What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Suicide Squad #4! Its been some time since we have had a run of Suicide Squad which hits the ground running with momentum and high stakes from the get-go. Almost everything about this book has been a fresh new experience aside from the usual vets who you just can’t do without. New boss, new threats, new allies, and so much more at stake in playing the rebel.
Considering what transpired in the previous issue, this changed a lot about how this team moves forward. There was always going to be something wrong with the way that Waller lost her position to someone like Lok. Success or failure, this was hers. Something more had to be going on behind the scenes for anyone else to take control out of the blue. It didn’t hurt knowing those suspicions to be true pretty fast, it also didn’t hurt to know that the Revolutionaries allowed themselves to be caught in order to take down whoever is at the top. This only added to the thrill that we get from each new mission since you know that a majority of this team doesn’t plan on doing as they’re told, and Lok is not going to be the guy to test if things go wrong.
Speaking of new missions, who would have thought so soon we would already have another well-known veteran tangled in this madness again? There was plenty of ways that they could have approached this, but it was brilliant that nothing about how they crossed paths was predictable. Especially since confronting this vet to the team was the same as understanding who the Revolutionaries are, and where they come from. When we got our last explanation of this team, it was easy to assume that we just needed to know the gist of their mission. I was impressed that the truth was much deeper and personal.
What I love about Tom Taylor writing this is also the fact that he respects where Harley Quinn is at in her life when a part of Suicide Squad. This is a Harley Quinn who is on her own, can think for herself, and knows when to drop the act when something does not seem right around her. This may be the fourth issue, but it was a good time to emphasize this through her ability to look at this growing situation and be able to dissect in in a way that no one else would have expected from her. Whether this was actually putting the pieces together in terms of how things came to be with The Revolutionaries, or getting to the bottom of what’s wrong with Floyd, she was going to accomplish something without being the comic relief. I mean, how long can you pull off what The Revolutionaries are planning without dealing with all loose ends?
With that said, what Harley got out of Floyd was endearing because there was only so long that someone like him could go without being fully transparent about where his head is at in all of this. When it comes to Suicide Squad, Floyd tends to be the kind of villain who masks his emotions pretty well. In this case, he wears it on his sleeve. Getting through to him was great for the investment we now have in him working towards something genuine. Despite knowing where this might lead the character who cares too much.
Compared to the issues before, this one was a bit more tame than the others. Not a bad thing of course because this was our time to also see just how personable this art team could make these characters. I would say that they nailed it because for as much action as we are going to look forward to, Suicide Squad is still a book where you also expect some engagement from these characters. One of the best things about Daniel Sempere as penciler is that he knows how to give you something organic. The characters are expressive, full of energy, and of course intense at the best of times. Aside from that, the execution of the action scenes was on point still carrying on that action movie atmosphere between the layout design and the coloring effects. One thing I’m admiring that is consistent, is how they find some way in each issue to incorporate the words Suicide Squad. Also makes every issue feel episodic.