DC Comics has been trying to crack the nut that is Suicide Squad for ages. Their attempt to mix the humorous, edgy, and downright insane team of misfits has been hit or miss, but the recent Rebirth series with Jim Lee on art and Rob Williams writing has been just the right amount of action packed craziness with a touch of Harley Quinn humor. How is issue #3 though? Is it good?
Suicide Squad #3 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The official DC summary reads:
“THE BLACK VAULT” part 3! It looks like a well-deserved day off for the Suicide Squad—until things go off the rails when the bizarre energies of the dark sphere Amanda Waller’s team brought back slowly drive everyone in Belle Reve Penitentiary to acts of violent, bloody madness. Everyone except the crown princess of crazy, Harley Quinn, who’s somehow been…cured?
Why does this book matter?
Save for the fact that Jim Lee doesn’t draw ongoing series every day, Rob Williams has infused each issue with clever bits of story or science fiction ideas. Plus, each issue ends with a backup focused on one of the members of the team, which allows Williams to explore and do character work while the main story offers up big action.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
It’s chaos up in this bitch.
Williams opens this issue with a solid page including captions from Amanda Waller and how she was witness to Darkseid’s destruction of an entire city. It helps give reason to why the Suicide Squad needs to exist, but also gets to a human core we don’t often see with Waller. Williams then blows past that into big action with the Squad taking on a villain that’s probably way too powerful for them. The stakes are high, and if you’re like me, you’re going to want to see how the hell they can stop a character like Zod. On top of that, we had one of the members completely killed off (presumably) last issue, and you’ll want to learn more about that. Basically put, Williams makes you want to turn the pages with a good plot and good pacing.
Williams makes this team feel like, well, a team–which is tougher to do than you might think. Each character plays a part, or at least has something to say. Katana has probably the biggest moment and that might be because she’s the focus of the backup, but everyone gets to play.
Jim Lee doesn’t disappoint either, making Zod so damn huge and foreboding you’ll wonder how this team will beat him. The shooting looks cool, Harley is comically wandering about in the issue, and the magic and hologram stuff looks spot on too. More should be said about Harley’s body language and facial expressions which add important levity and silliness to the action. Without it, the comic would be too dark for its own good. The colors by Alex Sinclair are quite nice, from the holograms and magic to the lasers shooting out of Zod’s head. You also got to love the detailed colors of Harley too.
The backup is drawn by Philip Tan with a very digital dreamlike quality in part due to the almost manga look and feel. Colors by Elmer Santos bring out the flames and spirits that populate the issue. Overall it does a good job establishing why Katana is probably more badass than you ever imagined and of course it gets to the core of her humanity.
It can’t be perfect can it?
In the grand scheme of things, this series is going quite slowly and it has decompressed the story. I can’t say that’s a huge fault though as Williams is getting plenty of character work out of each page and the action looks good too.
Is It Good?
I can’t remember the last time the Suicide Squad felt so much like a team. If you’re looking for top notch art and a team book that gives every player something to do or say, you’re in the right place.