Suicide Squad #4 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Daniel Sampere, Penciller; Juan Albarran, Inker; Adriano Lucas, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Corrina: A Little Bit Heroic?
Ray: Suicide Squad #4 takes the heroes into familiar territory to track down an old frenemy – Captain Boomerang.
Digger Harkness was one of the original Squad members, but successfully got paroled and has been living quietly in his beloved Australia – until he drunkenly blabs to one of his friends about Task Force X, triggering the provision that puts him back into service. Lok sends some soldiers after him, but Digger makes short work of them, so it’s time to call the Squad into service to round up their old teammate. The scene where Lok presses them into service drives home how this is one of the most unlikable characters I’ve ever seen – and that’s a compliment. He makes a great villain and drives home how Amanda Waller, as ruthless as she was, had some moral decency that made the Squad ready to cooperate with her. Lok operates based on torture and threats.
Tom Taylor is an Australian, and you can see it in every panel of the Squad’s road trip. From Harley being terrorized by Emus, to the Australian members of the Squad’s new teammates taking them through some of the continent’s most beloved sights, it’s like a road trip with an awkward bunch of roommates – except something very dark is lurking under the surface.
Harley finally gets to the core of why characters like Osita are working with them, and it’s a great twist that adds another element to the many betrayals and secret agendas we have. The Squad has caused a lot of damage in the past, and part of this run seems to be about reckoning with that. But first, they have to round up a drunken Australian assassin, and Taylor seems to be writing him as a lot more dangerous than he usually is. There are some great fight scenes in this issue, but it wouldn’t work half as well without Taylor’s always-excellent dialogue and subtly political writing.
Corrina: Taylor’s strength as a writer is finding the core of these characters and delivering scenes that perfectly capture them, which is what he does with Digger in Suicide Squad #4. I didn’t care if Digger lived or died before this story. Now I find him interesting and wondering what he’ll do next.
The art is soaked with images of Australia, especially the scenes of the van perched on the cliff, with the sun in the background, and with the abandoned cars. It feels like a strange place, as it should, and I give credit to Daniel Sampere and Juan Albarran, who also do a tremendous job with facial expressions, and with the varied body types of the new Squad members.
In just four issues, we have a team, their motivation, the tensions between them, a common enemy, and a common goal. What remains to be seen is what this will cost them. I’m hooked on this story.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.