After the disastrous trip to Russia, the Suicide Squad sets off on their second mission of the series. With the addition of some new members and a familiar face, the team heads to China to disrupt a secret government lab. So is it good?
New Suicide Squad #5 (DC Comics)
First of all, look at that cover. I want a poster of this image hanging above my bed. I’m slowly developing a man crush on Juan Ferrerya after reviewing his work in Prometheus: Fire and Stone and now this. This epic cover gives away the new additions to the team which is now comprised of Black Manta, Harley, Captain Boomerang, Reverse Flash, and some Man Bats for support. I love the inclusion of Reverse Flash which definitely spices up the team dynamic. I remember the last run of Suicide Squad once included Cheetah to give the team a speed element, but I’m much happier Reverse Flash, despite him not getting a lot of air time in this particular issue.
The storyline continues to differentiate from previous runs by highlighting and expanding on new concepts. There’s definitely an emphasis on portraying Waller as a more humane individual, especially in contrast to Sage. Also, as weird as it is to say it, Waller now possesses some sex appeal. The original authors of Suicide Squad would be rolling in their graves if they saw what Amanda Waller is now (This is an incredibly inaccurate statement; I don’t believe those authors are even dead). The point is, does anyone remember the pre-new 52 Waller? She was one of the cruelest tyrants of DC and she…well…she wasn’t in anyone’s fantasies we’ll put it that way. This issue features a Waller shower scene, a clear indication that there’s some character modifications underway.
There’s also a focus on Deadshot and his inability to be on the team in his current state (He’s still healing from being tortured by Deathstroke). Not only is Deadshot sidelined, but Joker’s Daughter is now out of the picture as well (Thank you Ryan, thank you so much) and there’s even a reference to the Joker being back as well. That would be pretty cool if he was to make an appearance in this series, similar to what they did with the Death of the Family crossover.
Now here’s the bad news. Hunter, who had been doing the art alongside Roberts, took over the issue single-handedly for the first time. After being so pumped up by the cover art, it was certainly a disappointment to take a look inside. I hope this isn’t a permanent move. I had one of those dramatic flashbacks where I envisioned every panel I disliked over the last few issues (Harley Quinn thrashing Joker’s Daughter in issue #3, Harley’s crazed face in issue #4, etc) and I suddenly realized that these panels had come from Hunter’s hand.
This issue is filled with awkward, and even embarrassingly, bad panels. Hunter needs some serious work with faces because there are a number of panels where people look straight-up disfigured (Waller’s assistant for instance). It was a struggle to get through the Deadshot pages because he was so poorly drawn. He looked like he was drawn by a seventh grader, you know, the type of art where every individual is uncomfortably buff. I’m sorry to be so negative, but this really killed the issue for me.
Is It Good?
I love the new additions to the team. I like the concept of the mission. I like the Taylor Swift reference. I’m unsure how I feel about Waller’s character development. I abhor the art and that’s the sole reason for the low score.