As “Suicide Squad” nears the end of its first year, it’s been a pleasant surprise to see this book settle down into a solid, reliable comic month after month. Adam Glass and Fernando Dagnino are the duo in charge of the asylum, and they’ve been tweaking the title since it began, mostly for the better.
Glass has slowly built up a storyline about the evil organization known as Basilisk, and after the revelation two months ago that one member of the Suicide Squad is a double-agent for Basilisk, it’s nice to see that start paying off with a story about the Squad trying to bring in alive a member with close ties to the head of the organization. We’re one step closer to figuring out which character’s been flipped, and in an industry that likes to drag stories out for months or years, a potential quick wrap-up is nice.
As entertaining as the plots in “Suicide Squad” can be, though, it’s the characters that will really bring readers back, something that Glass understands just as well as John Ostrander and Kim Yale did on the original series. Last month’s issue gave the revelation that Harley Quinn’s personality of Dr. Harleen Quinzel had taken control following her near-fatal encounter with Deadshot, and here we start to see what that truly means. While Harley Quinn is generally a sacred cow in the comics world, I have to give Glass credit: I like the new Harley’s personality. There’s still some of that humor that you’ll recognize (anyone who says, “Look, I know I went a little freaky deaky on you all, but…” can’t be all that serious), but adding in her psycho-analytical background makes her feel a little more dangerous. She’s not just cute with a gun anymore; now she’s got an extra-nasty edge.
Glass also shows us an interesting side of Amanda Waller this month, as we get the long-awaited explanation of what was going on with King Shark and Yo-Yo. Up until now, Amanda Waller was always ruthless and a little manipulative; it’s been a combination that’s suited the character well through her various incarnations. Here, though, there’s an extra layer of cunning that comes across just a bit more uneasy when you realize what she’s willing to put people through in order to accomplish a goal. If anything, it underscores that much more one simple fact: Don’t cross Amanda Waller.
“Suicide Squad” #10 is Fernando Dagnino’s second issue on the title, and it makes me wish that he’d been the original launch artist. I’ve liked Dagnino’s art elsewhere and he’s good here, too; solid features, reasonable anatomy (unless it’s someone like Yo-Yo where it’s supposed to be over the top), and good storytelling. More importantly, it’s clear and easy to follow, something that we haven’t always had on “Suicide Squad,” and for that alone I’m pleased he’s here.
My one complaint with “Suicide Squad” right now is the continued rapid turn-over of the cast. I like that Glass isn’t afraid to kill or remove members and swap them out with someone new at the drop of a hat. After all, it’s one of the hallmarks of the Squad in general. It’s been at such a rapid-fire pace, though, that it’s hard to keep track of who’s still around, and it lessens the surprise if every other issue someone dies. A little less of a bloodbath would be good; it’ll make the moments in which it does happen that much more of an event. Still, “Suicide Squad” #10 is another dependable, enjoyable issue. I’m good with that.