Suicide Squad #51, 52

suicide_squad_vol_1_51After the big “family reunion” of the previous issue and before what will be a multi-part storyline beginning in issue #53, the Suicide Squad takes a couple of issues for some individual character development and focus, starting with Deadshot and continuing with Dr. Light.  In the former story, someone has Deadshot’s suit and is using it to kill people overseas, and Lawton is sent there to take him down.

Of course, he’s kind of being manipulated into doing it, especially since he’s seriously psychologically damaged and is having a serious mental block when it comes to the combat part of these missions.  It leads to a really good docks/warehouse fight where Lawton kills Deadshot literally and perhaps symbolically, as he shoots him in the head and walks away without taking his suit back.

In issue #42, Dr. Light, who was dead at the end of the Apokolips storyline, returns and tells Amanda Waller and the new Belle Reve warden how and why he’s standing in front of there.  That particular story involves him standing in front of a devil alongside Jacob Finlay (another Dr. Light) who has them compete for a chance to return to Earth, yet only to die over and over.  It ends with Arthur in the body of Kimyo Hosi (the Dr. Light created in the Crisis) and them getting swapped back via a mystical spell.

Both issues, coming after the Badger books that I reviewed last week, were light years ahead of that particular book, and are still a great example of how to do character, action, and humor.  John Ostrander and Kim Yale are still firing on all cylinders with this title, even if it is starting to head into its final year and the comics landscape is starting to change around it–it lasts until issue #66 and we are a few months away from Marvel launching X-Men #1.  Each issue also has outstanding artwork, with Geof Isherwood doing finishes over Luke McDonnell’s breakdowns on the Deadshot story, a gritty art style that serves its “fight in the shadows” action scenes.  The Dr. Light story is drawn by Jim Fern and Bob Campanella and they have a more cartoonish type of style that suits its silliness while also looking scary in places.

Suicide Squad continues to be consistent and very solid.  The next storyline, “The Dragon’s Hand” promises some international intrigue by way of East Asia, and it’ll be interesting to see what the title does with the samurai-based characters in the DCU.

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