Publisher: DC Comics
Released: September 12th 2017
Issues: Suicide Squad (Rebirth) 11-15, and Suicide Squad Special: War Crimes #1
I received a copy of Suicide Squad Vol. 3: Burning Down the House from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Suicide Squad volume three is back, continuing from where volume two left off. Unfortunately there is an artist switch a little less than halfway through. Maybe it’s because I liked Jim Lee’s work so much, but I just found myself struggling to enjoy the new art style as much as the old. Thankfully it isn’t distracting, so I was easily able to focus on the plot instead.
Volume three is pretty heavily focused on Waller and the situations she gets into/causes. So if you’re not the biggest fan of Waller (which I kinda get) then you may not love this volume so much. There’s actually quite a lot going on because of this. We have traitors and double agents and backstabbers, the works. Needless to say there’s a lot of intrigue and confusion.
Everything sort of starts off with a recovery of a US asset (for lack of a better description) that’s been taking overseas by a competing force (I’m being a bit vague here so as to not give away all the details). While it was interesting to see some of the different members of Suicide Squad (about half the team was made up of “new” members) we didn’t get much time to see them. Additionally the constant perspective shifts combined with the undercover uniforms/masks made it more difficult than normal to tell who was who. For a minute there I even thought Waller had blown DeadShot’s neck bomb. You can imagine how alarming that was! Otherwise it was a pretty typical and enjoyable Suicide Squad mission.
The itty bitty break the team got was fun to see: just a few minutes of insight to some of the characters in their downtime. Harley’s break didn’t really surprise me (though again I find myself confused with how this fits in with her standalone comic timeline), nor does Flag’s (of course he would spend it checking up on everyone else). DeadShot’s break was…heartbreaking to say the least. And Boomerang’s? His was pretty interesting. He appears to be struggling with his identity after the whole dying and Hack bringing him back to life bit. It was unexpected depth for that character, but not unappreciated.
So…Waller…she’s a bit of a hate her but can’t live without her character. We’re not meant to like her character, obviously, but I also don’t see the Suicide Squad working without her (unless she got replaced by somebody that was equally ruthless). I’m saying this so you know that I truly never believe it when it’s set up to look like Waller dies. I just can’t picture it, and therefore don’t believe it. Unfortunately this resulted in some breaking the immersion for me, because I couldn’t get into the plot as much because of the intro to it.
I mentioned earlier there were a lot of backstabbers and double agents and the like in this volume, and I meant it. There’s at least one double agent (feel free to guess who) per side (even though the “other side” isn’t terribly clear yet), one traitor, one body, and a whole lot of confused Suicide Squad members. I ended up being totally wrong about the traitor, I think. They may have still be a double agent, that part hasn’t been clarified yet, or I got confused by it. Like I said, lots going on.
Speaking of the team, it was interesting to see how they all reacted once their bombs were turned off. Some of them were predictable, but others less so. I wish they had had more time to be free and show us what they would have done (obviously this doesn’t apply to Harley so much, since we can easily look towards her comics to see that).
All in all I think this was a pretty decent Suicide Squad volume. Not their best work, but certainly not the worst either. Ironically I think there was too much exposition for a Suicide Squad plot – if we’re being honest with ourselves that isn’t exactly the reason we read these comics. It’s for the fight scenes and the bucket loads of witty comebacks (which I totally envy). I’ll be curious to see what happens in the next volume, seeing that this plot is all wrapped up.