Writer: Tom Taylor
Artwork: Bruno Redondo
Colours: Adriano Lucas
Lettering: Wes Abbott
Release Date: 26th February 2020
To the surprise of almost no one, it turned out that the latest additions to the ‘Squad had their own secret agenda, faking an ambush and taking matters into their own hands at the conclusion of the previous issue. Now it remains to be seen exactly what their endgame is, and whether Task Force X stalwarts Deadshot and Harley Quinn figure into their plans at all, or are seen as little more than expendable liabilities.
Series writer Tom Taylor is fighting a battle on a lot of different fronts here, introducing a plethora of new characters and killing them off just as quickly, all while doing his best to spin a tangled web of conspiracy and provide the same heady blend of action, comedy and high-stakes drama that Suicide Squad readers have come to expect by now. For the most part though, I’d have to say he’s doing pretty solid job.
Don’t get me wrong, personally speaking I’m a little disappointed about how the Shark/Fin dynamic resolved itself, as I felt it had real potential, but the missteps are few and far between here. Plus, while his Harley is fairly run-of-the-mill, any time he shines the narrative spotlight on Deadshot the book feels a lot better because of it, and I can only hope to see ol’ Floyd continue to feature prominently as this run picks up momentum.
Whatever way you slice it, a Suicide Squad comic is always going to be a bit of a double-edged sword, especially one that introduces so many new faces over the course of just two issues. Trying to build reader investment in characters who are prone to dying unexpectedly is a tough row to hoe, and outside of Harley and Deadshot there’s the feeling that anyone here could be next for the chop. Granted, I know that’s all part of the fun, but it also makes it difficult to actually want to care about any of these new faces, no matter how engaging some of their individual beats may be.
On the visual side of things, Bruno Redondo and Adriano Lucas combine once again to give things an energetic aesthetic, with some creative panel layouts – newcomer “Jog” doing his thing is a real standout – and sound effect choices along the way. While it’s very much in the DC ‘house style’, both artists do a great job of keeping things looking interesting on the page, with some nicely cinematic moments and a bright, eye-catching palette throughout.
It has been a solid few opening issues for sure, but with the bulk of the narrative now seemingly hinging on “new Waller” Lok – a character who has shown himself to be blindingly one-dimensional to this point – it remains to be seen whether Taylor can keep this book’s head above water as its run continues. Either way, I’m definitely going to be sticking around for at least a few more issues to see how this all plays out.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]