Suicide Squad #5
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Bruno Redondo and Adriano Lucas
Lettering by Wes Abbott
Published by DC
‘Rama Rating: 9 out of 10
The Suicide Squad’s latest mission ends with a bang and a twist, as writer Tom Taylor and artist Bruno Redondo continue to impress, balancing supervillain veterans like Deadshot, Harley Quinn and Captain Boomerang alongside a gang of newcomers that will sneakily steal your hearts. Combined with some really ambitious design work from Redondo, and you’ve got a series that really swings out of its weight class.
With the Suicide Squad hunting down their old comrade Captain Boomerang, Taylor ties a neat little bow on this particular micro-era of the team, bringing tons of action to go alongside some eye-popping swerves. In a lot of ways, Taylor’s work in this series not only is reminiscent of his high body counts in the Injustice and DCeased universes, but it also evokes Nick Spencer’s underrated work on T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents nearly a decade ago – rather than leverage decades of history to make a character’s death feel emotional, Taylor instead front-loads the characterization and camaraderie of his new Suicide Squad members, portraying them as damaged goods who will fight for one another as well as their own human dignity.
And that makes for some thrilling storytelling – whether it’s seeing super-speedster Jog quickly recap his life as he’s nearly blown to kingdom come, or watching Deadshot finally come off the leash, Taylor really knows how to hit readers with an emotionally satisfying gut punch. But of course, the biggest gut punch of all has to be the unsuspecting twist that Taylor hits readers with at the end of the issue – while for some readers it might be controversial, I think it’s a bold and exciting choice for this character, one that has deep dramatic irony given this DC figure’s history over the past two decades. It kicks off the Suicide Squad into some fun new territory that will pit them against some heavy hitters elsewhere in the DCU.
While some of the character designs still need a little more time to grow on me, it’s hard to argue that artist Bruno Redondo isn’t delivering some of his best work yet. From the eye-catching angles as he shows Jog getting caught in an explosion to the awesome way he incorporates the Suicide Squad title into the artwork of the book, Redondo is killing it – he’s also not afraid to throw in some fun bits of experimentation, like a Comics Code logo covering up a particularly brutal bullet to the face, or Deadshot’s face being swallowed up in shadow, lit only by his eerie red scope as he dispatches someone who absolutely deserves it. Colorist Adriano Lucas is sometimes a little too sunny with some of his color palettes, but even if the tones lean a little too traditional superhero, he keeps the energy moving nicely for the series.
If you’ve been sleeping on Taylor and Redondo’s Suicide Squad, now is an excellent time to hop on board – this fifth issue is accessible and engaging even if you haven’t read the previous chapters, and by the time this densely-paced issue concludes, you’ll be itching to see where this team goes next. Full of action, exciting artwork, and moments that are both emotional and badass, Suicide Squad #5 might just be DC’s best book this week.