With a "Suicide Squad" film hitting theatres this summer, it's no surprise a comic like "Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana" #1 is hitting stands now. While it's nice to see Deadshot and Katana getting their own moment in the spotlight, "Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana" #1 doesn't quite hit full speed.
The Deadshot feature has a good opening sequence, as Brian Buccellato, Viktor Bogdanovic and Richard Friend show Deadshot taking down an non-specific South American drug cell through a combination of marksmanship, guile and attitude. As soon as that segment is over, however, the story drops its pace considerably. Buccellato does a good job expressing how frustrated Deadshot is to be stuck in prison for months, but -- once he's back out -- it never quite picks up. Part of the problem is that -- while Buccellato is right to give him a new teammate that serves as a foe -- Will Evans is about as bland as they come. So far, we aren't getting any spark from the character, to the point where Deadshot might as well be sparring with the ceiling. Future installments will need a better foil for Deadshot to liven things up.
Similarly, the Katana feature -- written by the character's co-creator Mike W. Barr -- is at its best when the character interacts with those around her. From Katana's interest in the scientist who can see the souls imprisoned in her blade to her talk with a stray cat, there's a certain fun to the story. It's the action sequences where things fall down a bit, though; there's nothing so far that make them stand out, aside from things blowing up or attacking. Kobra is used here as little more than armored thugs, and that's a shame because we've had so many creepy renditions of the apocalyptic organization over the years.
Bogdanovic, Friend and Diogenes Neves are the artists for "Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana" #1 and both features go for a similar style, with rounded characters and a somewhat clean approach. Bogdanovic and Friend's Deadshot art has some curiously flat faces, though, with no one ever registering much in the way of shock or fear, even when everyone's being killed around them. Neves brings some more expression to the Katana feature, though, and little moments -- like Katana's moment with the cat -- work in part because the art conveys a real charm on the page in those panels.
"Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana" #1 delivers a lot of pages for a reasonable price -- it's essentially two full issues worth of comic -- but hopefully, future issues will pick up the energy level a bit. These aren't bad setups, but I feel like there's not quite enough of a hook to pick up the casual reader. If nothing else, though, it's nice to see Katana back after her disastrous series from a couple of years ago; that, alone, is reason to cheer.