Suicide Squad #5 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Bruno Redondo, Artist; Adriano Lucas, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Tom Taylor’s unique take on the Suicide Squad has been one of the most surprising books to come out of DC in the last year, and it’s not slowling down at all this issue. Last issue – one of the last books released before the shutdown – saw the Squad deputized into Australia for a road trip to apprehend Captain Boomerang, who had gotten a little loose with his lips about his past in the Squad. This leads to a chaotic opening fight, as Digger nearly kills speedster Jog and then gets nearly killed by bruiser Osita. But things take a very dark turn as soon as they get back to the base, as Lok orders Deadshot to murder his old friend in front of the rest of the Squad. This is the best indication yet that Lok is simply a remorseless sociopath and sadist, without any of the redeeming qualities that Amanda Waller often shows. It’s easily one of the most despicable segments for a DC villain in a long time.
That makes it all the more satisfying when we see what happens next, as the Squad engages in a daring, thrilling attempt to stage a coup against Lok. Many characters pull off their best scenes of the series, but one winds up paying the ultimate price after an issue that shows them at their best. That seems to be a trick of Taylor’s – after several alternate realities where he could kill anyone, he’s now playing in a sandbox where he makes us care about characters just enough to make their deaths sting. But the most significant part of this issue comes in the last-act twist, as we find out who’s bankrolling Lok, and it’s easily one of the most shocking things I’ve seen in a while. It’s also going to be wildly controversial, as this firmly puts a major DC fan favorite into a villainous role and will be pretty hard to walk back. But if anyone can bring this home in a compelling way, it’s Taylor. He’s done an incredible job so far.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.