I don’t know what they’ve been feeding Robbie Thompson over there at DC, but get him some more of it. I finally feel like he’s starting to pick up steam, bringing the Suicide Squad-ness of his team to the forefront. This run is finally starting to come together, and I can officially say I’m excited for more.
The Gang Goes to Jail
This issue is fantastic. Not just in comparison to the start of the series, but genuinely great. Things are picking up on both sides of the Flag/Waller recruitment war, and it’s INTENSE. The plot flowing really well, the pacing is far better than it was during the beginning of this run, and the characters actually feel like Thompson wants to be writing them. That might be a bit extreme, but there’s a noticeable change in tone in the past two or so issues. The gang has better chemistry, Major Force and Match’s dynamic feels like what Thompson wanted to do with Superboy and Peacemaker, just cranked up to its full potential. Even Culebra fits in more naturally, with Ambush Bug being able to shoulder the work of most of the meta-humor without it seeming forced or awkward.
He is, though.
Beyond that, Culebra’s relationship to Talon is deepening, and the “Who?” act being dropped more often allows us to see more in to Talon’s thoughts on the general state of things. It’s nice to see the book not just carried by 1-3 characters anymore.
But how are those 1-3 characters doing? Peacemaker isn’t too prominent this issue, but things are heating up in Match-and-Nocturna-ville, and it’s honestly… kind of adorable? There’s something really impressive about being able to write a cute relationship, and I’d like to give massive props to Thompson on it.
THEY”RE SO GROSS AND I LOVE THEM
Character work isn’t the only thing that’s shining here, however. The plot is starting to pick up, and in ways that I can’t even talk about for fear of MASSIVE SPOILERS. All I can say is that there are plenty of “OH *&$#@” moments that have me on edge until next month, especially in regards to Flag’s new Anti-Squad. Reverse Squad? Negative Squad? Whatever they’re called, they’re making big moves this issue, and I can’t wait to see what comes of it.
As has been par for the course, Issue #10 looks phenomenal. I’d normally be worried when an ongoing book continuously has 3 artists and two colorists, but the Pansica/Ferreira/Soy combo has been a dream team, and Maiolo and Passalaqua have really tied it all together with these gorgeous colors.
Just look at those stars!
I think the thing I appreciate most is the trend away from the super gritty realism of issues #1 and #2. The tone of the book has shifted away from super dark and realistic spy thriller towards something a little more lighthearted and comic book-y, and I think the decision to transition the art in that direction to accompany it was a good one. There’s absolutely something to be said for internally consistent books, and that something is that it’s good. I like it.
Impressive still is the way that all three artists manage to keep the book looking solid the whole way through. No one feels like they’re mimicking anyone else’s style. On the contrary, it’s kind of obvious who’s drawn what page, but the change in artist from page to page is never jarring. In fact, I’d wager that, to a reader who doesn’t know there are multiple artists, this book wouldn’t look there were. It’s a smooth and easy transition between artists, and you just love to see it.
- You love solid, character driven ensemble pieces.
- Anything I’ve said in the last two reviews has intrigued you.
- Maybe?? A good Squad run?? Maybe??????
Last issue wasn’t a fluke! I think I can recommend actively following this book now. I know I will be.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.