Review – Suicide Squad #2: Fatal Realpolitik

Suicide Squad #2
Suicide Squad #2 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Suicide Squad #2 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Bruno Redondo, Artist; Adriano Lucas, Colorist

Ray – 8.5/10

Corrina: Tense and Compelling

Ray: Suicide Squad has been many books over its run, but the two most iconic incarnations have probably been the espionage-driven Ostrander version, and the high-octane A-lister version best known from the movie and the Rob Williams run.

Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo are walking a high-wire act trying to balance the two with this new run, and it mostly works although there are a few hitches with Suicide Squad #2, even coming off their phenomenal first issue. The Squad is now settling into their new digs overseen by the ruthless Lok, with Harley quickly finding out he has much less tolerance for her than Waller did. Fin, mourning his twin brother, finds himself sharing underwater quarters with the carnivorous Shark who killed him. The Squad soon finds themselves teeing up for a new mission – interfering to protect a US asset involved in a failed coup in Badhnsia.

Taylor’s always been a politically active writer, and the messages about US involvement in foreign affairs are pretty pointed.

Standoff in Badhnisia. Via DC Comics.

The cast is still very big in Suicide Squad #2, even after last month’s four casualties, so some of the new crew is pretty vague and mostly defined by their appearance. Characters like The Aerie are starting to stand out, though, and the idea of a flying character with flying anxiety is intriguing.

The story begins by jumping forward to the cliffhanger, with the events then unfolding to show us how we got there and who got shot. It’s an intriguing rollout that reminds me a lot of something a noir comic would do. It’s a lot to pack into only 22 pages, and it shows at times. Lok is little more than a generic heel right now, but I’d be surprised if there wasn’t some big twist coming for how he took over the Squad so easily. Deadshot is used very well here, as the vintage Squad member trying to find his footing, but Harley continues to feel like an editorially mandated inclusion. Overall, it’s still far and away the best Suicide Squad comic we’ve gotten in years.

Corrina: There’s something in Suicide Squad #2 that I haven’t seen in any recent incarnations of the comic: tension and emotion. For much of Adam Glass’ run, the whole squad could have been killed and I would have shrugged.

And yet, despite only knowing some of these characters for a moment, I’m on pins and needles wondering what will happen to them. Will they ever escape Lok? Will they survive each other? And even if they survive, how warped mentally will they be?

It’s been a long time since I cared about Deadshot but his facial expressions of horror in Suicide Squad #2 bleed through. That’s a tremendous job by the art team, as are the panels of the confrontation between Fin and Shark.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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