Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Suicide Squad #45 Review and **SPOILERS**


We’re Gonna Raze the Roof

Story: Rob Williams and Dan Abnett 
Script: Rob Williams 
Pencils: José Luís 
Inks: Jordi Tarragona and Vicente Cifuentes 
Colors: Adriano Lucas 
Letters: Pat Brosseau  
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: August 8, 2018

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Say, here’s a thing: Suicide Squad and Aquaman crossing over. I happen to review both books, and they could both certainly use a shot in the hazootsiz, so I’m all for it. Let’s take a look at part one of this Reggie Reviewed event in my review of Suicide Squad #45, conveniently commencing below.


Explain It!

Patient readers of my reviews for Aquaman and Suicide Squad will have noted that I am not exactly super-keen on either title, in their current incarnations. Both of them suffer from much the same problem: expanded story arcs that produce issues of little substance, resulting in somewhat mediocre stories. It’s worth saying, however, that both titles have picked up recently: Suicide Squad just had a cool, four-issue arc that included Batman and which changed the roster for Task Force X; in Aquaman, the year-plus long revolution against Corum Rath concluded with the raising of Atlantis to the surface (and the ousting of Corum Rath, as well.) So this crossover is well-poised to capitalize on each title’s “newness,” and hopefully combined they can create something more compelling than what has been accomplished singularly.
I am pleased to say that this issue is very entertaining, dense with intrigue and action, and—blessings of blessings—more roster changes to the Squad proper. Of course, Deadshot and Harley Quinn are mainstays, and Killer Croc is involved since this mission will involve a lot of water, but now we’ve also got Lord Satanis and Master Jailer, two little-known DCU villains that are welcome based on the fact that we haven’t seen them dozens of times before in this series. The way Satanis is portrayed is especially funny, since he feels he’s above doing wet work for Amanda Waller and, indeed, has the power to immolate everyone around him. A rogue general in the U.S. government has tasked Waller with sinking Atlantis back to the bottom of the sea, since certain elements view its exposure to open air as a military threat. So the team is sent underwater to drop a magic ball at the Silent School, where magic is taught in Atlantis, and this will apparently make Atlantis water-logged again.
All this is happening, incidentally, during Mera’s coronation ceremony, the first Xebelian Queen of Atlantis. The Suicide Squad is aided by someone who doesn’t think a dirty Xebel woman should lead Atlantis, but of more interest is the fact that Arthur doesn’t attend his own wife’s Queening, instead preferring to sulk with Marko, Ondine, and Dolphin—and for the first time in a long while, we get tacit confirmation that Dolphin has feelings for Arthur. Never mind that oblique romantic triangle, though, because the Suicide Squad has dumped their magic ball in the correct location, only to find it isn’t magic at all—it’s a nuclear bomb! And it’s going to destroy Atlantis! Probably.
Wow! This is a really good story, told in some plain, easy-to-read plotting and chock full of interesting little twists. This issue rightly focuses on the Suicide Squad, and there are some really hilarious interactions between members of the team. Deadshot is named team leader, since he’s still reeling from events of the previous issue, and throughout he does something that few other interim team leaders have done: lead and make decisions. I haven’t been excited to read the next issue of this book since before Rebirth, and right now I am duly excited! Great job all around, if the series can maintain this momentum after the crossover is done, then we might be looking at a Suicide Squad renaissance.

Bits and Pieces:

Adding some Aquaman to some stiffly-whisked Suicide Squad turns out to be a good recipe for an interesting story and entertaining dialogue. Perhaps the events in this issue aren't entirely unexpected, but I think you'll find that the outcomes aren't obvious. Some new team members inject new life into a team that had become rather stale over time. Nice job!

8.5/10

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