Suicide Squad #44 – Rob Williams, Writer; Joe Bennett, Penciller; Mick Gray, Vincente Ciufuentes, Inkers; Adriano Lucas, Colorist
Ray – 5/10
Ray: Suicide Squad #44 has most of the problems of the series as a whole, with a few more redeeming qualities creeping in once in a while. The unlikely team-up of Batman and Deadshot against Kobra continues, as they arrive at the Kobra base, but not before a brief and violent detour where they get shot out of the sky by Deadshot’s former allies in the Suicide Squad. Batman and Deadshot are a doubly humorless team, so their scenes aren’t great – mostly consisting of them arguing, and Batman reminding Deadshot that he’s not doing it for him. The b-team of Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn, and new recruit Captain Cold are more entertaining, as they waver somewhere between a crack team of assassins and a Three Stooges routine. Rob Williams clearly has fun writing their banter and general incompetence, which makes me think this book as a whole would have been a lot better if it was allowed to be lighter once in a while.
Then it’s time for the final showdown, as Deadshot and Batman arrive just as Deadshot’s daughter is being force-fed the spirit of the founder of Kobra, with the intention of transforming her into a snake monster. This turns out to be one elaborate feint, as Deadshot was the real target all along and the cultists quickly proceed to turn the ritual around and infect him – unleashing a snake mutant with perfect aim on the world. The rest of the Squad and Batman fight him, but Deadshot-Snake has the advantage on all of them and is only eventually stopped by his daughter putting a bullet through his chest, seemingly killing him. This leads her to immediately swear revenge and begin preparing to take on his mantle, but Batman manages to stabilize him, with an amusing line about why he’s still alive. Batman is written fairly well here overall – as a ruthless crusader for justice when it comes to criminals, but a kind and human person when it comes to innocent victims, especially kids. Overall, this story largely felt too thin for an extended arc, and by the end just about everything is back to status quo. Next up, a crossover with Aquaman.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.