threw knives at her head is absolutely endearing.
- You love a good Suicide Squad story.
- Superboy is special to you.
- There’s something about new characters strutting their stuff that really appeals to you.
This is the most fun issue yet. The action is awesome, the plot is gaining intrigue, and the characters are compelling. There are a lot of threads being dangled in front of us, and I’m excited to see how they wrap up, be it neat or in one giant plot ball of chaos. Still no Rick Flag, so I hope we see him again soon. I’m genuinely curious whether Thompson has plans for him or if his incarceration in the first issue was a convenient way to get him out of the book. I hope it’s the former, as the latter would be kind of lazy, and if it were true, why show us Flag being dragged away at all? I hope we get some answers soon, or at least glimpses of them.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with an advance copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.