“Suicide Squad” #24 welcomes aboard Matt Kindt, the third regular writer in two years for the series. Teamed up with series artist Patrick Zircher, Kindt’s first issue on the series (not including last month’s “Justice League of America #7.1: Deadshot”) feels rather fitting, since it’s essentially about a new creative team trying to take over the Suicide Squad during the chaos of “Forever Evil.” I suspect DC Comics has a better dental plan than Belle Reve, though.
Kindt’s script, in a bit of a surprise, sticks firm with what readers have seen up until now. “Suicide Squad” #24 is using core characters from the last year or so — Deadshot, Harley Quinn, King Shark, Captain Boomerang, James Gordon Jr., Unknown Soldier — rather than wiping the slate clean and starting over. So often a creative team switcheroo is an excuse for readers to jump ship, and Kindt wisely doesn’t give readers extra excuses to do so. Instead, he presents a familiar take on these old faces, building on what Adam Glass and Ales Kot did before him when it comes to their motivations. With a second Suicide Squad also operating in the comic’s pages, though, Kindt starts to pivot the book on its axis a bit. He’s definitely using the idea of turnabout being fair play for some of these characters, and watching those in the driver’s seat suddenly being forced into a passenger role has potential.
At first, “Suicide Squad” #24 does feel a bit slow — it doesn’t help that Kindt has to gather up all of the pieces that were scattered before he came on board — but by the last few pages, I feel like the set-up period is over and we’re starting to move ahead. The new faces from across the DC Universe that pop up in the second half are all some interesting choices, and I appreciate that these mostly forgotten characters are getting a new outing. Kindt appears to be going for the slow burn here (something he does quite well in “MIND MGMT”), so while this issue doesn’t dazzle in the first few pages, it’s definitely punchier with each new page.
I’m glad Zircher stuck around, and not just for artistic consistency. “Suicide Squad” is at its best when it doesn’t deal with the ridiculously fantastical, and Zircher draws the book in a grounded manner that makes it feel a little grittier, a little more down to earth. James Gordon Jr. continues to look chilling under his pen, and I like that the cell being used as one of the staging areas feels cramped and claustrophobic. When something larger than life does appear, Zircher gives it some extra impact by dint of his style. King Shark’s sudden appearance is jolting in part because of how out of place he looks, and when the two Squads converge on the weapon they’re hunting, that weapon looks both crazier than anything else in this comic yet realer than how we’ve seen it previously.
“Suicide Squad” #24 is a good start for Kindt and Zircher working together on the series, and it feels like momentum is just starting to pick up here. It’s definitely worth keeping an eye on; Kindt’s normally quite reliable as a writer, and I’m hoping that this book picks up some stability under his watch. So far, so good.