Suicide Squad Black #5 is a mixed bag of entertaining tropes and rote storytelling. The story as it stands is formulaic comic book fun but ultimately proves to be forgettable. Despite some dents in the plot, there are kernels of exciting points to incentivize readers to see the mini-series through to the end. The opening salvo, Fugitive from Myself goes through the motions, relying heavily on a tried and true concept. However, the series is worth reading for the Rota Fortuna story alone. The exploration of the magic community in the DC world never fails to capture the reader’s interest.
Fugitive From Myself
Fugitive from Myself continues its unique take on the body switch conceit. Katana’s spirit remains trapped in the body of the evil Eve. Meanwhile, Eve has assumed control of Katana’s body. Now an unrecognizable face stares back at Katana; she must contest Kobra’s machinations of utter destruction. This time the Suicide Squad is not on her side, and only Halo seems to have made sense of the potentially deadly body switch.
The fun from the issue stems from applying the Freaky Friday formula to the Suicide Squad. The thought of switching bodies inherently has thought-provoking plot points to explore; add in the world of DC’s resident anti-heroes and the excitement gets ratcheted up a notch. The issue at hand is that there is more to explore in a body switch scenario, but with one issue remaining in the series, there is little room for headway. That’s not to say there haven’t been some peaks in this valley. Eve slept with Kobra during the switch, which could lead to an examination of how Katana would ultimately be affected by such a gross misuse of her body. With limited time to flesh out the series, I expect the conclusions to certain threads to remain unclear.
On a more positive note, the effort is made to push the story forward, but in small increments. The pieces are slowly (but surely) moving into place for the climax. Halo is convinced something is amiss and has teamed with the suicide squad, Katana (the original in Eve’s body) makes her great escape from her prison and has made her way to a Kobra base, and Kobras final plans for death and destruction has come to light. The issue mostly takes place on two fronts: following Katana’s journey to Kobra while escaping the authorities and Halos discovery of the truth.
The story is paced well, but never reaches the point of capturing your interest, waiting to turn the page to discover how a scene ends or looking forward to the next revelation. Tempering expectations are the best way to enjoy Fugitive from Myself.
Rota Fortuna has very little in the way of action but is the necessary step to what we can only hope will be a capstone finish.
The supernatural members of the Suicide Squad Black return to Earth, and the situation couldn’t be any more dire. Sebastian Faust is on the brink of wiping away all magic as we know it. Meanwhile, he’s taken control of the Suicide Squad’s minds. The Black team must now contend with some of the deadliest villains in the DC universe: Deadshot, Killer Croc, Harley Quinn, and Captain Boomerang. With her back to the wall (pun intended), Amanda Waller has no choice to but to send in her fledgling new team to stop Faust and get back the original Suicide Squad… preferably in one piece.
The most compelling aspect of the story is the myriad of players that operate in the world of magic. El Diablo, Klarion, Juniper, Azucar, Wither, Tiamat, and Sebastian Faust round out a cast of necromancy, enchantment, and wizardry.
Aladdin has yet to showcase what he can do, and sadly, the issue fails to provide any revelations. It is evident that he is a potentially heavy hitter moving forward, but the true extent of his power remains a mystery. Then there’s Dr. Thaumaturge. If you’ve kept up with the series thus far, but still find yourself asking “Who?”, You are not alone. Despite the past controversy, the non-binary character was intended to debut in this series with a roar, but it’s been more of a whimper. The good Dr. is quickly being relegated to the recesses of the audience’s minds. Unlike Aladdin, the character has had very little face time.
The effort was made, but the closer the story reaches its pinnacle the more evident it becomes that the Suicide Squad Black Files fails to add any depth to the Suicide Squad. Similar to Fugitive from Myself, the joy in the series depends on how the readers approach the material. Dive in and enjoy the ride, but reader be warned, leave your inner critic at the door.