Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Suicide Squad #44 Review and **SPOILERS**

Become the Snake

Writer: Rob Williams 
Pencils: Joe Bennett 
Inks: Mick Gray and Vicente Cifuentas 
Colors: Adriano Lucas 
Letters: Pat Brosseau 
Cover: Guillem March and Tomeu Morey 
Variant Cover: Francesco Mattina 
Assistant Editor: Andrea Shea 
Editors: Katie Kubert and Mike Cotton 
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: July 11, 2018


Looks like this is the end of the Batman/Deadshot story arc, and you know what that means: it was a four-issue arc! Pop the champagne! Strike up the band! A story arc that is under the five-issue trade collected minimum is something to celebrate, no matter how good it actually is. I think there should be a tax credit for comic book creators writing stories of two issues or less. I said it. Let society thank these people for not dragging us down with bloated, expanded yarns. Now let’s see how this particular one concluded in Suicide Squad #44, which I’ve reviewed right here!

Explain It!

I know it’s terrible of me, but I really don’t trust families. They’re so…inclusive. Sure, it’s useful to have a full squad of people when you want to fill out a table at the Blue Note Jazz Club, but normally the phrase “too many cooks spoil the broth” leaps to mind. Worse than that are parental tendencies to protect their children at all costs. That means if it’s between saving the world from annihilation or keeping little baby Sue from bawling, there’s going to be a radioactive Armageddon. I’ve often wondered why having a family seems to be a prerequisite for being the leader of a free country. That’s just a person that might skip an important peace summit in order to attend a children’s piano recital.
Batman’s sprung Deadshot from prison in order to save his daughter from being used as a vessel for the spirit of Jeffrey Franklin Burr, who founded the snake-obsessed cult/mercenary group Kobra. Amanda Waller’s sent Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, and Captain Cold to bring Floyd’s butt back to Belle Reve, and snatch up Batman in the process if possible. And that’s essentially what the last two issues have been about, a kind of chase tale where Batman and Deadshot are dodging Suicide Squadders to the left of them, giant snake-men to the right, and they’re stuck in the middle with us. It’s been a good time, but one can only reiterate the events of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World for so long. So now we come to Deadshot and Batman penetrating Kobra’s lair.
There, Deadshot’s daughter Zoe is dressed all snake-like, and she’s absorbing the green, smoky spirit of Jeffrey Burr (much to the chagrin of the Gollum-like Keenum, who thinks he’s the best fit for this possession). Deadshot moves to rescue her, and it turns out to have been a trap! Zoe was just bait to lure Deadshot there so he could become the vessel for Kobra’s founder. Makes some sense, I suppose, it wouldn’t do to have a murderous cult being run by a cute little snake-girl. Deadshot turns all snakey and goes berserk in Kobra’s cave, murdering members of his own assumed team and shooting Batman in the head. Seeing no other option, Zoe shoots her own father in the chest, which stops his rampage and turns him back into the rakish pencil-moustache dude we all know and love. She’s pretty broken up about this, but it turns out Batman isn’t dead because he’s got a Kevlar helmet. And hey, she missed Deadshot’s heart! He’s gonna be okay. Everything is coming up roses all of a sudden.
And that’s it. And you know what? We don’t need any more. For once, I don’t feel like I’ve read a story with two extra issues in this arc, everything moved along at a nice clip and kept me rapt with attention the whole time. You could say the last two issues were placeholders, but they were highly engaging and full of great Suicide Squad action which, when used liberally, is terrific. Visually, you couldn’t hope for better snake-people or sequencing. I think one saving grace of this story is that every member of the Suicide Squad didn’t have to make their cameos in order to justify their membership. By focusing on Deadshot and his need to save his daughter, we got a more complete story than if we’d had the token panel of the Enchantress belching or whatever. Funny, that.

Bits and Pieces:

Though the big story twist is ostensibly revealed on the cover, this is still a worthwhile read for the character work and high action. This has been one of the most enjoyable story arcs in Suicide Squad in recent memory. You'll even chuckle a little, I promise.


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