Okay.

I’m going to be honest.

Suicide Squad infuriates me.

I absolutely cannot understand how this book could go from a solidly mediocre beginning, to whatever last issue was, to something this GOOD. This issue is so insanely entertaining, it legitimately makes me upset that this hasn’t been the whole book.

All’s Fair in Blood and Sport

Perhaps the biggest strength of this issue is its main character. Writer Robbie Thompson focuses on Bloodsport, showing us his reality-hopping hijinks during his tenure with Task Force X. Almost immediately off the bat, he’s the most compelling character we’ve seen from this book so far. He’s funny, interesting, cool without seeming like a Gary Stu, and even has a gut wrenching backstory to boot! What’s even better, Thompson manages to convey this in just 3 pages, saving plenty of time for other-Earth shenanigans. And shenaniganery be there here, dear reader.

Bloodsport is on the hunt for new recruits, and it’s because of this he finds himself on Earth-3. Not just any old, Earth-3 at any old time, either. He’s shown up right in the middle of a Starro attack on Metropolis!! And that’s not all, it’s THE Starro attack from Crime Syndicate #1!!

I have to admit, I was more than a little stoked to see this panel here, and I hope that we get to see more of the Earth-3 from Crime Syndicate in this series going forward. I absolutely love it when you can watch two crossover books play out simultaneously, and Thompson made absolutely sure that this was the case here. Bloodsport’s antics throughout the issue can be read side by side with the first arc of Crime Syndicate, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We don’t see much of the actual Syndicate this issue, but I’m okay with that. There has to be a build to what I assume is going to be a conflict between the Squad and the Syndicate, but I hope we see more of them soon. What does come of Bloodsport’s run-ins with Earth-3’s evil heroes makes for some very interesting setup, and I’m excited to see where it goes.

What’s probably the biggest improvement this issue has to be the art, handled by Dexter Soy, Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferrera, and Joe Prado. This is the first time in this series that I’ve legitimately enjoyed looking at every single page. This is just a hunch, but I have a feeling it’s because the issue takes places mostly outside, meaning that we’re not dealing with a lot of the heavily shaded, dark backgrounds this book likes to keep us in. There’s a comic book-y vibe to the whole thing that makes me insanely happy.

This has to be my favorite panel in the whole issue. Alex Sinclair’s colors are bright and vibrant, Ultraman, while evoking Superman more than I think he usually does, remains absolutely terrifying, and the alleyway is stylized to give a perfect sense of how skewed this world is. Suicide Squad #5 is by FAR the most visually pleasing issue yet, and I hope future issues look more like this.

Recommended If…

  • You needed a reason to believe in this book again.
  • Earth-3 is your jam, or you’ve been following the Crime Syndicate mini.
  • You needed a break after last issue. I did.

Overall:

This issue is absolutely incredible. It is also incredibly frustrating. The fact that we’ve had this kind of quality held out on us while stuff like the Red X issue gets pushed on us is upsetting, but I have a hunch that might have been corporate-mandated crossover stuff. This issue, while it still may be corporate-mandated crossover stuff, actually feels like a natural branch to the story and, more importantly, feels like the writer cared about what happened here. Bloodsport is insanely good as a protagonist, and I hope he sticks around after this little arc. Hell, I hope he gets his own series. I’d buy every issue twice over.

Score: 8/10


Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with an advance copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.