You might think that a huge prison riot at Belle Reeve would be the climactic final chapter of the first “Suicide Squad” storyline. And if so, you would be wrong. Instead, Adam Glass and Federico Dallochio have made it into a turning point, leading into the final two chapters still to come for this initial arc, and in doing so give us a bigger glimpse than ever into the Squad’s members.
A lot of the focus this month goes to Deadshot and Diablo, which is smart. Of the existing characters, it’s Deadshot whom is the mainstay of all the various “Suicide Squad” incarnations, and Glass has a strong grasp on how to write the character. That combination of villain and a twisted moral code has always made Deadshot interesting, and I feel like Glass gets the character. It’s Diablo that’s turned out to be the breakout character; each issue with him has given us a larger look into what makes him tic, and his struggle to do right even as the odds are stacked against him makes him our unsung hero.
It’s the other characters, though, where Glass is clearly having fun. King Shark and Yo-Yo’s interaction this issue is so unexpected and out of the blue that it feels like he’s teasing at something bigger; whatever it is, I’m curious to see. We only get a glimpse of Black Spider, but I appreciate that Glass is expanding his story as well; hopefully the membership will solidify long enough that we’ll get to learn more about the man who claims that he truly doesn’t belong in Belle Reeve. And as for Amanda Waller, it’s nice to finally see more than just a brief glimpse. She may now be modeled after Angela Bassett thanks to the “Green Lantern” film, but Glass is still making her tough as nails.
Dallocchio’s art does a good job of showing us the chaos that the riot at Belle Reeve creates. It’s important to get that immediate sense that the Squad is up against impossible odds, and between the masses of prisoners and the wholesale destruction that’s going on, Dallocchio gives us that impression. He’s getting really good with character expressions, too; Black Spider’s grin as he’s attacked in the medical ward is chilling, and the look on Deadshot’s face when he gets his special reward is a little heartwarming. And when we see that reflection in King Shark’s eye? Brrrrr. Nicely and creepily done.
“Suicide Squad” continues to be a lot of fun, even as we careen towards the big two-parter in February and March with a spotlight on Harley Quinn. After these past few months? I can’t wait. Glass and Dallochio have a strong grasp on this book and where to take it, and I’m happily locked in for future stories.