Thursday, January 12, 2012

Suicide Squad #5

Writer: Adam Glass
Artist: Federico Dallocchio
Company: DC Comics

Well at this point, five issues in, it's official: Suicide Squad has become one of the best written titles being published by DC Comics. A bold statement, sure, but the craft is simply there. The name Suicide Squad has a lot of history in the DC Universe, and while I don't know if you can quite compare it to the utter insanity/awesome laden opus that was Ostrander's creation, there are many similarities between the two that make the reading experience exciting. Beyond that, writer Adam Glass hits the gleeful destruction button with regularity and allows the deluge of blood buckets, filled to the brim no less, to fall where they may.

This issue is no different, as the Squad's back is against the walls of their own "home", Belle Reeve Prison, as they stave off a metahuman riot. There's an intensity in Glass' writing in this and previous issues of the book that hadn't previously been seen. The work that he had done on the Flashpoint: Legion of Doom hadn't been very impressive to me personally. Yes, it had some of the same ruthlessness to its characters and penchant for bloodshed, but it was missing something at its core that tied it all together and made it sing. Perhaps the difference is simply that Glass writes team books better. Legion of Doom, for the most part, focused on a single character Heat Wave, and often times felt bland and boring. Here though, things feel nuanced and anything other than boring. Each and every character, be they a one off or not, has a sense of distinctiveness to them. They matter. More importantly, the Story matters.

There are two other things that seems to help out quite a bit. Action and humor. The action, for a book such as this, is needed and Glass delivers some great moment to moment stuff. With this issue in particular, seeing Deadshot and Diablo plow through wave after wave of inmates in order to reach the high ground certainly sates the action hungry man who demands his testosterone on a daily basis. The humor is a bit harder describe. It's organic and its extremely dark, like Danny Devito meets Tim Burton meets Gail Simone on Secret Six kind of dark, but it's resonates so well and endears the characters to you more than many other writing tools would. There is no other character who is a better example of this tool than King Shark. I won't spoil things, but let's just say he is put to good use in this one.

If I had one complaint about the book, it would be about the art. Dallocchio is improving with every issue that he puts under his belt, but there are still times where his storytelling could be a bit clearer. It's not a huge issue, as both his characters and backgrounds read nicely, but there's a bit of a stiff Michael Lark in proceedings and I'd like to see him loosen up a bit. It would make the action sets feel more organic and read infinitely better.

That said, Suicide Squad continually finds new ways to shock and impress me. It unloads an entire clip of insanity at your face and then takes the time to calmly reload and fire again. You know, but in a good way.

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