Continuing DC week, it’s time to catch up with the Suicide Squad series that I started reading last summer (was it really so long ago?!) In case you missed the first two volumes, check out my blog here!
So if you were following along last time, Deadshot was killed while the Squad were on a mission to take out the anti-Metahuman organisation called Basilisk. Volume 3, Death is for Suckers, picks up the story with Deadshot’s military funeral, during which the Joker turns up to reclaim Harley Quinn as his own. Having missed the relevant Batman stories, I was a bit confused last time that the Joker was dead, but convinced he couldn’t be down for long. And lo, he wasn’t! We don’t get any of the details of how he came back here, but instead go through several pages exploring the abusive relationship between the two. I think this is the first time I’ve actually read a comic with Joker in it, so that was kinda cool, but overall, it didn’t seem to go anywhere for me.
The main meat of this story seems to be the Squad going after a “package”, that is held in Gotham City’s Chinatown by Red Orchid, the mutated sister of squad member Yo-Yo. Regulus, the leader of the Basilisk organisation from the previous book, turns out to be in cahoots with Red Orchid, and the “package” turns out to be Kurt Lance, a former teammate of Amanda Waller who can “shut off” metahuman powers. Waller turns up and shuts off the team’s neck bombs in a gesture of trust as she intends to pursue Regulus off the record, and the squad come along to help. They pursue him into the sewers, where they come across some weird guy who claims leadership of the Squad – the Unknown Soldier.
Volume 4, Discipline and Punish, kinda picks up the story, but also, weirdly, kinda doesn’t. We have a new writer for the series, which probably explains the disconnect, but it just feels a bit too far off the established trajectory of the last three books. James Gordon Jr comes on board and there’s a weird storyline where each member of the team is tested to control their loyalty or something. It really just felt like a filler issue, though, if I’m honest. This sense of filler then continues for the rest of the volume, where that sense of “just another adventure” that pervaded the earlier issues comes back to the fore. Cheetah is included for no apparent reason, and we get two one-shot issues to round out the collection, featuring Harley Quinn and Deadshot, respectively, which also feel like yet more filler.
There is a final volume to the series, Walled In, which takes place during the Forever Evil crossover event, and leads to the formation of a new Task Force X. I’ve not read it, and to be honest I don’t know when I will get round to it. Volume 4 really turned me off from reading the series, which had been getting better up to that point. Always sad when one goes sour…