Comic Book Review: Suicide Squad #8

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This is a big week for Suicide Squad. Not only are we hitting a crucial part of ‘The Black Vault’ on part eight, but this is the issue to kick off the big crossover event Justice League Vs Suicide Squad #1 on December 21st. Personally a big milestone for Suicide Squad as a whole. If there’s one thing a fan will grow tired of its hearing that they are no match for the Justice League. Well we’ll see about that. Especially depending on how things end for Task Force X in this dire situation.

After last issue’s Harley focused issue, we got a sane perspective of just how bad things are getting and will still get if sanity isn’t restored to Belle Reve. Truthfully after what we’ve witnessed so far, saying the prisoners and staff of Belle Reve Penitentiary have succumbed to the ‘devastating’ effects of General Zod’s Black Vault sounds like an understatement. This was madness in its purest form, and the worst place on Earth to unlock such a sensitive trait. That out of the way, these new developments have created some unique opportunities for characters you didn’t expect to have such an impact. One of the reasons to really appreciate this creative team taking over. There is an understanding of what these characters have to offer as a team that has chance of catching us off guard. This goes for Enchantress and Hack in particular. With the conclusion of Suicide Squad #8 I would say Hack more because we are now able to really see her. We know her backstory, we know what she wants, so there is a care for these things she does to prove herself as a villain.

Getting back to this sane Harley. We all know this was a temporary fix for her, but by the end of this you do have some hope that this is a stepping stone for us to explore a possible effect from having and losing this second chance.

Now the biggest curveball from Suicide Squad #7 had to be this idea that Boomerang may not actually be dead. Crazy right? Because I think we all saw the same thing as he was incinerated down to his boots with the smell of burnt flesh to match. So it really weighed on you coming into Suicide Squad #8 wondering how. Now the answer to that is still something to try to figure out fully, though the gist of what happens to bring him back is satisfying. Some say that Boomerang isn’t that appealing of a villain. But as a member of Suicide Squad? It just isn’t the same without his brand of humor.

The way things ended here was all the action you could have asked for. The impossible became possible, loyalties and priorities were tested. This was the right kind of scenario where you could actually challenge what some of these key characters are capable of in the heat of the moment.

This week’s bonus backup story was a little more insightful than over average stories. Learning how super-villains are conscripted into the Suicide Squad is that next step in grasping this corner of the DC Universe. Following Killer Frost through her arrival for her first day at Belle Reve was a great choice. She lives up to the name whether it’s on the surface or not. A cold-hearted member like her is exactly how you challenge the viability of this team in comparison to the others. The art team for this story was very impressive. Each artist for these backup stories are fitting to the villain, and this was no exception to the pattern. In fact they captured her view of things perfectly. The colors especially. The clashing of cold colors and warm colors was as intense as you would expect from someone who creates cold through an insatiable hunger for heat.

Reaching this last stretch of ‘The Black Vault’ we got something different out of the artwork that was refreshing. When you feel so drawn in to the action of Suicide Squad, sometimes you overlook the fact that they aren’t all monsters on the inside. With so much on the line, this was that point where we got the opportunity to see some of them vulnerable. A sane Harley Quinn feels fear and all the things madness clouds her mind to. A Killer Croc who isn’t made to feel like the abomination others see him as will come off defensive about feeling personally attacked. An aspiring villain who’s looking to make a name for herself will carry that sense of self-doubt. It’s all in the way they present themselves and express themselves that you take interest in because the art team put the effort into selling those moments. Jeremiah Skipper really stood out this time around. This was a point in the plot where there was a demand in big moves to bring an end to this madness. His strong colors captured many of those high points. Showing the extent of Hack’s power in particular was pretty awesome. If there was any reason not to see her as someone to underestimate, how she saves the day sure does change things.

With an end to ‘The Black Vault’, you do wonder where we go next after Suicide Squad #8. This was an exciting way to kick off Suicide Squad’s first chapter. As a prelude we didn’t quite get to what creates this upcoming ‘Justice League Vs Suicide Squad‘ crossover, though nonetheless this is something to look forward to. I mean they did just take down General Zod of all beings to have the misfortune of running into.

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Total Score
9.0