With each issue, the new "Suicide Squad" is proving to be more and more enjoyable. How often do you get to say that about an ongoing series?
It's increasingly clear that writer Adam Glass has been settling into the characters and the mix between them. The original incarnation of "Suicide Squad" had its share of entrances and exits of characters, and while Glass has sped it up a bit here, it's a structure that works well for Glass. The new additions to the title are already proving to be entertaining, and the contentious relationship between Deadshot and Captain Boomerang is re-launched for 2011 in a nasty game of one-upmanship.
Then again, "Suicide Squad" in general could be a game of one-upmanship. Unlike the immediate predecessor of "Secret Six" (where the cast over time clearly grew together), "Suicide Squad" has a much more uneasy relationship between its characters. Not just the members of the squad and one another, but also the squad and their warden Amanda Waller. Watching Waller push them harder and harder (especially with the cliffhanger to this issue), it's becoming increasingly clear that it's just a matter of time until one of them snaps. The only question at this point is who?
The unease between the members of the squad provide some of the best moments of this issue. Captain Boomerang's verbal dagger under Harley Quinn's skin this issue is a wonderfully understated moment, a casual barb that you can instantly see festering and burning into an explosion around the corner. It's a nice contrast between his addition to the team and that of Yo-Yo's easy-going nature, even as you find yourself unable to instantly trust the too-good-to-be-true Yo-Yo. I like the "every member for themselves" attitude that pervades the group overall, that feeling that at any moment you might not be able to trust anyone else to have your back.
Federico Dallocchio's art is also getting a little stronger. The tight image of Harley's eyes as she says, "Consider me very focused right now," is wonderful, with such a high amount of danger glinting out of them. Shifting someone from happy-go-lucky to deadly with only such a small amount of real estate on the page isn't an easy feat, and Dallocchio nails it here. There's still a huge lack of backgrounds here, but the facial tics (like Captain Boomerang's "Asp was...?" moment) are getting so good that I'm willing to let it slide.
"Suicide Squad" is a great example of how sometimes a creative team just needs a few months to fully settle into a title. In the case of "Suicide Squad" it was well worth the wait. We aren't hitting John Ostrander and Kim Yale levels of greatness here, but this long-time "Suicide Squad" fan is happy with what we've got. Glass and Dallocchio can consider me officially on board.