Comic Book Review: Suicide Squad #21
Looks like its time for a new story arc. Last issue was a great wrap-up of everything leading up to what needs to be done to take down The People. Some are picking up their pieces, finding new motivation to push forward, a new leader was chosen following Rick Flag’s death, and as I appreciate we are still digging into the death of Hack awaiting the others figuring out like we did who actually did it.
Now what everyone wanted to know going into this new story arc is how the Suicide Squad would run with their new leader in Harley Quinn. You would think a simple change might keep things the same, but having Harley giving the orders shakes things up. Especially when this isn’t the Harley who you would think falls back to Joker-like tendencies. It’s actually quite worse when you see that she has picked up quite the thirst for violent. Almost as if looking for targets to aim her frustrations at. Dangerous? Hell yeah, but what everyone can agree on is that it’s what the Suicide Squad needs. Someone who can make the right call, the best call, and leave pleasantries at the door when the situation demands it. This is not to say that what she does here doesn’t leave your jaw hanging. A statement needed to be made about how far gone Harley is and message received like a hammer hitting a nail.
For the rest of the team, it was something to see how some of them fought back a little in terms of the way Harley approaches this mission. As I try to always emphasize, these are villains. Hurting and killing is kind of what they do best, so it means a lot when you see the dark place she finds herself in and how the others can hesitate being caught in that orbit. Enchantress I loved for the fact that this was a rare moment when she could actually let go. You can only get the best result from her tapping into the more powerful magics.
Last issue I did find myself shaky on the way Waller carried herself after everything was said and done. It seemed as if nothing had phased her. While this is something you love her character for being able to do during times like these, you still wanted to see some sort of scar from the losses and betrayals. Luckily Suicide Squad #21 was the answer to this because even someone like Waller has to answer for where she screws up. This was one of those times where people needed answers and she was unfortunately the person who has to do damage control. How she handles herself was in-character, while also revealing of some cracks in her armor when seeing through her own charade.
New story arc means new artists, nothing too surprising there. For this new arc we have Gus Vazquez joining us with Adriano Lucas on colors. Now I do recall this not being his first issue on Suicide Squad either, though that was when they had ‘New’ slapped on the front of the book. As per most artists who take over, the one thing more noticeable than the art style is the creative design of the characters. At this point I commend them on being able to draw these characters, Harley Quinn in particular, and not lose what makes them who they are in that moment. For Harley, it looked like she was dressed for the part. Something about her costume looked more militant which matched her current attitude. Devoid of happiness, goofiness, or care. That was her and the contrast to the rest of the team said a lot. My only complaint is how some character’s clothing are a bit too form fitting. The muscles only need to be seen when the person is wearing tights or nothing. Like Croc, Enchantress and Katana looked great for that very reason. Well including Harley for the layers she was wearing. Aside from that I enjoyed how detailed Vazquez is whether it is characters or setting. The setting makes a big difference in keeping you engaged from panel to panel. Adriano Lucas was the right colorist for the job as well. Brought a lot of texture and depth to the pencils. Where things could have been flat, he made them pop. Particularly the colors highlighting a moment of action. He also is an artist who knows how to handle a snowy environment. That is always a tricky scene to capture and there was no doubt he could do it with his use of whites.
Suicide Squad #21 bring us to the start of ‘Kill Your Darlings’. Now I don’t know what that is supposed t mean, but we’ll cross that bridge as both the Suicide Squad and Waller find themselves in tough spots. They’ve been in some tough spots before, though I must say they are going into this with a different mindset than we’re used to.