Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Daniel Sampere
Color Artist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Review by Max Byrne
They’re back! After an elongated delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Suicide Squad #5 is here for all our enjoyment. With all the uncertainty around in the world currently, one thing we can take he fact for granted is the awesomeness of this title! Tom Taylor and his crack creative team have delivered an issue that is full to the brim with the usual heady mix of action, black humour and pathos. As if all that were not enough, this issue took more twists and turns than the Monaco Grand Prix track!
Following on from the welcome return of Captain Boomerang in the previous issue, the opening section of the issue is a typically kinetic and vibrant slobberknocker of a fight between the Antipodean a@@hole and Task Force X. This showcases the fact that despite the slovenly image projected by Boomerang, he is in fact a deadly and effective combatant. Holding one’s own against the Squad is no mean feat, and old Digger certainly proves his worth here. This melee is the perfect example of how wonderful the color work of Adriano Lucas is. Whilst Tom Taylor is gathering up the plaudits for this title, and rightly so, Lucas is something of an unsung hero. Every page is an cornucopia of color and vitality. Whilst always remaining on the right side of tasteful, the colors jump off the page in an explosive manner, thumbs up for Mr Lucas!
It wouldn’t be Task Force X without a liberal helping of death and this issue is no exception. Whilst I don’t wish to make this review too spoiler-filled, let’s just say that more than one character might not be drawing breath by the end of the issue. Indeed, one such death is the catalyst for the laugh out loud moment of the issue, as the exploding head of the victim is covered up by a Comics Code Authority symbol. A wonderful bit of nostalgia and a typically arch slice of dark humour, this demise is depicted in a markedly different way than the other one within these pages. In a completely different tone and tenor, this expiration is portrayed in a sensitive and heart breaking fashion, serving to give the reader a real gut punch. This goes to show the versatility of Taylor’s writing, as he can do comedy and drama to an equally high standard indeed.
With one hell of a twist coming at the conclusion of the issue, we see the welcome return to the mainstream DC continuity of a certain Ted Kord. What is his motivation here, has he turned heel? What was his connection to Lok? Most importantly, who are the “friends” he is employing to now go after the Squad? This is a great addition to the title and a great use of an often under-utilised character. I hope that when the plot gathers pace we might get to see Kord suit up once more as Blue Beetle. The possibilities are endless!
Another rip-roaring read, Suicide Squad #5 is a real treat. With so much packed into this one issue, this could well be the most value for money title currently in circulation. Taylor and his crew have managed to up the ante once again to take the story to a whole new level indeed. Based on the cliffhanger ending, where we go from here is anybody’s guess. I simply cannot wait for the next instalment, add it to your pull lists!!