After beating Joker’s Daughter to a pulp, Harley and Black Manta are the last remaining members of the Suicide Squad attempting to rescue Deadshot from the Russians and, more specifically, Deathstroke.
Can the Suicide Squad salvage the mission and get out alive? Is it good?
New Suicide Squad #4 (DC Comics)
This is a very interesting issue not for what it shows, but for what it sets up. This appears to be the end of the first story arc as Manta and Harley storm the Russian HQ seeking their missing teammate, an act of loyalty that is rarely seen amongst Suicide Squad members and is noted by Deadshot. This issue focused on two main storylines, the torture and attempted rescue of Deadshot and the angry tantrums of Vic Sage. Focusing on the rescue first, the mission itself is significant because it’s absolutely uncharactistic of the members which may be Ryan taking this new series in an alternative direction by changing the very nature of the team. I’ve read a few Suicide Squad issues from the late 80’s/early 90’s and in those they never seemed like they wanted to off one another every chance they got, which seemed to be the dynamic of the first New 52 run of the series.
Anyway, back to the rescue mission. Something I was very relieved to see was the return of some humor via Deadshot quips. In his altercation with Deathstroke, he takes a few linguistic jabs at the one-eyed man and it actually made me chuckle, something Suicide Squad hasn’t done since before its Futures End issue. Another noteworthy aspect of this mission is that it ends with Deathstroke getting shot and collapsing. Obviously he isn’t dead (What comic book industry would kill their bitter, aged-master of killing? Cough, Wolverine), but what does that entail for not only this series, but for Deathstroke’s solo series? Also Deadshot complains that he was off target and that he “never miss[es].” Really bro? In issue two you had to shoot a guy multiple times because you couldn’t just finish the job. Keep this up and they’ll change your name from Deadshot to Stormtrooper.
The other half of the issue details Vic Sage ranting about not having access to blow the charges implanted into the squad’s necks. The majority of the time he’s just ranting on the phone or ranting at Waller and while you’re reading it you begin to question the point of all this. Previous issues have already established that he’s power hungry, why include three separate scenes of Sage complaining? Well, because of the way the issue ends, we may be looking at a villain’s origin story. We see Sage approach the hospital bed of Commander Knyazev and flip a card to him that reads M.A.R.S. Systems: Research Engineering Defense. At the moment I don’t know which character this may be setting up, but I’m excited to find out. Also something that I haven’t pointed out in previous reviews, Vic Sage has already been an established character in the New 52 as the true identity of The Question. Do these events create momentum towards his character development or is this a new Vic Sage?
Is It Good?
This issue presents a lot of exciting opportunities, but still doesn’t have the same pizzazz as we saw in the first two issues. It’s another rough outing for art and there’s no sign of Joker’s Daughter. However, we do get some greatly missed humor and a showdown between Deathstroke and the squad. Look forward to next issue which may feature the follow-up to Sage’s actions and the series debut of Captain Boomerang.