To try and review this without spoilers, just wouldn’t do it Justice, pun intended. You have been warned. In this series, we quickly realize its as daunting, as it is terrifying as it is immersive. There is no way you can read this, without putting a whole load of “what if’s” “or what” “but how” without concluding a story line built up in your imagination until you read the fantastic work of Rob Williams. For immersive-ness alone, it’s 10/10. I was enticed all the way through, especially as you read on you realize your no longer with your own dark thoughts. You’re now in the mind of Direktor Karla, seeing the series mainly through his empowering mind. Rather than your own and to do this in such a short read, makes it all the worth while.
In this series, as mentioned – we realise that its as daunting, as it is terrifying as it is immersive. We start to learn more about Amanda Waller, who she really is, what she stands for. What her personality is really like under that emotionless, lifeless character she fronts. The more we read the more we see that she’s deceiving as she is daunting and you’re not sure where her allegiance lies. This is just one of the many reasons it makes the read so enticing. Now before I continue with the plot, I wouldn’t usually write in this context the way I’m about to.
However, without the incredible bold artwork of Augustin Padilla and the dark enriched colour from Adriano Lucas, you may not receive the emotion that Rob wants you to really grasp. These three work hand in hand, like all the cogs successfully combining in a classic watch. Everything just falls into place, and delivers a fantastic product. For that, I can only stand here in awe with my lip firmly planted to the ground. Only wanting more in an never ending compendium to lose my mind to a realm in which I can only hope exists in an after life.
Moving swiftly on with the series, we are first met with Harley, playing king of the jungle. Given her commands but already plagued with a dilemma that could only exist with The Suicide Squad. Harley had given the order to shoot Croc, to our minds, fatalistically. Which brings the squad to the conclusion that under her power, they could all well die under her commands. Let alone from the missions given by Amanda Waller. This is not going to go down well. Before we get bogged down with is this going to be another Harley fest? In short, no.
The series breaks up evenly covering all characters and leans more towards showing the squad in strength rather than the characteristic focus of Harley Quinn. We learn about Deadshot, that as good as he is with a gun, he’s also got good intentions. He doesn’t want a hundred different ways to die, he wants to see life through his eyes and his eyes only. Whilst we’re bouncing from character to character early on in this series we very quickly stumble upon an enticing enchantress. Who’s current powers show her stopping time, the ability awakening coming from the trauma of the Croc shooting earlier on in the previous series. We learn that enchantress in summary, is an impossibly powerful magic witch. Who’s abilities if used right, could be suicidal.. again pun intended.. I’ll stop now whilst I’m ahead.
In a typical Harley Quinn fashion, we see that she’s not too caught up in the fact that there is a bomb with just four seconds remaining. Instead she’s more interested in the fact she can now hack into the computers. Downloading basic intel from the people and steal in the most Harley Quinn criminalistic fashion possible. Their personal data for her benefit.
Team members are pleading her to see reason, to set priority upon the bomb diffused over the computer hacking. Only to realize that she would given any scenario possible, sacrifice every single one of them to achieve the goals her heart desires. Let’s not forget the fact that the Joker is not whispering relentlessly in her ear at this point. Even though we know he is ridiculed in her longing thoughts towards many of her decisive actions she undertakes.
They see that she is like Waller in many ways. Seeing any objective that’s desirable and doing anything in her powerful to fulfill what they see as rightful destiny. What’s good to one, may not be deemed good by another. It may seem like there is a few blanks to cover, but this is where the story teller leaves slight pauses. Different emotional engagements for your mind to make with the series, to really set the scene ongoing in your head. Like you’ve seen this already at an iMax, but you haven’t, you’ve escaped to the realm that beholds Suicide Squad.
The comic moves on – to a bit of back story, almost going two steps forward reminding you about one step back. The best way of describing the read is that this series is told through the obnoxious mind of Direktor Karla. That as he tells the story going forward it has to show you the ongoing story of Suicide Squad to make sense of his portraying. It shows how he has hostage of Amanda Waller, not using brute force but demonstrating his prowess. Holding her bound strapped tightly to a rickety chair, alone, all in his presence with nothing else to see, think or hear. He’s drip feeding his twisted thoughts to penetrate her thoughts, to twist her ideas, her way of thinking. But will it work?
Jumping back to the scene with Harley, still hacking away with remember only four seconds on the bomb clock. She discovers about Harcourts secret files, including correspondence with Direktor Karla. Finding out that she’s potentially working with them all along. Opposed to the idea she first gave the Suicide Squad was that she’s solely for humanity – doing what’s right, for the people, by the people. As if this wasn’t enough, the files also leak the fact that there was more than one spy in the Suicide Squad. Boomerang.
In a twisted turn of events, we see that Waylon is in fact alive, regardless of the shot to the head. Yet again through magnificent writing, emotionally it twists how you were feeling about twenty seconds ago. Your mind just races through the comic at a hundred miles an hour trying to digest every detail not really knowing to believe or how to feel. But I guess this is the emotion that runs through Suicide Squad. Everything you can imagine wrapped up into one?!
Now it wouldn’t be fair for me to release the whole plot, but what we learn is that The Suicide Squad fight for each other endlessly. This could be a big problem for Direktor, or even humanity and that something needs to be put in place. To stop things from getting out of hand. After all, this won’t be the first time civilians have died under superhuman watch would it?
For me, what makes this series is the shot in the background excellently placed of the Justice League. Bounding the DC Universe together, having that adrenaline rush of knowing who’s side you’d rather really be on. Just what they’re about. For me seeing that little sketch, just made me want to rip apart my top to see a huge S engraved on my tight jersey. To look up and see the famous Clark Kent glasses and the bang on my forehead. I just wanted to be the reason why we fight and who we fight for.
As the series comes to an end, we are left with the thought that actually the superhumans are really the enemy. The ones destroying humanity and the planet as we know it. The powers they offer are out of this world, they are overly extraordinary- could be destructive or worse, deadly. Just like Direktor, we are left with the feeling that we are inconsequential to their powers.
As the curtains finally rain in on what has been a phenomenal series, we are left drooling for more. We are left with a final task for Suicide Squad, one they all want to get their hands on. The mission in hand, is time to find two other members in the DC Universe. Putting them behind bars for good. One problem, the two they are now after is: Killer Frost and don’t hold your breathe as you might just make a noise you weren’t sure was possible: BATMAN.
I can’t even find the words to describe just how I feel after reading that. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all positive. Yet I couldn’t do it justice even if I had the mindset of Stephen King. It’s gripping, dark, charismatic, enticing, thrilling, the list is endless. I’m glad it’s not a Harley Quinn fest because we already have that in the universe. Her own world revolving around her, this is about a Squad. One where we should see equal play across the field and we have exactly that. It’s hard to put as many characters forward into a comic and balance it out but Rob does exactly that in this series. That’s what makes this so pleasing to read.
I want to see more from enchantress as she never fails to impress. Along with a more passionate side to Deadshot. A bit more aggression with Amanda Waller, showing some back bone. Fighting for what she believes in and not just through her power over Suicide Squad. I want to see this solely coming from her. It makes me want to know more, see more, hear more, read more.
At this moment in time, it feels like we are in the depths of something major. Something that we will undoubtedly enjoy as ever growing as it is in the DC Universe – but I don’t want it to stop. It should become like a Tom Cruise Hollywood blockbuster, with over the top empowering from the super humans. Knowing full well that the next few series to come should hopefully bring us even more excitement. Even more dilemmas, more bold displays from each character – I want to be part of this Suicide Squad.
I don’t want to be a current member, as the choice would be too overwhelming. I want my own role, my own bad-ass decision making, my own rules, my own ground to play on. That desire is because of how Rob Williams has made me feel from page 1 to the very last page. I can only admire in awe for that. Here is hoping you, the reader, feel as passionate as I do about the franchise. That you also, feel stupid amounts of emotion whilst reading this captivating series. As for me I’m putting my head down to gather my thoughts, and with any luck, slip into a deep realm of entering the world with Suicide Squad.
Reviewed by Josh Edgley
Suicide Squad #22
Written by Rob Williams
Art by: Agustin Padilla. Adriano Lucas, Pat Brosseau
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: July 26th, 2017