Suicide Squad Black Files #5 – Mike W. Barr, Jai Nitz, Writers; Philippe Briones, Artist; Scot Eaton, Penciller; Wayne Faucher, Inker; Gabe Eltaeb, Guy Major, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Corrina: Halo Spotlight
Ray: The penultimate issue of this two-story miniseries focusing on Suicide Squad team members sends both its lead characters into dangerous situations. In Mike Barr and Philippe Briones’ Katana story, Katana is still trapped in the body of Eve as she tries to convince the Squad she’s their ally, not one of their deadliest enemies. Halo, meanwhile, is playing dead in deep space after figuring out that Eve is currently occupying her foster mother’s body. The two women spend most of the issue on the run, staying one step ahead of Kobra forces and hired assassins. Katana’s story takes on the tone of a spy thriller, with her moving from one dingy hotel to another and making quick escapes, but it’s Halo’s youthful confusion that lends the story a little more emotional heft. I just wish the villains were more engaging – I maintain Kobra are consistently among DC’s weakest villains. They’re just Hydra with no Nazis.
The El Diablo/Suicide Squad Black segment has had more interesting ideas overall, even if it never quite takes advantage of them. Its motley crew of magical superheroes is ready to take the fight to Sebastian Faust this issue, and I continue to be impressed by how well Jai Nitz juggles continuity – although that may also be its biggest weakness. A lot of this story relies on subplots from obscure miniseries years ago. I do like the characterization of Amanda Waller here a lot – she’s no-nonsense, can be rather callous towards the lives of the Squad, but it’s all in service of protecting the innocent. The death of a team member midway through the story doesn’t have much of an impact and doesn’t stick in a sense anyway, but it’s fun to see these magical misfits get to cut loose. With both stories, it’s far superior to the last few years of the main series but never rises above moderately enjoyable.
Corrina: The lead story had a couple of great moments and they both belonged to Halo. First, her escape from space via bending light to create an illusion was clever and then her theft of a space suit to find the Squad and uncover what is truly happening with Katana.
I also like the showcase of Katana’s fighting and spy skills (even in the wrong body). Those things raise the story above a simple identity switch but, still, it feels like this plot has gone on too long.
The back-up story is so jam-packed that I had to keep double-checking who was who. There was an interesting idea with Juniper as an agent of the Green but we don’t actually see how it feels to her to channel that power. In other words, the story skipped what seems like the most interesting parts. I wish this tale had more room to breathe.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.