Do you like action and intrigue? How about opening twists that rewind the adventure to explain how we got here? Then you’ll love Suicide Squad #2, Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo’s second stroke in this brand new Suicide Squad series with a whole lot of all-new characters added in. The fascinating first stroke of this series proves you can do anything in comics as long as you change the players and the stakes in a believable way. This new direction for the team continues to be strong, but does this second issue and its done-in-one plot work?
This issue opens with a newer character named Osita shouting, “Holy crap! It’s an ambush!” and chaos ensuing. A bullet is fired and someone ends up dead. It’s a scene that is well-crafted panel to panel and one that I suggest you pay very close attention to. The book then cuts to “yesterday” and we’re privy to the beginning of this mission. Prior to the full mission report, we get a check-in with Fin, a character who lost their twin brother and is in a bad way due to the lack of his brother’s thoughts entwined in his mind. Taylor sets up a conflict between Fin and Shark (the dude who ate his brother) which adds a nice b-plot and lower level tension to the mission once it gets going. You’re likely invested in this story by now and we haven’t even seen Harley Quinn yet.
Speaking of, Harley shows up and does her usual schtick of being a bit off, but having a bit of wisdom in her point too. Taylor is economical with this issue spreading the attention around and showing he has the chops to write a team book with finesse. The beauty of the way this book is written is how there are clues and tidbits of information to pick up on from every character. From Deadshot’s unease with the new team members to Zebra shielding the boss man you get the idea, there are details being relayed that’ll pay off later. Speaking of payoff, the final few pages are very well done and connect with the opening pages very well. I won’t spoil a thing but pay close attention to what is going on and you’ll be rewarded.
The art by Redondo, with colors by Adriano Lucas, is very dynamic. The choreography of the opening and closing pages are tricky business, but Redondo pulls it off really well. There are some great moments in this book thanks to good blocking of characters as well as the acting conveyed via body language and facial expressions. Harley isn’t in much of the book, but in her scenes, you get her personality loud and clear through how she speaks to Lok. She has a different emotion in each panel as she speaks about a team member being eaten. In the final panel, we see Harley react for a fourth and different time and it’s over Lok’s shoulder. It creates a sense of superiority for Lok as he walks away from her unamused.
Suicide Squad is shaping up to be another Tom Taylor lead series you must read from issue to issue. The episodic format sings under his command and it’s a book that’s at once clever and dense in its approach.